Monday, January 30, 2012

Triathlon research and microblogging for Ben Greenfield Fitness

While some researchers across the world are busy sequencing genes or developing new energy sources, others are investigating critical questions in triathlon and running. That's right, there is a growing body of research devoted to endurance sports science emerging from those involved in elite athlete development, physical preparation of the military, or health promotion. A search on triathlon yields peer-reviewed studies on things like race warmup, run pacing, effects of aging, and characteristics of elites.

On Tuesday of each week I'll pull an item of relevant research and post a short "microblog" on the new Ben Greenfield Fitness site on Google+.  Research, by it's very nature, has limitations and by no means are results definitive. But it provides a starting point for discussion and may yield new ideas for your own training.

So put me and BGF in your circles on Google+ and check it out!

If you are not already familiar, Google+ is somewhat of a Facebook alternative. BGF is also on the web, iTunes Podcasts, Facebook, and he also puts out the Endurance Planet podcasts that I listen to regularly.

Last week's post was on the effect of music on treadmill running:

    Those of us who run with music may feel like it is helpful but wonder if it truly is. Researchers from Australia and Queensland believe the answer is yes! They had 11 elite triathletes run on a treadmill under three conditions: no music, self-selected motivational music, and neutral music that was not specifically motivational. The music tempo was matched to the cadence of the runner.
    When running to either type of music, researchers discovered that the elite athletes ran about 19% longer and they reported reduced perceived exertion. Physiologically, oxygen consumption and blood lactate were both lower with music. The researchers caution that the differences between the music and no-music condition may be less pronounced outside of the minimally stimulating laboratory conditions. They suggest that to get the best benefit, select music with a tempo that matches your run cadence.
    Terry, P.C., Karageorghis, C. I., Saha, A. M. and D’Auria,S. (2012) Effects of synchronous music on treadmill running among elite triathletes. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 15, 52-57.

This week's coming post is on lacing patterns on running shoes. Good stuff!