Archive for January, 2010

Running Keeps Your Cells Young

January 28, 2010

A recent New York Times article confirms what all we runners feel instinctively and observe empirically : running is good for you and keeps you young and fit.

The point of the article is that it describes recent extensive scientific research conducted at Saarland University in Germany that concludes definitively that running – and indeed any kind of vigorous exercise – has a marked and dramatic effect on cell rejuvenation.

What is striking with the results of this research is the anti-ageing effect of running at the molecular level.

Here’s a slightly longer and more technical article about the research in question. And here’s a link to a similar but much more technical article by an American researcher, T.J. LaRocca, from the University of Colorado.

Read the whole article (it is not long). Then go for a run.

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Core and resistance training

January 11, 2010

I’ve mentioned this before and it is worth repeating: running is good but running with cross-training is even better.

In the last few weeks, I’ve found a number of good sites that suggest worthwhile exercises to strengthen the core and to increase resistance.

This one containing descriptions of core and resistance exercises, by an Australian coach called Amelia Burton, is clear and well explained. The other parts of her website are well worth looking at too.

Another excellent site is one by Jessi Stensland, a professional triathlete from the United States. Her own site is full of interesting training tips. She is especially keen on posture and stability exercises and links to a site called “Core Performance“. In particular, she recommends this article containing ten training tips.

One interval training programme she recommends but which seems really quite tough and looks like a variation on the Billat intervals I’m keen on. Have a look at Jessi’s post here (you’ll need to scroll down a little).¬†¬†Look out because the rest intervals get shorter, unlike with Billat intervals where they remain constant. Try it out if you are fit (but don’t if you are not).

Posted by Xavier

365 marathons in 365 days!

January 4, 2010

No, no, no ! I’m not planning to do that at all. But it is what a Belgian ultra-mega-hyper endurance athlete called Stefaan Engels plans to do in 2010.

No kidding. 365 marathons in 365 days. He’s started already and finished four consecutive marathons since 1st January 2010. Have a look at his website – MarathonMan365 – which, alas, is only in Flemish. But you’ll get the gist ! Here’s a link to a short article in French.

If he keeps it up until 22 February he will have broken the current world record apparently. That stands at 52 marathons in 52 consecutive days in 2009 and is held by the Japanese runner Akinori Kusuda who was 65 years old when he accomplished that.

Stefaan Engels website’s subtitle “Feel Good Tour” seems a bit incongruous to me. I don’t think I’d feel too great after running marathons on four consecutive days in the cold which is currently gripping Belgium, especially with the prospect of 361 more and no days off.

Frankly, I’m a bit lost for words. Anyway, all the best, Stefaan !

Posted by Xavier.

(Not sure how to categorise this post given my reluctance to create a “nuts” category, so I’ll leave it as “uncategorized”, in the sense of “extraordinary”).