How To Run Like An Olympic Trials Marathoner; Sodium Bicarbonate In Hydrogel Doesn’t Upset The Stomach; How Dot McMahan Ran Strong In 5 Straight Marathon Trials

RLRH Newsletter: February 23, 2024

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How To Run Like An Olympic Trials Marathoner; Sodium Bicarbonate In Hydrogel Doesn't Upset The Stomach; How Dot McMahan Ran Strong In 5 Straight Marathon Trials 1

Here’s the free but abridged version of the Run Long, Run Healthy newsletter. See the links below to subscribe to the full-text edition with more articles and deeper, more specific running advice. – Amby


How To Run Like An Olympic Trials Marathoner; Sodium Bicarbonate In Hydrogel Doesn't Upset The Stomach; How Dot McMahan Ran Strong In 5 Straight Marathon Trials 2

Today’s newsletter is presented by The New Hyperion Elite 4 by Brooks. Push limits, break tape, and make noise.


5 Ways To Run Your Best (Like An Olympic Trials Marathoner)

The U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials always produce dozens of exciting and inspirational races, and no one draws insight from these performances better than elite athlete-coach-book author Steve Magness. When he reviewed the Trials, he found key strategies that top runners used.

Here he lists 5 of them. They aren’t the boring stuff you’re accustomed to reading like: Start slow; stay patient; focus on hydration. They’re way better than that.

They’re also fun to read, and useful in your own running. I particularly appreciate “When you’re hurting, create some distance” … by getting out of your own head.

And what’s not to like about a largely-unknown, self-coached, unsponsored runner who achieves a four-minute personal best and a fourth place finish (in tough conditions)? Magness explains how Jessica McClain got the job done. More at The Growth Equation.


How To Run Like An Olympic Trials Marathoner; Sodium Bicarbonate In Hydrogel Doesn't Upset The Stomach; How Dot McMahan Ran Strong In 5 Straight Marathon Trials 3

Today’s newsletter is presented by The New Hyperion Elite 4 by Brooks. Push limits, break tape, and make noise.


Sodium Bicarbonate In Hydrogel Doesn’t Upset The Stomach

For the last several years, some of the biggest buzz in the endurance performance world has swirled around a hydrogel beverage containing sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is a known performance enhancer, but also a known stomach disruptor. Previously the risk-benefit ratio was too high for most athletes to consider.

Now Swedish researchers have tested a new hydrogel + sodium bicarb combo, from Maurten, and found that it seems to work well.

In a randomized, cross-over trial, they gave the new beverage or a similar amount of sodium bicarbonate in vegetarian capsules to 12 well trained male cyclists. The cyclists then performed a 5-hour ride in the lab.

Result: In blood testing, the cyclists reached peak sodium bicarb level, and maintained it longer, with the hydrogel beverage. They also reported less GI discomfort with the hydrogel, and “reduced stomach cramps, bowel urgency, diarrhea, belching, and stomach-ache” compared to the veggie-capsule sodium bicarb.

Conclusion: “This is the first study to report that Maurten with sodium bicarbonate can increase buffering capacity and reduce GI discomfort.” The finding represents “a major potential benefit for athletes considering sodium bicarbonate as an ergogenic supplement as GI discomfort is almost eliminated.”

Important point: This was not a performance study. It only investigated sodium bicarbonate levels, and degree of stomach upset. “Further research is now needed to directly quantify the potentially ergogenic effects of this new supplement.”

More at Sports Medicine Open with free full text. Note: The researchers have received indirect (not private) funding from Maurten through their university. “Contractual negotiations stipulated that all data could be published irrespective of the outcome of the study and subsequent analysis.”


All Praise Dot McMahan’s 5th Straight Olympic Marathon Trials

The big stars at the Olympic Marathon Trials are the podium placers: First, second, and third in the women’s and men’s events. And well-deserved, they are.

But even more inspirational and aspirational stories are often found not far behind them. For example, how about a 47-year-old woman who finished her fifth straight Marathon Trials, and has only slowed down 3 minutes over the 16 year period?

Meet Dot McMahan from Rochester Hills, Michigan. You’ve got to applaud her consistent, high achievement over an extended period of time. For the record, here are her times in the last 5 Trials: 2:35:02 (2008), 2:32:16 (2012), 2:44:26 (2016), 2:43:39 (2020), and 2:38:24 (2024).

How has McMahan done it? By recognizing that everyone encounters obstacles along the road, and the only way forward is to maintain consistency. “Anyone who does this sport for a long time is going to have ups and downs,” she said. “But being a woman and giving birth to a child and being a parent and having to roll with all the punches all the time, I hope that I’m inspiring other people that you can do it.”

Yes, you are, Dot. Thanks for the example you have set. More at Fan Hub TF.


SHORT STUFF You Don’t Want To Miss

>>> Can’t beet ’em: “The intake of supplements containing beetroot positively influences the recovery of serum oxidative status and muscle damage after ultra-endurance running.

HERE’S WHAT ELSE YOU WOULD HAVE RECEIVED this week if you were a subscriber to the complete, full-text edition of “Run Long, Run Healthy.” Why not give it a try? SUBSCRIBE HERE.

# How to train with minimal fatigue and optimal “overload”

# Yes, you can maintain fitness even when you have little time for workouts

# Why you need these 3 types of running shoes

# Is your running bra making you slower? (It’s very likely.)

# Did you know running provides more longevity benefit than cycling or walking?

# Dance to the music: For unexpected mental health and cognitive capacity

# Tri this new training tip: To improve your swim-cycle transition, and your cycling efficiency

# A great quote from Ben Franklin about preventing disease

Don’t forget: I Spend HOURS Searching The Internet For The Best, Most Authoritative New Running Articles, So YOU Can Review Them In MINUTES.

That’s all for this week. Thanks for reading. See you again next week.


Photo of author
Amby Burfoot stands as a titan in the running world. Crowned the Boston Marathon champion in 1968, he became the first collegian to win this prestigious event and the first American to claim the title since John Kelley in 1957. As well as a stellar racing career, Amby channeled his passion for running into journalism. He joined Runner’s World magazine in 1978, rising to the position of Editor-in-Chief and then serving as its Editor-at-Large. As well as being the author of several books on running, he regularly contributes articles to the major publications, and curates his weekly Run Long, Run Healthy Newsletter.

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