September 21, 2023

Note: RLRH will not be published next week. The next publication date is October 5, 2023. 

Berlin Marathon showdown: New Adidas $500 shoes vs Kipchoge’s Nikes

I don’t expect to be buying a pair of $500 running shoes anytime soon, but I gotta give Adidas credit for this one. Just before the biggest annual marathon in the homeland of the German shoe company, the famous sports company has introduced the most expensive (and just about the lightest) running shoe we’ve seen. 

That’s a combo guaranteed to get you a big chunk of free PR, and it looks like the scheme is working.

While some photos make the Adizero Adios Pro Evo 1 shoes look weirdly like floppy clown shoes, the technical specs are impressive. The new shoe weighs in at just 138 grams per shoe (about 4.9 ounces) vs the Nike Vaporfly 3 line at 185 grams (6.5 ounces).

The shoe also has a legal stack height of 39mm (the limit set by World Athletics is 40mm), carbon-infused energy rods, and a significant forefoot rocker that Adidas claims is “lab-tested to trigger forward momentum and improve running economy.”

Okay, sounds good. Now we only have to wait until Sunday’s Berlin Marathon to see how Adidas’s elite athletes, wearing the new shoes, fare against Eliud Kipchoge in his Nikes. It should be fun. For sure, a lot of eyes will be on the new Adios Pro Evo 1s. Even among those of us who aren’t ready to drop $500 for our own pair. More at Believe in the Run.

Sleep is the best recovery. So here’s how to get performance-enhancing sleep

If recovery is the name of the game when it comes to progressive training and performance improvements, and sleep is the key to good recovery (as we’re told almost every day), then we all need to zero in on best sleep practices. A recent editorial in the British Journal of Sports Medicine summarized both behavioral and medical approaches to guarantee healthy sleep.

The infographic linked below summarizes most of what you need to know. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is considered the first line of offense. Building a strong nighttime routine is also considered essential. Some do well with a shower every night before bedtime.

Several nutrition approaches, including tart cherries, kiwi fruit, and foods with the amino acid tryptophan, “can induce sleep and reduce sleep latency.” A cool, dark, quiet environment is important. Little is known about how sleep meds like Ambien affect performance, but addiction is a potential problem. More at British J of Sports Medicine.

[ Check out the new podcast, “Running: State of the Sport,” with Amby Burfoot and George Hirsch as co-hosts. First two episodes feature Jack Fleming, Boston Marathon, and Mark Milde, Berlin Marathon. Full details here. ]

Covid is lurking again. Here’s the latest research on exercise and Covid

Covid seems to be lurking around more, in new forms, as we edge into fall and winter--the most troublesome periods. Here’s a quick summary of some recent exercise & Covid articles. 

In a randomized, controlled trial, one group of post-Covid subjects followed an exercise program while another group didn’t. There was no statistical difference in their “fatigue and quality of life” after the 6-week training program. However, those who followed the training program enjoyed a significantly greater increase in vo2 max and oxygen pulse. Conclusion: “Exercise is safe and improves maximal exercise capacity in post-COVID patients.” More at Clinical Research in Cardiology.

Some aren’t too concerned about a few days of nasty flu-like symptoms that might accompany a Covid infection. It’s the prospect of Long Covid that most worries us. In one of Brady Holmer’s Substack posts, he notes that “poor metabolic health and aerobic fitness are risk factors for Covid-19 morbidity and mortality.” Then he explains that mitochondrial “hijacking” appears to be part of the Long Covid syndrome. Since aerobic fitness builds strong mitochondria, Holmer speculates that fitness might prove protective against LC. More at Substack/Brady Holmer.

Here’s the most unexpected paper on exercise and Covid. A popular digital fitness band, the WHOOP band, was apparently able to predict Covid several days before a group of female athletes tested positive for the virus. The band achieved this by detecting an increase in respiratory rate (especially), and also heart rate variability, and resting heart rate. Learning early that you have Covid could help you take measures to avoid a more difficult Covid (and spreading the virus to others). More at American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine.

SHORT STUFF you don’t want to miss

>>> The beat goes on: Beet root juice might be good for muscle recovery, too.

That’s all for now. Thanks for reading. Reminder: RLRH will not be published next week. The next RLRH publication date is October 5, 2023.

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

# How to run with the biomechanics of a world class pro

# Yes, you can run strong at 70, 90, or even 102!

# Don’t develop maranoia before your next marathon

# When you don’t need a GPS watch, and when you do

# The Boston Marathon has a problem

# Careful! Your brain could overheat while running

# Believe it or not, sometimes it’s smart to DNF your race

# 10 steps to a faster marathon performance

# An inspiring “Find the courage” quote from George A. Sheehan

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