The Sunday Read: Heavy drinkers and other stories

Tim Noakes believes runners drink too much – not alcohol, surprisingly, but water. Author of the classic running bible, The Lore of Running, the South African exercise scientist has a new book out entitled Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports. “He believes that, over the course of the last 30 years, people have been scared into drinking too much fluid while exercising. As a result, he says performance has suffered and people have died,” according to Outside online. The magazine features a comprehensive interview with Noakes that is well worth the read.

The Washington Post offers up a great profile on middle distance runner Alan Webb. It’s the kind of running profile we could use more of, an inquisitive, factual read that gets inside the head and psychology of Webb. The American record holder of the mile, Webb is under considerable pressure to make the Olympic standard. This piece tells that story and tells it well, helping convey just how difficult on a mental – and, of course, physical level – it is for an elite runner ramping up for a high-profile competition. Read it here:

With the blistering heat and heavy humidity of last week, drinking may not be enough to help salvage overheating during a run. Over at Runners Connect, Coach Jeff discusses the technique of pre-cooling before a hot run. (That’s not Pre-cooling, by the way; Sub-three does not endorse the use of cryogenic track stars as a method to improve running form, speed or any other related activities.) The idea behind pre-cooling is to lower your body temperature before you even head out. Coach Jeff says this extends the amount of time a runner can push before hitting “that critical temperature threshold.” To learn more, head over to:

Are you training as efficiently as you could? Greg Wells,  a professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto, advocates “work cycling.” The idea is that athletes work hard, recover and then work hard again. Beyond that, he says, “To train and perform at a high level consistently throughout the year, people need to sleep well, eat nutritious food, use exercise to charge up their brains, stretch and get massages.” Among others, Wells has worked with ultramarathoner Ray Zahab and talks about his work with Zahab, measuring the runner’s blood glucose levels twice daily, and what he learned. The interview is in the U of T Magazine.

Damn those disruptive marathoners! Ann Arbor, Michigan Mayor John Hieftje told Ann that the Eastern city’s first marathon was too “disruptive.” Apparently the race – that attracted 3,300 people from 44 states and six different countries – caused delays among some residents trying to make Father’s Day reservations at various restaurants. Much better to cancel the race so that people can load up with bacon and eggs, don’t you think? Said one restaurant owner: “I guess I’d be willing to give it another shot. There have been races downtown before, but this one was extreme.”

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.
This entry was posted in The Sunday Read and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to The Sunday Read: Heavy drinkers and other stories

  1. SeeAlliRun says:

    The article on over hydrating is quite interesting, especially given how many runners use those silly fuel belts.

  2. Trevor M. says:

    I often think that comments left in response to news items are useless, but many of the ones entered in that story from the Post on Alan Webb are quite thoughtful. On Tim Noakes … I heard of his central governor theory quite a long time ago, and intellectually I suppose it makes sense … but that’s never seemed to help me at the end of a race!

    • subthree says:

      The Post piece was exceptionally well-written, I thought. I’ll have to go back and have a look at the comments. I didn’t actually read those. Regarding Noakes, the central governor theory actually came from a Nobel Prize medicine winner, Archibald Hill, that he popularized and, since, has been amplified in Matt Fitzgerald’s excellent book, Run. As always, thanks for taking the time read. And thanks for the retweet, too!

  3. Just followed you on twitter, ( thanks for the follow back) and the breadcrumbs lead here. I just ran the Ann Arbor marathon, and yes, I saw cars and pedestrains complaining, including a group of folks who yelled at the race official trying to stop them from going into runner traffic saying “well, this was a bad weekend to have it!” I had to modify my gait to avoid hitting them, which, at mile 25, isn’t easy.

    Overall, the event was incredible, and I am so grateful they brought a marathon to my beloved city. You never really seen a place until you’ve witnessed it under the intoxicating influence of running a marathon, and I soaked up ghosts of lives past. Before the race, unfortunately, there was also lots of whining from runners that really did not do the city proud. I blogged about it here:
    Pre-race whining:
    Race Review:

    There was a very funny post in Ann Arbor’s version of The Onion (fake, sarcastic news) where the Mayor decreed the marathon could go on next year as long as it was only 15 miles so as not to cause as much disruption.
    (sorry for the long, blathering reply)

    • subthree says:

      Hi Mark: I wouldn’t characterize your comments as a long blathering reply. Great to hear some insider, first-hand knowledge from the race in response to The Sunday Read item. Really, I was surprised to hear such a negative response to the marathon in Ann Arbor, which – if memory serves – Outside Magazine in the past has named as one of its top adventure towns in which to live. It’s true marathons can be disruptive, but they attract a lot of tourism and economic benefits to the host city as well. Thanks for reading.

  4. Post where the Ann Arbor mayor decreed that the next Ann Arbor Marathon will only be 15 miles long.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s