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The Aid Station with Corrine Malcolm

A quick hit of the latest running science: hot baths as a training lever, heart rate variability, and breathing in air pollution.

Corrine Malcolm

April 24th, 2022

3 min read


Welcome back to the aid station! We’ll patch you up and fill your bottles, but this isn’t a 200-mile race so you can’t hang out too long. 

Looking for an excuse to buy a hot tub? 

If you’re like me – worried your face will melt off at an upcoming hot race – you’re starting to work out a plan to acclimate to the impending heat. You know you have options: dry sauna (maybe you don’t have access), infrared sauna (there’s no research), layering up (puke face emoji). Good news for you, a recent research paper, translated via this YLMSportScience infographic, suggests that a highly effective way to beat the heat is a post exercise hot bath. Main points: 

Final word: If you were looking for a sign to buy a hot tub, this is it. Just preheat that baby to 104F.

Heart rate variability isn’t always variable

I’ll preface this by saying while I think there is value in having different tools in your tool box, a readiness score or algorithm will never supersede listening to your body. Enter a tweet from Mr. Heart Rate Variability himself, Dr Marco Altini, highlighting the importance of knowing how to read the highs, lows, and lack thereof. Main points:

Final word: Aim for stability in your heart rate variability. Oh, and give Dr Altini a follow if you are HRV-intrigued. 

We’ve got 99 problems and air pollution is one

Although it’s only April, wildfires are already on the minds of many of us in the West so I dug into the short Marathon Medic podcast with environmental physiologist Dr Michael Koehle with great anticipation. 

Main points:

Final word: While air pollution is a 24-hour problem; timing, location, and air quality forecasting are your best friends for training in and around pollutants. If you have 35 minutes the podcast is worth a listen.

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