Minute 1: Cyber Monday Shopping List for Endurance Athletes
When we weren’t gorging ourselves on turkey and leftovers, we tried to spend most of our weekend outdoors. That was good for our mental health, but it left us a little behind in our support of the consumer retail economy. To make up for skipping Black Friday, we compiled a list of Our Top 8 Cyber Monday Deals for Endurance Athletes. If you have lots of athletes on your list and don’t want to break the bank, you may like the Runner’s World list of 40 Gifts Under $40. REI has compiled an excellent bargain bin of up to 50% off items.
Minute 2: Drink Your Veggies
We love smoothies in the Six Minute Mile kitchen, but we realize that one of the reasons they taste so good is that they are not always very good for you. In fact, a typical fruit smoothie can contain the sugar equivalent of two cans of Coke. At the same time, many of us don’t hit the recommended level of vegetable intake, which should be 3 cups for men and 2.5 cups for women. How about solving both problems in one blender? LIVESTRONG just made our mornings healthier with this list of 5 Luscious Smoothies with More than a Serving of Vegetables. Never thought of adding edamame to our smoothies, but that’s going in tomorrow’s breakfast. Stay tuned for a culinary review.
Minute 3: Barefootin'
Rowers are known to have a high threshold for pain. The sport is a lung-searing, lactic-acid-producing combination of strength and V02 max. Many rowers only manage their time in the hurt locker through the support of their teammates in the shell. Studies have shown that rowers significantly increase their personal peaks when moving in synch on the water with their fellow athletes rather than pulling alone on an erg. One former UK rower just proved that she can tolerate pain of the solo variety. Anna McNuff just completed a 2,352 mile run around England on her own. If that’s not enough proof of her toughness, how about this fun fact? She did the entire run barefoot. Check out pictures of her feet and the crazy details of her accomplishment here.
Minute 4: The New Super Nut
Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead was once asked if becoming a multi-millionaire had spoiled him. He claimed it hadn’t, with one exception: eating pistachios. “The hard to open ones, I don’t bother with them anymore.” Well, according to Women’s Health, Bobby was on the right track with his love for the green nuts. Pistachios are now on their way to becoming the new almond of the nut aisle. They are high in protein, fiber and even antioxidants. Plus, because of the small challenge in cracking them open, it is hard to overindulge in pistachios.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
If you’re intrigued by CrossFit, but heaving heavy barbells overhead kinda freaks you out, you may like this list of the Top 10 Hardest CrossFit Bodyweight Workouts. Each of these will increase your endurance and build overall strength without a kettle bell or weight machine in sight.
Strength training tailored to gender has progressed well beyond high school gym teachers explaining the difference between “girl push-ups” and “boy push-ups.” Triathlete magazine just weighed in with Why Men and Women Shouldn’t Follow the Same Strength Plan. It’s a quick read, but covers a lot of ground including why women may be more susceptible to ACL tears and how to synch muscle-building to menstrual cycles.
One of the simplest and most productive gym exercises for endurance athletes is the basic squat. It is also one of the easiest to mess up and even cause injury. Outside magazine stated it bluntly last week, “Outdoor athletes suck at squatting.” Along with their criticism, however, they also offered a solution: How to Squat Properly.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Even our hardest-working running and cycling friends tend to get a little lazy about hitting the weight room. The same folks who never blow off a long Sunday outing on the roads seem to find good excuses to procrastinate a sessions of squats and leg extensions. After all, our legs are already getting plenty of work, right? Not exactly. The benefits of lifting include injury prevention and performance enhancement. Even when we do make it to the gym, we often make the mistake of “lifting light,” cranking out too many reps with too little weight. That’s basically just replicating an endurance workout instead of building strength. A good overview of typical mistakes is here. If you are looking for a simple and productive leg workout, we like This Leg Day Circuit Will Crush Your Quads from Bicycling magazine. A video overview of the four moves from someone who is almost as ripped as we are is below.