Minute 1: Reader survey: Most popular podcasts
Our first-ever reader survey earlier this month revealed that you are a hard-working, well-educated and very charming group of athletes. (We made the last part up, but are confident that you all enjoy very high Q Scores.) No matter how charming you are, however, sometimes you wind up slogging out solo miles on your feet or in your car. According to the survey results, many of you share our love of podcasts to make those journeys pass more quickly. According to our survey, our favorites among the mainstream biggies include:
The Daily (NYT)
Here are a few of your favorites among emerging podcasts:
Office Ladies – Pam and Angela from The Office provide behind-the-scenes commentary on how your favorite episodes were created
Stuff You Should Know – Explains the inner workings of everything from making Twinkies to defeating Polio
Hidden Brain – Explores unconscious patterns that drive human behavior
Your favorite endurance sports podcasts:
Ali On The Run – Pithy commentary and interviews from a New York runner who loves oversharing
Another Mother Runner – After publishing a popular book on how to keep running while managing the complicated roles of working moms, two women launched this successful website and podcast series
Marathon Training Academy – A husband and wife team share training plans and inspiration
Rich Roll – A Stanford alum who is also a triathlete, vegan and recovering addict
Running Rogue – Born in Austin, Texas, with a deep background in training programs
Trail Runner Nation – Excellent banter among accomplished ultra trail runners
Minute 2: Back Pain
While NFL injuries make for gory instant replays, runners suffer injuries at similar rates to gridiron athletes. Some studies show that as many as 79% of runners will suffer an injury every year. Most endurance athletes are familiar with the big ones like shin splints, plantar fasciitis and runner’s knee. These lower body issues are often less debilitating, however, than lower back ailments that don’t receive as much attention. Running can aggravate the lower back due structural misalignment, over-training and poor technique. Here are “4 common causes of lower back pain when running.” If you’re looking for ways to prevent or heal a back injury, check out: “I’m a Chiropractor, and These Are the 4 Things I Do Every Day for a Healthy Spine.” #DefensiveBack
Minute 3: World Record Falls
With actual races now harder to find than a white cat in a snow storm, many runners have turned to virtual competitions and attempts at quirky records. Earlier this month, American Allison Grace Morgan broke the world Beer Mile record by downing a beer per lap in a 1-mile track race. Her time of 6:16 shaved a second off the previous record. Perhaps a more wholesome combination of skills led another American woman, Sydney Masciarelli, to break the world record for dribbling a basketball while running a mile. If this sport ever gains Olympic status, Masciarelli will surely be the first gold medalist. She scored more than 1,000 career points for her high school basketball team and won the Foot Locker national HS XC championship in 2018. That race featured the most dramatic finish in the history of the prestigious event. (Fast forward to the 17:00 mark of this video to see the final moments of the race.)
Minute 4: The race that tried to heal a New York neighborhood
Outside Magazine offers a hopeful perspective about the power of running events to bring together diverse groups, police officers and local kids. In “The Race That Tried to Heal a New York Neighborhood,” we learn how Coogan’s, a bar at 169th and Broadway, helped to diffuse riots in 1992 after an immigrant from the Dominican Republic was killed by a police officer. Because it was located next to the iconic Armory, one of the top indoor track venues in the world, Coogan’s eventually billed itself as “The World’s #1 Running Restaurant.” Of course Bostonians would argue that the legendary Eliot Lounge was the premiere watering hole for runners in America. Bill Rodgers made the place famous after his first Boston Marathon win in 1975 when a reporter asked him how he planned to celebrate. “I’m going to the Eliot to have a Blue Whale,” Rodgers replied.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
With the TCS New York City Marathon cancelled this year, they just opened registration for their virtual events, partnering with Strava for tracking. Options range from free to a paid version that guarantees a future marathon bib.
Triathlete magazine just published “From Memory to Motor Skills, Running Improves Brain Function.” Citing several recent studies, the piece describes how endurance sports can dramatically improve memory, linguistic skills and executive function. Most athletes understand that feel-good endorphins are released during cardio exercise, but many are not aware of BDNF and Irisin, that are generated by muscle activity and provide “food for the brain.”
Our sister company, MarathonFoto, recently created a new feature where athletes use their email address to search for images of their glory days. They just enhanced that engagement by releasing a batch of finish line videos that are free to download. Runners can now find clips of themselves crossing the line at many big marathons, including NYC 2018 & 2019, Marine Corps 2018 & 2019, Chicago 2018 and Houston 2020.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
One of our readers, Karl from Florida, suggested last week that other Six Minute Mile subscribers may draw inspiration from “Game Changers,” the documentary film that advocates a plant-based diet for athletes. Executive producers include big names like James Cameron and Jackie Chan who follow the story of an injured UFC athlete named James Wilks. During his recovery, Wilks discovers provocative research that Roman gladiators subsisted primarily on plant-based diets. He reasoned that if the original ultimate fighters (whose lives depended on their performance) relied on plants, why shouldn’t today’s fighters? As one weightlifter in the film observed, “Someone asked me: ‘How could you get as strong as an ox without eating any meat?’ And my answer was: ‘Have you ever seen an ox eating meat?’” The film generated plenty of critics along with new disciples. Joe Rogan (see Minute One) was skeptical and booked Wilks and one of his biggest critics to appear together on his podcast last December. The result was the most entertaining 3+ hours of nutritional debate in history. The film is available on Netflix here and the trailer for the film is below.