Is stigma stopping exercise in obese people?

I’ve struggled to maintain a healthy weight my entire adult life. For me the most humiliating moment came about 13 years ago when I was visiting an allergist about a skin condition and noticed that he had written “moderately obese” on my chart. At that point, I weighed 245 pounds with a BMI 32.3, well […]

Getting tested for VO2 max

VO2 max, as we have discussed before, is a key measurement of endurance running ability. There are several different procedures for measuring it, and yesterday I got to experience one of the most common methods first hand. As I mentioned last year, VO2 max is simply the maximum volume of oxygen your body can take […]

The Basics: Running safely in the dark

As the days begin to get shorter in the north and the school year wreaks havoc on running schedules, more and more runners are taking to the streets in the dark. I was surprised to realize last week that as the summer wanes, I once again need a headlamp for my regular 6 a.m. run […]

Noakes on starting out in running

This summer I’m reading Tim Noakes’ massive volume Lore of Running, bit by bit, then reporting the critical bits back to you. Last week I covered the ideal running drink: What Noakes believes is the best way to hydrate and fuel up during runs. Leave it to Tim Noakes to save information for beginning runners […]

Mammals with bigger brains are better “athletes”

How do you measure a non-human animal’s VO2 max? Put it on a treadmill, just like you would with a human. What do you do with that information? If you’re David Raichlen and Adam Gordon, you use it to figure out if there’s any relationship between an animal’s ability as an “endurance athlete” and its […]

What’s the minimum (and maximum) exercise to improve health?

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services currently recommends that adults engage in exercise at least 150 minutes per week. They also say that more exercise is even better, but that also suggests that doing somewhat less than 150 minutes per week might be better than nothing. If you’re an active runner, you might […]

The Basics: Running during your vacation

I apologize for the lack of posting this past week, but I have an excuse: I’ve been doing the “research” for this post! I’m in the middle of a two-week vacation in Hawaii, but I’ve also been trying to keep up with my marathon training schedule, which had me slated to do 49 miles last […]

Why do we get exhausted? Noakes on energy supply and running

This summer I’m reading Tim Noakes’ massive volume Lore of Running, bit by bit, then reporting the critical bits back to you. Last week I covered running potential, discussing whether there are fixed limits to human performance. This week I’m reading Noakes’ chapter on energy systems and running performance. The basic question in this chapter […]

Don’t believe every table you see: Noakes on running potential

This summer I’m reading Tim Noakes’ massive volume Lore of Running, bit by bit, then reporting the critical bits back to you. Last week I covered VO2 max, the idea that every runner can consume a relatively-fixed maximum amount of oxygen. But while VO2 max can’t be improved much with training, I held out hope […]

Quick Hits: Consuming carbs won’t cause you to bonk

Two separate individuals have pointed me to a new site, The Natural Running Center, which claims to be “a comprehensive web resource of information and education for all runners.” The site was founded by minimalist running gurus (advocates of running barefoot or with very reduced footwear), some of whom also happen to operate stores where […]

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