Tag: Science

Long Live the Ultrarunner

In 2009, Elizabeth Blackbourn, a scientist at UCSF, was awarded a Nobel Prize for her work discovering telomeres and their importance in aging. Telomeres are repeated sequences of DNA that protect the end of chromosomes...

The Benefits of Exercise for Cancer Patients

In memoriam of Dr. Pernille Højman Immediately after completing my PhD, I had the privilege of working as a post-doctoral fellow at the Centre for Inflammation and Metabolism in Copenhagen, Denmark. I worked in a lab of...

Western States Research Update

My research experience is diverse. I’ve worked with rodent models of inactivity, human skeletal muscle in cell culture and dietary restriction effects on aging in flies. When starting at The College of Idaho, I was unsur...

Direct Access Laboratory Testing Services

Recently a friend sent me a frantic e-mail: “I got my Inside Tracker report and I am basically the most unhealthy individual ever. I am surprised I am able to get out of bed based on the results.” This wasn’t a first for...

Be Like the Cool Kids

It’s summer and the competition and temperature on the trails is heating up. Summer ultras have the added benefit(?) of being long enough that athletes often need to run during the peak heat of the day. Most of us know,...

Mind Your Microbiome

It is easy to think of ourselves as a single person or organism with one set of DNA. However, in reality we are super organisms made up of both “us” and microbes. Our microbiome includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and prot...

NSAIDs: Worth the Risk?

Author’s Note: I am not a medical doctor and don’t pretend to be one here. You should discuss your use and any concerns with NSAID use with a medical professional. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, or NSAIDs, such a...

Choose Your Parents Wisely

Nature or nurture? Genetics or environment? These two competing factors control everything from our likelihood to develop a specific disease, to our sprinting versus endurance athletic ability. Studies shed insight on th...

Strategic Carbohydrate Restriction and Performance

In this column over the last several issues I have written about specific studies that focus on dietary manipulations to improve performance. “Metabolic characteristics of keto-adapted ultra-endurance runners,” published...

Ketones as Fuel

The ketogenic diet is a high-fat, low-protein, low-carbohydrate diet that forces your body to become excellent at using fat for fuel. On the ketogenic diet, you have more ketones, which are derived from fats, in your blo...

Digging into the FASTER Study

I’ve been trying to stay out of it, but I think it’s time to address the idea of low-carb (LCD) and ketogenic diets. Over the last several years, LCD and ketogenic (keto) diets have been all the rage among many ultra ath...

Warning: Strong Stomach Required

One of the most frustrating challenges that can occur during an ultra is an upset stomach. A bad stomach can come on as a cramp, flatulence, an inability to eat, nausea, etc. These gastrointestinal (GI) issues are extrem...

Gender Differences in Ultrarunning

Women and men take part in marathons in equal numbers, but women still make up a relatively low percentage (~33%) of participants in ultra races. A paper in the mid 1990s published in the prestigious journal Nature predi...

Sleep and the Ultrarunner

This is the column that those of you who love your sleep have been waiting for. Recently, the importance of sleep has had a bit of renaissance. Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington wrote a book called The Sleep...

Running at Altitude

We don’t do ultramarathons because they are easy. In fact, we often choose races because of specific physiological and psychological challenges: heat, terrain, nocturnal running and my own moth-to-flame nightmare: altitu...

The Science of Ultrarunning

This is the first in a series of articles on what happens to your body during an ultra, focusing on the sparse but growing scientific literature that exists. However, physiology is extremely individual dependent, so plea...