Each week, Boston Marathon winner Amby Burfoot, also the world’s most experienced running editor, curates the latest and most useful content on running and health from around the internet. “I spend hours finding the best new research and articles, so you can review them in minutes.”
THIS WEEK: Boost your VO2 Max. Chug this to run stronger. The 10-day training “week.” Minimalist shoes not that different. Train weird. Should women runners eat different? Optimal super-shoe use. Risks of ultra running. More.
Boost your VO2 Max
Everyone wants to have a high VO2 Max (maximal aerobic capacity) because it’s a bedrock essential of great running. Here, author-coach Matt Fitzgerald promises to tell us the best workout to increase our max, and then begs off the question in his summary. Why? Because he’s smart enough to know it would be silly to limit yourself to just one VO2 Max workout. Try as many as you can dream up, from long intervals to short intervals to time trials and races. Note: Fitzgerald’s article is still worth reading, because he does describe three cool workouts. More at Training Peaks.
Chug this, run stronger
This is not an ad. It’s a summary of a double-blind, randomized trial from exercise scientists at Creighton University. They found that a new pre-workout drink named PerformElite (check the supplement label) had an 84% chance of extending the endurance of NCAA Division 1 cross country runners. The research was not funded by the company, and the scientists report no conflicts of interest. But here’s the cautionary note: PerformElite contains a lot of ingredients, and some (like caffeine, taurine, beta alanine and beet root) have been supported by previous research. So the drink doesn’t represent a breakthrough, and you can’t tell which ingredient you might be responding to. The researchers think the caffeine and beta alanine are the most important. More at MDPI Nutrients.
Benefits of the 10-day training “week”
A 7-day week is a fine period of time to organize your training, but so is 10 days. In fact, 10 days has some major advantages: It gives you more time to get in those three key workouts — usually a long run, tempo run, and intervals — with sufficient recovery between them. In this era of more flexible job opportunities, a switch in training-program routine could offer both a new outlook and a new chance for performance improvement. More at Runner’s World and some variations on longer training cycles at PodiumRunner.