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tempo-run

YOUR PERFECT TEMPO

This “comfortably hard” run is the key to racing your best, at any distance. Here’s how to add tempo runs to your weekly mix.

Published

May 23, 2007

Robin Roberts runs like a Kenyan. Okay, she doesn’t run as fast as a Kenyan, but the 47-year-old New York City advertising executive–who trains far from Nairobi–has achieved personal records by using the same workout that has helped propel the likes of Paul Tergat and Lornah Kiplagat to greatness. The secret? A tempo run, that faster-paced workout also known as a lactate-threshold, LT, or threshold run.

Roberts–who’d dabbled in faster-paced short efforts–learned to do a proper tempo run only when she began working with a coach, Toby Tanser. In 1995, when Tanser was an elite young track runner from Sweden, he trained with the Kenyan’s “A” team for seven months. They ran classic tempos–a slow 15-minute warmup, followed by at least 20 minutes at a challenging but manageable pace, then a 15-minute cooldown–as often as twice a week. “The foundation of Kenyan running is based almost exclusively on tempo training,” says Tanser. “It changed my view on training.”

Today, Tanser and many running experts believe that tempo runs are the single most important workout you can do to improve your speed for any race distance. “There’s no beating the long run for pure endurance,” says Tanser. “But tempo running is crucial to racing success because it trains your body to sustain speed over distance.” So crucial, in fact, that it trumps track sessions in the longer distances. “Tempo training is more important than speedwork for the half and full marathon,” says Loveland, Colorado, coach Gale Bernhardt, author of Training Plans for Multisport Athletes. “Everyone who does tempo runs diligently improves.” You also have to be diligent, as Roberts discovered, about doing them correctly.

 

Why the Tempo Works…

Tempo running improves a crucial physiological variable for running success: our metabolic fitness. “Most runners have trained their cardiovascular system to deliver oxygen to the muscles,” says exercise scientist Bill Pierce, chair of the health and exercise science department at Furman University in South Carolina, “but they haven’t trained their bodies to use that oxygen once it arrives. Tempo runs do just that by teaching the body to use oxygen for metabolism more efficiently.”

How? By increasing your lactate threshold (LT), or the point at which the body fatigues at a certain pace. During tempo runs, lactate and hydrogen ions–by-products of metabolism–are released into the muscles, says 2:46 marathoner Carwyn Sharp, Ph.D., an exercise scientist who works with NASA. The ions make the muscles acidic, eventually leading to fatigue. The better trained you become, the higher you push your “threshold,” meaning your muscles become better at using these byproducts. The result is less-acidic muscles (that is, muscles that haven’t reached their new “threshold”), so they keep on contracting, letting you run farther and faster.

 

…If Done Properly

But to garner this training effect, you’ve got to put in enough time at the right intensity–which is where Roberts went wrong. Her tempo runs, like those of many runners, were too short and too slow. “You need to get the hydrogen ions in the muscles for a sufficient length of time for the muscles to become adept at using them,” says Sharp. Typically, 20 minutes is sufficient, or two to three miles if your goal is general fitness or a 5-K. Runners tackling longer distances should do longer tempo runs during their peak training weeks: four to six miles for the 10-K, six to eight for the half-marathon, and eight to 10 for 26.2.

Because Roberts was focusing on the half-marathon, Tanser built up her tempo runs to eight miles (plus warmup and cooldown) at an eight-minute-per-mile pace. “The pace was uncomfortable,” she says. “But after a while I realized, ‘Oh, I can maintain this for a long time.’”

That’s exactly how tempo pace should feel. “It’s what I call ‘comfortably hard,’” says Pierce. “You know you’re working, but you’re not racing. At the same time, you’d be happy if you could slow down.”

You’ll be even happier if you make tempo running a part of your weekly training regimen, and get results that make you feel like a Kenyan–if not quite as fast.

 

UP TEMPO

A classic tempo or lactate-threshold run is a sustained, comfortably hard effort for two to four miles. The workouts below are geared toward experience levels and race goals.

GOAL: Get Started Coach Gale Bernhardt uses this four-week progression for tempo-newbies. Do a 10- to 15-minute warmup and cooldown.

Week 1: 5 x 3 minutes at tempo pace, 60-second easy jog in between each one (if you have to walk during the recovery, you’re going too hard).Week 2: 5 x 4 minutes at tempo pace, 60-second easy jog recovery Week 3: 4 x 5 minutes at tempo pace, 90-second easy jog recovery Week 4: 20 minutes steady tempo pace

GOAL: 5-K to 10-K Run three easy miles, followed by two repeats of two miles at 10-K pace or one mile at 5-K pace. Recover with one mile easy between repeats. Do a two-mile easy cooldown for a total of eight or 10 miles.

GOAL: Half to Full Marathon Do this challenging long run once or twice during your training. After a warmup, run three (half-marathoners) or six (marathoners) miles at the easier end of your tempo pace range (see “The Right Rhythm,” below). Jog for five minutes, then do another three or six miles. “Maintaining that comfortably hard pace for so many miles will whip you into shape for long distances,” says coach Toby Tanser.

The Right Rhythm

To ensure you’re doing tempo workouts at the right pace, use one of these four methods to gauge your intensity.

 

Recent Race: Add 30 to 40 seconds to your current 5-K pace or 15 to 20 seconds to your 10-K pace

Heart Rate: 85 to 90 percent of your maximum heart rate

Perceived Exertion: An 8 on a 1-to-10 scale (a comfortable effort would be a 5; racing would be close to a 10)

Talk Test: A question like “Pace okay?” should be possible, but conversation won’t be.

 

Could Leaky Gut be bothering you?

Leaky gut can be a difficult diagnosis to establish for a number of reasons: It’s associated with a wide range of seemingly unconnected symptoms; it has a lot of different causes; there’s no specific test to confirm it; and evidence tying it to other conditions can be murky. As a result, there’s a fair amount of skepticism in the mainstream medical community about the legitimacy of leaky gut as a diagnosis. But as the evidence that this is indeed a real and recognizable condition grows, opinions are slowly changing. That’s a good thing, because leaky gut is likely to emerge as one of the most significant medical concepts of our time.

How Leaky Gut Affects You

Our digestive lining serves an important barrier function. It’s like a net with very small holes that allows only certain substances that are small enough to go through, while keeping out larger undesirable particles. With leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, the net becomes damaged, resulting in bigger holes that allow more things to pass through that ordinarily couldn’t.

The barrier function becomes compromised, so that bacteria, viruses, undigested food particles and toxic waste products can leak from the inside of your intestines through the damaged digestive lining into your bloodstream, where they’re transported throughout your body and can trigger your immune system to react. The end result is inflammation in various parts of your body, leading to a wide variety of symptoms like bloating, cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, flushing, achy joints, headache and rashes.

With leaky gut not only is the digestive lining more porous and less selective about what can get in, but normal absorption can also be affected. Nutritional deficiencies may develop as a result of damage to the villi – the finger-like projections in the small intestine that are responsible for absorbing nutrients.

Multiple food sensitivities are another hallmark of leaky gut, because partially digested particles of protein and fat may leak through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream and cause an allergic response. Increased intestinal permeability may potentially cause or worsen a number of other conditions, including Celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), arthritis, psoriasis, eczema and asthma.

So what causes increased intestinal permeability? There’s still much to be learned, but diet, chronic stress, certain medications and bacterial imbalance seem to play important roles. Eating a diet high in refined sugar can lead to overgrowth of yeast species, which has been associated with leaky gut. Preservatives and chemicals in processed foods can damage the lining, and so can consumption of gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley.

Chronic stress can lead to a weakened immune system, affecting your ability to fight off invading bacteria and viruses and worsening the symptoms of leaky gut. Medications like aspirin and non-steroidal anti inflammatories (NSAIDs) that can damage the lining of your gut, as well as antibiotics that kill off your essential good bacteria are also associated with increased intestinal permeability. In fact, an imbalance between beneficial and harmful species in your gut called dysbiosis is one of the leading theories about what causes increased intestinal permeability. Excessive alcohol consumption, infection with parasites, radiation and chemotherapy can damage the lining of the intestine and are also risk factors.

In addition to bloating and digestive distress, a lot of the patients I see with leaky gut have a combination of other symptoms like food allergies, chronic sinus infections, achy joints, fatigue, brain fog or unexplained rashes. Typically they’ve been to multiple doctors trying to make sense of their symptoms, and conventional tests and imaging studies have been unrevealing. There can be a feeling of hopelessness and despair, because the symptoms seem so unrelated.

When you think of leaky gut not so much as a disease, but as a mechanism by which a number of different conditions can develop, it starts to make sense. A leaky gut is the pathway for how toxins enter the body through the GI tract and create all kinds of mayhem once they’re in, sort of like party crashers who slip through security and proceed to make a mess of the venue.

What Tests Are Available for Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut is a clinical diagnosis, and while there’s no specific test that can tell you with 100% certainty that you have it, a positive Intestinal Permeability Test is strongly associated with the condition. This test measures the ability of two non-metabolized sugar molecules – mannitol and lactulose – to get through the digestive lining.

Mannitol is a small molecule that normally passes through easily and serves as a marker of how well nutrients are being absorbed. Lactulose is a larger molecule that doesn’t normally pass through very well and serves as a marker for whether there are large holes in the lining. To perform the test, the patient mixes pre-measured amounts of lactulose and mannitol and drinks it. The test measures the amount of lactulose and mannitol recovered in a 6-hour urine sample.

Low levels of both mannitol and lactulose indicate malabsorption. Elevated levels of both lactulose and mannitol suggest general increased intestinal permeability, consistent with leaky gut. Permeability to lactulose may be increased, suggesting leaky gut, while permeability to mannitol may be decreased, suggesting malabsorption of small molecules. The lactulose/mannitol ratio is a useful value; an elevated ratio indicates that the effective pore size of the gut lining has increased, allowing larger, possibly harmful molecules to gain access to the body.

 

Are There Any Solutions?

There’s no miracle cure for treating leaky gut, but there are things you can do if you’re suffering from it that can help heal inflammation and restore the integrity of your gut lining.

An anti-inflammatory diet that eliminates refined sugars, dairy, gluten, alcohol and artificial sweeteners – some of the biggest offenders when it comes to inflammation – can be very helpful. Consuming lots of anti-inflammatory essential fatty acids in fish and nuts, and filling up on green leafy vegetables, high-fiber and fermented foods that help to promote the growth of good bacteria is also crucial.

A robust probiotic that contains large amounts of good bacteria can help heal a damaged intestinal lining by restoring balance in the gut flora.

Supplements like glutamine have been shown in some studies to help with intestinal injury after chemotherapy and radiation and may be beneficial in leaky gut.

Most people will notice improvement within 6 weeks, although it may take several months and even years to heal a damaged intestinal lining in extreme cases of leaky gut. Because we’re still learning about leaky gut, many of the treatment guidelines are drawn more from anecdotal observation than from rigorous scientific studies. But they’re sensible recommendations that can lead to improvements in your overall health, whether or not you have increased intestinal permeability.

Leaky gut is one of those diagnoses that bridges the gap between conventional and alternative medicine, between what we can see and touch and what we can feel in our bodies. I refuse to believe that the hundreds of patients I see in my office with unusual and seemingly unrelated complaints are crazy, or just stressed out.

I believe them when they say they feel like they’re being poisoned, or that they think there’s a connection between all their symptoms, even though they don’t know what it is. My hunch is that as our knowledge grows, the theories behind leaky gut will become the foundation for lots of diseases that are widely prevalent in our society, and millions of people will be in a better position to find relief from their suffering.

 

 

http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/could-leaky-gut-be-troubling-you?page=2

bacon

Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Heart Disease.

Shocking report by ABC news on saturated fat, cholesterol and heart disease.
Saturated fat and cholesterol has been accused for almost 60 years to be responsible of heart disease but unfortunately it is not science but marketing. Most of the studies on cholesterol and heart disease are funded by pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately it is not doctors fault since all the research they receive comes from the sale rep of the pharmaceutical companies in most cases and do not have the time to digg into research and good science. However, most of us fear fat and cholesterol based on a theory which has never been proven by science. Feel free to share this.

 

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Did You Know????

Did You Know?

  • Studies suggest that people with sleep apnea have a higher risk of cancer.
  • Drinking three or more cups of coffee per day is linked with a reduced risk of death.
  • Propecia, the baldness drug for men, causes sexual dysfunction.
  • In a study of women over age 65, those who ate the most monounsaturated fats (olive oil, nuts, avocados) had the brain power of women 6-7 years younger.
  • Dogs have been trained to detect oncoming seizures and to identify cancer in tissue samples.
  • People who sleep five hours or less a night are 32 percent more likely to gain weight than those who sleep seven hours.
  • Astronauts lose their sense of smell in space, most likely due to weightlessness causing fluid in the sinuses.
  • Knee replacement surgeries have doubled over the past decade, and more than tripled in women between the ages of 45 and 64.
  • Children who were breastfed for 6+ months are 51 percent less likely to be obese at age 9 than formula-fed kids.