Express Train with Chris Carmichael
Ready, or Not
I just ran my first marathon and loved it. How long should I wait to run another?
Unless your name is Dean Karnazes, tackling another 26.2-miler too soon is an invitation to injury. To be safe, aim for your next big run in six months. The key is to train less and recover more in the first four weeks post-race. Restrict yourself to walking for the first seven to ten days after your event. The soreness will go away even faster if you do other low-impact activities like swimming or cycling. Move to short, easy runs of 25 to 30 minutes in weeks two through four. Then you'll be ready to gradually increase the length and intensity of your workouts again. You'll know you're ready when you can match the longest run from before your last marathon and feel good when you finish it.
Got a fitness question for Chris? Go to outsideonline.com/carmichael.
Order the walnuts on your next sundae. A recent study in Journal of the American College of Cardiology found that walnuts are among the best foods to counter the artery-hardening effects of a fatty mealeven better than olive oil. A great new source: Barking Buffalo Trail Mix, which offers fully customizable mixes (complete with personalized nutrition labels). barkingbuffalo.com
Tweak Me Not
This winter, motocross-knee-brace company Asterisk began target=ing hard-charging snowboarders and skiers (by signing up pros like Tara Dakides and Jeremy Nobis) who want to prevent torn ACLsnot simply protect old injuries. Just remember: Helmets once seemed uncool, too. $599; asterisk.com
Does crimping and jamming day after day make a climber's hands susceptible to osteoarthritis? Not likely, say researchers. According to a recent study in Journal of Anatomy, the bone deposits that thicken the knuckles of climbers and boulderers don't seem to affect the joints themselves.
Don't expect that midslope energy drink to help you stay lean. Contrary to what you might infer from their labels, new "calorie-burning" drinks like Celsius and Coca-Cola's green-tea-based Enviga (available in January) are not designed for weight loss, according to company officials. It takes three cans of Enviga (at five calories each) to rev up your metabolism enough to burn 60 calorieshardly a liquid road to Slimville. Think of it as a green-tea Diet Coke with more caffeine than a cup of coffee.
New research suggests that a lack of vitamin C decreases the efficiency with which you oxidizethat is, burnfat during exercise. One-third of Americans have below-adequate concentrations of vitamin C, according to Carol Johnston, a professor of nutrition at Arizona State University, who coreleased the findings.
The Carnivore's Dilemma
Turns out the Atkins diet won't, as some critics suggested, kill you. A 20-year study at Harvard found that the proportion of protein to carbs in a diet had no effect on heart health. However, subjects who got their protein from tofu and beans rather than meat dropped their heart-disease risk by 30 percent. The study also found that diets based on foods with a high glycemic index (like white bread and potatoes) doubled heart-attack risk even in low-fat diets. Our advice: Wrap your black beans in a whole-wheat tortilla.