Tag Archives: New York Times

Weak Knees : Exercise to Strengthen Weak Knees

Weak knees affects a few runners. A reader of this blog sent me an email asking me what she can do with her weak knees.

The New York times had an article on the issue of running and knees.

Running Makes your Knees stronger

In a Stanford University study researchers followed middle-aged, longtime distance runners (not necessarily marathoners) for nearly 20 years, beginning in 1984, when most were in their 50s or 60s. At that time, 6.7 percent of the runners had creaky, mildly arthritic knees, while none of an age-matched control group did. After 20 years, however, the runners’ knees were healthier; only 20 percent showed arthritic changes, versus 32 percent of the control group’s knees. Barely 2 percent of the runners’ knees were severely arthritic, while almost 10 percent of the control group’s were.

Debunking the myth that Running leads to degeneration of the knees

The word on the street is that running may weaken your knees but In another scientific study runners knees were scanned before and after 1997 Vienna Marathon. Ten years later, they scanned the same runners’ knees again. The results were striking. “No major new internal damage in the knee joints of marathon runners was found after a 10-year interval,”

According to Ross Tucker, a South African who blogs about running injuries he said the best solution for weak knees is targeted strength training. If you work on the the muscles that support your knees, hip stabilizers, quads, hamstrings you will have strong knees. It is weakness in one of these muscle groups that causes knee injury.

Another interesting solution I picked from comments on the NY times article was this one by a Dr. “The issue is weight, not running. The more you weigh, the greater the chance you will develop osteoarthritis as you age. The key is to remain slim lifelong.”

VIDEO : EXERCISES TO STRENGTHEN KEY LEG MUSCLES TO PREVENT INJURIES

This video should help

2011 New York Marathon Pictures : Photos

Each fall, the New York City Marathon results in streets lined with New Yorkers cheering for strangers to run. Among the cheering class are guys who capture the moment in pictures.

Photo courtesy of run dangerous blog. Check out his photos and his 2011 New York race report.

For pictures of 2011 New York marathon go to

Amain flickr page

Schumacher flickr page

Creative flickr page

ses flickr page

New York Times New York Marathon page

 

Common Marathon Ailments

In a New York Times interview, Dr. Stuart Weiss, the medical director of the New York City Marathon, gave a list of the most common and potentially life-threatening marathon-associated ailments:

They are  “too hot,” “too cold,” “too dry,” “too wet” and “wobble and fall down” (heat stroke, hypothermia, dehydration, low blood sodium and collapse).

Best Running Advice For Runners

Looking at an elite athlete running you will be impressed by his/her ability to run at a high speed. They make it seem very easy! They can keep going at a level of effort that seems impossible to maintain.

But is it easy for the elite runners than it is for the regular Joe?

A New York Times article examined this issue and experts interviewed gave running  advise on How to Push Past the Pain, as the Champions Do.

Best Running Advice from the article

Even elite runners feel the pain the secret is that they push through the pain rather than stop or slow down.

On How to deal with pain when running?

  • Focus intensely on your running, don’t let your mind drift away because you start slowing down.
  • Athletes must resist the feeling that they are too tired and have to slow down. Instead, they have to concentrate on increasing the intensity of their effort.

To add my own idea on the subject

Don’t focus on your burning chest instead feel your legs. Every time I find myself slowing down I ask myself how my legs are feeling. Most times the answer is the legs are feeling strong. And I step up a gear.

To Read the full article go to New York Time Fitness Page

Supplements To Build Muscle : How Creatine Works

For some people just eating a balanced diet and doing resistance training is not enough to bulk up, they need a nutritional supplement to provide a lift.

Consuming a Creatine supplement can give a person 2 to 3 times the amount that could be obtained from a very-high-protein diet.

Some personal trainers recommend nutritional supplements to their clients. In this New York Times article a personal trainer explains how Creatine works.

If you’re looking to bust through a plateau, taking five grams of creatine before your workout might help you do that,” said Steve Hoffman, a trainer in Cherry Hill, N.J. “It adds water weight to your muscle and helps you lift more.

Best Time of Day To Run : Best Time of Day To Exercise

According to a review by Dr Reilly of Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University in England, it was noted that athletes’ best performances, including world records, were typically set in the late afternoon or early evening.

From that report we can conclude that the best time to get the best out of your exercise is to do your exercise later in the day.

In an interview by New York Times one of the researchers in that report said, they noticed that “Most components (strength, power, speed) of athletic performance are worst in the early hours of the morning,” Our good researcher never gave much reasons as to why this is so. My hypothesis is that it all has do with the fact that our bodies are warmed up later in the day unlike in the morning when they are cold.

Shortcut Routes at New York City Marathon

In a New York Times article it was reported that in 2008 NYC marathon 46 runners were disqualified for having taking a short cut to the finish line and an untold number of runners escape detection, marathon officials said.

Mary Wittenberg, the race director, called the number of cheats shocking.

Shortcuts methods at NYC marathon

According to the organisers the two most common form of cheating are

  1. Stepping off the course and rejoining it closer to the finish, often sneaking into Central Park once they enter Manhattan near Mile 16.
  2. Participants running with someone else bib. According to 2008 records, a 19-year-old in the field gave his bib to someone five years older, and that person posted the best time in the 18-19 division.

The biggest reason or motivation of taking a short cut is to secure a coveted qualification time for the Boston Marathon

Meb Keflezighi Marathon Training : Altitude Training

Meb Keflezighi won the 2009 New York Marathon. Meb Keflezighi became the first US man to win the New York City Marathon since 1982. Meb has come a long way from being just a good runner to a great runner.

In 2000 summer Olympic games in Sydney he finished a disappointing 12th at 10,000 metres, a race that was won by Haile Gebrselassie.

After Sydney his coach, Bob Larsen realised if Meb is to compete with the East African runners he had to change his training tactics.

The Training Regimen That Boosted Running Speed and Power

According to an old New York times article of Meb Keflezighi, In 2001, Larsen persuaded Keflezighi to begin training at the 7,550-foot altitude of Mammoth Lakes to increase his oxygen-carrying capacity. Shortly after his first training regimen here, he set the American record of 27:13.98 at 10,000 meters.

Training at altitude took Meb from a good athlete to a great athlete

Why Poor People Are Fat

Statistics in the developed world indicate higher incidences of obese / fat people among the poor, the low income earners and the unemployed.

The answer to why poor people are fat  can be found from a New York Times article profiling the life of recently layed off lady.

From the article : The confident young woman who had once sold expensive cosmetics had become a middle-aged woman bulging out of sweat pants, her face sagging with exhaustion, her hair matted for lack of access to a shower. Each rejection intensified her fears that she might never work again.

“Is it my age?” she asked. “Is it because I’ve gained weight?” She had been visiting a nearby food bank. “They give us cakes and cookies,” she said. “Then you wonder why poor people are fat! They’re not giving us fruits and vegetables.”

How to Drink Water On The Run & Avoid Cramps

Drinking Water while you run seems to be something simple but it isn’t? Poor water drinking technique is one of the many causes of those painful stomach cramps that we suffer while running.

Runners on the run should drink water in gulps instead of sips! Well, that is according to Leslie Bonci, director of sports nutrition at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a certified specialist in sports dietetics. In an interview in the New York Times this is what she had to say…..

How we drink can make a difference in how optimally we hydrate our body. A lot of people sip liquids, but gulping is better. Gulps of fluid leave the stomach more rapidly. It’s important to do this. It seems counterintuitive, it seems like gulping would cause a cramp. People are more likely to have stomach cramps sipping because fluid stays in their gut too long.

When you take more fluid in, gulps as opposed to sips, you have a greater volume of fluid in the stomach. That stimulates the activity of the stretch receptors in the stomach, which then increase intra-gastric pressure and promote faster emptying. This is why gulping is preferred.

Her idea is supported by Doctors. Negoianu and Goldfarb medical report about sipping in their “Just Add Water” editorial published in April 2008 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology last year. Drs. G & N argue that water retention is variable, based on how quickly you are drinking. A glass downed in 15 minutes will be excreted. (What Bonci advocates for cramp prevention) A glass downed over 2 1/2 hours will be retained.

Somethings that we assume are simple are not!