Ice bathing is weird.
For decades it was recommended to do cold water immersion after hard efforts and competition to speed up / improve your recovery.
But more recently, research has been suggesting that ice bathing may be hindering the adaptations you experience from these hard exercise sessions. This means that while ice bathing may speed up how soon you are recovered and ready to run hard again, you may actually be benefiting less from that long run if you take an ice bath.
Most research uses a protocol of 10 to 15, maybe 20 minutes in water up to your waist that is kept at ~10-15 degrees Celcius or 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Post-exercise cold water immersion attenuates acute anabolic signaling and long-term adaptations in muscle to strength training | “Individuals who use *strength training* to improve athletic performance, recover from injury or maintain their health should therefore reconsider whether to use cold water immersion as an adjuvant to their training.” | In regards to strength training, cold water immersion may hinder adaptations.
Regular postexercise cooling enhances mitochondrial biogenesis through AMPK and p38 MAPK in human skeletal muscle. | These findings indicate that regular cold water immersion enhances signaling kinases p38 + AMPK and possibly mitochondrial biogenesis. | This study suggests that ice bathing may increase the production of new mitochondria, which as you learned in science class is the powerhouse of the cell.
Does hydrotherapy help or hinder adaptation to training in competitive cyclists? |Although some effects of CWI on performance were unclear, data from this study do not support recent speculation that CWI is detrimental to performance after increased training load in competitive cyclists. | This did not show a decrease in endurance performance from cold water immersion.
Does Regular Post-exercise Cold Application Attenuate Trained Muscle Adaptation? |Regular post-exercise cold application to muscles might attenuate muscular and vascular adaptations to resistance training. | Muscle endurance increased less in the ice bathed group, but markers of inflammation adaptation did not differ significantly between the two groups
The effects of cold water immersion and active recovery on inflammation and cell stress responses in human skeletal muscle after resistance exercise. |Our results suggest that cold water immersion is no more effective than active recovery for minimizing the inflammatory and stress responses in muscle after resistance exercise. | Exercise increased the signals of inflammation and ice bathing did not decrease them any more than active recovery.
Postexercise cold water immersion benefits are not greater than the placebo effect. |A recovery placebo administered after an acute high-intensity interval training session is superior in the recovery of muscle strength over 48 h as compared with TWI and is as effective as CWI. This can be attributed to improved ratings of readiness for exercise, pain, and vigor, suggesting that the commonly hypothesized physiological benefits surrounding CWI are at least partly placebo related. | Placebo, FTW. Or at least it’s as effective!
Effects of seated and standing cold water immersion on recovery from repeated sprinting. | These data suggest that increasing hydrostatic pressure by standing in cold water does not provide an additional recovery benefit over seated cold water immersion, and that both seated and standing immersions have no benefit in promoting recovery following intermittent sprint exercise. | This one was interesting because it brings up something I’ve also heard, that the hydrostatic pressure may be a benefit of water immersion, sort of like compression, but this study suggested immersion was not helpful either way!
Ice bathing reduces blood flow to muscles, which may reduce amino acids (protein) movement to the muscles.
Ice bathing drops muscle temperature, which could hinder the adaptation process.
Ice bathing, recovery oil, and the placebo. What you need to know →
Beet Root Dietary Nitrate Supplement.
TLDR: 400-800mL beetroot juice for 2-6 days (up to 15) pre-race may enhance high intensity exercise performance.
More Details: Dietary nitrate supplementation is growing in popularity as a sports nutritional supplement.
Inorganic nitrate is abundant in green leafy vegetables and beetroot.
Nitrate reduces the oxygen cost of submaximal exercise and can, in some circumstances, enhance exercise tolerance and performance.
There is more evidence to suggest that nitrate supplementation is ergogenic for maximal exercise under 30 minutes, but for events longer than 40 minutes it likely at least can’t hurt.
What you need to know about beetroot juice for running race supplements →
Quick review of the BASE Performance Real Bars.
They are soy free, GMO free, gluten free, dairy free, what’s in it?
We have dates, peanut butter, quinoa, honey, and some whey.
BASE Performance Real Bars: “There are plenty of bars out there, but only BASE Real Bars have a foundation built on helping people do their best, have healthy lives, and achieve their dreams. The name Real bars shows our commitment to using only the best real natural and whole food ingredients to fuel your life the way nature intended.”
BASE Performance is a pretty cool company. It’s a smaller brand I might be more triathlon focused, so runners may not have encountered them before. The bar tastes fine, the ingredients are solid, and it’s a good company. I’d recommend this product!
You keep running. I’ll keep coaching!
Here's a tasty #running fuel for you to try for your next #longrun from @BasePerformance →
Check out what you get in a @stridebox, how cool!? →
Today I’m going to talk about track workouts. This is for a reddit article I’m working on so I thought I’d make a video to go along with it!
For many of you this is probably a little under your knowledge level because most runners probably know how to do a track workout already and if you do know how to do a track workout maybe you’ll get a good reminder in this video. If you don’t know how to do a track workout I hope you’ll be inspired to go and do one.
So the first point is “what is a track workout?” and typically thery are repetitions around a track to develop your aerobic power, that goal pace / specific endurance / high end typically hard effort running. An example would be eight times 800 meters hard with 400 meter jog recovery.
So a track around is roughly a quarter mile / 400 meters, so eight times 800 would be two laps hard and then 400 meter recovery jog, eight times.
How to do these is I like to run to the track, ideally you run to the track for a warm-up of 1 to 2 miles. I typically walk a lap then I’ll do some strides (30-second accelerations) during the warm-up to the track or I’ll do them at the track and a walk a quarter mile and then I’ll go into the actual workout.
With our 800 meter repeat workout example, how you would optimally run this workout would be to do the first four of the eight reps at a moderate (not hard) effort and then you would do the next two. So you do number five and six at a slightly harder effort and then the last two would be a nearly best effort.
Optimally your perceived exertion goes up as the workout progresses but your pace remains pretty constant, maybe it speeds up a little bit. How I typically do this is to run the first one or two reps without looking at any time recording device. I’ll run them by feel at a moderate (not quite hard) effort because at that point you’re still really fresh and you’re going to run pretty quickly at a low effort. Then what I typically do is take the average or whatever split I ran for the first one or two reps and I try to hit that or slightly beat it for the remaining reps. Let’s say you hit four minutes for the first 800 meter rep, ideally you hit four minutes for all the reps but your effort will increase throughout the workout and having a 400 meter or a four minute average for the 800s with a slightly increasing perceived exertion is pretty good and you can do the walk jog recoveries between them. I’ll sometimes have people do a minute standing recovery after a mile rep or maybe a 200 meter jog after a 400 meter repeat.
A nice rule of thumb would be a recovery segment equal to about half of however long it took you to to do the hard segment Another tip is to not use a GPS for track workouts since gps’s are not super accurate around the turns, they kind of cut the turns. You are taking the signal from a satellite in space! I’ll use a stopwatch for track workouts or most gps’s have a stopwatch function on them as well.
I have enjoyed doing longer runs on the track, like tempo runs, and the reason for this is that tracks are nice controllable repeatable scenarios. The track is flat, it’s consistent, you can put a water bottle on the side of the track so you always have access to nutrition or hydration… maybe a bathroom And you don’t have to go anywhere, you just run circles. Yes it can be tedious and monotonous but sometimes that’s nice. Sometimes consistency and just running around in circles without having to worry about traffic or really the wind or terrain is nice and that kind of takes a stress off of you when you have to focus on running at half marathon pace for a few miles.
Here's some great advice on how to perform a #trackworkout →
I want to talk really quickly about run streaking, specifically a 10 by 10 challenge.
This is something an athlete of mine does yearly and I’ve got two athletes doing it this year. How it works is it’s 10 miles over 10 days in 10 runs so over 10 days it’s a hundred miles.
The first consideration is you need to be a fairly advanced runner to do this you can’t be jogging 20-mile weeks and jump into a 10 by 10. If you’re running 40 miles a week 50 miles a week you can do a 10 by 10 challenge, it’s a nice kind of kick in the butt to get some to get some higher volume in. What typically happens is you’ll realize that you’ll feel better as the 10 by 10 challenge progresses. This is pretty true for every type of run streak the more you run the more fit you become and you adapt to it
Other considerations for any type of run streak, but especially a high-volume run streak, will be to start off the streak really easily, don’t start with a tempo run or an 800-meter repeat workout. Start with an easy 10 mile run for the 10 by 10 challenge. You can do a couple easy days and then do a workout, separate them by 2 to 3 more easy days and then do another workout if you want to but it’s really important to modulate your effort and training load during any type of run streak so you have hard days and you have more easy days and then you have a hard day again. So you have those easy days between hard days even if they are still 10 miles in this case.
Taking in calories is going to be really important. Take in some calories before and during the 10-mile run. Having breakfast, taking at least 100 maybe 200 calories during the 10, and immediately afterwards taking 20 grams of protein and maybe 20-30 grams of carbs immediately after the run to really stimulate and get that regeneration and glycogen resynthesis taking place so you can recover for your next run, whether it’s just a run streak or ten by ten. It’s so most important, again modulating your training load and getting adequate protein and carbs in while doing a ten by ten challenge.
Another consideration is compression socks when you’re not running. Ice bathing may be taking it a little too far, you don’t need to ice bathe every day, maybe just after any harder runs, you do during the run streak. Obviously, sleep is important. Also, things like minimizing your extracurricular training other than the running During the ten by ten I’ll have my athletes reduce their strength work, for example, because they’re running load is going drastically up!
How to do a 10x10 #runstreak! →
A question I answered from Twitter.
The more you sweat that might mean you’re better at thermoregulation. Sweating is how the body cools itself so the more you sweat, potentially the better you cool yourself!
Here is why it's not a bad thing to sweat a lot while running! →
Stressing about getting a runner a gift? Here are some ideas they'll LOVE →
Gifting to a runner can be a challenge because running related items can be so much based on preference that it's hard to pick something. However, the below "surprise boxes" are a blast to receive since they are miscellaneous items curated into a box that can be monthly to a onetime order. This takes the guesswork out of your hands so you're not risking getting something the individual won't like.
But the best thing about these is that it's FUN to open boxes like this, and if you get a recurring one it becomes the gift that gives for a few months 🙂
I've sorted the below boxes by price, starting with the least expensive. I hope you enjoy and please let me know in the comments if you have any other great gift ideas!
$20 every 2 months
This is the least expensive box since it's bimonthly. That does mean for less or the same amount of money as a more frequent box, this will gift for longer.
(5OFFKYLE will get new subscribers $5 off of their first box and will work through December 24th.)
It's a bit smaller than The Runner Box but comes monthly instead of every other month, so there's tradeoff.
Onetime payment of $60
This is a single purchase, so if you don't want to actually pick the items for your runner, but you want to get them some running swag, here's a good option at a nice price. You get a few pieces of clothes + a couple little things in the box. It's not a subscription so it's one gift at once.
Onetime payment of $150-$250
This box varies in price based on what they select to include, but if you don't want to buy the full box you can order a gift card! Use code "Coach Kyle" to get $20 off your order 🙂 This was a super fun box to open and if you want to spend a bit more on your runner, I would highly recommend checking this out!
NOT RUNNING RELATED
GLOBEIN BOX (50% off referral link)
I gifted a 3-month GlobeIn subscription to my wife for her birthday and it's just the coolest stuff! They source fair trade type items from around the world, include information about the source and craftspeople, and it's a fantastic way to give back and get some beautiful items!
I’m going to go over a quick question about alternatives to gels.
Now gels like typical gels are kind of gross… it’s exactly what you would expect… it’s a gel inside and they often don’t taste great. They’re sometimes not bad but they’re not good either and the consistency really can kind of get to people at times.
There are a few alternatives to gels, the one that I’m most often to recommend and most fond of are gummies. These are Honey Stinger Chews and Clif Bloks. The Honey Stinger package has 160 calories. That’s good for an hour’s worth during the long run or marathon. Gummies are there like gummy bears and I usually put them in the back of my mouth and I’ll kind of let it dissolve, maybe bite it in half so it dissolves a little better. That way they are more of a slow release carb if it’s dissolving rather than like a shot of gel which you have to have water with. For the gummies, you can kind of just let them dissolve.
Honey Stinger and GU also makes a really good kind of waffle type thing . It’s kind of like a cracker but they are probably the best tasting sports nutrition I’ve ever had, easily! It’s just a waffle with some frosting type material inside, maybe 150 calories.
Also, a good option, if you want something even more natural, is just dried fruit like raisins. Those types of things also work but they’re not quite as handy to carry because they’re not made to be carried a while running but they work. I’ve done ultra marathons with raisins and dried cherries before.
You could also go the other route to super processed but not sport specific, like gummy worms or gummy bears. They taste better than most other things you may try, so yes, candy is a is an option.
If you do want a more natural form of a gel, something I’ve also been enjoying lately are the gels from spring energy (15% off at that link). They are a little bigger than a typical gel but still have a hundred calories. The nice thing about these is that the first ingredient is mango, the second ingredient is basmati rice, then organic banana, honey, coconut water, orange juice, Most of them has the first ingredient as basmati rice. It’s a gel but it’s not like the plastic gel like you think of. It’s like a pudding meets fruit smoothie type thing.
Hate the taste of gels? Here are some alternatives! →
Is the Runner Box worth it? →