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為什么拉伸無助于跑步?

Why stretching might not make you a better runner
為什么拉伸無助于跑步?

They can be seen in city streets and parks all over the world, aggressively leaning against trees or propping their legs up on benches. It seems that most runners love a good stretch. Whether they do this before or after they have exercised, however, is still hotly debated in the running circles – some believe it is the best way to warm up cold muscles, while others insist stretching once already warm delivers the most benefits.

在世界各地的城市街頭和公園,都能看到一些人隨意地靠在樹木上,或把腿架到長椅上做拉伸運動。大部分跑步的人都喜歡做拉伸。不過,在跑步群里,對于是在運動前做還是運動后做拉伸,存在激烈爭議:有人認為這是熱身的最好方法,拉伸能讓僵硬的肌肉活泛起來;也有人堅持認為,運動過之后做拉伸會對身體有更大的好處。

But they might all be doing it wrong if a new analysis of the science behind running is to be believed. All that comical bending and limbering may have no impact on a running performance at all.

一項關于跑步背后科學所做的新分析是,兩者可能都錯了。這些滑稽好笑拉抻動作,對跑步成績沒有任何幫助。

It is one of a set of “rules for running” compiled by a group of scientists at the University of California, Santa Barbara after they analysed 70 studies on running and performance. They produced what is known as a “scientific synthesis” of tips for how runners can improve their performance.

加州大學圣巴巴拉分校(California, Santa Barbara)的一組科學家在分析了70項有關跑步和運動表現的研究后,列出一套“跑步規則”,為跑步者提供了“科學綜合”建議,幫助他們提高成績。

“Some of the findings we came across were really surprising and others confirm what many runners will already know,” says Chris Lortie, a biologist at The National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara who led the analysis and an amateur runner himself. “But we are not trying to say this is how people should train.

主持這次分析的生物學家洛爾蒂(Chris Lortie)也是一名跑步愛好者,他說:“我們看到的一些研究結果很令人驚訝,有一些是證實了許多跑步者都已經知道的東西。但我們并不想說大家就應該這樣訓練。”

"Everyone needs to look at their individual outcomes, what they are trying to achieve and apply what works for them. People run for all sorts of reasons – some do it to stay fit, others want to win medals and some do it because they just want to get outside.”

“每個人都很關注自己的成績,他們想采用科學的方法,達到一定的目標。人們跑步的理由五花八門:有人為了健身,有人為了參賽贏獎牌,還有些人跑步是為了出去透透氣。”

Running has seen an increase in popularity in recent years with record numbers applying to enter events like the London Marathon and the New York City Marathon. Nearly 18.3 million people took part in organised road races in the USA in 2017, while more social running events like the UK’s Parkruns now attract more than three million participants.

近年來,跑步越來越受歡迎,報名參加倫敦馬拉松和紐約馬拉松等賽事的人數創下了歷史紀錄。2017年,美國有近1830萬人參加了有組織的公路賽事,英國的“Parkrun”社區公園跑步活動有300多萬參與者。

Few of these people, however, can afford expensive coaches or training advice, relying instead upon the mishmash of information available in running magazines and online.

然而,多數跑步者很少有人付昂貴的費用請教練或參加專門的培訓,多是依靠體育類雜志和網絡上或對或錯的健身信息。

“This is what made me decide to apply the kind of analysis I use for big ecological problems, like the effects of climate change, to running,” says Lortie, who is also a biology professor at York Univesity in Toronto.

洛爾蒂說:“這就是為什么我決定把我對重大生態問題的分析方法,比如氣候變化的影響,應用到跑步上。”

Some of the more surprising “rules” – they consider them more guidelines than hard rules – that he and his colleagues came up with are:

他和同事們提出的這些令人驚訝的“規則”更像是指導方針,而不是硬性規則。這些規則包括:

Use cooling to increase endurance

用降溫來增加耐力

For most runners, the idea of cooling down before going on a run seems to make little sense. The perceived wisdom is that it is better to warm up first to reduce the risk of injury and to get your muscles working at an optimal level. But Lortie and his colleagues found that a bit of pre-race cooling can actually have a positive impact in long distance running.

對于大多數跑步者來說,在跑步前先降溫似乎是匪夷所思的事情。人們普遍認為,運動前最好先熱身,這樣可以降低受傷的風險,讓肌肉處于最佳狀態。但洛爾蒂和他的同事們發現,在長跑前做點降溫工作,實際上可以帶來正面的影響。

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“It would seem to make sense that you want to warm the muscles up to improve performance,” says Lortie. “But if you put ice on the back of your neck, it can trick the body into thinking you are cool. You never want to ice your muscles, but putting it on your skin lets you work out harder as your body thinks its core temperature has gone down rather than up while you are running.”

洛爾蒂說:“你想通過鍛煉肌肉來提高成績,這似乎是有道理的。但如果你把冰塊放在后脖子上,身體受到冷的刺激會誤以為你很冷。你絕對不想讓肌肉結冰,但把冰敷在皮膚上可以讓身體更加用力地運動,因為大腦認為在開始跑步時基礎溫度下降了,而不是上升了。”

Pre-cooling in this way essentially creates a buffer that enables athletes’ bodies to do more work for longer before it starts to overheat. The exact mechanism for why this works is not completely understood, but there are a number of theories. One is that it delays the natural safeguards that dial back muscle activity in response to overheating from kicking in.

這種預冷方式本質上創造了一個緩沖器效果,使運動員的身體在開始出現過熱之前,有更多時間做更多的事情。這其中的機制目前還不完全清楚,但有很多與之相關的理論,其中一種說法是,它把身體的自我保護措施推遲了,這些措施會抑制肌肉活動,以應對身體過熱。

Another theory suggests that cooling may reduce lactic acid build up, which can increase at higher temperatures.

還有一種理論認為,冷卻可以減少乳酸的積聚,乳酸在體溫升高時會增加。

Unfortunately for those runners who prefer sprinting, however, the evidence did not show that the same trick could improve their performance. Instead it tends to work in situations where athletes are engaging in prolonged periods of exercise.

然而,對于短跑的人來說,不幸的是,沒有證據表明,同樣的竅門可以提高短跑成績。只有在運動員進行長時間運動的情況下,它才有可能起作用。

Skip stretching if injury free

如果沒有受傷,就不要做拉伸

Stretching has become almost a performance in itself for anyone engaging in exercise, but few of us have probably stopped to ask what we are doing it for. While it can help to improve flexibility, Lortie’s analysis suggests that if you are stretching in the hope gaining boosts in performance during your run, you are wasting your time.

對于一個運動者來說,拉伸已經成了必不可少的做法。但沒人會停下來問,為什么要拉伸。拉伸雖然有助于提高柔韌性,但洛爾蒂的分析表明,如果拉伸是希望在跑步時取得好成績,那是在浪費時間。

“This was a huge surprise,” says Lortie. “It is an accepted thing that you do some stretches after you have exercised – you see all these people doing it in parks and it looks absurd. But from a performance point of view, there is no benefit, it is not going to make you run faster or better.

洛爾蒂說:“這挺意外的。運動之后做拉伸是得到公認的事情,在公園里看到運動過后的人都在這么做,看起來挺荒謬的。從成績的角度來看,它沒有任何用處,它并不會讓人跑得更快、更好。”

“A lot of professional coaches think that getting all loosey-goosey – when your limbs are all over the place – may make it more likely that you will injure yourself. You want to be like one of those tight, robotic runners from that point of view. It only seems to make sense to stretch if you are recovering from an injury as it helps the muscle fibres elongate as they heal.”

“很多專業教練認為,在比較放松的情況下,四肢肌肉松弛可能更容易受傷。從這個角度看,應該成為肌肉緊繃象機器人一樣的跑步者。只有在受傷恢復時,拉伸才有意義,因為它能幫助肌纖維在愈合時拉長。”

Jump for speed

用跳躍來幫助提速

Professional sprinters know this one already, but plyometric exercises, or jump training, helps muscles exert a maximum force in a short space of time. The studies that Lortie and his team looked at showed that doing 10 weeks of at least 15 sessions per week of 80 high-intensity jumps could increase sprint speeds.

專業的短跑運動員已經知道這一點,增強式訓練或跳躍訓練,可以幫助肌肉在短時間內爆發最大的力量。洛爾蒂和他的團隊所做的研究表明,連續10周,每周至少進行15次高強度跳躍訓練,可以提高短跑速度。

“This is a lot of jumping,” says Lortie. “But it gives your muscles the ability to suddenly be explosive and turn it on.”

洛爾蒂說:“這個跳躍量是很大,但它能啟動肌肉的爆發力。”

Recovery is critical

恢復至關重要

For most of us, a recovery day might involve relaxing in front of the television or spending some time in the pub with some friends. For anyone wanting to improve their running, however, Lortie has some bad news.

對大多數人來說,在恢復期間,可能會坐在電視機前放松一下,或者跟朋友去酒吧。然而,對于想提高跑步成績的人來說,洛爾蒂有些壞消息。

“This was the one that probably most interesting for the researchers and coaches I work with,” he says. “There was one study where they had a very high number of cross-country skiiers who were competing and training. They told half to go enjoy the next couple of days in the chalet and the other half did some light jogging or workouts on the treadmill. The next day those that had done the light work outs absolutely crushed it relative to those who sat in the lodge.

他說:“對于跟我合作的研究人員和教練來說,這項研究可能是很有趣。我們找來很多參加比賽和訓練的越野滑雪者。告訴他們在接下來的幾天里,一半人呆在小屋里休息,另一半人則在跑步機上做輕微的慢跑或鍛煉。第二天,那些稍做鍛煉者的表現要好于那些坐在小屋里的人。”

“It is something all of us could do a bit differently, regardless of our training levels. Try to plan a little active recovery rather than passive recovery.”

“不管我們的訓練水平如何,每個人都可以有所不同。嘗試規劃一點主動恢復,而不是被動恢復。”

Taper

逐漸減少運動量

At first it might make little sense to reduce your training before a competitive event, but tapering can bring huge increases in performance, according to the studies that Lortie looked at. The studies he examined showed that reducing training volume two weeks before an event could bring a 41-60% increase in performance on average.

洛爾蒂的研究結果顯示,在比賽開始前減少訓練可能聽起來是不對的,但逐漸減少訓練可以大大提高成績。他仔細分析了那些研究結果,在比賽前兩周減少訓練量,可以使成績平均提高41%~60%。

“A lot of training programmes for marathons, for example, recommend cutting down your mileage in the last two weeks,” he say. “For a lot of people that is going to seem counterintuitive, but the research really shows it can bring a big increase in performance. It is perhaps important to remember that not all runners are going to see a 40% increase in their performance, but on average there does seem to be this kind of increase.”

他說:“比如,很多馬拉松訓練項目都建議在最后兩周內減少跑步量。對很多人來說,這似乎有違常識,但研究確實表明,這樣做能大幅提高成績。重要的是應該知道,并不是所有的跑步者都能把成績提高40%,但平均來說有這樣幅度的提升。”

Get a goal-centred mental state

以目標為中心的精神狀態

“This is often the secret sauce that a lot of people who are do sport are missing,” says Lortie. “It’s about keeping your eye on the prize throughout the suffering. Once you lose that, it is all over. There are a lot of physical things that you can do, you can get all the right equipment but unless you have the right mental state, you will never give your best performance.”

洛爾蒂說:“這往往是很多從事體育運動的人所缺少的秘訣。就是在整個艱苦的訓練過程中,始終把注意力放在獎賞上。一旦你失去了它,一切就結束了。有很多用具準備上的事情可以做,你可以有所有好的裝備,但只有飽滿昂揚的精神狀態,你才能有最佳的表現。”

For those just starting out running he recommends picking small, achievable goals that can help you push that little bit harder during a run.

對剛開始練跑步的人,建議選擇一些容易實現的小目標,這些小目標可以幫助你在跑步過程中不斷地為實現目標而努力。

“I pick a tree or something else that I am going to run to and when I reach it pick another one,” he says. “In a race I might pick someone ahead of me who I am going to try to keep up with and it has made me run far faster than I ever could when training.”

他說:“我會選擇一棵距離較近的樹或其他什么地方作為跑步的終點,抵達后,我再選擇下一個目標。在比賽時,我會選擇一個領先者作為目標,我要努力跟上他,這讓我比訓練時跑得更快。”

This sort of goal-centred thinking has implications outside the world of running too.

這種以目標為中心的思維方式,對于跑步之外的事情也有意義。

“Being mindful of your goals and outcomes is probably a good exercise in life whatever your endeavour is,” Lortie adds.

洛爾蒂補充道:“無論是做什么,始終牢記要達到的目標和要取的成績,可能都是生活中一種很好的鍛煉方式。”

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