Monthly roundup: February 2018

This month, as usual, I read many interesting things. Among them, a topic near and dear to the hearts of northerners this time of the year as well as some insights from top marathoners and insight on what running will do to your strength.

Overdressing in training to prepare for a warm race

For as long as I can remember, there was an idea floating around in cold climates: overdressing during your winter training can have you more prepared for spring or summer races that will be in warmer weather.

There was some debate about whether you can actually adequately simulate warmer weather by overdressing but I tried it and believed in it, as did many others who ran in similar climates.

What happens when this is put to the test, though? Does this idea hold up?

These data support the idea that over-dressing during exercise in a temperate environment may produce the high Tre, Tsk, HR, and SR necessary for adaptation, but these responses do not match those in hot, dry environments. It is possible that a greater exercise stimulus, warmer environment, or more clothing may be required to allow for a similar level of acclimation.

So it does help. Maybe not as much as training in the heat but sometimes we don’t have a choice. It’s good to know that, when we don’t have another option, wearing a couple extra layers will help us to some extent when preparing for a warm weather event.

Just remember, you don’t need to overdress all winter to get these gains. Benefits of heat training set in after about 2-3 weeks. So, if you’re training for the Boston Marathon for example, you can start thinking about overdressing in late March.

Elite insights

When the world’s greatest marathoner speaks, it’s worth listening. Or, in this case, reading. Outside offered some quotes from a speech Eliud Kipchoge gave at Oxford University. I think it’s worth a read.

When the winner of the New York City Marathon speaks, it’s also worth listening or, again, reading. Outside also offered some quotes from an interview with Shalane Flanagan. Again, very much worth a read.

Some thoughts on balancing endurance and strength training

Alex Hutchinson asks is endurance training killing your strength?

In short, probably. I have two takeaways, though:

1) Most of us here are focused on our running. Why are we strength training? Probably to build resiliency and reduce injury risk, less so to look like a body builder or bench press 250 pounds. So how much of a concern is this?

2) If you do want to bulk up or increase strength, there are still things you can do. Make sure you’re not strength training under a calorie deficit. Do fewer reps with more weight to help minimize the risk of a calorie deficit. Consider separating your strength training from your running, doing it later in the day.

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