APR 5, 2023
Minute 1: What if you only have 6 weeks to train for a half?
If you’re running a half marathon, that doesn’t mean you can get away with being half prepared. We’ve made that mistake before and the consequences ain’t pretty. One of the reasons you see so many 13.1 stickers on the backs of cars is that the distance is short enough to be attainable, but long enough to force you into high quality training. If you’re a procrastinator (like us), you may find yourself anxious to jump into an upcoming half without months of prep. This option could provide a safe-ish solution: “Your 6-Week Half-Marathon Training Plan Is Here.” This plan is no joke, since it’s designed for intermediate or advanced runners who’ve already built a foundation and want to turn up the intensity for the last phase of training. The plan can also be used as a framework between races, allowing your body to reset in the early weeks, and then building back up to peak performance as the volume increases. Full marathons require even more prep, and although most experts recommend 4 to 6 months, some believe you can get away with 3 months if you follow a guide like this: “How To Train For A Marathon In 3 Months (+ Training Plan).” The first step to evaluating your readiness is to ask yourself: “Can I run my goal marathon pace for a distance of 10K?” If the answer is yes, then you’re good to carry on with the rest of the guide. Interestingly, the schedule includes little to no speedwork. The author believes that in a timeframe of 3 months, your goal should be more about developing endurance to hold a steady pace, rather than trying to force a PR.
Minute 2: Should you adopt this Japanese morning workout routine?
Japan is known as the land of the rising sun, and that’s a fitting title, given the country’s emphasis on healthy morning rituals. A traditional Japanese breakfast, for example, consists of miso soup, fish, and steamed rice. Sounds like a pretty good formula for endurance athletes to us. There is also a popular morning exercise broadcast known as Radio Taiso – a short workout that hits the airwaves every day, and contributes to Japan’s remarkably high life expectancy. For details, take a look at “The Three-Minute Workout the Japanese Do Every Morning.” In addition to excellent portion control and walking habits, Radio Taiso helps to keep Japan’s population mobile and fit. It’s quite low in intensity, made up of moves like bending the knees up and down, revolving your arms around, and twisting the body left to right. You can get details on the routine through plenty of videos on YouTube. Radio Taiso is one of many practices found in the Eastern hemisphere that experts believe we should adopt if we want a healthier society: “When it comes to longevity, we should look to the East, not the West.” The healthcare system of Japan and other countries places greater emphasis on prevention, rather than the “break-and-fix” model found in the U.S.
Minute 3: These plants can boost your lifespan
While Radio Taiso is a solid option for a physical activity to boost longevity. If you pair that with the right dietary choices, you'll set yourself up for a longer, healthier life according to this new story: “‘I’m the ’Father of Functional Medicine’—This Is My #1 Tip for Eating for Longevity’.” Dr. Jeffery Bland is a clinical biochemist who believes there are two crucial ingredients found in plants: phytochemicals and fiber. Phytochemicals are like antioxidants that regulate cell activity. Studies suggest they can improve the body’s immune system and intestinal microbiome, as well as reduce brain inflammation. If that piques your interest, you should take a look at this “List of Phytochemical Foods.” Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower are especially powerful for neutralizing carcinogens. The second ingredient, fiber, can have a significant impact on your microbiome as well. That’s why you should pick up some of these “High-fiber vegetables to include in your diet.” Collard greens, artichoke, and brussel sprouts are among the most fibrous veggies per serving. It’s important to note that everyone’s microbiome is unique, and the effect of various foods will differ on an individual level. Your best bet is to try a wide variety and experiment on your plate until you find the veggies that work best for you.
Minute 4: 8 reasons your running has stalled
There are about 650 muscles in the human body and we use almost all of them as runners. It’s easy to overthink the best way to condition and deploy these 650 little power packs, which is why we appreciate the straightforward prescriptions of this new story: “Why is My Running Not Improving – The 8 Reasons.” Compared to sports like skiing or golf, running wouldn’t seem to require as much technique, but the story explains why bad form can offset good cardiovascular conditioning. For a deeper dive, check out: “The Four Most Common Running Form Errors — And How to Fix Them.” We should also note that trying to fix your form mid-run could impede your performance, and instead, you might be better off correcting issues during your warmup or cooldown with these “8 Essential running form drills.” Another factor preventing runners from making progress is consistency. The story above provides a good overview, but you learn more here: “The Importance of Consistency for Running Success.” Planning schedules and setting goals can help you establish a routine, but make sure to keep it realistic if you want to avoid overworking yourself. That means plenty of rest days, as well as a recovery plan in the event you become injured.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
It should come as no surprise, given our newsletter’s title, that we’re big fans of mile repeat workouts. That’s why we knew we had to share this article after it came across our desk: “How to Do Mile Repeats to Get Faster.” You can expect greater VO2 max, improved fast-twitch muscle fibers, and a whole lot of fun with these suggested workouts.
The Olympics are supposed to signify cooperation and healthy competition across all nations, but things get awfully complicated when those nations are in an ongoing conflict. Some have called for the banning of all Russian athletes while their occupation of Ukraine continues, but a recent review indicates that likely won’t be the case: “Athletes from Russia and Belarus should be allowed to compete, IOC says.”
Humans are social animals. We’re at our best when we work together, and there’s quite a bit of research to back that up in the case of cyclists and other endurance athletes. You’ll move longer, faster, and have increased motivation if you find the right partner, and to see how to do that, check out “Social Psychology: Athletes Going Farther by Going Together.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
For runners, the muscles, lungs, and heart seem to get all the credit for how we’re able to move so well. But there’s another component that could be just as important. According to coach @hansensprint, it’s all about the tendons. They’re what enables us to store and transfer energy so efficiently, which is why it’s important to keep them strong and elastic. Coach Hansen focuses on shorter distances, but we suspect he’d agree with this article’s thesis: “Like a “Car with Good Gas Mileage,” Healthy Tendons Allow You to Waste Less Energy on the Run.” If you want to see how tendon training can lead to that amazing, floating feeling while running at high speeds, check out Coach Hansen’s clip in the link below.