What I have learned in graduate school so far...

My second quarter of graduate school is coming to an end.  Surprisingly (or, given my line of work, perhaps not so surprisingly), I have managed to learn some pretty relevant things to my profession.  Below are some of the things I thought were worth sharing.

It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert at something.  Some of you may have read Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Outliers,” and perhaps you already knew this, but it was interesting to read the research.  For most people, 10,000 hours takes about 10 years.  One caveat to this is the 10,000 hours of practice must be practice with intent.  If you are simply going through the motions and the activity has become mindless, you will not see improvement and it will take a little bit longer to reach expert status.  

If you are looking to perform well, you should not eat right before exercise.  I thought this was kind of interesting.  It turns out that after eating, if you decide to exercise, 20% of your blood supply has to go to digestion.  This only leaves your muscles with 80% of your blood supply, which could potentially impact performance.  However, events lasting more than 2 hours require caloric consumption during competition.  Make sure you try out your calories before race day to make sure you know how your body will respond.

Children are 50% of their height when they reach the age of two.  Random trivia, which I thought was kind of cool.  

Runners with knee pain should try strengthening their hips.  I just finished a research review on this.  For decades, researchers have been trying to blame knee pain on the foot.  Some looked at static posture, some at dynamic, and over and over again there did not seem to be a clear link between pronation, supination, and knee pain.  Rather, runners with knee pain had a decrease in hip abduction strength when compared to runners without knee pain.  If you are new to a running program, strengthen your hips before you start doing high mileage.  (Runners should be participating in a regular strength training program for a myriad of reasons, but as usual, I digress…)

Coaches should not sleep with their athletes.  This is something I thought was a no-brainer, but since it was an entire module in our ethics class, I guess it wasn’t as obvious as I thought.

Enjoy the longer days, and, as Jack LaLanne said, “Remember this: your body is your slave; it works for you.”

Yours in health and wellness,