Archive for February, 2010

Beetroot Juice and Endurance

February 21, 2010

This sounds too good to be true !

Research at the University of Exeter’s School of Sport Health and Science shows that drinking 500 ml of fresh beetroot juice for six days can lead to an increase of up to 16% in the endurance of cyclists. Here’s a link to the University’s own summary.

Here’s one report that summarises those findings. And here’s a link to the abstract published in the Journal of Applied Physiology for the more technically minded.

It is unclear to me whether trained athletes get a similar boost in endurance and how the consumption of juice can improve training in the long term. Anyway, given that drinking beetroot juice probably has few deleterious side effects, I’ll be imbibing it in industrial quantities before my next marathon (Barcelona, in two weeks). Who knows, it may help !

Posted by Xavier

Jon’s (Triathlon) Racing Blog

February 17, 2010

I just came across this new blog called “Jon’s Racing Blog” written by a triathlete, Jonathon Umlor.

Read the whole of the first post. It is rewarding to do so and will inspire you, I’m sure.

I hope Jon will continue with regular posts to keep us informed of his progress.

Oh, and in case you are wondering, no, I have really no intention of attempting a triathlon. I do admire triathletes but running is difficult enough for me…. As for swimming in dark, satanic waters, that is really not my idea of weekend fun. A duathlon, on the other hand …..

Posted by Xavier

Barefoot Running, Again and Vibrams

February 17, 2010

There’s a lot more debate about barefoot running. Now Harvard University is getting in on the act in a big way.

Now here’s a link to a terrific site at the Skeletal Bio Lab, Harvard University.

It is a very informative site indeed with lots of videos of different foot strikes. Having looked at it a bit, the site does not conclude that barefoot running is necessarily good for you. Be careful to read the “Training Tips” section !

As for my own efforts, I ran a complete  – rather punishing – interval session wearing my Vibram Fivefingers. I survived to tell the story, obviously ! I suffered no particular injury or strain and felt perfectly alright the next day. The intervals did not feel any easier though.

Posted by Xavier