Insatiably Curious

Tag: Sport

The best thing you can do for your health is to sleep well

Getting a consistent seven- to nine-hours of sleep each night is the single most effective thing each of us can do for our health and wellbeing.

Matthew Walker, writing for The Guardian:

Related is the association between plentiful slumber and athletic performance. Sleep is perhaps the greatest legal performance-enhancing “drug” that few people are taking advantage of. Obtain less than eight hours of sleep a night, and especially less than six hours a night, and the following happens: time to physical exhaustion drops by 10 to 30%, as does aerobic output; limb extension force and vertical jump height are reduced; peak and sustained muscle strength decrease. Add to this the cardiac, metabolic and respiratory effects: higher rates of lactic acid buildup and reductions in blood oxygen saturation with converse increases in carbon dioxide, due in part to a reduction in the amount of air that the lungs can expire in a sleep-deficient state. And then there is injury risk. Relative to sleeping nine hours a night, sleeping five to six hours a night will increase your chances of injury across a season by more than 200%.

Routinely sleeping less than six hours a night also compromises your immune system, significantly increasing your risk of cancer. So much so, that recently the World Health Organization classified any form of night-time shiftwork as a probable carcinogen.

Inadequate sleep – even moderate reductions of two to three hours for just one week – disrupts blood sugar levels so profoundly that you would be classified as pre-diabetic. Short sleeping increases the likelihood of your coronary arteries becoming blocked and brittle, setting you on a path towards cardiovascular disease, stroke and congestive heart failure.

All it takes is one hour of lost sleep, as demonstrated by a global experiment performed on 1.6 billion people across more than 60 countries twice a year, otherwise known as daylight saving times. In the spring, when we lose one hour of sleep, there is a 24% increase in heart attacks the following day. In the autumn, we gain an hour of sleep opportunity, and there is a 21% reduction in heart attacks.

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Video: Beyond Trails Atacama

Osprey Packs:

Lorraine Blancher: “Every new trail you travel on or off the beaten path brings uncertainty. Riding bikes in a place like this forces you to pay attention to the terrain, listen closely to suggestions on how to move through it. Instead of success and failure you became to think in terms of adaptation and forward motion.”

‘The Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats Its Young’

The Barkley isn’t easy. But then that’s the point. It’s not your average ultra marathon. From the sign-up process to the completion of the course. The vast majority who attempt it never reach the finish line.

The race was conceived by Lazarus Lake (Gary Cantell) and Raw Dog (Karl Henn) as a mocking homage to a 1977 prison escape. The course, which changes every year, always traverses a tunnel under the prison.

You can view the madness on Netflix (and probably elsewhere).

Barkley Marathons Movie:

A famous prison escape sparks the idea for a cult-like race that has seen only 10 finishers in its first 25 years. This award-winning, oddly inspiring, and wildly funny documentary reveals the sports world’s most guarded secret.

Video: How to ski moguls

REI:

When your favorite ski run turns into a mogul field, have no fear! With the right technique and some planning you’ll be able to cruise down bump runs. In this video, PSIA Alpine Team member Robin Barnes shows you how to stay in balance, where you can find an easier line through the bumps and where to find a faster line.

Video: How to ski steep terrain

REI:

Skiing steep terrain can be thrilling once you’ve mastered the skills and techniques that will get you down the hill. In this video, PSIA Alpine Team member Robin Barnes covers the basics, including how to stay balanced, how to skid your turns to control your speed and how to pick the right line for you.

Video: How to run 100 miles

REI:

In September 2017, I stepped up to the starting line of the Run Rabbit Run 100 in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, alongside my friend Jayson Sime. The race is a 102.9-mile ultramarathon with 20,000 feet of elevation gain, which is no small feat for a couple of guys who don’t know what they’re doing.

Jayson had talked me into it, and if I were to be completely honest, I’d say we were there to test out his life philosophy, which is basically that you can do anything you dream up, as long as you put in the work and refuse to quit. That ethic has worked for him in almost every other area of life, despite growing up in poverty, one of six children with no father, and dyslexia.

In the six months leading up to the race, we figured since we weren’t naturally talented runners, the best thing we could do is work hard. So we ran 50- to 70-mile weeks all summer, and went through a full range of feelings: fear, regret, sadness, FOMO, hunger, thirst, exhaustion, pain, and joy. And gluttony, which is not a feeling, but what happens after you run 20 or more miles.

Video: How to ski powder

REI:

If you want to love powder, but you haven’t quite gotten the hang of skiing the deep stuff, we’re here to help. In this video, PSIA Alpine Team member Robin Barnes shows you how to get the most out of your powder days by maintaining your balance, using your legs to steer and maintaining your speed.

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