Tapering

I attended a high school known for its swimmers. They were the best in the country, and some of them competed in the Olympics. Before championship swim meets, I could overhear amusing discussions in the hallways about “shaving down” and “tapering” in an attempt to swim faster. As a member of the cross-country and track …

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Cookies, Anyone?

Imagine that you’re sitting in an empty room at a table with a plate of cookies and are told you can have one cookie now or two cookies later. Which option would you choose? Such a scenario was used in the 1960s and 1970s by psychologist Walter Mischel and his colleagues at Stanford University to …

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Exercise vs. Nutrition

In a review of the data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, scientists at Stanford University’s School of Medicine compared obesity, physical activity, and caloric intake in U.S. adults from 1988 to 2010. They found a significant association between the level of physical activity in the population—but not daily caloric intake—and the increases …

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DO YOU RUN IN REVERSE?

Reverse linear periodization is a method of training that gradually and progressively increases the volume and decreases the intensity over time. It is the opposite of the traditional linear periodization. Historically, linear periodization was designed to improve strength, speed, and power, with training progressing from general conditioning (volume) to specific skills (intensity), with the highest …

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PERIODIZATION

Periodization is a blueprint of sequential periods of focused training that guides the coach and runner in the acquisition of specific characteristics of fitness. Training periods are divided into macrocycles, mesocycles, and microcycles. Several ways to periodize your training: 1) Linear Periodization Progressing from high volume/low intensity to low volume/high intensity.   2) Reverse Linear …

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ALTITUDE

  On your first day at altitude, you go for a run, and notice within a few steps that you’re breathing heavier than usual. You wonder why, because the air still contains 20.93% oxygen, whether you’re at the Dead Sea in Israel (1,385 feet below sea level) or on top of Mount Everest in Nepal (29,029 …

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