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Breathing right, CrossFit comments, and Father's Day gift guide

Minute 1: Breathing Right

Sore ears, acne and fogged glasses. No, we’re not talking about teenagers in a mosh pit. Those are some of the common complaints from people wearing face masks during the pandemic. For athletes, add to that list the difficulty of breathing properly during taxing workouts. Under Armour just announced their solution with a reusable mask that is made with athletes and breathability in mind. Here is another list of 7 Breathable Face Masks if you don’t want to spend $30 on the UA version. We prefer the neck gaiter option, which Podium Runner endorses in their piece: “The Surprising Upside to Covering Your Face on a Run.” While we’re on the subject of breathing, we were intrigued by a recent Lance Armstrong podcast in which he interviewed ESPN’s Chris Fowler about his meditation and breathing practices. The 57-year-old Fowler can hold his breath for 2 full minutes after following the lessons of Wim Hof. The Dutch guru has run shirtless, barefoot marathons north of the Arctic Circle with the help of his advanced breathing techniques. His theory is that by jacking up the amount of oxygen in our blood, we can produce extraordinary adrenaline levels, enhancing physical strength and even delivering a trippy buzz. His 11-minute beginner’s guide video is here. #GoodBreath

Minute 2: Training table

In our pre-COVID office life, we found it hard to say no when co-workers cajoled us into either a heavy sit-down restaurant lunch or a grab-and-go pizza/sub/burrito outing. (Yes, we are 100% blaming peer pressure for ordering 800 calorie lunches with a “why not-throw a cookie in the bag” chaser.) With our new work-from-home routine, there’s really no excuse to eat an unhealthy lunch. Our latest discovery is this list of “25 Summer Lunch Ideas You Can Make in 30 Minutes (or Less).” Greek yogurt chicken salad. Citrus quinoa shrimp salad. Let’s go! For our carnivore friends, this post caught our eye this week: “You’re Buying Steak All Wrong. Here’s How to Really Do It.” Spoiler alert: thickness is the most important criterion. While you’re beefing up your protein intake, remember that it’s National Jerky Day. (I mean, how could you forget, right?) Our friends at New Primal make Paleo and Whole 30 compliant jerky and sauces. If you use the code SMM15, you will receive a discount on your order. Independent info on whether red meat is appropriate for endurance athletes is here. If you’ve enjoyed all you can stand of your own home cooking, consider this helpful advice before returning to your favorite restaurants: “The Worst Thing to Order at a Restaurant Right Now, According to COVID Experts.”  Short version of the story is that cooked food is safer, but the CDC has declared there is no evidence that Coronavirus can be transmitted through food. #AcceptCookies #NJD

Minute 3: Will CrossFit survive?

CrossFit founder and CEO Greg Glassman has been boxed out of his company after insensitive comments regarding George Floyd. This week Buzzfeed obtained an audio recording of a Zoom call Glassman held with CrossFit gym owners who were concerned the company wasn’t doing enough to promote racial justice. “We're not mourning for George Floyd — I don't think me or any of my staff are,” Glassman said. “Can you tell me why I should mourn for him? Other than that it’s the white thing to do — other than that, give me another reason.” Excerpts from the Buzzfeed audio are here and some of his Tweets are here. Glassman built a revolutionary fitness experience in part by stirring controversy. We have written before about his take on the Coronavirus in this YouTube video in which he downplays the severity of the pandemic, saying that pre-existing conditions kill people, not COVID-19. Despite enjoying a strong and impassioned group of devotees, not even Glassman could survive the Floyd comments. Shortly after the publication of the Buzzfeed story, Glassman resigned from the company he founded, although the company called it a retirement in the official announcement that generated hundreds of comments supporting Glassman. Others, like 2-time CrossFit Games champion Katrin Davidsdottir, called it an empty move because Glassman still owns 100% of the company. All of the controversy has caused partners like Reebok and Rogue to move away from CrossFit. It also moved the Boston Globe to publish this story entitled “Will CrossFit Survive?

Minute 4: Gear locker

It appears that Father’s Day promotions are starting early this year. Runner’s World just served up The Best Father’s Day Gifts for Dads Who Run and JackRabbit offers its own Father’s Day Sale. Gone for a Run has its own fun gift ideas for the running dad in your life. We have combed through our own products guides to compile this list of the 6 most popular pieces of running gear among our readers. (OK, the job bra probably isn’t for dad, but it has been a very popular link.) And if you really love your dad, then you wouldn’t want him to be the only guy on his Sunday group run without an official Six Minute Mile t-shirt. These striking black shirts have been proven in the laboratory to be slimming, VO2 max enhancing and devilishly stylish. Pair our t-shirt with dad jeans for the look that says: Yeah, I live in the burbs, but I still got a little game. Check ‘em out here.


Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • We just found a good read on a health measurement that we’ve always found to be troublesome: Body Mass Index. If you follow popular charts comparing height to weight, some of the most fit people we know are labeled overweight. This new piece in CNET explains the science behind why body fat percentage is a much better indicator of fitness than BMI: “Body Mass Index vs. Body Fat Percentage: Only One of Them Actually Matters.” 

  • This week marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of Gabe Grunewald, an All American collegiate track star and marathoner. She fought a remarkable battle  with cancer but succumbed to a rare form of the disease after 10 years and multiple surgeries. She had struck up an unlikely friendship with the TV host of “Fixer Upper” during a run in Central Park. Gaines penned an excellent account of their amateur athlete/coach relationship in the Player’s Tribune entitled “Brave Like Gabe.”

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was a business and personal improvement phenomenon after its original publication in 1989, selling more than 25 million copies. This week, Canadian Running released their version of the story with “6 Habits of Highly Effective Runners.” We like Habit #5: Take naps. When was the last time you regretted taking a nap?

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

There are plenty of downsides to the CrossFit movement: injuries, tone-deaf founder, egos… One story most definitely does not belong in that category is about CrossFit trainer Zach Ruhl. Despite being born with no thigh bones and eventually having double amputations, Ruhl has established a remarkable fitness practice and life. He played football in high school and has competed in CrossFit events. Classes in his gym are free for adaptive athletes. The video below gives more of his story and showcases his remarkable wheelchair pull-ups and push-ups.


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