AORTA News: March 20th, 2023

Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.

2023 Kappa Delta Shamrock 5K Results!

5K Start/Finish Video

Link to 5K Results

Upcoming Local Races

Mar 25th: Bison Stampede 5K
When: Saturday, March 25, 2023
5:30 PM
Where: Opelika Sportsplex
Distance(s): 5K, 1-Mile
Fee: $16 (1-Mile), $25 ( 5K)
This race is hosted by Southern Union State Community College's Health Sciences Department. The profits raised for this race will be used for Southern Union Health Sciences Scholarships, and prizes to promote health and wellness on the campuses.

April 15th: Combat Cancer 5K
When: Saturday, April 15, 2023
8:00 AM
Where: Nichols Center, AU Campus
Distance: 5K
Fee: $25 (Civilian)
        $20 (First Responder/Military)
        $15 (ROTC Cadet)
The Combat Cancer 5k is a non-profit race hosted by Auburn University Army ROTC! A scenic course around Auburn University's Campus allows you to enjoy a nice, speedy 5k while supporting a great cause. All proceeds will go to the Spencer Cancer Center in Opelika. Help us combat cancer one mile at a time! Sign up before March 8 to ensure a shirt. Online registration ends April 8th but we will have Race Day Registration accepting cashapp and venmo!

Weekly Whimsy

Can You Outrun a Bad Diet?
Daniel Kunitz, Runner's World

You hit the fast food drive-through a couple times a week, and your grocery cart is regularly filled with cookies, packaged doughnuts, ice cream, chips (and dip). But you’re thin. You run—a lot—and you’re not gaining any weight, so all’s good, right? Well, not exactly. Put down the chocolate cupcake and hear us out.

While runners do tend to be much healthier than the general population, with lower rates of diabetes and heart disease, that’s largely due to a healthy diet rather than running regularly, says Sara Mahoney, Ph.D., chair of the department of exercise science at Bellarmine University. In general, because runners run, they take care of their bodies by also eating well and resting.

But not all of them. Some of them—and we all know one—subsist on doughnuts and burgers. In the short term, running can mitigate the negative health effects of that lifestyle. But over decades, exercise loses its protective abilities.

Longtime Boston Marathon director Dave McGillivray, 63, learned this the hard way. McGillivray, who’s run the Boston course every year since 1973, logged 90 to 120 miles a week in his heyday, and every year on his birthday he runs his age in miles.

Four years ago, however, McGillivray began feeling short of breath at the start of workouts. An angiogram revealed he had severe coronary artery disease. “Wait a minute,” McGillivray said. “I’ve been running all my life. I’ve done eight Ironman Triathlons and 140 marathons. I’ve run across the United States. How can I have blocked arteries?”

McGillivray has a family history of chronic cardiac illness, and he had also been eating like a teenager for most of his life. “As a runner, I just felt that if the furnace was hot enough, it would burn whatever you put in,” he says. “So I would eat anything and everything I wanted.”

That attitude is not uncommon among runners. Half of the Runner’s World Twitter followers who responded to a poll said they eat whatever they want because they run and don’t gain weight. Those numbers align with a recent survey of recreational ultrarunners, which found that 62 percent do not follow the American College of Sports Medicine’s recommendations for nutrition, despite being aware of them.

But just because the number on the scale seems healthy doesn’t mean your diet isn’t doing damage on the inside. “Time and time again, I meet runners in their 50s and 60s, who think they’ve done pretty much everything right in their life from a health perspective, who end up with heart disease. When I talk to them about their diets, they are often quite shocking,” says McGillivray’s physician, Aaron Baggish, M.D., director of the Cardiovascular Performance Program at Massachusetts General Hospital Heart Center and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

While diet is one of the most important components of health among athletes, it is also one of the least understood, due to lack of clinical trials, says Baggish. Still, he points to overindulgence in simple sugars as “the single most common dietary transgression among any endurance athletes, but specifically runners.” He’s calling out white bread, white pasta, white rice, and refined sugars. “Eat large portions of these, and the body turns them into bad molecules, bad types of fat, bad oxidative sugar species—things that do a lot of damage to the heart vessels,” Baggish explains.

Still, runners often hear mixed messages about how exercise—particularly high-intensity sessions—can erase the ills of a junk-food habit. A recent study by Christian Duval, Ph.D., a researcher in the department of exercise science at the Université du Québec à Montréal, provides the case in point: Duval fed a small group of men between the ages of 18 and 30 breakfast sandwiches, burgers, fries, dessert, and soft drinks for every meal of the day for two weeks. The subjects ate nary a vegetable, and they were consuming “an enormous amount of saturated fat, a very large amount of sugar, which is even worse than fat, and chemicals found in processed food,” says Duval. But thanks to an additional prescription of interval training, Duval’s subjects didn’t gain weight. What’s more, when he tested their blood for fat buildup and inflammatory processes—main drivers of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic diseases—it didn’t seem like the diet had any effect.

But this study, which was widely reported, was over the course of weeks, not years. The damage from a bad diet can take far longer to register. Take atherosclerosis, a disease that Baggish says festers over many years. “It’s a process that starts when we’re young, and it gradually accelerates over time. People don’t feel symptoms until the disease is already quite pronounced and progressed.”

Bottom line: You can’t outrun bad eating habits. As Baggish puts it, “Even if you exercise like a fiend, if you do other things that are unhealthy, the poor diet choices will catch up with you.”

Link to Runners World article

Quote of the Week

       “If you don’t have anything 

          nice to say

             go for a run."

                                        ― Anonymous

Video of the Week

How Accurate Is VO2 Max On Smartwatches? (12:46)

How accurate is the V02 function on your smartwatch? Well, TRC has travelled to Roehampton University Lab to find out!

** AORTA provides this informational video to its members as a courtesy and does not endorse any particular product, process or service. 

Ongoing Events

RunGo For Turn-By-Turn Directions!
RunGo provides turn-by-turn navigation allowing you to just enjoy your runs without having to think about looking for street names and when you may have to turn next. Other great features include, audio cues with your running stats, split updates, the ability to share your runs via social media, and create new routes. Another great feature of the app is the ability to work offline. You can create and download your routes ahead of time, before your run so you don’t have to use data during your run.

Race Volunteers Needed!
As a runner, we know your time is valuable. But if you have a couple hours to spare, we could use your help for one of the upcoming AORTA supported or directed races! Assisting at a local race is a fun and rewarding experience. You are surrounded by health conscious individuals that, like you, are motivated fitness enthusiasts and appreciate the effort of volunteers.

Water Stop Volunteers Needed
Water stop signs and coolers are available at the following location: 1536 Professional Parkway, Auburn, AL. (Thank you Adahli Massey!). Coolers and signs can be picked up Monday-Thursday from 8AM-4PM and on Fridays from 8AM-12 noon. Items are in the room next to the back door. If you are unable to pick up supplies on these dates/times, e-mail to make alternative arrangements (we deliver!).

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