ATC 320: How Much Mg To Reduce Soreness? Plus: Extreme Cold Weather Training Tips (and Cautions), and Feeling Burnt Out Yet Motivated

October 23, 2020
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Study mention (followup to ATC 319):

Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Muscle Soreness and Performance

“In this double-blind study, subjects were matched to a treatment group (Mg) (n 5 11) or a placebo (Pla) (n 5 11) group based off-dietary recall analyses. Subjects in the Mg group consumed 350 mg·d21 (total of 10 days) of Mg glycinate, whereas Pla consumed matched placebo (350 mg·d21 of maltodextrin).”

“Before examining performance or perceptual responses, it is important to establish the Mg intake levels of the subjects. Results from dietary recall analyses indicated that only 2 of 22 individuals met or exceeded current gender- and age- specific RDA (males: 400 mg·d21, females: 310 mg·d21) (16) with 50% of subjects consuming less than 50% of current RDA (Table 1). The most important findings from this study were Mg significantly reduced muscle soreness and improved perceptual measures linked with performance and recovery (perceived recovery status). Actual performance approached significance for total RTF. In addition, although some subjects did not benefit, no subject responded negatively to Mg supplementation.”

David asks:

Hi, big fan of the show. I have a question for Lucho about clip on aero bars. We are currently looking at getting my wife a new aero road bike for cannondale.. The problem is the handle bars are shaped to be aero and have a flat profile instead of a typical round profile. This renders her clip on aero bars that she uses for the occasional triathlon useless. Do you know of any clip on aero bars or adapters that fit the new aero shaped handle bars that have been appearing on new bikes? Thanks for your help.

What the coaches say:

  • There are no clip-ons specifically made for those bars.
  • The fit has to be really close because carbon bars can be too delicate for clamps.
  • Slowtwitch thread
  • The coaches recommend that you take it to a professional or get whole new bars.
  • Or, if your wife is an occasional triathlete don’t worry about the aero bars.

Shalane asks:

Hi Tawnee (and Lucho),

I’m a new listener to the podcast and am really liking it so far. I’ve got a COVID-era question for ask the coaches. I’m hoping that Lucho in particular may have some creative suggestions for this one. I’m curious to get your ideas on ways to accomplish speed work outside the gym during cold weather. I live in interior Alaska. It gets really cold here in the winter. That’s part of the reason I love living here, but it does present some unique challenges, especially now with the increased risk in occupying indoor public spaces. I have a background in rowing, running and Nordic skiing. The skiing is my primary sport, I do winter ultras in AK and the lower 48. In the summer I run and bike while in the winter it’s mostly skiing. Generally I’ll ski down to about -10F and then switch over to running when it gets colder because running is just easier for temperature regulation.

I like, and am with experienced with, outdoor exercise in the cold but doing sub-zero speed work is difficult for two reasons:
1) Temperature regulation becomes difficult if your intensity is changing- You could carry extra layers to put on between intervals, but this means removing mitts and poles and stopping completely to take clothing on and off. Doesn’t sound like a big issue, but it’s a real PITA, can be dangerous and takes fartlek type stuff off the table. Also if you get the layering wrong and start to sweat, things can go downhill in a hurry.
2) Increasing your intensity such that you’re gulping sub-zero air hurts. While I definitely do this in races, I’m sure it can be detrimental in the long term.

I’d like to be able to do speedwork (running or skiing will do) about one day a week… something like 80/20. I’m a flexible person and the majority of my training/exercise is dictated by logistics, what I feel like doing that day and outdoor temperature. Some winters we can stay in the double digits below zero for long stretches of time. Historically I’d go to the gym for a day or so per week during a cold snap but don’t see myself doing that this year. I’ve done a few virtual running races already this year and see some in my future with skiing. Historically I’ve found it difficult to break out of my “forever pace”, which is about 15 beats sub MAF. It’s usually what I default to when out for a run/ski and being able to break out of this pace-rut is (to a lesser degree) an issue when doing these virtual races. Also I’d like to be able to finish stronger in my races. When ski racing with others I’ll generally try to start pulling away 2 miles from the finish, because my sprinting ability (tired or not) tends to be comparatively weaker.

Some ideas I’ve considered to incorporate speedwork in the cold:

  • Use dogs- Canicross is my favorite option. I’m not sure how much of a thing this is in the lower 48, but it can be really fun. Doing 6 minute miles at MAF behind a few eager huskies is pretty exhilarating. This would be running, not skiing. This seems sort of analogous to treadmill work and I can do it without having to breathe too hard. That said, while it might help the pace-rut issue, I’m not sure it would actually make me any faster.
  • Buy a treadmill/erg/ski erg- I don’t want to do this. I’d have to heat my garage to have a place to store and use it ($$), and I’d rather just be taking it easy (or burning my lungs) outside. You need to get out there enjoy those 3 hours of daylight in winter!
  • Ditch the subzero speedwork- Substitute extra weight training/plyometric sessions at home when it’s cold.
  • Chillout- Do speed work when temps allow, keep doing subzero MAF… or sub MAF.

Do you have other suggestions for what I could be doing? Indoor is okay, I’m just not into spending the money on equipment I don’t think I’ll use once we have a vaccine. That’s it! I appreciate you taking the time to read to this. If you have questions I’m hoping they’re addressed below. Thanks again for doing what you do!

What the coaches say:

  • Lucho does not run in weather that is under 30 degrees, but it also depends on the type of workout and if there is wind.
  • It comes down to whether or not you’ll be able to achieve the purpose of the workout.
  • Canicross will use more peripheral and central nervous system work, which is not necessarily what you need.
  • Substitute with weight training and plyometrics are great options.
  • Doing speed work when the temperature allows is a good option, depending on when your race is.
    • If the race is 20 weeks out, yes.
    • If the race is 12-16 weeks out, you’ll want to get in some faster running.
  • Stay close to home if you’re going to do any intensity.
  • Keep your legs overdressed and if you need to cool off, cool off your upper body.
  • Put a mask on for the cold air.
  • Fuel appropriately.
  • Your ability to finish a race stronger is going to depend on your endurance (in the most basic sense). Pace yourself. Lucho recommends strong tempo workouts; for example, 2 x 20 minutes. Or a hill fartlek, pushing it on the uphills, cruising on the downhills (this is considered a form of strength work, and will play into your ability to finish a race fairly strong).
  • Maximize what you can do, not what you can’t do!
  • Acute cold exposure can lead to immunosuppression via an increase in cortisol from the adrenals; however, with regular training that risk factor is attenuated.

Shawn asks:

Greetings Endurance Planet!!!

Ok, here is my question and I’ll provide information about myself below.  I’ve been enjoying hitting the heavy weights lately, and my running has taken a bit of a back seat. Maybe I’m just burnt out on running? I don’t know. My wife has recently started running and she always wants me to run with her, so I am running three times a week with her. Usually two 3 mile runs and a 4 or 5 mile run on the weekend at about 10:20-30 average pace which is a Heart Rate of about 125 – 130 for me. It’s a very slow and easy effort for me. My question is, can I still maintain fast running while only doing these 3 slower runs, plus my 3 hours of heavy weight lifting per week ? I’m also starting to do two Zwift sessions for 30 minutes on the bike for intensity. (1 x Jons mix and 1 x Emilys mix). So basically a tempo ride and an interval ride. I’m enjoying this style of training and it seems to work better for me as far as sleeping and hormones go. Shorter and more intense workouts seem to agree with me more than long distance running or cycling but I still want to remain competitive. I do a 5k trail series every year, a couple sprint triathlons and usually a couple half marathons per year. I ALMOST ALWAYS win my age group and often podium over all in these events.  I want to remain competitive and even get a bit faster at the 5k distance, especially on the trails. However, I also LOVE having a strong body for both practical reason and for vanity. Let’s face it, who doesn’t want a nice body?  The 5k trail series starts in March and I would love to place top 5 for the overall season points. This means I need to run about a  6:50 average pace on the trails. I run 7:20ish – 7:40ish right now pending on the terrain and elevation gain. Do you think really hard bike sessions plus the easy runs will get the job done? Or do I need to fit in a 4th run and do 400’s?  Up until recently I was running 5 -6 days a week with very little weight lifting and cycling. This was 20-30 miles per week. Right now, I’m just over it, but I know come spring I’ll want to do well in this series.  There is also a sprint triathlon series I’m interested in, and obviously those bikes will help with that. Am I just wanting too much? Seems like short course racing and strength is my passion and DNA, but I want to help my wife and run with her too. Thanks for your help!!

What the coaches say:

  • You’re running enough that the bike will have a crossover.
  • You have plenty of aerobic fitness, but you could benefit from 5k specific work. Lucho recommends 100-200 meter hill intervals/repeats.
  • Complimentary work to the weight workouts would be 7-19 second maxed out, hill intervals.
  • Don’t worry about threshold workouts.
  • Do a fourth run! Make this run in conjunction with your weight lifting. Do the heavyweights first, then head out shortly after and do the hill sprints.
  • Listen to your body and these feelings of burnout.

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