I’ve been using HRV4Training for a while personally, and am now using it with the athletes who I coach.
It gives me some useful insights, and I often coach age group athletes who work shift patterns, so it can help us to see how well they recover from their overall daily stress.
Training stress is not the only stress in life, and age groupers trying to fit triathlon training in with their work patterns often underestimate the amount of stress life throws at them!
Seeing a recovery score can help them, and me, to make decisions about their training, and with the recent paper showing VO2 improvements in groups who used HRV guided training, it makes sense to track and learn more about how our bodies respond to stresses.
The paper is interesting, as it does mention sex differences, and the need for more research. I think as women start to approach menopause, heart rate variability, along with tracking fatigue and other symptoms will really help them to adapt to the changes that are happening in the body.
Case study – mid 30’s female athlete
I have been working with an athlete who works 12 hour shifts for the NHS, so we are using HRV4Training to track stress and recovery. She seemed to be coping with the training stress, and had entered a virtual race.
But…..the week before the event the athlete started to complain of sore joints and fatigue, she had been working a shift that day, so she had a couple of easier days after that.
I recommended more rest in the week leading up to the event, as her readings were low, and she was giving some negative subjective feedback, but she continued to train up to the event. The day of the event she felt bad, and raced anyway, then tested positive for COVID-19 the week after. You can see her recovery below, after the event.
Luckily she seemed to bounce back quite quickly, but this shows how her HRV was impacted by COVID-19.
You can see how her score reflected the illness, but she didn’t record after the race, so you can only see when her score began to pick up again around 10 days later.
It’s always a challenge to get consistent readings with athletes, but when you can see the data it helps us to understand what happens to our bodies when we get ill, and we can then make better decisions around training.
So I wanted to give a bit of guidance to athletes who are trying to make sense of how to train right now. If you are being coached then your first port of call should be your coach, but if you don’t have a coach, then I’m here to help.
Find good information and support
Everyone is going to have a different take on this, as honestly none of us have ever had to cope with a world event on this scale, but one thing that we will all agree on is that this is a time of major life stress for everyone, and we need to get through it in the best way that we can in our own way. First of all I would look for trusted news sources at this time, look for good information and use that as your guidance, and limit your exposure to things that make you feel anxious, you may need to cut your social media use if it is harming you right now, reach out to people who can support you, and also when we are on social media think about, what you post, is it kind? Is it helpful?
Adjust your mindset
Don’t forget that training is its own stress and if you overdo it at this time you are setting yourself up for feeling bad, stressed, out and not coping. Mental health, and overall health, must be a priority at this time. We can do this through exercise, nutrition, and hydration. We need to look at what feels good. If any of you follow Yoga with Adriene, her community is called find what feels good, and this is an ideal time for you to find out what feels good to you, you’ll soon find out what works for you and what doesn’t.
Check your situation
Lets look at work situations, you may be working more, and have more work related stress. You may be working from home so have a bit more free time on your hands, you may be unable to work and have no income. These are all situations that you may be in at the moment. Then you have your training. Some of you will have had your main races cancelled, some of you will be unsure if your race will be going ahead or not, so what do you do?
Find your why?
First of all I would ask yourself why you do the sport? Is it for fitness, community, health, to lose weight, to perform, all reasons are valid and all are individual. For me it’s fitness, health and performance.
Then you need to look at your goal race, has it been postponed? Cancelled? Deferred? Still may be on? Your goal in training will then align with that. If your race is cancelled for this year, then look at your why. Mine is to maintain fitness, as I want to be able to compete if a race does comes up that I feel like I want to do, I want to be able to perform as best as I can in these times.
For some of you it may be a sense of community, in which case you can organise virtual meet ups, like many of you are doing, if you are doing triathlon for health reasons, then exercising up to a point is going to keep you healthy. I say up to a point because if you go too deep into training then you can compromise your immune system, and add to stress that is already there. This is an opportunity to add in strength and conditioning, practise recovery, eg yoga, just breathing and being aware of how you are feeling and what you need.
Adapt your training
If your goal race is a way off, I’m thinking about IM Wales or any late season races, then you may be stressing about losing fitness, swim fitness in particular. Just remember everyone is in the same situation, do what you can, maintain core strength, do some swim specific exercises, maintain your fitness but now is not the time to be building fitness. Remember you don’t want to get yourself into a training “hole” A lot of people follow the Don Fink IM plan which increases distance every week, you will want to back off and maintain the level that you are at now, then when you have less life stress you can start building again. The rule of thumb is to increase training load across the board at around 10%. Instead of focusing on what you can’t do, look at what you CAN do and implement it
Think about your why, and align your goals with that. Find what feels good for you, and adapt as you need to.
I’ll finish with a quote from a book that I read recently, called “The way the world thinks” by Julian Baggini. The quote is “What is yin yang? Yin Yang is timing. In other words yin yang responds appropriately to the precise situation as it is now, not as it was or will be. A wise action today could be a foolish one tomorrow.”
So take each day as it comes, and make the best decisions that you can, in the situation that you are in. Be grateful for the small things and we will get through this unusual time.
Getting older happens to us all, and if you are a competitive athlete the thought of slowing down can be scary, and also hard to deal with. Recently I have had a couple of emails from women who are concerned with ageing and how it is affecting them. From slowing down, getting more injuries, and putting on weight.
There are things that we can do to help, and taking a pro-active stance is positive for your mental well-being. But what happens when you are really struggling and nothing you do seems to help. This is the reply I gave to someone who wrote to me about her swimming declining.
Thanks for your message it sounds like you’re having a hard time at the moment.I’m assuming you contacted me, as I’m a coach, but I’ll just say, I definitely don’t have all the answers. It seems like a really hard time in our lives, and it sounds like you are giving yourself a hard time on top of that! All I can tell you is what I’ve found has helped me.
Try and think what it is you love about swimming, is it getting fast times, or are there other things that keep you going back to it? Sometimes a change of focus can help, or even a total break, if its making you miserable.
If you did break from swimming, is there anything else that can help you to get that feeling of what you love from swimming?
You may need to think about your training differently as we inevitably lose muscle mass as we get older. It will happen, and we can try and minimise it by doing weights and replacing protein after sessions. Nutrition info here
There is research to show that HIIT training is effective as you age, but again its harder to recover from these sessions as we get older. You may need to do a bit less volume, depending on what your training week looks like.
Sounds like you’re doing a lot of this already, though and it may be more the mental side of things that are troubling you.
When I was feeling really low I listened to podcasts, talked with friends, and also found making a list of my core values helped.
It made me realise that I was more than my times or achievements, but I also appreciate its very hard to do these things when you don’t even want to get out of bed, as I have felt some times.
I also know now that it will pass, and I’ll feel better again eventually!
I hope some of this helps, but if you are getting very low, I would see your GP, or someone you can talk to about these feelings, as it will really help if you express your fears and concerns.
Show yourself some self compassion at this time, you are not only a swimmer, you are so much more. Take Care
Of course men can feel the pressure of slowing down too, but they don’t have the same hormonal issues as women. Matt Dixon did a great podcast here with some mature athletes. The takeaway is to be flexible and don’t be afraid to try something new. Its easy to compare yourself to how fast you were when you were younger, but that doesn’t help you to feel good about yourself. Remember that you are more than your accomplishments, be an amazing human.
Here is a bit of inspiration for you, stay positive, and if you can’t, then get help!
For research purpose I was taking a look at this short BBC clip I did with @eddiebrocklesby 6 years ago where I was asked how long Eddie would go on racing for – well I can answer that she’s signed up for @ironmanaustria 2020 and she’ll be 77 next yearhttps://t.co/XasPMDi3bN
This year so far has been different. Different in lots of ways, kids growing up, and developing new interests. Me wanting to spend more time with them, and also needing to keep my endurance training going, as something purely for me. Life seems in a state of flux, and in some ways, I suppose that is what living with children is like, especially when they start changing so quickly. But I have also noticed a change in me, I don’t feel like I’m recovering as well from training, and I sometimes get depressed when I shouldn’t have PMS. A few months ago I had some pretty bad depression creeping in and just didn’t know what was wrong. I went to see my GP, and explained that I thought my hormones may be playing up, and also that I thought I may have low iron, (I did a home test and it was abnormal) Peri-menopause was dismissed, due to my age (I’m 43) but I still feel like my hormones have got something to do with what’s going on. The blood tests that I had confirmed that I was anaemic, but I’m still not feeling quite right after the course of tablets, I’ve been sweating at night and early morning, and have had heavy bleeding some months.
What is Perimenopause?
Because it is difficult to diagnose peri-menopause (hormones fluctuate too much to get accurate test results) I still don’t know for sure, and that is what Peri-menopause is like. I’m 43, which puts me on the lower age for Peri-menopause, but I know that I feel different, and trying to persuade myself that I’m imagining it won’t help. The facts are, that your oestrogen starts to decline as you get older, and this causes symptoms, symptoms that may be impacted by the demands of endurance training.
There is very little information about training through this period of your life, possibly because women experience it so differently, but there are a few things to bear in mind.
Tips to take away
Any training causes stress in the body, which causes the hormone cortisol to rise. Cortisol is an essential hormone, with many functions in the body, one of which is regulating hormones. I’m not a health practitioner but it seems to me that if cortisol is raised regularly then this will also impact on symptoms of perimenopause. Therefore it is essential to ensure you recover properly from sessions, eg doing Yoga, stretching, 5 minutes of meditation all help with reducing stress and kick-starting the recovery process.
Recovery may be impaired by poor sleep. If you are waking up feeling hot and bothered then that will impact on your recovery. There is some evidence to show that drinking Tart Cherry juice before bed can help with sleep, as it contains melatonin. Drinking it cooled may help to lower your core body temperature before bed and help with night sweats.
As estradiol declines, recovery can be reduced (spotting a pattern!) as estradiol has anti-inflammatory properties. So eating a healthy and diverse diet to reduce inflammation may help. Avoiding refined, fried, and processed foods will help.
Stay on top of post-recovery protein intake. Your body uses protein less efficiently, so you can increase your protein intake over the day, and consider eating a small amount of protein before bed to help with recovery.
Bone mass starts to decline, so doing some plyometric and strength work helps to counter this. It doesn’t have to be much to get a benefit, a few minutes of jumping, loading your bones in a way that they are not used to, helps to stimulate bone growth. Regular strength work also translates toperformance benefits, so it’s worth incorporating this into your training if you don’t already.
Knowing what to do is helpful, for an athlete who is used to a certain lifestyle and way of training. Making some adjustments, to your routines will probably be necessary, and accepting that it is a normal part of life and embracing the change is essential.
But coming to terms with the unpredictability of this period (symptoms can last up to 10 years, whereas other people have no symptoms) will be a challenge. I’m aiming to have a supportive network around, along with seeking inspiration from older female role models.
Remember that you are not broken, that you don’t need fixing, and be open to talking about it.
So, after another sleepless night, I think I may be perimenopausal. I’ve noticed a pattern of depression before my period, which is out of sync with how I normally feel. I had noticeable heart palpitations a few months ago, and have been getting hot at night sometimes.
To be honest I don’t really want to admit to it, because, well, the word menopausal has many negative connotations to me. Maybe I just don’t want to admit that I’m getting older, just yet; However I also know that until I accept this part of myself then I’m not going to be feeling more positive any time soon!
During the last few months, I have found that there is information for women out there, but as symptoms can be so different. I could attribute my feelings and symptoms to so many other things. It feels a bit like being in the dark. I have talked to friends about it, and we all feel a little bit confused.
Symptoms of perimenopause can vary but here are a few of them
Changing periods – length of cycle, duration of period
Fatigue – tiredness or a loss of zest
Anxiety, mood swings, irritability and depression
A feeling of being invisible and a loss of confidence
Decreased libido or sex drive
Urinary leakage or urgency
Aches and pains in muscles and joints
What to do?
The last few months I have found myself in a very dark place, at times, and its hard to know what to do about it. Standard advice for perimenopausal women is to get your nutrition right, exercise, get enough sleep etc, but there is not much information out there for women who are already doing these things, and who are also training for endurance events. The standard advice of exercising may not be the best option here. If you are training a lot, then your stress levels may be raised, so it might not actually be the best thing for someone who is already pushing themselves close to their limits.
It may be more beneficial to incorporate a bit more recovery, and some strength work at this time in your life. You can watch my FaceBook live that goes in to more detail by clicking below.
A lot of information is also for menopausal women, who have already stopped their periods. So what happens in-between? It seems to be a kind of no mans land, possibly because everyone is so different in how they experience this transition. It makes it difficult to study. There is no way of knowing if you are perimenopausal, as the tests that can detect it are based on hormone levels, which fluctuate throughout the month anyway.
It would be interesting to see some research in this area, but I’m pretty sure that perimenopausal women and endurance are not going to be the focus of many scientific studies in the near future. Talking about it can help us to realise that we are not the only ones going through it, and may help you to feel supported. I’d be interested to hear anyone else’s experience during this time, so feel free to get in touch if you have any ideas or information that you want to share.
If you’re looking for some more resources I have listed a few below, and you can read about my experience at a race when I was suffering with symptoms here
I’ve blogged about a DNF before, but how about a DNS? It happens, and feels pretty crappy. So I’m just going to go through what happened, as I’m sure it may feel familiar to some of you, and may even help with accepting it.
Last year I entered an off road duathlon, which was cancelled, I was given a free place in this years event which I was really looking forward to, however in the week leading up to the race, I was feeling pretty negative about the whole thing. The thought of getting up on Saturday morning in the cold and dark to drive to Afan wasn’t really appealing to me.
On Thursday I woke up with a sore neck, and couldn’t swim on Friday because it hurt too much, I was also pre-menstrual. My moods have been really bad for the last 3 months. This is almost another blog, but just as an overview, I think some of my hormones are out of whack, as I have been extremely tearful and depressed the week before my period, which isn’t normal for me, then as soon as it starts I feel normal again.
Anyway I got up, prepared to race, and kept telling myself that as soon as I got there and was registered etc, it would all be fine, and that I would feel worse if I didn’t race, so off I drove. Just over an hour later I arrived at registration where it was still pretty quiet. I payed my £5 to park, went into registration, and my name wasn’t on the start list. The organiser said he’d have to wait to give me a number, and to come back in around half an hour. I left the building starting to get tearful, as I wanted to rack up and just get everything sorted so I could warm up etc. I waited for over half an hour then went back to join the now long queue. When I got to the table they still couldn’t give me a number, and there was no sign of the organiser. I was brushed off, and my second emotional episode of the day started. I called Patrick and explained the situation, I assumed I would have to wait until everyone had registered before I got my number, which isn’t how I like to get ready for a race, leaving everything until last minute. I tried to let it go, and just think of racing for fun, but was just too upset, and part of me just wanted to go and meet the boys. Patrick told me to go for a quick ride around, and then I may feel better, as sitting in the car on your own is not great for morale! I rode off into the bike park, did a few circuits, and then started to feel a bit better, but not better enough to go and make a nuisance of myself again at registration. By now I knew that they would be closing transition, and I just wanted to get out of there.
Maybe if I’d been feeling a bit more positive I would have gone and found the organiser, but by that time I was on a pretty negative spiral, felling sorry for myself, and generally giving myself a hard time. I decided to forget it, and go meet the boys at the climbing wall, so rode around a bit more until the runners had gone, and then drove down to Pontadarwe, where I went for a run, and continued my Canal path tour of Britain (3 different paths in the last 3 months!)
The next 24 hours were horrible. After we’d finished climbing I cried a lot, tried to explain myself to Patrick, and got into a pretty depressed state. I’m over it now, helped by the fact that my period started, I’m sure.
So if you do have a DNS there are usually some pretty good reasons for it happening
Shit happens, you can’t always control everything, things may have been different if my name had been on the start list.
You can’t always be on it, sometimes you don’t have the willpower or motivation, and that is ok, even the best have bad days.
Sometimes you just have to ride out a bad mood, and accept that you are pretty miserable right now, acknowledging your upset will allow you to feel better in the end.
In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t really matter, although it may feel like it at the time.
If you are struggling with motivation, keep an eye on it, as it may be a sign of something a bit deeper. I’m monitoring my moods now, as The past 3 months have been pretty up and down, it could be a sign that something else isn’t right. Look out for patterns of behaviour, and if there’s anything you can do to improve the way you react in certain situations, then that can be positive. But also remember that sometimes you just aren’t “on it”
When someone says “I need to go on a diet”, my heart sinks. Why? Because going on a diet implies a short term, quick fix. Think about the new year magazine articles promoting detoxing, and going alcohol free. How often have you tried one of these diets or detoxes and then gone back to old habits, sometimes making your habits even worse!
Why does this happen? Because eating is a habit, and habits are hard to change. If you make extreme changes, for example by going on a “detox” or diet, then you will be able to stick to it for a short time (for the length of the diet/detox) then you will inevitably go back to what worked for you in the past. What you eat is determined by so many factors that it needs a bit more thought than just blindly following a plan.
How can I improve my diet?
Instead of going on a diet. I would encourage you to think about what you are eating, and ask yourself some questions
Why am I eating? bored, hungry, upset?
Am I really hungry?
Is it a good choice of food for me right now?
Is this going to make me feel better or worse?
This is just a start, your diet is a complex thing and everyone has different priorities and feelings about food. There are no bad/unclean foods. The “clean eating” trend encourages obsession about certain types of foods, and in my opinion, encourages eating disorders.
If you truly want to see change in your diet then be more aware of your eating habits, and realise that there is no quick fix. Change happens gradually, start with one sustainable change and then others will follow, and remember that small changes add up to big changes in the long term.
If you are interested in nutrition advice, then have a look at my packages here
In her book, “Roar”, Stacey Sims reminds us that, “Women are not small men”. For both men and women hormonal fluctuations cause a reaction in the body that can affect your training and nutrition. But when it comes to hormones, clearly women are different; we go through cycles during our life, our menstrual cycle, the pregnancy cycle, and the menopause. And yet to date, most scientific research on the effect of hormones and sports performance has honed-in on men between the ages of 18 and 30! So how do hormones affect women in training?
In this post I am focussing on what happens during your monthly cycle. I encourage my female athletes, to track their cycle, to make them more aware of the hormonal changes that happen each month. You can use an app like the Fitr woman app to keep tabs on where you are in your cycle. I am now using the coach app to help guide my athletes training and make it more effective. Even if you don’t use it to inform your training, I still feel it is a useful thing to be aware of. If you’re not convinced then have a read of this article.
Let’s talk about it
I’ve found that some women are keen to get in tune with their cycle, and others just don’t want to talk about it. The messages that we are given in the media are, that it shouldn’t stop us from doing anything. Periods are an inconvenience that we need to try and ignore or take pain relief for. Its great that we can carry on with our lives when we have a period. But we also need to be aware of the effect that our hormones will be having, so that we can better understand our motivation levels, and our training and nutrition needs.
First let’s have a look at what happens every month in a menstruating female.
What actually happens?
A women’s menstrual cycle lasts anywhere between 21 and 40 days, and it can also be outside these ranges. It is pretty common for there to be variability from one month to the next in the length of your cycle. As long as it’s not wildly out every month, then it’s normal for this to happen. The picture above assumes that you have an “average” 28-day cycle, (very few women actually do have a cycle this length!)
The first half of the cycle (days 1-14) are from the day that you get your period until the day that you ovulate. Which I’ll refer to as the low hormone phase. The second half of the cycle (days 14-28) I’ll refer to as the high hormone phase. The day that you ovulate is not necessarily day 14, it is usually around midway through your cycle.
During the low hormone phase, and just after you get your period, oestrogen starts to rise. In this half of your cycle you are more able to make strength gains, and your mood will probably be better. You can follow general advice for nutrition and hydration because you are physiologically more like a man at this point in your cycle. If you have your period on race day, its not such a bad thing. There are numerous stories of women performing well when they have their period. In Victoria Pendletons’ book, “between the lines”, she refers to winning races when she had her period. From personal experience, I have found that it does not impact my performance, and have also performed well when having my period.
In the second half of your cycle, progesterone starts to rise, which may make you feel lethargic. It gets harder to recover, and sessions that felt easy a few days ago, now feel harder. You may have cravings, because your metabolism increases slightly, due to increased basal temperature, and you may also feel bloated as your body retains water.
What can I do about it?
In one study it was found that amongst women trying to lose weight, those who followed an exercise/nutrition plan tailored to their menstrual cycle lost more weight than the ones who just restricted calories. For best performance, you need to pay attention to the timing of nutrition and hydration, particularly in the high hormone phase. Stacy Sims recommends 10 to 15g of protein and 40g carbs at this time before any workout lasting longer than 90 minutes, and after sessions pay attention to replacing protein within 30 minutes ideally 20-30g protein with a higher leucine content (whey powder/dairy). Also making sure you are hydrating well, and preloading before long, harder races with salt would be beneficial. During the high hormone phase your blood plasma volume is lower, which is why those hard sessions feel more challenging. Your blood is essentially thicker which makes it harder to get oxygen to your muscles, and as your core temperature is increased you will feel the heat more, and therefore need to ensure that you hydrate and keep cool, especially in hot weather.
I’m looking forward to seeing future research in this area, as more women take part in endurance sports, and become interested in making their training more effective. Watch this space!
I use the Fitr app with my female athletes to better inform their training and recovery. Make your training count by signing up for coaching with me check my plans here
With the early race season getting underway, what are your priorities for some of these races? Its been a while since you’ve worn your race kit, and used your race gear, so you may be a bit rusty going in to your first few races. Its a great idea to do a few low key events to get yourself back in to the practicalities of racing.
This will be a reminder of how it feels to get up early, and make sure you are adequately fuelled for the days event. Most early season events are on the shorter side, so its a gentle introduction, and there shouldn’t be dire consequences if you don’t get this right. However it is an opportunity to start practising your race morning routine. If there’s anything that didn’t go so well in the past, then now is a good time to change what you do. If you always leave certain jobs until the last minute, resolve to make time to get organised sooner. Remember what goes well and what doesn’t go so well so that you can learn and adapt next time.
It will probably have been a while since you have competed and felt those race morning nerves. Even if the race is not a priority for you, you will still produce adrenaline, and be in competition mode. You may think about your race tactics, and put these into practice. In my first race last year I realised that I backed off when it mattered, I took that in to my next race, and made sure that I pushed when I needed to.
Here is your opportunity to learn from the race. I ask my athletes to think about 3 things that went well, and 3 that they can improve on. Be thorough in your analysis, but don’t punish yourself, its your first race after all. Questions that I may ask are; did you feel fatigued going in to the race? How did you feel after? Did you push hard enough? Did you fuel properly? What were transitions like? How were your equipment choices? These are things that can be taken forward to the next event, and worked on in training. They all add up to better performance.
If you want to read what other coaches say there is a link to another article here
We all have habits and routines in our lives. Some of them are helpful, and some of them, are not so helpful. Becoming more aware of your actions can help you to identify which habits are helping or harming you. As an athlete you will have habits to make sure that you get your training done.
If you need to get up early for a swim you may get your equipment ready the night before, and then set an alarm to wake you up. You then complete your swim session, and may reward yourself with a cup of coffee, or similar.
All habits follow this pattern. First of all there is a trigger, in this case your alarm going off, and seeing your swim kit prepared. then your routine, which is completing the swim session, then your reward which is a cup of coffee. If we take a closer look at the “habit loop” you can see how to implement good habits in your life.
This is something that reminds you to do something. It may be something that you are not aware of, for example every time you open the fridge at a certain time of day you snack. Examples of triggers are; time, a visual reminder, an alarm, or it could be a feeling. Once you identify your trigger then you can change or add on to your habit. You can also create triggers to start a new habit, for example when you put your running kit on you do some core exercises before your run.
This is what you do after the trigger. It could be going to the pool, having a second helping of dinner, drinking a glass of wine, doing strength exercises. This is the bit that you can change, once you identify your trigger.
If you know, that when you finish your dinner you always go for a second helping, even though you are not hungry then you could replace this routine with making a cup of tea. If you want to fit some strength exercise in to your day then you can add this on to an existing routine.
This is your way of giving yourself a pat on the back, and can vary depending on what your habit is. If its getting out training, then the reward can be knowing that you are one step closer to your goal. Sometimes you may need a bit more than that, and the reward may be a chat with friends and cup of coffee after a group training session. If you substitute your habit for a healthier alternative then you know that it is creating a healthier you, for example substituting your second helping of food for a hot drink.
Putting it all together
So to create helpful habits, first you need to actually want to create that habit. No amount of positive talk is going to help you if you don’t really want to change! Think about if there are any barriers to creating the habit. For example, when I wanted to add core work to my day, I realised that I sometimes wasn’t wearing the right clothing for it. By doing the core work before a workout then I was already dressed in comfortable clothing. Next identify your trigger. If you have a good habit in place already, then you can add on to it, as with the core work example above. It can be helpful to write down what you want to do and how you’re going to make sure that you do it!
If you want to find out more about habits then click here
Or you can read a range of different viewpoints in this article
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