Small studies

There was an article in the NYT a while ago titled “Will Training in the Heat Improve Your Performance in the Cold?”  The answer is yes — for the cyclists who participated in the “not a real-world-type situation” study.  So despite the authors’ protests that they don’t have any evidence that heat training (say on a treadmill for hours at a time in a poorly ventilated garage) will benefit runners, I am going to believe it will.

I love finding small studies to pin my hopes on.  Even better when they can justify my behavior.  I read something years ago about how there’s no evidence stretching prevents injury; I don’t know where I read it, or how many people were involved in the study, or if the researchers had graduated middle school, but I’d site it whenever anyone gave me a hard time about my non-stretching ways.  (No comments please about how stretching is actually beneficial.  The PF has already brought me to my knees.)

There was a great little study a year or so ago about how beet juice improves endurance.  I extolled the virtues of the beet to all my running buddies.  Then I tasted unsweetened 100% beet juice.  Good grief!  It’s both awful and wildly expensive.  And it makes vile, shockingly pink smoothies — that stain anything they come in contact with.  So, ultimately, I dropped the beet juice study from my repertoire, but I still love a good small study.  I’m still hoping for that one that links tortilla chip consumption to improved running speed.

OK, the morning here is devolving into something akin to the Apocalypse (and Asa’s on my lap holding onto my thumbs as I type), so I’ll leave off here.

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6 Responses to Small studies

  1. Mia Phillips says:

    I have also heard that “heat training”, particularly in extreme humidity (which we are so very fortunate to have here in southwest Missouri) mimics (to some degree) altitude training. Personally, I would rather do without the humidity and deal with altitude year ’round 🙂

  2. Mia Phillips says:

    In addition, I don’t stretch (so you’ll get no grief from me) AND I eat beets, mostly because I like them.

  3. Kerry Rodgers says:

    Liza, you keep my hopes (if not my energy 🙂 up to keep fighting my PF. I hope yours really has turned its back and walked off!

    To make the beets tolerable, wrap fresh beets in foil and bake along with the potatos. After they cool, they can be diced and added to cold salads. I have not studied their effects on my smoothies.


    • lizahoward says:

      OK, Kerry, that sounds pretty good. I will sprinkle beets liberally over my salads this week and next and we’ll see how it pans out. 🙂 (I would like to thank Kerry and her beet recipe for my strong performance here today.)
      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with PF too. It really does seem like it just goes away when it’s done with you, — but towards the end, Airrosti treatments felt very helpful. I’m convinced that what works for one person’s PF doesn’t necessarily work for someone else, (Lord knows I tried a lot of crazy things over the last 10 months), but if you’re looking for something new to try…

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