NOV 2, 2022
Minute 1: Control your naps, or they’ll control you
Taking a nap during the day can turn into a game of restfulness roulette. Sometimes, you’ll wake up after a short period of shut-eye with newfound energy. Other times, you’ll indulge too long, and you awaken struggling to figure out what day it is. If you want to make use of power naps without falling into disruptive slumbers, you should read: “Napping Can Be Energizing Unless You’re Making These 9 Mistakes.” The most common error we make is taking a nap too close to bedtime. When we nap later in the day, we rob our bodies and minds of their impulse to enter deep sleep. Avoid this pitfall by ending your nap at least 7 hours before your desired bedtime. If you’re tired, but within that 7-hour window, you may be better off sticking it out sans nap. The length of your nap can have a profound impact as well. Keeping it under about 30 minutes helps minimize your “sleep inertia” and helps you get back to work quickly. Some employers are so confident in the power of a quick nap to boost productivity that they’re encouraging sleeping in the workplace. Take a look at “Offices in Japan to install ‘nap boxes’ so workers can sleep standing up.” That probably sounds good to some, and dystopian to others, especially if you feel like working from home can solve this issue while maintaining productivity. Some research indicates it can, according to the Washington Post: “Bosses and economists are troubled by the worst drop in U.S. worker output since 1947.” It’s unclear if employees are intentionally reducing their output as a form of protest once returning to the office, or if they truly get more done from home.
Minute 2: Save your stamina with these foods
Sometimes while working from the home office, we indulge in the Japanese tradition mentioned above – afternoon naps known as inemuri. Some translations interpret the word as “sleeping on duty,” but we hope our editors consider the more modern interpretation of “sleeping while present” in our annual reviews. Sleep is only one part of the equation when it comes to restoring energy. To keep up with whatever the day throws at you, food can boost your focus and drive, and we don’t mean things like coffee and snacks. The sugar and caffeine will perk you up for a little while, but more effective options are covered in this new piece from MindBodyGreen: “40+ Foods That Will Give You All-Day Energy + How To Eat 'Em.” The article points out six vital nutrients that support energy levels for the long haul: Omega-3s, Selenium, Vitamins B1 & B2, Vitamin E, and CoQ10. Omega-3s are a kind of fat found in various seeds, fish, olive oil, and leafy greens. You can also get them in the form of a fish oil supplement, and experts recommend taking it alongside a high-fat snack like cheese and crackers to improve bioavailability. Selenium comes from various kinds of seafood, brazil nuts, eggs, and spinach. It’s used to support ATP production, which is especially important for powering you through intense exercise. B vitamins perform a similar role as selenium, and you can get them from liver, beef, chicken, eggs, beans, and legumes. Vitamin E is found in several kinds of nuts, and it increases oxygen intake by your muscles during exercise. Lastly, CoQ10 comes from fatty fish, and it increases mitochondrial mass for more powerful cells. These nutrients form a stable base of energy for your diet, and you can pair them with the foods listed in “What to Eat During a Workout” from Trail Runner magazine to really maximize your potential. These foods are all about quick energy in an easily digestible form, since there’s nothing like a stomach cramp to bring your workout to a grinding halt. #NapsterShoppingList
Minute 3: Attending the NYC Marathon? Read these tips
New York City has been called the City That Never Sleeps, but we hope that anyone preparing to run the TCS NYC Marathon this Sunday manages to catch some Z’s in spite of that. The training is all done, and now it’s time to execute. Whether you are running New York, another late fall marathon or a 2023 race, you should check out: “Top NYC Marathon Tips for Runners and Spectators.” Large scale races offer amateur runners the unique experience of a roaring crowd as they churn through miles. It can be motivational to perceive those cheers as recognition of all the hard work you’ve put in, and feed off that energy to propel your stride. A common mistake among first time marathoners is going too fast out the gate, so focus on easing yourself into the race before you draw on the crowd to pull you through the back half of the race. If you’re heading to New York this weekend, keep an eye out for everyone listed in this story: “Ashton Kutcher, Ellie Kemper, and More Celebrities Running the NYC Marathon.” If your idea of a celebrity hero is one who wears a uniform, consider what General David H. Berger, the 38th Commandant of the Marine Corps, did last weekend. At 62 years of age, General Berger finished his second consecutive MCM, albeit quite a bit behind his fellow Marine who took the laurel wreath: “Capt. Kyle King wins one for the home team at the Marine Corps Marathon.” King crossed the line in 2:19:19 and he told reporters that the camaraderie of the event among service members was a powerful motivator.
Minute 4: Coping mechanisms
We have outfitted hundreds of our readers in sleek, stylish and slimming Six Minute Mile t-shirts over the past few years. Market research indicates that these folks have seen their self esteem spike by an average of 18-20%. Additionally, anecdotal evidence suggests that athletes sporting our apparel have enjoyed increased affection from current and prospective life partners. The only negative trend that jumps out from consumer surveys is that we’ve chosen an extremely narrow market segment – those readers who run a mile in precisely 6 minutes. Those who run at a faster pace are embarrassed to advertise a “slow” time on their chests. Those who run slower worry that they are guilty of stolen valor. Regardless of which side of the tortoise/hare spectrum fits your style, we have collected a few responses overheard while pounding the pavement and recharging in our neighborhood coffee shop:
“It’s a newsletter, not my Strava segment time.” - Reed N. Jogger
“Yeah, that’s my Sunday long run pace.” - Henry Hardo
“Just a typo – supposed to read: ‘Six Minute Kilometer.’” - Mark Modesto
“I borrowed this shirt from a newbie I’m mentoring.” - Coach Jim Shorts
“A mile is three laps, right?” - Alicia “Clueless” Silverstone
“It’s aspirational, but not really attainable.” - P.R. Hopeful
“I mean, I’m not saying I did it recently.” - Gloria Daze
However you’d like to rationalize it, outfitting yourself or a loved one in a Six Minute Mile t-shirt just plain makes sense. We have also increased our assortment of swag recently to include hot fashion items like hoodies, tank tops and even insulated tumblers. (Pro tip: The tumbler keeps your coffee hot while driving and your adult beverage in stealth mode while watching youth soccer.) #NoBullShirts
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Tying our shoes is something we all learn as a kid, and then never really think about again for the rest of our lives. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? True, except that any runner who’s lost time to an untied shoe mid race will tell you that details matter. It can help to have a bit of extra security holding your footwear in place and that’s where those extra eyelets come in. You know, the ones toward the top of the shoe that never get used. It turns out, there’s an alternate looping method to cinch down your shoes, making them both more comfortable and more secure. If you want to learn a new trick, check out this video from @fleetfeetsports on Instagram.
Restrictive eating habits in pursuit of weight loss can be emotionally draining, often putting us at odds with what our bodies truly want. The alternative? Some experts recommend the practice known as intuitive eating. Rather than prescribing certain foods, IE is a collection of about 10 principles to cultivate a healthier and more sustainable relationship with food. There are a few pitfalls to watch out for, however, so take a look at “Why Intuitive Eating May Not Work for You (And What to Do).”
In Minute 3 of this issue, we looked into box jumping and liked what we found. Experts believe the increased impact forces trigger an adaptation response which strengthens our musculoskeletal system and tendons. Admittedly, box jumps are a pretty intense form of exercise, and they may not be for you. If you’d prefer to reap the same benefits without pushing your body quite as hard, you should consider jump rope. It’s about the lowest impact form of plyometrics training you can find, according to: “Why Jumping Rope Is the Ideal Post-Menopausal Workout for Your Bones, According to an Exercise Scientist.” Don’t let the title scare you away, guys, the same principles apply to the Y chromosome crowd.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Crocs are living proof that all fashion is cyclical. The rubber clogs debuted in the early 2000s and quickly flew off the shelves, only to see their cultural status flop dramatically in the 2010s. Time magazine listed them as one of the “50 worst inventions” ever, and the following years, sales were practically in freefall. Like a phoenix rising from the ashes, however, Crocs have found a new home among millennial and gen z influencers. They’re mostly seen as a casual shoe for chilling and lounging, but one YouTuber felt they had untapped potential as an affordable yet comfortable marathon sneaker. He was willing to put his money (all $40 of it) where his mouth was, testing them out at the Chicago Marathon last month. By the end of the video, it’s clear his hypothesis was a little off, but we’re glad someone was willing to give it a shot. Watch his descent into the pain cave as he attempted to beat his PR wearing Crocs.