8 TRYP YOUR PROTEIN SWITCH
Tryptophan primes your small intestine to absorb more musclebuilding/-repairing amino acids from your food, according to researchers behind a study published in Amino Acids. Nuts, seeds, cheese, lamb and pork are good sources of tryptophan. 9 -13 GREEN ENERGY Another reason to eat your greens: they’re a great source of lutein, which triggers the release of AMPK, dubbed the ‘marathon enzyme’ because it switches your mitochondria – the powerhouses in your muscle cells – into fat-burning mode. A study in PLoS
One confirmed this enhances stamina during endurance exercise. Top lutein sources are: kale, spinach, broccoli, cress and Swiss chard. 14 CHEW THE FAT The research also found that consuming fats at the same time can triple your body’s absorption of lutein, so think oily fish, avocado or peanut butter. 15 KEEP TRACK
The track is a great place for nailing speedwork sessions, but research in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical
Fitness cautions that you may need to pay attention to not just your split times, but the total time you spend on the oval. The study of 5-K runners found doing more than 25 per cent of training on a tartan track surface was associated with plantar heel pain. 16PYRAMID SCHEME Want a session that’ll deliver maximum gains in minimum time? Ian Burrell, who finished 25th in the 2015 World Marathon Champs in Beijing despite working full time as a lawyer, recommends this key workout:
WHAT A fartlek ‘pyramid’, with 1-minute jogs between fast segments.
WHY “It adds a nice mix of speed and strength together to goose up the legs – it’s gruelling,” says Burrell.
WHEN Twice during a 12- to 16-week marathon training cycle, in week 6 or 7 and once more in week 9 or 10.
HOW Starting at marathon pace, run segments of 1,2, 3, 4 and 5 minutes, then 4, 3, 2 and 1. Do the second 3-minute effort at half-marathon pace and the second 2 and 1-minutes at 10-K pace. Then repeat the entire pyramid. 17 SEE A 3D MOVIE An in-store treadmill trot under the gaze of lightly amused shop staff is one thing; a full biomechanical analysis is quite another, and it’s something that can reveal the kind of information that could help you minimise injuries and become a more efficient runner. Running clinics like the High Performance Centre in Pretoria are open to the public, and offer a complete gait analysis. Should your results warrant more specialist intervention, there’s also a biokineticist, physiotherapist and sports physician at the facility. At the Sports Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA) in Cape Town, podiatrist Chris Delpierre offers an initial assessment and gait analysis. 18- STRETCH YOUR ENDURANCE
The key to your next great race or PB may be in your warm-up. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning
Research found well-trained distance runners ran significantly further before reaching exhaustion following a dynamic stretching session than they did after no stretching.
Make time for static stretching in your life, too. It may not lower your injury risk, but according to recent Japanese research, static stretching can lower arterial stiffness, and thus heart-attack risk. 20PULL THE UDDER ONE
Your perfect post-run rehydration option may already be chilling nicely in your fridge. Unfortunately it’s not the Sauvignon Blanc… a study in the
British Journal of Nutrition found milk was more effective at hydrating the body after exercise than either water or a carbohydrate- electrolyte solution. 21USE THE ULTRA- FIT FORMULA
In modern-day running maths, 42.2 is no longer enough for many runners – but can you really train adequately for an ultra while holding down a full-time job and spending time with your family? Yes you can, especially if you target a ‘short’ ultra, says 14-time Western States 100-mile champion and coach Ann Trason (trasonrunning.com). “For a 50-K race, apply the 10/10/10 rule from a marathon plan,” says Trason. “Lengthen your long runs by 10 per cent, slow long-run pace by 10 per cent and recover with 10 per cent more rest or cross-training days. For a 50-miler (80km), the formula is 20/20/20.”
22 More shut- eye doesn’t just mean better recovery and improved breakfast chit- chat; research published in the Journal of Andrology Research found it can raise testosterone levels, which in turn boosts your ability to burn fat. So: you snooze, you lose. In a good way. Forget those admonishments from exasperated parents and teachers – fidgeting, it turns out, can be a very good thing, at least as far as your health is concerned. Those constant small movements keep your kilojoule-burn ticking over during otherwise sedentary periods, and can combat obesity and heart disease, according to a review. They’re still annoying, though…
Sceptical as we are of slogans, it seems you might be able to take this one as read, rather than think it’s a load of bull. In a study published in the
runners who drank two cans (500ml) of Red Bull energy drink one hour before a 5-K time trial improved their performance by an average of 30 seconds compared with a placeboimbibing group. There were no differences in rate of perceived exertion or heart rate. And no, there was no vodka in there… 31 JOIN THE RESISTANCE Some carbs can actually help you peel off the kilograms, which is music to our ears. Resistant starch is an undigestible fibre found in grains, beans and potatoes (especially cooked and cooled); it promotes weight loss by filling you up, shutting down hunger hormones and foiling your body’s attempts to turn it into sugar. Unlike other carbs, which get turned into body fat when we eat them in excess, resistant starch passes on through. What’s more, it may also reduce cancer risk and boost your immune system, says Dr Christine Gerbstadt, a nutritionist and spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. 30 GIVE YOURSELF SOME WINGS 29 SMART MOVE