November 3, 2022

This is the abridged edition of my weekly “Run Long, Run Healthy” newsletter. It goes to those who are free subscribers.

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Mindfulness boosts elite athlete performance 
In the first systematic review and meta-analysis of mindfulness that focussed on elite athletes and RCTs only, researchers found largely positive results. They concluded that consistent mindfulness practice could improve both mental health and competitive performance.

Mindfulness practices reduced stress and anxiety, while lifting “psychological well being.” There were also “large significant results” for reduced depression in studies that followed accepted mindfulness guidelines. 

An important point: “Mindfulness is essentially a skill that is first learned, then regularly practiced, so the benefits accrue accordingly over time.” In other words, the more and longer that you follow a mindfulness routine, the greater the potential payoffs. More at Brit J of Sports Medicine.

Turn your clock back without missing a beat

We might be close to the end of the road with Daylight Savings Time, as the Senate has passed legislation that could end DST as soon as next year. Still, on Sunday morning, New York City Marathon runners will have an extra hour of overnight time to get themselves ready for the long haul. 

They might need it. Many will rise as early as 3 a.m. for breakfast before catching a bus or ferry to the start line on Staten Island. (I heard a sports nutritionist this week advise “4 breakfasts” for runners who won’t actually be starting the marathon until nearly noon.)

The rest of us will be thinking more about Monday morning/afternoon, and especially how we will adjust our training regimens to the changed daylight and colder weather. The NYT has lots of advice here, including how your body hormones affect your daily rhythms, how to warm up indoors before heading out, and how to adjust your diet. More at NY Times.

4 simple steps to better running form

Here’s a short summary from a video interview with running-physical therapist expert, Tom Goom. 1--Avoid excessive forward body lean. 2--Don’t let your knees brush against each other from too-much collapsing inward. 3--Don’t overstride and land with a straight leg in front of your knee. 4--Keep your vertical oscillation (“bounce”) at a minimum. More at Matthew Boyd Physio.

A surprising new result for antioxidants & training

A number of studies have shown that antioxidant vitamins, like Vit C and Vit E, may interfere with the desired effects of training, which involves a certain amount of tissue breakdown followed by tissue adaptation and strengthening. A new paper based on a randomized, controlled trial reinforces this result. However, it also adds a potentially important wrinkle.

True, when subjects did 10 weeks of strength training while taking either a Vit C-Vit E supplement or a placebo, the supplement seemed to “blunt upper body strength and hypertrophy adaptations.” But it also decreased “gains in visceral adipose tissue” resulting from the high-calorie diet subjects followed. So the supplement did one bad thing--depressing enhanced tissue activation from training. And one good thing--protecting subjects from more visceral fat, which is known to be harmful. More at Nutrition.

SHORT STUFF you don’t want to miss

>>> How to adjust your training after injury or time off

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. See you again next week. Amby

NOTE: If you were a subscriber to the complete, full-text version of RLRH for $4/month, you would also have received news about:

# Taper tips and making peace with the taper "yips"

# The low-down on protein and electrolytes in your sports drink

# Are "cutback weeks" essential in your training plan?

# A cautionary tale: antibiotics and your brain

# A time-saving training hack

# How to set a world record for 50K (31 miles)

# Don't hold your breath for breath-holding improvements

# A cross-over endurance test: low carb vs high carb

# Yes, caffeine boosts women's endurance, too

# An inspirational quote from Meb Keflezighi

Click here to upgrade to the complete, full-text edition ($4 month).  You can cancel at any time.