Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Science and Marathon Racing - NYTimes

Collapse

Unconfigured Ad Widget

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Science and Marathon Racing - NYTimes

    Interesting article in the Science section of the NY Times about Marathon racing.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/18/healt ... ref=slogin

    I think you have to be a NY Times member to access this....

  • #2
    Re: Science and Marathon Racing - NYTimes

    Originally posted by The article
    “Was I the third most fit person in that race? Absolutely not,” Mr. Spence said. “Was I the third most talented? Absolutely not.” What made the difference, he said, was his training and strategy.

    Comment


    • #3
      It IS a very interesting piece, and I think you can see the article from the post above without signing up to the NYTimes account.

      Comment


      • #4
        He said that while it seemed logical to drink as much water as possible before the race — and runners try it — “it doesn’t work.” The reason, he explained, is that drinking a lot of water increases blood volume and the body responds by getting rid of it, in urine.

        “What you need to do is to increase your total body fluids another way,” Dr. Martin said.

        He added that the legal, safe way to do it is through glycerin loading. The technique exploits the unusual properties of glycerin, a thick, gooey sugar alcohol that is sold in drugstores as a lubricant. Each molecule of glycerin absorbs three molecules of water. During a race, the body uses the glycerin for energy. And every time the body metabolizes a molecule of glycerin, “it unleashes three molecules of water,” Dr. Martin said.

        The result, he said, is that “you have a water bank account.”
        Interesting - never heard of it, but the obvious question is: why would this be 'legal' when so many other things are not?

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by tafnut
          Interesting - never heard of it, but the obvious question is: why would this be 'legal' when so many other things are not?
          Is food illegal? You have to draw the line somewhere.

          Comment


          • #6
            I can tell you cockroaches like glycerin. Summer '83 I worked in a protein chemistry lab at U. of Louisville and we used glycerin to help separate proteins of different sizes/weights. Invariably, a couple of drops would end up on the floor or the stock bottle or benchtop. I'd come in and cut on the lights in the morning and a dozen of the suckers (roaches) would scurry for cover. Some tubing hooked to the high pressure air line became my a.m. weapon, to blow them out into the open for termination. Don't know what their PRs were for the marathon.

            Comment


            • #7
              Dr. Robert Cade (Gatorade), Gainesville, FL did numerous experiment with glycerine as a sweetener in a "performance" gatorade, which he called TQ2 (Thirst Quencher 2). The results have been published somewhere, and were superior to anything on the market. He sold it to Gatorade (Quaker Oats) for $1m, but they buried it because it was better than Gatorade, and would have required a whole new marketing campaign. At one point Gatorade had 90% of the world wide sports drink market.

              Comment


              • #8
                This is an interesting article -- perhaps not news to those who are seriously involved with marathon training -- but still, an interesting review.

                Re: glycerin. I really thought this was something that lots of marathoners & ultramarathoners used to maximize hydration, but the article suggests that it's still sort of a "secret". And, I assumed that pretty much all the elite types used it. On the spectrum of "world class--neighbourhood class" runners, I am closer to the latter end, but I have used it and it really helped cope with the fluid loss and depletion that comes from training in high heat/humidity. There was an additional benefit, in a way, for using it to manage long runs -- although one that takes some getting used to -- when you drink enough water/glycerin before a long run to help you get through it, you feel kind of bloated and gross for the first half hour or so of the run, and so you inevitably start out slower. I never got sick, and always felt better at the end of long runs after using glycerin, but that bloated feeling at the beginning took some getting used to.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Article cracked me up for several reasons. If you want to keep it a secret, you don't tell anyone ESPECIALLY the NYT. Also, anyone who thinks that there aren't scientists pushing the envelope right now this very minute are naive. I see the word asthma and red flags go up all over the place with me and this from a doctor with the USOC!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The "keeping a secret" part made me laugh, too -- that's the way to do it -- put it in one of the world's major newspapers! But it also made me laugh because I found out about using glycerin probably 15 years ago, I think from an article in Running Times. And as I recall, that article didn't presume even then that glycerin was incredibly new or "secret" -- it explained the science of it in simple terms, explained where how to get the stuff, and what ratios to mix w water, etc. Also, at that time, there was a company making premeasured prepared packets of the solution that you could buy and easily mix with water. That's where I bought mine -- seems like the product name was called "glycerade" or something like that -- I probably saw their ads in Running Times, or in Ultrarunning magazine. And as I said above, it was an easy cheap simple and successful way to maintain fluids during long training runs in crappy hot humid weather. I could never figure out why it wasn't common practice. So, it was interesting to see the idea surface again this week -- as a "secret" -- years later, in the NYTimes.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Note that this article is presently the most-emailed article from the NY Times web site . . .

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DecFan
                        Note that this article is presently the most-emailed article from the NY Times web site . . .
                        Oops......there goes their secret.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by tafnut
                          He said that while it seemed logical to drink as much water as possible before the race — and runners try it — “it doesn’t work.” The reason, he explained, is that drinking a lot of water increases blood volume and the body responds by getting rid of it, in urine.

                          “What you need to do is to increase your total body fluids another way,” Dr. Martin said.

                          He added that the legal, safe way to do it is through glycerin loading. The technique exploits the unusual properties of glycerin, a thick, gooey sugar alcohol that is sold in drugstores as a lubricant. Each molecule of glycerin absorbs three molecules of water. During a race, the body uses the glycerin for energy. And every time the body metabolizes a molecule of glycerin, “it unleashes three molecules of water,” Dr. Martin said.

                          The result, he said, is that “you have a water bank account.”
                          Interesting - never heard of it, but the obvious question is: why would this be 'legal' when so many other things are not?
                          I think that this is semi-common knowledge among distance runners. For a fit distance runner a significant portion of the water needed is released this way during the first hour or two. After a workout/race you you an drink a ton of water and you will not gain back the 'water weight' unless you have food to bind the water in the glycogen storage. Another way that it is that when I have a big dish of spagetti I get thirsty, not because of the saltyness of the spagetti but because it is binding the glycogen and drawing the water to do so from the blood stream and making you thirsty.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Master Po (or anyone else), care to share some info with a fellow amature? In what ratio are you supposed to blend water with glycerine, and how long before the run do you drink it? And then the idea is you just don't drink more water before the run, right?
                            137

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I will look in my files to see if I still have the articles on this. I do not have any of the prepackaged glycerin product that I formerly used, which made the mixing ratios easy for a simpleton like me to figure out. I have not used the stuff in a while, b/c I don't run as much as I used to. (On the other hand, since I'm running so much slower, I am still out there pretty much the same amount of time, so maybe I should re-think this.)

                              Another source, however, and better than my memory or old magazine articles is:

                              Better Training for Distance Runners, 2nd edition (1997)
                              David Martin & Peter Coe

                              This edition of this book has information on the use of glycerin. Available from pretty much any bookseller. I'm sure the authors would rather the book be purchased than have me quote it at length. It's not too expensive, in any case.

                              I think the first edition of their book did not include this information.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X