Minute 1: There’s no crying in baseball — but there is in running
It’s almost baseball season and there is one truism worth repeating: “There’s No Crying in Baseball!” Tom Hanks’ tirade in “A League of Their Own” has made it universally unacceptable to cry in baseball, softball or perhaps most sports. It is OK, however, in the sport of running, according to a provocative new essay in TrailRunningMag.com called “The Training Benefits of Crying.” Running coach David Roche writes that runners share a 3-bedroom suite with “joy, sadness, boredom all shacked up together.” Roche says it’s not only OK for runners to cry, but it can be healthy to do so. “There’s no crying in baseball, but I promise you — there is in trail running.” Roche was inspired to write his article by a runner who broke into sobs when his 8-mile run turned into a 4-mile walk, making him ask, “What is wrong with me?” Nothing, Roche says. In “9 Ways Crying May Benefit Your Health,” Healthline.com points out that a good cry detoxifies the body, dulls pain, improves your mood and helps restore emotional balance. Shape.com explained in 2019 “Why You Probably Cry When You Run,” while WellAndGood says “Crying during a workout is totally normal.” Sobbing is wonderful core work, while hyperventilating reduces arterial oxygen levels, boosting red blood cells. It is also good for your mental health and social life, he says, because it shows you are human. If you’re a Tom Hanks disciple and you need more proof that there’s room for crying in sports, check out the “6 Benefits of Crying” or WebMD on why “Crying is Good for You.” #TheCryingGame
Minute 2: Survey results are in: comfort is king
Last weekend we asked you to rank the most influential factors when it comes to selecting running shoes. Perhaps unsurprisingly, 77% of respondents to our survey ranked comfort in the top two. Despite the trend in carbon plated shoes, like in the Saucony Endorphin Pro, “latest tech” brought up the rear, ranking near bottom for 63% of responders. When it comes to brands, Brooks outpaced the competition. It’s hard to argue with that, especially with the Ghost 13 and the Adrenaline GTS 21 on the shelves. Here’s how our readers ranked their favorite running shoe brands:
Hoka One One: 12.56%
New Balance: 9.51%
You’ll notice ‘other’ ranked quite high on the list. A shout out to our readers who rapped our knuckles for leaving out Mizuno. We had a pair of Wave Riders years ago that we really liked. We will include Mizuno for sure on our next survey. #ShoeScores
Minute 3: Need extra motivation? Try a fitness audio app
Hiring a personal coach can feel a little narcissistic or may just plain hardo for many runners. It can also be expensive, costing more per month than most high-end gym memberships. If the personal coach doesnt’ fit your style or budget, you may want to try a fitness app with an audio coach or audio running sessions. Many of the best online personal trainer and fitness apps have audio sections that work just like personal trainers, helping you improve your pacing, form and running technique. Sarah Finley of FitAndWell.com explains “How fitness audio apps made me a better runner.” Finley says she had gotten into a lull and was really struggling with running until she tried an audio app. “I instantly knew they were the motivation I needed. It felt like I was running with a PT next to me, encouraging me to change pace, address my form and keep running through the harder sections,” Finley writes. Audio apps not only improve pacing and form, but also serve as motivators and cheerleaders. “A virtual coach is a great way of always having someone on hand to hold you accountable for a workout, knowing that no matter your mood, you can pick an outdoor run and, alongside having fun with the instructor you choose, you will also grow as a runner,” says Peloton app instructor Becs Gentry. Other health and fitness experts have also endorsed audio workouts and audio fitness programs. WellAndGood.com says “Audio-Only Workout Apps Are Going to Transform Your Fitness Routine for the Better,” while ShapeScale.com offers “9 Running Apps with Audio Coaching for Extra Motivation.” #RunningApps
Minute 4: Go ahead and have that late-night snack
Remember when your mom used to warn about eating before bed and how that bag of chips or bowl of ice cream would make you look like Ben Stiller doing his Milkshake dance at the end of Dodgeball? We’ve been warned for years that eating before bedtime is bad for your health and can lead to big weight gains. But if you enjoy a late-night snack, there’s good news -- recent research shows that eating protein before bed does not lead to weight gain and can actually boost your running and athletic performance. Sports nutrition expert Sarah Schlichter explains how in “Why Eating Protein Before Bed May Benefit Your Workout.” Schlichter writes in Women’s Running that “foods don’t suddenly increase in calories after dinner, and your body does use energy while you’re sleeping.” She says eating protein before bed can increase muscle growth and boost your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which burns calories. Schlichter also explains that a pre-sleep snack is a great opportunity to boost protein intake, aiding recovery and reducing injury risks. All About Marathon Training explains why protein is so important in “High Protein Food for Runners,” while Runner’s Blueprint offers “The 19 Best High Protein Snacks.” Runnin’ for Sweets also includes some protein options in “10 Healthy Snacks for Runners.” So while you may want to stay away from White Goodman’s bucket of chicken, a healthy late-night snack may actually be good for you. #ProteinNightcap
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Back in July 2020 Fleet Feet created Together We Move, a podcast about important issues told through the lens of running. The whole series is beautifully produced and well worth a listen. In Honor of Black History Month, we’re re-sharing episode three, Unbraided History, to highlight some important organizations and the work they do to acknowledge history and move toward a brighter, more inclusive future. The episode features a chat with Faith Morris from the National Civil Rights Museum, who emphasizes the great stories told through the museum. It also features Tony Reed, co-founder of the National Black Marathoners Association and historian Gary Corbitt who reflects on his father's legacy and shares how he is preserving the history of the sport.
We documented in our last Six Minute Mile how running in the cold has helped some athletes become better runners. But it’s not for everyone. Running in extreme cold often leads to a burning sensation in your lungs or even small chest pains as your lungs humidify and heat the air entering your body. Cold air often irritates the lungs, causing them to narrow and making it more difficult to breathe. This can be particularly worrisome if you already have respiratory problems and can cause many runners to head back inside and retreat to the treadmill. But some running experts say there’s little reason to worry. Canadian Running Magazine addresses the issue in “Is running in the cold bad for your lungs?” CRM suggests the discomfort in your lungs is “generally not dangerous,” and urges runners not to “give up just yet.” It offers tips on how to protect your lungs, like wearing a scarf or mask and drinking enough water to help your lungs adjust to the cold. For more information, check out these “Tips for Outdoor Exercise in Cold Temperatures” from the American Lung Association.
If you’re a serious runner, you’ve been reminded often about your running economy, a key metric for advanced runners and learning how to measure it can help improve performance. The Wired Runner explains this well in “Running Economy — What It Is And How To Boost Yours.”
Many runners dislike the speed work it takes to run fast. Many folks prefer their daily roadwork, while the idea of a trip to the track fills them with dread and anxiety. Runners’ Connect explains how you can improve your speed without those dreaded sprints in “Hate Speedwork? Get Fast Without It.” If you are into sprints, or looking to try some alternative methods for boosting your speed, it’s important to keep track of your heart rate. RunnerClick has some great tips for how to monitor it in “Is Your Running Heart Rate Too High?”