ATC 252: How To Approach the Offseason Comeback, Stress Fracture Risk In Collegiate Runners, Beet Juice For Fat-Adapted Athletes, Glute Activation Exercises, and More

January 19, 2018


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On this episode of Ask The Coaches:

  • Article discussion: Stress fracture risk in collegiate cross country runners.
  • New study in the JOSC shows astoundingly high stress fracture numbers in runners under 25.
    • 42 cross country D1 runners, between 18-24 years old.
    • 40% of females and 35% of males had history of stress fracture.
      • None of these subjects met the recommended daily energy intake (i.e. energy deficit), calcium or vitamin D.
    • 31% had osteopenia, 4.8% osteoporosis.
  • British runner Bobby Clay talks about her osteoporosis at age 20.
  • Glute activation exercises we like:
    • Fire hydrants
    • Donkey kicks
    • Lateral monster walks – with or without resistance band
    • Bridges
    • Birddogs
  • What is your opinion on the stepmill machine as cross training for endurance runners?
    • Would it help to substitute some easy runs for the stepmill to reduce injury risk/ build strength or is this time better used running?
    • Could the stepmill (which is like a giant moving escalator) be better or more or less valuable than the elliptical or cycling?
  • Beet juice supplementation – for a fat-adapted athlete, would taking beet juice shots pre-exercise have a negative effect on fat burning?
  • Beet It shots – 70ml with 20g sugar per shot, and the equivalent of 300ml beet juice
    • Why take beet juice? The nitrite is converted to nitric oxide, which is shown to enhance blood flow, low BP, etc. Translates to longer time to exhaustion and reduction in race times.
    • When to take? Effects peak 2-3 hours after ingestion. Don’t brush teach, use mouthwash or use gum after – ruins effects.
    • How much? Usually 500ml regular beet juice is the sweet spot to get the effects, with slightly more being better, but this would be hard to chug down race morning! So see what the shots contain compared to this. The Beet It you link to is only 70ml but contain 300 ml worth of what you’d get in regular juice, thus 2 shots might be more effective – maybe one pre race 2-3hr and one during? Another protocol does 500ml daily, 3 days pre race then 250 ml day of.
    • Don’t brush teeth, use mouthwash or chew gum after taking beet juice – ruins the effects.
    • As far as fat adaptation, you have to weigh pros and cons. Does the shot spike blood sugar and have a negative effect on how you start off racing? Or not… and does the beet juice shot have a positive effect?
    • Keep in mind, you can also load with other foods pre race rich in nitrates: arugula, cabbage, spinach, radish, celery.
    • Study on beetroot juice’s effects for athletes.
    • Alex Hutchinson article on beet juice protocols.
  • Responding really well to MAF and run pace is getting faster:
  • After an offseason, how should one approach the “rebuild” back to peak performance? What is the best way to get back to where you were after a long period of low activity?
    • Risks of jumping back into too much too soon.
    • What are “rust busting sessions” and why are they risky?
    • Is a long slow MAF type build up the safest and smartest option?
    • How your athletic history plays into how you should get back to it, and also how certain aspects of  your past don’t matter.
    • The length of the offseason or time off really matters on how you approach the comeback to training.

Comments (2)

  • isnad4 says:

    I use Beet Elite a beet powder with 8g carbs per serving. I mix it with some plain UCAN. miam! 🙂

  • Suzanne kaplan says:

    I was curious if fermented beets such is beet kvass has the same potential for enhancing athletic performance as Robbie to do minus the sugar?

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