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Hydration

How Much Water Should You Drink?

in BLOGS/RECOVERY/RUNNING

Starting your run dehydrated can make your training harder than it needs to be, while also slowing down recovery. But how much water should you be drinking before and after runs?

Water is our body’s principle chemical component. Every cell, tissue and organ in your body requires water to function, and it makes up around 60% of our body weight.

Pre-Exercise

It’s important to make sure you’re not dehydrated before kicking off a workout. If you tend to run or exercise in the morning, remember that you lose around 500mL of water-weight overnight through respiration and perspiration. Try and get close to that same amount in before you head out the door, but small amounts at a time.

Starting a run dehydrated is going to negatively impact your performance and slow down recovery. The pee-test is a tried and true method of determining your hydration state before training and will allow you to more accurately determine your fluid needs.

After Exercise

If your training is less than 60 minutes long and not too intense, then water is likely enough to replace what you’ve lost during exercise. Drink to thirst, or if you weigh yourself before and after your workout you’ll be able to get a good estimate of fluid loss: every 1 Kg = 1 L of fluid. Try to replace 1.5x the amount of fluid of fluid lost to ensure that you are adequately rehydrated to increase the rate of recovery.

Electrolytes

If you’re working hard (especially in warm or humid conditions) then replacing electrolytes becomes very important. Electrolytes are what make sweat salty: if you lose too many electrolytes your neural system won’t function properly. This can lead to problems with your heart, blood pressure and breathing. The main electrolytes lost during sweat are Sodium and Chloride.

How To Help Sore Muscles After Running

in BLOGS/RECOVERY/RUNNING

The Ice Bath has long been associated with recovery from running. The theory goes that the cold water helps to reduce inflammation in our sore and beat-up muscles. Fortunately, it looks as though recovery from your marathon training may be a lot more enjoyable.

Running is hard enough as it is, so adding in 10-minutes of sitting in freezing water afterward is not very enticing. Studies actually now show that markers of inflammation and potential soreness are not reduced by cold-water.Still, it remains popular with athletes of all abilities.

Research out of Sweden has indicated that heating your muscles can aid in recovery, while the old method of cooling actually slows the process down. The only catch is that you have to eat first. Food, then sit in a hot tub… Sounds good, right?

One of the main reasons that our muscles give out is that they run out their fuel: glycogen (a substance deposited in tissue as a store of carbohydrates), so tests were done to determine whether or not temperature affected how much glycogen our muscles can absorb before being used again.

It turns out that muscles recovered faster and were able to regenerate power after they had been exposed to heat, but only if they had first been refuelled with glycogen after exercise.

30 minutes after running is a great time to replenish muscle glycogen stores and get rehydrated. A favourite amongst marathon runners is chocolate milk given its 4-to-1 ratio of carbs-to-protein.

If you’ve currently in the midst of training for a marathon and are sore after a particularly tough run, then treat your aching legs to a hot bath or head to a hot tub/sauna. The recovery will help you bounce back faster and get the most out of your next run or race.

References

Bozzone makes it third win in a row with victory in Mexico

in ATHLETES/BLOGS/NEW ZEALAND/SOS PRO'S/TRIATHLON/USA

So the final race of the 3-week assault has come to an end. With another successful result I have managed to claim my 3rd win in a row at Ironman 70.3 Campeche in Mexico. 

The past week was a tough one and included; a long travel day from Argentina, having to shift from freezing conditions to super hot conditions, managing my recovery in an effective way, managing my food intake along with a couple other issues that arose through the week without getting sick or run down.

I definitely prefer racing in warmer climates, Campeche was a cool town and had some interesting history with a small number of international tourists, And as I have experienced in other Mexican and South American races, the Latin American fans are some of the best in the world and this contributed to a memorable end to a pretty historic 15days of racing.

The race start was at the Campeche country club, which was a beautiful venue. Ruby Von Burg got a small gap in the swim and I shared the load with Kevin Collington trying to limit our deficit and do some damage on some of the stronger bike/runners in the field.

A post shared by Terenzo Bozzone (@terenzo1) on

Off onto the undulating bike course I soon bridged across to Ruby at the front of the race and at Km 25 when I could see the rest of the fields time gaps I decided that a little bit more heat needed to be added. I soon found myself navigating the remainder of the bike solo. Michael Weiss of Austria who likes the heat and puts together great races in Mexico was 3minutes back with the final 30km and he would work to close this to 2 minutes coming off the bike. 

The spring in the step was not quite there and somewhat to be expected. I was hoping that it was going to be a scorcher but it was not as hot as predicted and the pace had to be a little quicker. I seemed to manage my pace well through to 10miles and the gap to Weiss had bounced between 2 minutes and 1.5minutes. My legs were still coping okay and I managed to enjoy the final 2 miles home before breaking the tape for my 3rd win over 3 weekends.

With a bit of free time this past week I accumulated some of my past results and this was a record Half Ironman victory number 32 (Ironman 70.3 number 27).

Next up – a few easy weeks and some time with the family. I am off to Kona for a couple days for an Aquasphere photoshoot and I am looking forward to visiting the island and soaking up some of the spiritual energy before the rest of the season continues…

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Heidi Kristoffer On How To Beat Cramps And Feel Good During And After Pregnancy

in BLOGS/LIFESTYLE/OUR AMBASSADORS/Testimonials/USA

Hydration has always been important to me. I love to sweat and I love to move, but I hate to cramp up.

I have always done my best to make sure I am well hydrated to prevent cramping, but there are only so many bananas I’m willing to eat to load up on potassium. Speaking of cramping, that is one of the complaints I hear most often from my pregnant clients and friends: they wake up in the middle of the night with horrible Charlie horses – what a terrible way to lose sleep!!

Another thing that keeps mommies-to-be waking up all night long is frequent trips to the bathroom… but not this SOS-loving mama! Since SOS hydrates more effectively with less liquid (you will absorb 3x more water than from drinking water alone), I don’t need to drink as much at night to feel hydrated, and therefore make less trips to the ladies’ room. Bonus: I have not once woken with a cramp since drinking SOS before bed.

When I got pregnant the first time, all of my doctors talked about the importance of staying hydrated during pregnancy.  Water is required for many of the tasks that a woman’s body needs to perform with a baby on board, AND hydration prevents pre-term labor. I didn’t need to get told that twice- during my first pregnancy, being pregnant with twins put me at risk for pre-term labor as it was, so I was determined to stay hydrated to the best of my ability for my whole pregnancy.

It gets hard to keep drinking water when you already feel full of baby. Thank goodness for SOS, it is such a nice sweet hydrating treat that seems to hit every pregnancy craving. While many pregnant women complain they get bored of water, the sweet refreshing taste of SOS eliminates that boredom.

I’m not there yet on this pregnancy, but, after the baby is born, should a mama choose to breast feed, she needs hydration more than ever. And, lots of it! Creating all that liquid nutrition requires even more hydration than being pregnant.  So, in the “fourth trimester” of pregnancy, with your “outside baby”, you need hydration more than ever, and again: it’s SOS to the rescue, since it allows you to absorb 3xs more than water alone AND, now with it’s Organic certification, us mamas-to-be can feel good about drinking it for us and for our little babes… not to mention low in sugar!

Since SOS hydrates more effectively with less liquid, I don’t need to drink as much at night to feel hydrated, and therefore make less trips to the ladies’ room

Of course, the last phase for most mamas is trying to get the baby weight off, and once again, hydration is key.  Our brains often confuse thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated allows our body to know when it is actually hungry, and helps to not over eat.  I’m SO grateful to have discovered SOS Hydration to keep me optimally hydrated, and help me on every step of my baby / mommy journey.

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The Ultimate Ocean Marathon

in SAILING

The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate ocean marathon, pitting the sport’s best sailors against each other across the world’s toughest oceans.

The legendary race that began in 1973 will start from Alicante, Spain in October 2017 and finish in The Hague, Netherlands in June 2018. Featuring almost three times as much Southern Ocean sailing as in the previous edition, the Volvo Ocean Race 2017- 18 will be contested over the longest distance in the race’s history at around 45,000 nautical miles, crossing four oceans and taking in 12 major cities on six continents.

Joining forces for the Volvo Ocean Race 2017-2018, Vestas and 11th Hour Racing are aiming for outstanding results – both on the ocean and for the planet.

The ultimate ocean marathon demands the ultimate in hydration, and SOS Hydration is a proud partner of Vestas 11th Hour Racing

The crew is a combination of vast race experience and fresh talent, made up of ten males and females, and five nationalities, who will represent Vestas 11th Hour Racing. Find out more

Not all hydration is created equal. Try SOS for yourself today

Why Don’t We Improve Sometimes? Running Lessons From An Olympian

in BLOGS/RUNNING

This post was written by David McNeill for Runner’s Tribe – an SOS HYDRATION partner. 

Too often in my career, I have walked off the track querying my performances; wondering why I ran so poorly when training pointed to something better…or wondering how on earth I ran as fast as I did when preparations had been poor.

The latter scenario has never been so much a concern as it has been a blessing. But in the case of the former, I was always left wondering what it is I did to sabotage my performance; why, despite my best intentions, my performance didn’t improve from one race to the next. I’d like to say the days of unpredictable performances are behind me, but I am human, and I am sure unexplained performances lie in my future. At some point or another, many of us have run a great race, fed off the motivation of that performance in preparation for the next race, and then run poorly that next time around. Why don’t we improve sometimes? Why don’t races always live up to expectations? What is it we do to sabotage training and performance gains?

 Being overzealous is one factor. While it is sometimes easy to equate harder training with better performance, we sometimes jump the gun, and think training harder is the only answer, when often, the first answer is to be consistent. Imagine giving a lemon a squeeze, and getting some juice out of it. Rarely do you get all the juice out of the lemon with a single squeeze. More juice is yielded when we start to wring the lemon. Just as we wouldn’t fetch another lemon before we’d squeezed all the juice out of it, sometimes, we need to keep training consistently before we start training harder.When we prematurely start to train harder, the balance between stress and adaptation is shifted, and we do not recover and adapt at the rate at which we are stressing our bodies. When we train consistently after already seeing improvement, subsequent improvement with the proverbial wringing of the lemon is actually a product of our body’s ability to recover faster and more fully from training, so that we adapt quicker and more completely with each training session. Of course, the time comes when the lemon is dry, and you will need to fetch another. Learning when to be consistent and when to train harder represents the art of coaching and training.

Overcompensating for small hiccups in our preparation can also bring us undone. When we miss a session or when a session doesn’t go well, we sometimes feel the need to compensate by squeezing the missed training into a smaller window of time, or pushing harder than usual in the next workout. This ends up being detrimental in two ways: one is that often, in our haste, the body is not fully recovered from the illness or niggle that initially caused the hiccup when we overcompensate our training. Secondly, by temporarily training too hard or too frequently, we upset our body’s sensitive balance between stress and adaptation. Compensating often has the opposite effect we seek when a niggle, an illness, or a time constraint disrupts our training. Instead of catching ourselves back up in the training we miss, compensating drives us further from where we are trying to get, and sabotaging our ability to improve, even when gains have otherwise been made. But as is the remedy for the hiccups we experience when our diaphragm spasms, the key to navigating hiccups in our training is to take a deep breath; not to compensate, but to accept, recover, and move on. While a hiccup may hinder our progress marginally, compensating irrationally can hinder our progress substantially. Stay cool.

McNeill winning the 2015 Zatopek:10: Pic RT

Another factor that can curtail improvement with training gains is the perception that running faster gets easier with more training. “Train hard, win easy” is a deceptive saying. With training, our capacity to physically endure oxidative stress and the build-up of metabolic by-products improves, but it’s still uncomfortable, and the closer to our physical limits we approach, the more perceptible this discomfort is. While running equally fast may get easier with more training, running faster continually necessitates submitting to discomfort. When we ignore this truth, we can end up blaming everything from our training, to our diet, to our sleep for a lack of improvement, without every questioning our resolve at the crossroad between comfort and discomfort come race time. At the outer margins of our human capacity, when improvements become more marginal each time we get better, increasingly, our improvements rely on our ability to endure more discomfort for longer, than on our ability to get physically fitter. When our supply of lemons dwindles at the limits of our human capacity, we are spending a lot more time wringing out those lemons. We are trying to get the last drop of juice out of them before contemplating fetching another lemon; before contemplating training any harder, and increasing our injury risk. Wringing the last drop of juice out of a drying up lemon is a kin to enduring more discomfort at our physical limits – the juice is there, but we must work for it and endure it, unlike the first early squeeze of a fresh lemon.

I myself am guilty of all three sources of sabotage. And when I have performed better than my training indicated, it was probably because I was a little underdone rather than overdone. Avoiding sabotage is both a delicate mental battle we have with ourselves, and a carefully learned art that comes from experience – both our own, and our coach’s. The best combatant to sabotage is thinking less, and listening more. Most often, sabotage happens when we make irrational decisions – when we are over motivated, when we are thrown off by the unexpected, or when we are overconfident. Half the battle is recognising when we are over-motivated, overconfident, or thrown by the unexpected. The second half of the battle is finding someone you trust (i.e. a coach), and seeking a dose of perspective!

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Which sporting event has the most extreme energy expenditure?

in BLOGS/RECOVERY/RUNNING/TRIATHLON/Ultra-marathoning/USA

Written By Asker Jeukendrup for mysportscience.com
Follow Asker on Twitter @Jeukendrup

It is often said that the Tour de France is perhaps the most gruelling endurance event on the planet. The same is sometimes said about Ironman. We saw in my previous blog that energy expenditure in the Tour de France averages almost 6000 kcal per day for 3 weeks (5).  It has been measured that energy expenditure can be as high as 9000 kcal per day. How does this compare to other sports? Is this really the most extreme sport? Is it Ironman… Or is there another event?

In the literature we can find energy expenditure values for a number of events and I have tried to find the highest values for energy expenditure in the literature. If someone knows of other papers that report extreme values please let me know and I will update this list.

There is a report of a male distance runner covering ∼100 km/day for 1,000 km (1), He averaged around 6,000 kcal/day.

Another report describes 2 elite cyclists averaging around 330 km/day for 10 days and expending 7,000 kcal per day (2)

There is also a report of a team of elite cyclists expending 6,500 kcal/day who covered nearly 4,900 km in 6 days during the Race across America (RAAM) (3).

Similar values were also reported in cross country skiers during intense training (6,000 kcal/day) (6).

Dr Mike Stroud, a Polar explorer and researcher, measured energy expenditure in man-haulers over several polar expeditions during the 1980s and 1990s (7). Before these studies the very high energy costs of polar travel on foot appreciated. During a modern-day, one-way expedition to the South Pole that repeated Scott’s route (“Footsteps of Scott expedition”), an average of 6,000 kcal were expended every 24 h. Mike Stroud himself together with Sir Ranulph Fiennes crossed Antarctica by foot and expended on average nearly 7,000 kcal/day.

During this crossing there was a period of approximately 10 days, while ascending to the plateau, during which they averaged nearly 11,000 kcal/day).

A recent study by Dr Brent Ruby and Colleagues (4) compared measurements at Ironman Hawaii (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike and 26 mile run (3.8km; 180km and 42km respectively) and the Western State 100 (a 100 mile (160km) ultramarathon). Energy expenditure during the Hawaii Ironman averaged 9,040 kcal (plus or minus 1,390 kcal). In the Western State energy expenditure was as high as 16,310 kcal (plus or minus 2,960) but of course the duration of this event was more than 24 hours on average (26.8h).

It is clear that daily energy expenditure can be much higher than the reported average of 6000 kcal per day for the Tour de France cyclist. Values can be even higher than the extreme values reported during the longest and hardest days in the Tour.

What make the Tour de France unique though is that these extreme energy expenditures are achieved within 4-6 hours of racing per day and also that this is sustained over a period of 3 weeks.

Most other sports with extreme energy expenditures achieve their high numbers by exercising more hours per day at a lower intensity and sometimes by eliminating sleep.

Which is the most extreme sport? Difficult to say… would you rather do a day in the Tour than a day crossing Antartica, or running a 100 mile race in the heat without sleeping?

 

References 

1. Eden B, Abernethy P. Nutritional intake during an ultraendurance running race. International J Sports Nutr 4: 166–174, 1994.
2. Gabel K, Aldous A, Edgington C. Dietary intake of two elite male cyclists during 10-day, 2,050-mile ride. Int J Sports Nutr 5: 56–61, 1995.
3. Hulton A, Lahart I, Williams K, Godfrey R, Charlesworth S, Wilson M, Pedlar C, Whyte G. Energy expenditure in the race across america (RAAM). Int J Sports Med 31: 463–467, 2010.
4. Ruby BC, Cuddy JS, Hailes WS, Dumke CL, Slivka DR, Shriver TC, Schoeller DA Extreme endurance and the metabolic range of sustained activity is uniquely available for every human not just the elite few. Comparative Exercise Physiology, 11(1): 1-7, 2015.
5. Saris WH, van Erp-Baart MA, Brouns F, Westerterp KR, ten Hoor F. Study on food intake and energy expenditure during extreme sustained exercise: the Tour de France. Int J Sports Med;10 Suppl 1:S26-31, 1989
6. Sjodin A, Andersson A, Hogberg J, Westerterp KR. Energy balance in cross-country skiers: a study using doubly labeled water. Med Sci Sports Exercise 26: 720–724, 1994.
7. Stroud M, Coward W, Sawyer M. Measurements of energy expenditure using iso- tope-labelled water (2H218O) during an Arctic expedition. Eur J Appl Physiol 67: 375– 379, 1993

Focus on Sleep and Recovery: Road To Kona with Sarah Piampiano

in Uncategorized

I want to win the Ironman World Championships. That’s what I’ve wanted since the day I started doing this sport. That’s what I work towards every single day.

 

Scott Dixon Goes For Fifth IndyCar Title

in ATHLETES/BLOGS/INDY CAR/NEW ZEALAND/OUR AMBASSADORS/SOS PRO'S/USA

Racing for up to 3 hours in over 100 degrees while stuck in a hot car with a fireproof onesie on isn’t the most comfortable – you can lose up to 5lbs during the race.  I know for a fact that SOS Hydration has helped me tremendously. I wouldn’t race with out it.

Written By Ben Stanley for Stuff.co.nz – original source here

Despite racing for his fifth Indycar title in California this weekend, Kiwi motor racing superstar Scott Dixon admits that a change in engine manufacturer and aero-kit left him with far lower expectations for 2017.

Dixon, a two-time former Halberg NZ Sportsman of the Year, sits just three points behind American Josef Newgarden ahead of the season’s final race in Sonoma on Monday NZT.

With two second places in his last two races, Dixon, who has driven for Chip Ganassi Racing since 2002, heads to the Grand Prix of Sonoma with momentum, while the race’s double points mean the Kiwi veteran has every chance of claiming the season’s crown with the final chequered flag.

Scott Dixon wins at Road America in Wisconsin back in June.
Scott Dixon wins at Road America in Wisconsin back in June.

Yet few Indycar experts, members of Dixon’s car crew and the driver himself were that confident he’d be this competitive after Chip Ganassi Racing switched engine manufacturer and aero-kit from Chevrolet to Honda in the off-season. Dixon last raced using Honda in 2013.

“We maybe got, well, not so much complacent, but a little stuck in our ways with how we approached some venues,” Dixon, whose sixth place finish last year marked his worst season since 2005, said ahead of a recent Indycar race in Madison, Illinois.

“[The new engine and aero-kit] was kind of like having a new shiny toy – it was something we could look at a lot differently. We really had nothing to lose because we knew it was going to be a tough change.

“The engine is very good from Honda, but the aero kit is a huge disadvantage. I think we surprised ourselves for the first quarter or half of the season with the performance we had.”

Blair Julian, Dixon’s long-time chief mechanic, agrees with the Kiwi motor racing icon, whose 41 Indycar race wins is now the fourth most successful in the vehicle classes’ history.

“Changing to the Honda configuration and the engine aero-type head was a big deal,” Julian, who hails from New Plymouth, says.

“I actually didn’t expect us to be as competitive as we have been, coming straight out of the box. In St Petersburg [where Dixon finished third], we started off pretty competitive and fast straight away, which was, for me, unexpected. I thought we’d be struggling a little bit, to be honest.”

They had to work hard get the aero kit “all linked together through the race package – but we’re going faster than normal. We’ve got a good team here, so we figured it out.”

SOS Hydration Ambassador Scott Dixon

Dixon capped an exceptional start to the season ahead of the Indy 500 in May, qualifying for the glamour race with the fastest time in 21 years and climbing to the top of the driver standings.

Yet the Kiwi would suffer a nightmare race weekend in his new hometown. Dixon was mugged at a fast food restaurant, before being involved in a horror in-race crash that saw him escape, remarkably, with just a fractured ankle.

Dixon, known for his calm, pragmatic approach to racing, brushed off the crash, but rued lost opportunities for points as the season has progressed.

“We should have won St Pete [and] we should have won Long Beach. We got pole at Indy [500], and got some good points at [the] Indianapolis [Grand Prix]. We should have won or finished second in Texas.

“We look back already and we’ve lost a ton of points – 60 or 80 plus points – that could have made a huge difference.”

More support from fellow Chip Ganassi drivers would have also made a difference for Dixon. Tony Kanaan, Max Chilton and Charlie Kimball have struggled to be competitive this year, while Newgarden’s Team Penske teammates have provided ample assistance.

Team Penske drivers Helio Castroneves, Simon Pagenaud and Will Power sit third, fourth and fifth on the driver standings, behind Newgarden and Dixon.

Dixon may have some Kiwi support at Chip Ganassi in 2018, with Palmerston North’s Brendon Hartley – a former F1 test driver – having been in talks with the Indianapolis–based team.

Whatever the future holds, Dixon, who is planning to drive competitively until he’s at least 40, reckons the wild world of Indycar is still, mostly, as fun now as it was when he debuted in 2001.

“Some things are,” he says, with a laugh. “Some things get …well, you learn to expect a certain amount of things sometimes too when you get older and have been immersed in it so long. I think that also drives the inspiration too, though.”

– Stuff.co.nz

 

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Nick Willis Wins 5th Avenue Mile

in ATHLETES/RUNNING/SOS PRO'S

By Rich Sands, @sands
(c) 2017 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved

NEW YORK (10-Sep) — Experience counts on 5th Avenue.

Jenny Simpson and Nick Willis proved that here today with emphatic wins down the famed New York City boulevard. Simpson scored a record sixth title at the New Balance 5th Avenue Mile shortly after Willis notched his fourth victory in the event, staged by New York Road Runners on a picture-perfect day.

With the temperature at 70 degrees, low humidity and a generous wind at their backs, both the men’s and women’s professional races were exceptionally fast. Willis broke the tape in 3:51.3 while Simpson clocked 4:16.6 to equal the venerable event record set by PattiSue Plumer back in 1990.

PHOTO: Nick Willis of New Zealand and Jenny Simpson of Boulder, Colo., after winning the 2017 New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile (photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

In the men’s race, defending champion Eric Jenkins and Robby Andrews took the early lead for the opening downhill blocks. Craig Engels and former Oregon star Edward Cheserek, making his professional debut, joined them on the front line as they hit the first quarter in about 59 seconds. As the course flowed uphill, 800-meter specialist Drew Windle jumped out front, eager to snag the $1000 bonus given to the first runner to hit the half mile. He dueled with Engels and even dipped at the marker to hold a tiny edge as they came through in 1:58. (Alas, Engels would take home the prize, after Windle faded badly and didn’t meet the requisite 4:00 finishing time needed to collect.)

Engels opened up a gap on the field during the third quarter as the road sloped down, but he was swallowed by the pack shortly after the three-quarter mile mark (2:56). Brits Chris O’Hare and Jake Wightman surged ahead, but Willis smoothly positioned himself towards the center of the pack, before launching a perfectly timed kick in the final 100 meters to grab the win.

“I think I ran over one of the manhole covers with 30 [meters] to go and I was already at my max so I was worried that I was gonna fall over there,” said the 34-year old New Zealander, who previously won this race in 2008, 2013 and 2015.

PHOTO: Nick Willis of New Zealand wins his fourth New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City in 3:51.3 (Photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

O’Hare (3:52.0) held on for second, ahead of Ben Blankenship (3:52.3), with the next five runners separated by only three-tenths of a second and a total of 19 men clocking sub-4:00 times.

“We had a really strong field, so I knew that I’d have to use my experience on this course to run my best,” said Willis, who had run conservatively in the middle of the pack for most of the race. “I knew I had to wait and wait and wait and wait and be the last person to make the move. The finish line always looks closer than it really is, so I used the 1500-meter mark as my gauge to when I really got into fifth gear. I was able to slingshot off of them right at the end and thankfully it was enough.”

A two-time Olympic medalist in the 1500, Willis placed a disappointing eighth at the recent IAAF World Championships in London. “This was a great way to finish what has been a pretty trying season for me with a lot of hiccups with injuries along the way,” he said as he points to the 2018 Commonwealth Games in April where he is likely to move up to the 5000-meters.

Simpson took a more assertive strategy than Willis, immediately going to the front of the women’s race. A pair of Brits, Laura Weightman and Jessica Judd, quickly joined her up front through a 62-second opening quarter.

Nobody seemed terribly eager to snag the halfway bonus, so Judd made a last-second decision to go for it, splitting 2:10 and picking up the extra cash (which she says she’ll put towards her upcoming vacation to Hawaii). She continued to force the pace until Simpson and Weightman caught her about 200 meters from the finish. The American cruised home comfortably, with Weightman taking second in 4:17.6 and Judd holding off a late-surge from Brenda Martinez for the final podium spot, 4:18.3 to 4:18.4. In a mass finish similar to the men’s event, 16 women broke 4:30.

“This race can be really different if the wind is at your back or in your face, and the road can be really uneven, and so just knowing how to time yourself and know when to look up at the finish and when not to look at the finish is really important part of timing it right,” said Simpson, who took silver in the world championships 1500 last month, the fourth international medal of her career. “So over the years I think I’ve just gotten it down to a science. And the beautiful thing is, with 5th Avenue, when the road is clear it’s pretty much the same every year, so I know where I want to put in my surges.”

PHOTO: Jenny Simpson of Boulder, Colo., wins her sixth New Balance Fifth Avenue Mile in New York City in in 4:16.6, equaling the event record (Photo by Jane Monti for Race Results Weekly)

This was Simpson’s unprecedented fifth straight victory down 5th Avenue, dating back to 2013. Her first win came back in 2011, but despite all that success, she knows she’s going to be challenged. “The first quarter mile you’re headed downhill and there’s always this sense in your mind that maybe it’ll feel easy,” she admits. “And then it doesn’t. And then you think, these girls are gonna make me run so hard this year. As I get farther into the race I believe more and more, the crowd gets incrementally louder and louder and I just can’t let people down.”

Simpson will resume training after a 10-day break, and this fall she’ll take her first vacation since 2010 when she and her husband, Jason, spend a week in Hawaii prior to the wedding of her friend Emma Coburn, who finished ninth on Sunday.

Both Willis and Simpson earned $5000 for their titles, which capped a day of 23 heats featuring a record 7664 finishers over a variety of age groups and abilities in the 37th running of the event.

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