The Sunday Read: Cool running, hot workouts and more minimalism

This week’s Sunday Read takes you from the grueling environment of the North Pole to the roasting sweat boxes of the trendy new hot gyms in cities like New York and Los Angeles. For good measure, there’s an update on Micah True, and more on the minimal footwear debate. Enjoy your Sunday. Happy Easter and Passover to all.

Here’s some cool running news – literally – as well as breaking news: At yesterday’s UVU North Pole Marathon (April 7th), Great Britain’s Andrew Murray rolled in with a time of 4:17: 08 to win the men’s race, while Australia’s Demelza Farr won the women’s in a time of 6:06:36. Forty competitors from around the world ran in -26 C temperatures. Murray is an ultramarathoner who has done the race previously. Farr is a ski racer who also competes in ultras and tris. The most recent update and a link to the results may be found here: http://bit.ly/I5dlLE

And here’s some hot news – and maybe an article those cool runners up North might want to read. Everyone enjoys working up a sweat when they work out, but a new trend sees that being taken to extremes. Hot yoga is nothing new, of course, but now the practice of pushing your limits in steamy environments is spreading to other sports – including running (although it’s true many athletes have done this for some time to acclimatize themselves to racing conditions in other locales warmer than their own). But according to a feature in The New York Times, experts say the benefits peak at about 100 degrees. Read it here: http://nyti.ms/Hk533Q

It looks like it might be some time before the cause of ultrarunner Micah True’s death is known. The autopsy isn’t immediately forthcoming. Among the 1,000-plus articles now written to date on True, a piece in The Calgary Herald detailing how Canadian geologist and ultrarunner Simon Donato flew out to join the search, contained a few more details about the tragic demise. The read is here: http://bit.ly/HpiJNd And over at the Denver Post is a short piece on the famed runner’s memorial. http://bit.ly/HjZt1k

When it comes to academic research into the discipline of running, Harvard University might be one of the leading institutions, suggests an article recently published in The Medical Express. Some of the sport’s most influential researchers and theorists may be found at the school. They include barefoot advocates Daniel Lieberman, professor and chair of human evolutionary biology and principal investigator in the department’s Skeletal Bio Lab, and Irene Davis, director of the Harvard-affiliated Spaulding National Running Center (SNRC).  More information on their work, along with others’ research, may be found here: http://bit.ly/HipnH6: 

The barefoot debate continues apace. Most recently a prominent American podiatrist, Dr. Alan Berman, is sounding the alarm on minimal footwear. “For thirty years, there has been very little structural change in running shoes,” said Berman, in a news release earlier this week. “Now runners and shoe manufacturers are jumping on the barefoot bandwagon with dramatically different designs that have serious implications for runners’ form and the potential for injury.” Berman argues that “the body clings to what it knows,” and just because a runner switches shoes won’t lead to more efficient running form.  He concludes minimalist running shoes are not right for everybody. Read the text of the release: http://bit.ly/HPT1SC

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About subthree

A multiple award-winning journalist, I'm currently a contributing editor with both Canadian Running and Canadian Cycling magazines. My articles have appeared in Explore, Canadian Geographic, enRoute, The National Post, The Globe and Mail, and many other magazines and newspapers. Formerly a competitive cross-country mountain biker, I switched to running in 2006. I've run seven marathons, qualifying for Boston five times (and which I've run once). Generally, I've placed or won in my age group in races, in distances ranging from five and 10 kms to half and full marathons. I've also taught spin classes at a number of leading Eastern Canadian gyms. Sub-three was a 2012 #Runchat finalist for Best Overall Blog.
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