Showing posts from May, 2013

The Female Athlete Triad

I recently presented a short piece on the female athlete triad at school. While it wasn't a particularly thrilling topic to me, I did come across some concerning information. The problem being that there is a lack of knowledge on the issue. From doctors and coaches to the affected women themselves, they need to be made aware of the symptoms and consequences of the triad. What is the Female Athlete Triad?  The triad refers to the interrelationships between energy availability, bone mineral density, and menstrual function (ACSM, 2007). Triad, referring to the three aforementioned components exists as a condition when energy availability is insufficient to supply adequate energy for normal physiological processes like menstruation and subsequently maintenance of bone mineral density (BMD). The diagram below from the American College of Sports Medicine's position stance describes the relationship of the three components of the triad. When energy availability is kept high,


Vern Gambetta posted last week on ELITETRACK Blogs about how athletes are taught to do drills, but they often go through the motions completing them without purpose, without proper form, or without the power required to get any benefits from the movements. If you're performing work; whether it's a drill, a hill sprint, or a long run, do it with purpose and set yourself up to nail the purpose of the workout. Recognize that hard work for the sake of working hard is not always good work, but hard work with a specific purpose is the way to winning.

More on Hills

Scott Douglas of Runner's World  wrote here last month about a new study investigating the effects of various uphill intervals on 5k time trial performance. As a student that has spent some time writing about hill sprints and running economy (RE) and planning a research project on the topic, this little blurb peaked my interest and I've been on the look-out for the publication ever since. Well, it has been accepted for publication but hasn't published just yet. Nevertheless, I have accessed the submitted, unedited version. Barnes, K. R., Hopkins, W. G., McGuigan, M. R., & Kilding, A. E. (2013). Effects of Different Uphill Interval-Training Programs on Running Economy and Performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform .  An abstract can be found  here on PubMed . To summarize, 15 male and 5 female trained distance runners were evaluated for VO2max, RE, countermovement-jump peak force, and 5k time.  The 20 subjects were then assigned to 1 of 5 groups. Each group comp

Fructose, Sucrose, or Glucose?

While I am sidelined with an angry low back today (more on that later), I thought I'd take the time to write a bit about carbohydrates (CHO). Specifically, the different types of CHO and their effects on blood glucose and glycogen replenishment. CHO ingestion has been found time and time again to aid in intense and prolonged endurance performances. Why? Because  two of the mechanisms behind fatigue are decreased blood [glucose] and muscle glycogen content.  The two go hand in hand, such that when muscle glycogen is depleted, blood glucose will be metabolized -- and when blood glucose is metabolized and not maintained through ingestion of CHO, blood glucose will drop. Remember  glycolysis ? Then you remember glucose is necessary to run glycolysis. And there are two sources of glucose for working muscle cells -  glycogen  and  blood glucose . When an athlete has low glycogen and low blood glucose, his ability to run glycolysis will be limited by CHO availability and exercise inte