GRAVEL GRINDING: THE DIRTY KANZA 200 INTRODUCED ME TO A VERSION OF CYCLING THAT TAKES BIKES OFF OF SMOOTHLY PAVED ROADS, onto dirt and gravel trails. Let me be clear, I did not actually participate in or spectate this type of next-level sport excitement, but decided to investigate after my cycling daughter shared a video that highlights the DK200 (Project Y, Mythical State of, “Why People Do S*** That Sucks”; no longer available).
Oftentimes, news about a specific event will spur interest in an activity that had been appreciated by only a relatively few aficionados. Then, once the world learns about it, elites and their sponsors take over and organize most or all the charm out of what had been a small, unique, local contest. It becomes a celebrity event; that is to say, the event is the celebrity. Merely participating is an elusive goal for most.
Endurance sports often give birth to such events. There seems to be a formula involved in creating a ‘celebrity’ competition. A group of hard core athlete friends get together and try to find ways in which to physically punish themselves to extremes. The venue is typically their home turf; the course is brutal, often in a remote area. The course can ‘win’ if competitors do not complete the challenge activity. Of course, bragging rights go to all who are fit enough to attempt the grueling effort. Core group members often return annually, not to best others, but to conquer the course. The chance of death is sometimes real.
The athletes seem to be outsiders, people who love and live for a sport, far away from flashy environs that are training centers for famous pampered competitors. These outsiders test themselves in the wilds, in front of equals rather than spectators.
Earned Runs has and will highlight these endurance contests because each represents an example of a competition that began as a custom-designed challenge. Each is proof that there’s no need to wait for the organized world to come to you to enjoy sport in extreme or enjoyable competitions.
Your personal event need not be a death-defying act of survival in a distant isolated location, but a local gathering of like-minded friends. Add a prize or title (serious or silly), a chance to repeat or redeem a performance annually, and a few quirky traditions. The Earned Runs endurance event formula won’t necessarily punish participants, but might still bring all together in a rewarding challenge.
Before learning more about cycling’s Dirty Kanzaa 200, the sport of gravel riding requires an bit of introduction.
THE SPORT OF GRAVEL GRINDING
A redshiftsports.com blog piece explains the cycling activity variably known as gravel riding, gravel grinding, or adventure riding. It “combines elements of road- and mountain-biking, consisting mostly of distance riding over unpaved roads”, which can be gravel or dirt trails. Because urban roads and trails tend to be surfaced, these unsurfaced courses tend to be located in remote, rural settings with scenery seldom appreciated by the casual traveler.
“Old wagon trails, forest roads, canal paths, and more can lead to exploring the unexplored” says the “gravel riding 101” article, which provides the basics on what to expect if you wish to try this sport. “It takes cycling to the next level and provides riders with exhilarating discoveries. The captivating scenery along the way makes gravel grinding one of the most aesthetically pleasing riding adventures possible.”
That sounds almost idyllic. But the name “Dirty Kanzaa” implies a harsher endurance riding experience. In the Red Shift blog posting this event is identified as one of the most highly anticipated of the epic gravel riding events. The description suggests that surviving it might be one level of winning. As tough as it is depicted, beginners are encouraged to, rather than discouraged from, entering the competition, riding over shorter distances that will better match their experience and confidence levels. Training seems to be treated as a given, not an option. Dirty Kanzaa training camp attendance is specifically recommended.
What is it? The Dirty Kanzaa 200 event was founded in 2006, in the early days of gravel riding, according to the “About” page of the event website, by Jim Cummins, assisted by Joel Dyke. Jim was convinced the region he had been exploring on his bike for decades, while growing up in the Flint Hills east of central Kansas, had the “best gravel to be found anywhere in the world”. From 34 participants (18 finishers) in 2006, the DK200 now anticipates numbers above 2500. Proudly, it is described as a “grass-roots event organized and managed by folks who are passionate about cycling”, who have been enriched by cycling, and wish to give back to the endurance cycling community.
“The course is a 200-mile long single loop through the Flint Hills region of east-central Kansas. This is the last remaining tract of natural tallgrass prairie in North America.” The Quick Facts sheet indicates the fastest time to finish was clocked at 10 hours 42 minutes in 2014, by Brian Jensen. The last finishers are expected in after roughly 22-23 hours. Numerous checkpoints located on the course are spots where personal support crews can offer assistance to riders. “Other than that, Riders are completely on their own, and may not receive any outside assistance”.
The DK200, now a multi-day festival, is held the first weekend after Memorial Day; the 2019 date is June 1. Participation is determined by a computerized random selection process because high demand does not permit all registrants to cycle. There are several distances: 200-miles, 100-miles, 50-miles, and 25-miles, with quite a bit of detail involved in registering. If you are interested, best to get to the website pronto and do what is required to enter the selection process as an individual or a group.
Because of its popularity, the Dirty Kanzaa 200 has perhaps transitioned to being a celebrity event with big sponsors, restricted participation, a dedicated magazine, and a weekend festival. The organizers may have wished to, but were unable to, stop the race’s progression to this status.
Which means your custom-designed endurance event, death-defying or friendly, can fill the competition gap for friends and family, offering a chance to participate in a unique endurance experience without fear of restriction, which is accessible annually, and with registration staying open all year. It may even attract a 'cult' following! The festival is optional
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
SUMMER SCIENCE FRIDAY: THE ARTICLE “MUSIC AND HEART HEALTH” by Julie Corliss for Harvard Health Publishing informs many of something we already know: music is a mood booster if we are listening to the specific genre we enjoy.
Listening to what we dislike is not. Being forced to endure canned elevator-music is almost a metaphor for torture these days; it’s a cliché employed by advertisements and shows to signal a “boring” mood or unemotional artificial environment.
Corliss’ short piece highlights the cardiovascular benefits of listening to music. Maybe you have heard or known of them and are in the process of tuning out right now or clicking to another screen. But stop for just a moment and focus on the list the Executive Editor of the Harvard Health Letter provided:
These are powerful effects! If a health drink promised to deliver them the lines of potential purchasers would extend around city blocks to buy it. Music is a much simpler therapy than a drug or tonic, with no real downside. Okay, it can be expensive to own listening devices and complicated to download music. However, most of us already own a mobile phone on which music can be played and downloads can be accomplished with the help of friends and family.
Each single selection is usually less than $1.50 to purchase. By comparison, a cup of brewed coffee bought outside of home is as expensive or more so. This excuse won’t stand up in a ‘court of healthy living’; there are ways to trim costs, avenues to obtain free music. I’m not qualified to enlighten anyone on this topic; it’s a struggle to manage my own small library, especially when faced with hardware or software changes that arise periodically. But it is worth any difficulty, given the cardiovascular benefits.
What if you don’t know the kind of music that speaks to you emotionally? Finding music that suits you and your heart is like finding a form of exercise that is enjoyable that will allow perseverance in a training plan. It is a matter of trial and error, listening to samples and asking people with similar tastes for advice. Movies and shows are sources of amazing music. Keep your ears tuned when you watch both big and little screens. Scan car radio stations when stuck in traffic. Check out free online radio and music streaming services like iHeartRadio, Spotify, and Pandora.
As confessed earlier, I’m a rookie in the entire area of music. Maybe that’s why this article attracted my attention. I suspect it could be a wise health move to include music in more daily activities, and Corliss’ piece may be the needed nudge to move forward.
Like the lyrics of the movie “Titanic” love theme promises, perhaps “my heart will go on and on” if I treat it to more music that is emotionally uplifting.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
NO BOUNCE, NO SLIP, POLARIZED, UV 400 shades still are offered at the low price of $25, with upgrade $35 glasses also promising silicone inserts, gradient lenses, and a bigger fit. Goodr brand sunglasses were highlighted by Earned Runs in a previous post. With the start of summer you might wish to give them another look.
Last year I bought a pair for myself and as a gift for a young runner friend’s birthday. The one big surprise encountered when they arrived is that the lens can come in colors other than the usual brown, gray, or green. My local running specialty store now stocks them. Before ordering you might wish to shop locally if possible, and try on a pair for this reason.
The Goodr glasses are light, stylish, and fun.
Check out their website for a $25 July 4th patriotic edition, the "BETSY ROSS' SIDE HUSTLE" pictured in the captured screenshot image above..
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
SUMMER ‘SERIES SWEEP’ FOR WALKER STARTS JULY 1! THIS HIGH INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING (HIIT) WALKING CHALLENGE HAS SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH BACKING! The definition of a sports championship series sweep was explained in the blog post that introduced the fourth summer challenge for runners, walkers, cyclists, and aqua-walkers.
It’s one team winning the first 4 straight games of a 7- game series, without a loss.
Why is this summer challenge being re-introduced just for walkers in mid-summer?
Because the original 2017 challenge was designed specifically for walkers and rolled out in July. Another reason is that people who enjoy walking at a strolling pace may have resisted following a structured program. They may require more encouragement to give HIIT walking a chance.
Why push them to start? Because the exciting research on which the challenge is based was performed with walkers. Taking on this challenge may lead to health and fitness changes that walkers desire but cannot obtain with continuous movement.
The 2004, 2014, and 2016 scientific research studies of Dr. Hiroshi Nose at the Shinshu University Graduate School of Medicine in Matsumoto, Japan and his team of researchers were explained in the intro post, as well as the connection to the HIIT Summer Challenge IV: ‘Series Sweep.’
“Taking the findings of this research into account, the SUMMER CHALLENGE IV was constructed for people who enjoy moderately easy walking, running, bicycling, or aquatic fitness sessions for exercise. It copies the Japanese research study protocol that led to walkers’ improvements in aerobic capacity, thigh muscle strength, and blood pressure. In it, challengers are invited to change their regular routine of continuous movement at a moderately easy pace to a high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout, over at least 30 minutes each day, for most days of the week.”
“Committing to this SUMMER CHALLNGE IV can provide motivation to work towards a goal that helps aerobic exercisers become stronger and healthier. To SWEEP this ‘championship series’, by Earned Runs rules, means committing to the minimum 30-minute HIIT protocol on at least 4 of 7 days of the week, EACH WEEK from May 28 to September 5 without any ‘losses’ (skipped weeks). That’s only 14 weeks*.”
THE WALKERS 2018 SERIES SWEEP WILL BEGIN JULY 1 AND END SEPTEMBER 3; it’s a 9-week commitment. Participation involves “spending 3 minutes moving at a moderately easy level of intensity followed by 3 minutes at a more vigorous intensity and repeating the 6-minute routine at least 5 times to reach at least 30 minutes of total effort.”
Request Earned Runs bibs to help you stay on track or use another method to remain motivated. If requested you’ll be mailed 4, which allows you to ask someone in your family or at work to join you. Or, keep all 4 yourself and encourage the others to request their own free bibs. Keep track of the days you followed the protocol on your bib.
SUMMER CHALLENGE IV: WALKER SERIES SWEEP
Perform the High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) Protocol 4 of 7 days each week, from July 1 to September 5.
Warm-up: 5 minutes easy walking
Cycle 1: High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
First 3 minutes: move at LEVEL 4 PACE, on a scale of 1-10 in intensity, 10 being highest intensity
Next 3 minutes, move at a harder, LEVEL 7 PACE
REPEAT cycle 1 at least 4 more times (for a total of 5 or MORE cycles),
to equal at least 30 minutes HIIT
Cool-down: 5 minutes easy walking
You can do this! Try for every other day at first, as your legs may be a bit sore afterward. The protocol and a calendar for the full Summer Series Sweep are available for download, and are also on the RESOURCES page.
RUN AND MOVE HAPPY!
*NOTE: The original Japanese study continued about 22 weeks; Walker Challengers starting July 1 can opt to add an additional 13 weeks to this summer program by finishing on December 1, 2018, to parallel the 2004 research study protocol that ran from May 18 to October 15.
KNOW YOUR FITNESS LEVEL BEFORE STARTING ON AN IMPROVEMENT PLAN (Updated 6/19/2018). Summertime is the season in which many like to spend extra time outdoors getting exercise. Perhaps you are thinking of starting one of the Earned Runs Summer Challenges on July 1. It can help to know your base level of fitness before beginning an extra effort to boost it. Re-testing at summer's end can increase self-confidence when you see gains made!
The article, “4 Exercise Tests to Gauge Your Fitness” written by Tony Bonvechio for Under Armor’s MyFitnessPal.com, is one such test. Each exercise evaluates a different aspect of overall fitness, and only one requires special equipment:
Another test that may be a tougher assessment, especially for women (it’s designed for women) is provided in “How Fit Are You Really? Take These 4 Simple Tests to Find Out” by F. Aleisha Fetters for WomensHealthMag.com. It requires a gym with specific equipment:
These two are not the only tests out there for this purpose; there are many. Both attempt to instruct readers in test performance and interpretation, and how to improve in the area being assessed.
I see these kinds of tests as being similar to those that measure general knowledge of science, current events, movies, or mathematics, etc. “Passing” does not mean you are a genius or could hold a job in a field that demands competence in that particular area. Good fitness test results do not identify elite athletes. But performing poorly can point to areas of significant weakness that require extra work over time, not likely to be corrected by a single exercise or weekend of concentrated effort.
The Fetters tests are nicely explained and are more difficult in my opinion. The suggestions for boosting your score are very helpful.
The bar is set fairly low for the Bonvechio test result interpretations. If you struggled with the moves, consider joining a fitness center that includes an evaluation by a certified trainer and an exercise prescription. This is the easiest although not the least expensive path to improvement. Once you have been instructed in proper form and execution of the exercises in your program, you can do them at home on your own. Further research online can identify additional exercise routines. A big part of the process of becoming fit is becoming educated.
It only takes about 2-3 weeks of inactivity, or de-training, to begin to lose aerobic fitness (see February 6, 2017 blog post); attaining and maintaining fitness is a continuous lifelong effort. Just as we might regularly step on the scale to measure body weight in an effort to control unintended gains or losses, it can help to measure fitness periodically. The results might be better than expected!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
February 6, 2017 post: WHY NOT TO STOP TRAINING
BOSTON MARATHON CHAMPION “CITIZEN RUNNER” YUKI KAWAUCHI WILL JOIN Mo Farah and Galen Rupp at the 2018 Bank of America Chicago Marathon this October 7! The BOACM June 20 announcement was the headline of a competitor.running.com article. Beside him will be 2016 Olympian Suguru Osako, Kawauchi’s team member on the Nike Oregon Project. If either win at Chicago, the piece says, it will be the first time a runner from Japan will have taken the top podium spot in that race since 1986.
Farah, a four-time Olympic gold medalists and six-time world champion, will be running his first American marathon. Rupp won the 2017 Chicago marathon, the first time since 2002 that an American has earned top honors there. Jordan Hasay will also be returning. In 2017, she clocked the fastest time ever run by an American woman and the second-fastest time ever recorded for women there.
Interested in running Chicago? It’s way too late this year. The application window for 2018 closed on November 20, 2017. Runners who registered for non-guaranteed entry were notified of their status on December 12, 2017. There may still be a few spots open through the Charity and International Tour Group Programs.
A new way to obtain guaranteed entry was rolled out in 2018, by age and gender specific qualifying finish time. A runnersworld.com article indicates this practice helps race organizers assemble a field of participants with a range of abilities, in all age groups. Other big city races have similar policies.
“The following standards, achieved on a USA Track & Field-certified course after January 1, 2016, will guarantee entry to Chicago in 2018:”
Age Group Men’s Women’s
Because registration processes for big events tend to be very similar year to year, plan that registration will open just after the current year race has been competed in late October, and will close in late November 2018.
Seems to me that since the exciting 2018 Boston Marathon finish in April both elites and organizers are more eager than ever to put on a good show for spectators. Boston demonstrated than the sport can capture the attention of the country and world. Whether an almost-elite, a runner who won’t ever qualify, a fitness buff who doesn’t run, or a couch potato, we can pick our favorite top competitors to cheer at a specific contest. Add inspiring background stories, a rivalry history, race traditions, and a show of grit and will to win on race day and the event can be inspiring and memorable.
Chicago is building the excitement. Can’t wait to learn more about what’s coming this fall.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
WEEK 5 RUN-WALK-BIKE ACROSS AMERICA STARTS TOMORROW
Segment 10: Helena MT to Bozeman MT
Segment 11: Bozeman MT to Columbus MT
Segment 12: Columbus MT to Lovell WY
Attention! You unofficially entered “Big Sky Country” once you made your way into Montana. It’s one of the nicknames given to this state. Information is sparse on exactly why this nickname was applied, but one explanation is that it the state is so sparsely populated with so few tall buildings that the sky dominates the vistas. It is roughly divided into a plains and badlands region east of the Rocky Mountains and the western mountainous region. The climate varies with elevation.
According to a Wikipedia entry, Montana contains a portion of Yellowstone National Park (3 entrances) as well as all of Glacier National Park and other federally protected and recognized sites (areas, a battlefield, a monument, and a bison range, describe a few). “Approximately 31,300,000 acres (127,000 km2), or 35 percent of Montana's land is administered by federal or state agencies”. Wow.
The route this week will take you along or near to the Missouri, Yellowstone, and Shoshone Rivers. The Missouri is the longest or the second longest river in the United States depending on which rivers are included in its system (Wikipedia, Britannica).
This river was “believed to be part of the Northwest Passage – a water route from the Atlantic to the Pacific “ before the Lewis and Clark expedition traveled it’s entire length. They could not confirm this legend to be true, finding that no such pathway to the Pacific Ocean existed. Some of the most notable cities of the Great Plains States are found near its banks (Great Fall MT, Bismarck ND, Omaha NE, Kansas City MO, and St. Louis MO)
This great river, which empties into the Mississippi River north of the city of St. Louis, at the border of Missouri and Illinois, “was one of the main routes for the westward expansion of the United States during the 19th century.” Fur trappers and traders first explored it in the 1700s and then pioneer families followed it westward in covered wagons in the 1800s.
The Yellowstone River: Native Americans knew the Yellowstone River as the Elk River and used it for a long time before explorer William Clark and his group returned on it from their expedition in the Pacific Northwest in 1806. The river runs through the Yellowstone National Park and has three dramatic waterfalls (Upper Falls, Lower Falls, and Tower Falls). The majority (96%) of the Park’s land lies in the state of Wyoming, but very small areas also lie in Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone National Park was the first national park in the United States, established March 1, 1872 by Congress to “preserve the wildlife and showcase the unique geothermic features throughout the Park.”
Beneath Yellowstone Lake exists a “super volcano causing large amounts of geothermic activity.” Related to the volcano’s presence are hot springs, mud pots, fumaroles, and more than 300 geysers. The most famous and spectacular include Old Faithful and Steamboat Springs.
The Shoshone River: runs for 100 miles in northern Wyoming, ending when it meets the Big Horn River near Lovell, Wyoming. In 2016 the Shoshone River, east of Yellowstone National Park, “suddenly and without warning started boiling, changed color and began to emit a sulfuric odor on March 25.” Witnesses reportedly feared for their lives at this time. The event, likely related to volcanic activity, lasted four days and led to recall of its history of smelling like sulfur two centuries ago, when it was called the Stinking Water River.
Your WEEK 5 route does not take you near this part of Wyoming where this event occurred, but knowledge of the Park and the geological origins of its famous geysers makes virtual travel through the area rather exciting. You can take a virtual side trip without any danger, to learn more!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
6/28/17 NOTE: This week seems to be all about rivers. Although the book and movie scenes of fly fishing in “A River Runs Through It” were said to take place in Montana's Blackfoot River, the filming took place in the Gallatin River, north of the Segment 10 route from Helena to Bozeman MT. This fact was discovered in the article, “18 of the Biggest National Park Scenes and Cameos” by Laura Bailey for The Wilderness Society.
According to the piece, “The film is said to have changed the fly fishing landscape in Montana, and Redford has been quoted as saying he hoped the film would inspire people to keep more western places wild. Not surprisingly, A River Runs Through It won the 1993 Academy Award for best cinematography. “
POSTS ON THIS WEEKEND ANCHOR DAY WILL HIGHLIGHT FUN & UNIQUE COMPETITIONS that may help readers identify goal challenges for this summer or the next, organized or custom designed.
If an event is scheduled within the next couple of months there may not be sufficient time or funds available to attend. However, that leaves the door open for advance planning of the upcoming year’s activities or the do-it-yourself creation of a personal event.
The unusual BARKLEY MARATHONS is featured because 1) it is a challenge race against an endurance course; 2) runners must be selected to participate; and 3) the “Fun Run” portion of the competition is run concurrent with and is almost as difficult as the main event!
The toughest Barkley competitor is not a fellow competitor but the course itself. An article by Brian Dalek for Runnersworld.com informs readers that technically the person to complete 5 course loops first within a window of 60 hours wins the event, but “many years, the Barkleys Marathons course just outright wins”.
According to a Wikipedia entry, this ultra-endurance event, run in the Frozen Head State Park near Warburg, Tennessee originated as the brain child of Gary Cantrell. It was first competed in 1986. Nicknamed “Lazarus Lake”, Cantrell was inspired by the story of James Earl Ray’s 1977 escape from Bushy Mountain State Penitentiary. Learning that Ray managed to cover only 8 miles in 55 hours of running from the law in the woods, Cantrell figured he could have managed “at least 100 miles”. A neighbor and running companion of Cantrell’s, Barry Barkley, is reported to be the course’s namesake.
Challengers attempt to complete 5 loops of an unmarked 20-mile course to win the designation of finisher (100 miles). Each loop must be completed in 12 hours or less. Included are 54,200 ft. of accumulated vertical climb. If unsuccessful in the main event, there’s still the chance to finish 60 miles (3 loops) in 40 hours in the “fun run”. The 5 and 3 course loop distances, designated to be 100 and 60 miles respectively, may in reality cover 130 and 78 miles, if the annually changing course loop is significantly longer than that officially advertised, like the 26 miles it has been mapped.
There are many quirky details about the race, including a ‘condolence’ letter sent to applicants who are selected to participate (only 40), a $1.60 entrance fee plus a crazy item that differs according to prior race participation (newbies bring an auto license plate from their state, returning non-finishers pay in personal items like socks, or a white tee-shirt; previous finishers donate a pack of Camel brand cigarettes). The person thought least likely to finish a single loop is honored with race bib number 1!
The majority of years there is NO FINISHER! This is what has occurred in 2011 through 2018.
The Barleys Marathons is a great, but extreme, example of what can be accomplished with Earned Runs bibs!
Cantrell designed a custom race and invited others who expressed interest in competing. The date, distance, and starting time seem to change each year, as does the field of competitors. He made this race appeal to a select group. And decided that there needn’t be a winner! Images of famous participants’ tweets, like Michael Wardian, Amelia Boone, and Ally Beaven, are included in the Dalek piece, and show that just being there is something to brag about.
Earned Runs isn’t suggesting you sponsor a dangerous challenge, but it is saying that expensive organized competitions aren’t the only choice when it comes to having fitness fun with friends!
It can be a mile; the distance doesn’t need to be specified, or fit an official category.
Be creative; include quirky, but safe, elements and change the details as desired or needed each year. Make your event so memorable that it achieves ‘legendary’ status in your inner circle. You can name it for your best friend, spouse, child, dog, neighborhood, or yourself!
Request Earned Runs bibs if you don’t have them. Sure, you don’t NEED bibs but it does signal an intent to compete and will identify participants acceptance of and commitment to the challenge.
The Barkley Marathons’ competition bibs read, “No One Is Coming To Help”. Enough said.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Image: The view west from the Frozen Head observation platform at Frozen Head State Park in the Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee, in the southeastern United States. The western flank of Bird Mountain is on the right. Rough Ridge is on the left. Part of Lone Mountain can be seen in the distance on the left. The Flat Fork Valley is below.
SUMMER SCIENCE FRIDAY: PROTEIN FOOD CATEGORIES: GENERALLY, NUTRITION ARTICLES THAT DISCUSS FOODS TO EAT BECAUSE they are a source of high quality protein lump them all together. Or split them into dairy, plant-based, or meat and fish categories.
Karla Walsh sorts them a bit differently in her article for SHAPE.com, “The Ultimate List of High Protein Foods You Should Eat Every Week”, by MACRONUTRIENT content. And indicates your intake should represent a mix of these items over a 7-day period of time. Some readers might find her perspective helpful in planning nutritious meals and snacks.
Food macronutrients include proteins, carbohydrates, and fat (and water, some say) which allow for proper body functioning, needed in larger amounts (measured in grams). Micronutrients include vitamins and minerals needed in small or trace amounts (measured in milligram quantities).
Walsh provides reasons why foods in each category can be beneficial if included in a mix of protein sources. And although she references the Recommended Daily Allowance value of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram body weight quoted by the expert, she also suggests this value may be too low. Athletes who are strength training may require up to 2-3 grams protein per kilogram of body weight, says an International Society of Sport Nutrition position paper ('stand') on protein and exercise published in June 2017.
Below is a quick summary of high-protein food categories explained in the article, which includes links to recipes.
High-protein, high fat: full fat Greek yogurt, nuts
High-protein, high carbohydrate (CHO): bean foods
High Protein, low CHO: eggs, wild-caught salmon + other fish
High protein, low fat: chicken breast, quinoa + other plant –based foods
Although Walsh lists low fat/fat free milk as a ‘low carb’ food, some might argue it has more grams of carbohydrate (12 grams CHO/cup). than other high protein foods. Still, it is lower in CHO than other foods and unless the purpose of a diet is near total elimination of CHO this amount is clearly healthy for those who tolerate dairy.
Nuts also contain CHO, roughly about as many grams of CHO as grams of protein per weight, an amount within reason for a low (not zero-carbohydrate) diet. Endurance athletes may find performance suffers when CHO are too severely limited.
I appreciate Karla Walsh’s breakdown because I tend to focus on eating high protein foods throughout the day while avoiding the high-fat and high-CHO groups to keep calorie levels lower. But that is a mistake.
Above all, it's a boring way to live. Also, the lower satiety value of these foods can lead to hunger bingeing, a situation in which careful dietary planning is abandoned when pent up cravings lead to loss of control. This I know from experience as many others might too. Best to loosen up and allow enjoyment of a variety of high protein sources without rigid restrictions, in moderation.
By taking in a sufficient amount of protein-dense food and broadening the range of sources, our macronutrient protein needs will be met, which Walsh encourages, will also help lower body weight and blood pressure, increase lean body mass, and maintain safe waist-to-hip measurements. At the same time the 2 other macronutrients, fat and carbohydrates, will be partly supplied, along with some essential micronutrients, with all coming from healthy fare.
Just as we are instructed to eat a 'rainbow' of different colored fruits and vegetables in our diets, perhaps applying that 'color rule' to the selection of high protein foods may a be an easy path to building and maintaining our lean muscle mass too. Brown nuts, beige tuna and chicken, red salmon and meat, varied-color pulses (the dried edible seeds of legumes, including lentils, peas, beans), and white dairy (full fat Greek yogurt, cottage cheese). Thinking of these foods in terms their fat and CHO content, as Walsh suggests, may assist with the dietary mixing and matching.
Fruits and vegetables seem to receive a lot of media attention because of their micronutrient, antioxidant, and phytochemical content, and because they often are lacking in modern diets. But it's high quality protein that helps our bodies build lean muscle mass.
Macronutrient colors matter too!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
DEPENDING ON LOCATION NORTH OR SOUTH OF THE EQUATOR, IT'S EITHER THE START OF SUMMER OR WINTER TODAY! Read about the topic covered in an article for Businessinsider.com if you're interested, “The June solstice is almost here — here's how it works and why it starts both summer and winter”, by Dave Mosher and Shayanne Gal.
Today is the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere.
Earned Runs is spending the full day outdoors!
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BEATING SUMMER HEAT AND STAYING SAFE (updated June 12, 2018)
Temperatures are rising and, rather than to avoid snow, sleet or cold rain, our excuses for not running will shift, sometimes quickly, to those involving the avoidance of hot and humid weather conditions.
Although it’s tough to run outdoors these times, the increased physical demands on the body represent circumstances in which you are training harder and can come out of the summer “heat” season as a stronger autumn racer. Matt Fitzgerald has some good advice on how to successfully train in hot weather.
To understand the science behind his advice some of you may wish to first read Tawnee Prazak’s article, “ 5 Reasons Heat Affects Performance”.
Generally, Fitzgerald’s advice includes how to cool before and stay cool during runs, adjust your running to allow for the physical effects of heat, and above all be alert to danger signs the body sends when heat becomes a problem.
Earned Runs summer strategies complement what Matt Fitzgerald recommends. Just as there are ways to deal with harsh winter weather there are similar tricks to summer running and walking that can keep you safe and allow you to persevere with your training plan.
Map out a route that 1) incorporates small “loops”, 2) maximizes shade and cool breezes, and 3) minimizes exposure to direct sunlight. However, be mindful that if you rise early or wait until late to avoid the heat, low-light times of the day require extra attention to safety.
Locate a 'loop' on a street of a neighborhood or park where the traffic is low, help can be readily found if needed, and your line of sight is clear to detect potential danger. A shorter loop, about a half mile distance or so, will be easier to find than a longer loop of a mile or more.
Or try a CENTRAL ‘out-and-back’. To stay near to a central safe point (my car or an accessible building), I will start at that point, run “out” in one direction, turn around and run “back” to the start. Then run an “out-and-back” in the opposite direction, again retuning to the central start, repeating this centered linear ’loop’ as many times as needed for the miles I plan to run/walk.
If you cannot work out before the sun rises or after it sets (you get a late weekend start or take a weekday lunch break to exercise), especially if it’s a long-distance workout, running/walking multiple short loops in shaded or breezy areas or central out-and-backs can be more comfortable options.
I am also a fan of parking structure loops. These buildings often have open walls and are well ventilated. In a big city, air movements through 'street canyons' can result in gusting winds that whip up breezes, depending on their location and orientation. Possibly the structure you avoided in the winter for this very reason is the one to seek out in summer! Those in which cars remain for the entire day will have the least traffic and not be annoyingly busy..
More benefits of loops: you can easily cut short your run should the heat cause more stress than anticipated, and you can stash fluids in one spot and hydrate liberally as needed during each circuit.
Running as uncovered as possible may not be the best strategy. Wearing light-colored, loose-fitting tops with sleeves that at least shield the shoulders can decrease the heat generated from direct sun exposure on the skin, especially in less humid conditions. A light-colored vented hat with a visor will keep direct sun off the head and face, and help lessen vision strain, even if you wear sunglasses; one with a neck flap offers more protection. Light-colored loose–fitting shorts may not always be figure flattering but will be cooler than black spandex.
Tie a white or light colored long-sleeved 100% cotton shirt around your waist. You can use it to wipe sweat from your face during your run. Afterward, in the cool-down walk or jog, you may feel uncomfortably cool when you stop generating heat. If you pass through or stop to get a snack/meal in air-conditioned buildings or drive in an air-conditioned car to get to your loop course, you’ll feel cooler on the return trip. If the sun is too much for you on a run, you can use the shirt in the middle of it as cover.
Tuck a cooling towel into the back of a waistband; activate it to reduce the discomfort of a hot workout.
Cooling sleeves are a modern option to long sleeve tops. I haven’t tried any, so cannot recommend and have not yet found an unbiased review of various products.
If you partially fill a bottle/container (about halfway) and put it in the freezer well before your run, at home or at work, you can top off the ice with fluid before you start out, and it will thaw gradually and provide you with a cooling drink for the duration of a mid-day run. The ice in a completely filled container may not thaw fast enough for you to drink while you run; the added fluid hastens the thawing process. Drink cool, iced fluids about 15-20 minutes before you start out; this allows time for a restroom visit, and for gastric emptying and absorption to occur (it’s delayed with cold fluids). If you replace electrolytes or fuel with a gel or gummies during longer runs rather than with a drink, take them with you too.
Liberally apply a barrier sunscreen (zinc oxide/titanium dioxide based, advertised for babies or for sensitive skin) to your entire face and neck at home each morning. You are likely to achieve better coverage if you do it before dressing. Re-apply before you start out on a run. Although this application may leave you with a not-so-attractive facial look, you’ll come back sweaty anyway. Best to protect yourself from harmful rays that speed aging and increase cancer risk. Runners spend so much time outdoors we receive more facial exposure than indoor types.
Make sure you have sufficient cash for unexpected needs and emergencies (to buy a drink or food, or catch a ride if you don’t use on-demand services). Phone payment apps can work but in certain circumstances only cash may be accepted
IDENTITY PROOF AND RAIN PHONE PROTECTION
Make sure you have easily accessible identity and emergency contact information with you, even if carrying a phone. Light summer running clothes won’t shield your phone from water when surprised by heavy rain. If bad weather threatens, have a quart-sized freezer bag handy to protect it; the bag can be used to stash cash and a business card with written ID info. I’ve carried one during downpours in my hand,
There’s nothing wrong with taking regular walk breaks during very hot weather runs. If you mentally make this allowance a rule for summer running, it may result in fewer skipped sessions!
Enjoy the SUMMER weather and….
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
"7 Hot Weather Training Tips" by Matt Fitzgerald
“5 Reasons Heat Affects Performance” by Tawnee Prazak
(This post mistakenly went out early June 12; it is re-posted on the correct day.)
YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A SPONSORED ATHLETE?
Jason Robillard, in his article for ACTIVE.com, “How to Become a Sponsored Athlete In 5 Steps” discusses a topic I’ve not ever before encountered: athletic sponsorship. From a perspective I’ve never considered, that of the hopeful athlete. With an approach that wouldn’t occur to me, preparation.
I don’t participate in many organized competitions, and definitely don’t finish with times that draw attention. My wearing a certain brand of shoes or apparel would go unnoticed. Being a sponsored athlete requires the ability to influence the purchasing behaviors of a large number of people, doesn’t it?
Robillard’s piece changed my thinking a bit. He is a trail runner and ultra-marathon competitor who is sponsored by a shoe company, thus, is speaking from experience. I’m not a sponsored athlete, but do run a small company. Although he did not intend to write his advice for small businesses, this is the viewpoint from which I began reading his piece. Amazingly, in step 4 he cautions against dismissing small local companies!
Earned Runs will comment a bit on this article from the viewpoint of a small business that an everyday athlete might wish to approach for ‘sponsorship’.
“Ultimately, it's about selling products or services”, Robillard's '1st step' section begins. Every dollar spent by a business on marketing is not spent on inventory, personnel, or infrastructure. Your marketing power will need to be pitched to a potential sponsoring business if you expect to be rewarded for being an athlete who is promoting their company.
You might think of yourself as an alternative to a Facebook ad ‘boost’.
Facebook will ‘boost’ a well-performing business ad, and distribute it to a wider audience for as little as $5. However, even that amount will be wasted if the clicks, views, and ‘likes’ don’t translate to increased revenue. The FB boost for this small fee is correspondingly small too, so one option for a small local business is to spend more on FB boosts to get more reactions to ads. You might think of yourself as a potential alternative to an ad boost, especially if the company has a FB or social network presence.
Offer to provide interesting website content
Advertising that takes advantage of existing marketing, with minimal or no additional cost, is ideal for a small business with a small budget. The majority of small businesses will have constructed and maintained a website and social media pages. The regular posting of fresh, relevant content is time-consuming and requires creativity and writing skills.
Speaking as a sole-proprietor with an internet presence and a blog, it is a daily struggle to draw new visitors and retain regular readers with interesting value-added material, and at the same time pay attention to business!
Putting a human face with a genuine story behind it on a two-dimensional webpage can enliven company marketing information that mostly highlights specific items, store hours, and prices, deals, and specials. Offering to provide a one-time or regularly-delivered commentary or creative insight for their website, on how your personal use of the business’ products or services, as an everyday athlete, could be a proposal that a small company finds appealing.
Start small when it comes to sponsorship compensation
Robillard’s step 3 encourages, “Figure out what type of sponsorship you want”. Consider accepting an entry-level sponsorship that is not compensated if it is likely to increase visits to your own blog or social network presence, which his step 2 advises readers: “prepare by building an audience”. Doing free marketing work for another business that allows linking to your pages can turn into a double-duty effort if it leads more people to your internet door and increases your influence and audience.
Next-level compensation might involve accepting minimal in-kind rewards of goods or services. Mindful that the low $5 fee charged by Facebook allows the tiniest of businesses to advertise nationally, scale your expectations appropriately. A track record of successful relationships with smaller businesses over time may encourage a larger company or corporation to provide sponsorship.
For example, propose to a local grocery store that a posting about your fueling preferences for workouts could result in increased nutrition item purchases, and deserve a gift card reward. A posting for a cycle shop about sun protection you utilize during and after summer workouts might spike the number of views and visitors and be worthy of a store credit.
Jason Robillard’s full insightful piece deserves a careful read. Not only by elite athletes whose performances stand out and earn wide attention. But also by those who have discovered fitness as a lifestyle and have the will and enthusiasm to encourage others to enjoy and benefit more from physical exercise, and receive compensation for doing so.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
Dads & Moms; we love them for their weaknesses as much as for their strengths.
Sorry Moms, for not posting a tribute on your day, May 13.
NOTE: WEEK 4 ACROSS AMERICA post will be up Monday June 18!
INDEPENDENCE DAY 5K’S PLUS OTHER EVENTS Because the Fourth of July, the major national holiday of summer, is approaching you may wish to join in the fun of running or walking in a short distance race like a 5K. These events are a common component of some large city and many small-town celebrations on the day or weekends that precede or follow it.
There are holiday-themed races in numerous communities across the country from which to choose. Highlighted below are some that honor or attempt to raise funds for causes that benefit our service people or "fallen heroes", or support their families in some way. Also a few that are symbolic of the summer holiday spirit.
If it's not possible to participate this year, you can start thinking about next year's races. Or locate one nearby this year that is convenient to attend. Don’t forget you can always ORGANIZE YOUR OWN 4th OF JULY Miler, 2-Mile, 5K, 4-Mile, 10K, or any other distance event! Include walkers and runners, strollers, dogs on a leash, etc. if it will increase participation. Small gathering competitions have been the traditional historic beginnings of many famous races.
BELOW are descriptions of a sampling of unique organized races. If patriotic in nature there’s a brief explanation of how the honor or memorial is managed. There may be others; these specific races were identified mostly through a USATF website event search http://www.usatf.org/calendars/search/) and an article in mensjournal.com by Blane Bachelor, “The 10 Best 4thof July Road Races”.
JUNE 30, 2018
CARRY THE FLAG, Washington DC
Race organizers provide small USA flags to EACH PARTICIPANT as well as a medal, to honor those heroes who currently and previously serve our Nation. Kids 16 and under run free but with request that adults who run with them will make some donation to help maintain this custom.
7th ANNUAL NEW BERN RUN FOR THE WARRIORS 5K, New Bern NC
Proceeds go to Hope For The Warriors® programs that assist wounded and fallen service members and their families.
FIREWORKS 5K, near Fredricksburg VA
To support the Semper Fi Fund, which is “dedicated to providing urgently needed resources and support for post 9/11 combat wounded, critically ill and catastrophically injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families.”
FIRECRACKER 5k, Nantucket MA
Donations are collected for Nantucket Holidays for Heroes Fund.
This race is competitive for WALKERS!!! There are $100 cash prizes for 1stMale and Female Runner and Walker, and age division prizes for runners and walkers “through 3rdplace.
ATC PEACHTREE ROAD RACE, Atlanta GA
It’s too late to enter this 10K in 2018. Lottery winners would have been notified in late March 2018 if they were selected as a confirmed registrant or not selected.
This is the largest race, in terms of participant numbers, in the US; about 60,000 participate! Best to plan ahead for 2019.
FOOT TRAFFIC FLAT – MARATHON, HALF MARATHON, 10K, & 5K; Sauvie Island OR, www.foottraffic.us/flat
This Portland area run/walk festival has a fresh-farm flavor to it. Participants are treated to strawberry shortcake hot dogs, other goodies after finishing.
FIRECRACKER 4; Saratoga Springs NY
Four mile and 1 mile races. “Join fellow military Veterans in a joint service formation run, facilitated by members of the Saratoga County Chamber’s Veterans Business Council (Team Victor Bravo Charlie). Active, Retire, Reserve, Veteran, Family and Friends are welcome to fun.”
KILLER DUNES 2 MILER & FUN RUN, Nags Head NC
The “Outer Banks Running Club invites you to run/walk/overcome 2 miles on the tallest natural sand dune system in the eastern US!” A $5 discount is given to active military and veterans. Benefits go to the Friends of Jockey's Ridge, “a local non-profit dedicated to preserving & enhancing the Park”.
CAMP PATRIOT 5K; 3 sites: Pasco WA, Del Ray Beach FL, Ramona SD, AND virtual
Includes 100lb rucksack race (100lb Club)
Mission is to support wounded and disabled military veterans through outdoor programs.
FIRECRACKER MILE, Clawson MI
Run just ONE mile on this suburban Detroit city’s 14 Mile Road. There’s a $1000 bonus for the first place male who breaks a 4:00 minute mile, and female who breaks a 4:30 minute !!! In 32 years, the race has attracted top talent for this reason. Suspense has mounted because the prize has only been paid once since 2010.It “is one of the best miles in Midwest. Whether you are racing for a cash prize, trophy, medal, or for the joy of the run, this is the race for you.” Hanson’s Running Shop is one of the sponsors (yes, of Hanson-Brook’s team fame).
PALISADES WILL RODGERS 5K/10K, Pacific Palisades CA
Part of the reward of winning the 41stversion of this annual race is a spot on a float in the 4thof July Parade that follows the race. That’s what the article in mensjournal.com reported. This town is near Malibu, is west of Los Angeles. Expect to spot some celebrities!
Net proceeds go to the Optimist Club youth charities.
LL BEAN 4THOF JULY 10K, Freeport ME
The opposite of the Foot Traffic Flat on the opposite side of the USA in Oregon, this course is also coastal, but hilly. Shouldn’t be a surprise that winners receive LL Bean Gift cards!
10th Annual Fourth of July 5k Freedom Run/Walk, Tucson AZ
That Others May Live Foundation (partner )”provides critical support, scholarships, and immediate tragedy assistance for the families of United States Air Force Rescue Heroes who are killed or severely wounded in operational or training missions.”
Storm the Beach 5k, Norfolk VA
In support of the Wounded Warrior Project.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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