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,” Burfoot says.
THIS WEEK: Weirdly wonderful endurance foods. Pain vs. enjoyment in training. Do women have more endurance than men? The value of marathon-pace long runs. The perfect 3-step taper. Injury risks for teenage runners. Running might improve cartilage. Fantastic (free) plant-based diet guide. Mindfulness and running. More.
4 unexpected (and slightly weird) foods with sports performance potential
Seaweed. Crickets. Pink power. Chicken broth. These are all foods that, according to some recent sports nutrition research, could improve your performance. I’ve enjoyed several wonderful visits to Oaxaca, Mexico, where markets are filled with large pyramidal piles of crickets, and I’ve yet to force one down my mouth. I guess I need to brave up. Maybe next time. I don’t think I’ve tried spirulina yet either. The others, for sure, and what’s not to like? Experimenting with different foods, for both taste and performance potential, is one of the great joys of life. More at PodiumRunner.
Which is it: No pain, no gain? Or no fun, no gain?
Matt Fitzgerald is one of the best running writers out there: prolific and evidence-based with plenty of marathon and other ultra experiences on his legs. When Matt writes, I pay attention. And occasionally I spot contradictions. Recently he has written two articles that seem quite different. One makes the argument for “pain tolerance” in training. In effect, this is the old “No pain, not very much gain” approach. In the other article, he says there’s a close link between “improvement in fitness and the level of training enjoyment.” Pain? Or fun? Do we have to choose one over the other? These are good questions to ponder and resolve for yourself. (By the way, I can accept “multitudes” in Fitzgerald, myself, and others. It’s not a crime.) More at Trail Runner.
Women keep beating a lot of men in ultra races
A number of women ultrarunners have been killing it in recent races, including Courtney Dauwalter, who finished 7th overall at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc. Here, Cindy Kuzma, author of an athlete-recovery book titled Rebound, does a great job of summarizing results and trying to explain possible reasons for the long-held theory that women have more endurance. I’m not convinced yet, as we’re dealing more with anecdote than evidence. But the anecdotes keep piling up, and the story-line is tantalizing in so many ways. More at Women’s Running.