Minute 1: Gym re-openings & re-closings
Re-opening gyms has proven to more challenging than the toughest CrossFit WOD. Or maybe a boxing workout is a better analogy, given how contentious the sparring has become between gym owners and health regulators. In Michigan, gym owners successfully sued the governor after she refused to re-open gyms in the populous southern half of the state, only to see a federal appeals court overturn their initial courtroom victory. That left gym owners furious and some Gold’s and Crunch locations re-opened anyway, risking criminal penalties. New York gym owners are planning to file a class action suit, claiming they were denied due process in the governor’s decision to delay re-opening. In Texas, the governor allowed gyms to reopen at 25% capacity on May 18 and increased that to 50% capacity in early June. He is under heavy pressure to close those gyms with the state experiencing a big surge in Coronavirus cases. Arizona, another aggressive re-opening state, just reversed course and ordered all gyms in the state to close again. Philadelphia was scheduled to re-open gyms this week, but hit pause for another month. Across the world, gym owners are pointing to a study in Norway they say proves re-opening gyms with precautions is safe. CNET just published this story if you are considering a trip back to the gym: “How To Protect Against Coronavirus When Working Out.” Meanwhile, other gyms are getting creative and moving their operations outdoors. #LegalGymnastics
Minute 2: Winners and losers
If misery loves company, gym owners and race directors must be fast friends these days. Perhaps the only thing harder to find than an open gym is a fall marathon. Runner’s World has assembled a sad list of the major events that have been canceled around the world. Even their list from just last week is missing new cancellations like Flying Pig and the Ogden Marathon. Millions of dollars in local revenue and charitable cancellations have disappeared like Kipchoge flying off the start line. Peer to Peer, the trade group for charitable events like the Susan G. Komen events, produced their own list of how the pandemic has affected charity runs, walks and rides. Amidst lost donations and falling stock prices (Planet Fitness is down 30%), some fitness industry winners have emerged. Peloton’s stock price has tripled during the pandemic as former gym-goers are now investing in home workouts. The company is now worth $17 billion. Even Lululemon is giving people new reasons to wear their $130 leggings. The company just announced it paid $500 million to acquire Mirror, a start-up that sells a $1,500 video screen displaying workouts to do at home. Word is that Lululemon is coming directly after Peloton with this move. This new generation of fitness businesses tracks the evolution from “quantified self” technology to workout content engagement. Back in 2013, Map My Fitness was sold to Under Armour for $150 million in a move that ultimately failed to transform UA from an apparel company to a digital fitness company. In a similar vein, FitBit was worth more than $10 billion in 2015, but has since seen its stock price fall more than 80%. Tracking is kinda cool, fitness enthusiasts seem to have said, but now give me something interesting to measure. #AllAboutTheBenjamins
Minute 3: Training table news
Could 100 million moms and 3 million farmers in America be wrong? Vegetables are good for you. While we appreciate animal protein, we find ourselves seeking more veggies on our plates. If you’re worried (like us) that you may not be following mom’s advice, you may appreciate this new story: “9 Warning Signs You’re Not Eating Enough Vegetables.” Those indicators include a tendency to cramp up and even being in a foul mood. Coincidentally, Women’s Running just published a piece this week entitled “How Your Food Affects Your Mood.” Bad mood foods include starchy, heavily-processed or artificially-enhanced items. Good mood foods include, yup, veggies. Particularly those high in anti-oxidants. These guides to better nutrition are particularly helpful in a time of quarantine. According to a recent study published in Forbes, different demographic groups have reacted to the pandemic differently at the dinner table. Parents who have children under 18 at home were the most likely to exhibit bad food habits during their lock-down time. Full details arehere.
Minute 4th of July: Sales for outdoor athletes
The only thing that screams “America” more than celebrating the 4th of July is feeding the beast of American ecommerce. Since you’re probably not doing your local Firecracker 5K this weekend, maybe you want to invest those race entry fees into an excellent holiday sale opportunity instead. We like this list compiled by Insider of the11 Best 4th of July Sales on Outdoor Gear. For running-specific gear, our friends atJackRabbithave some of the best deals in e-town. And while you have your credit card out, you may want to check out the Six Minute Mile list ofOur Favorite Trail Running Productsthat include some stylish and functional facemask buffs. For those who want to mix some history with their commerce, the complete text of the Declaration of Independence ishere.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Celebrity trainer Devon Levesque won’t let the cancellation of the TCS NYC Marathon stop his animalistic quest for charity. We have written before about his plan to cover 26.2 miles in a bear crawl rather than on 2 feet. Even though he can’t do it on the official course now, he is determined to complete the challenge anyway. An insightful story in Esquire describes how his dad’s suicide drew him to promote FitOps, a charity that promotes mental health for veterans through exercise.
We were intrigued by this blog post promoting a theory that 2021 will see an unprecedented number of marathon PRs by amateur runners. No one will be recovering from a tough 2020 marathon schedule next year, so legs will be their freshest in years. In addition, motivation will be at an all-time high as runners will be pumped to be back in a real race.
We are big fans of runs and workouts without music or podcasts jammed in our ears. The rest of our day overloads our brain with media, so we enjoy the time to explore the space in our own heads. We suppose that makes us members of what one author calls “The Silent Cult of People Who Run Without Music.” We also realize that puts us in a minority of athletes, so the majority of our readers are likely to appreciate a new piece released this week: “The Best Way to Carry Your Phone for Every Type of Runner.”
Several of you called us out on our clumsy analogy in last week’s issue comparing the cancellation of fall marathons with a death in the family. Mea culpa. In the midst of a pandemic, we should have chosen our words more wisely. The only thing we regret more than a screw-up is not being called out on it. Please feel free to hit reply on our emails any time to let us know about our strikes and gutter balls. It makes us better enhances dialogue in an uncertain time.
Speaking of our loyal readers, last week we asked for a favor and you delivered by moving SMM from your Gmail Promotions tab to the main inbox in droves. We had promised a sweet Six Minute Mile t-shirt for two lucky folks who sent us screenshots of their dragging and dropping. Congrats to Tammy from New Jersey and Mike from Illinois on their Ws and the newfound ability to look like the coolest kids on their street. Because that was so much fun, we are repeating the promotion for Six Minute Mile water bottles (not sold in stores!!!). Anyone who sends us a screen shot of SMM looking lonely in their Promotions tab will be eligible to win. To recap, if Six Minute Mile has been landing in your Promotions tab rather than in your Primary inbox, please just drag and drop this email into your Primary tab. Once you do that, Gmail may ask you whether you’d like to filter future messages into the inbox. If so, please click yes. That’s it. Improved deliverability and Zenlike wisdom for all eternity. Don’t forget to email us your preferred size along with your screenshot. New winners announced next week.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
What's the next big (virtual) race you're training for? A half marathon? Maybe a full 26.2? How about three 200+ mile races through the mountains over the span of 10 weeks? The Triple Crown of 200s consists of the Bigfoot 200, Tahoe 200, and Moab 240, three of the most scenic and challenging races in the world. The video below highlights Mike McKnight's 646-mile, 204-hour quest to the title of Triple Crown of 200's champion. What's even crazier is that McKnight, an event and sponsor manager for Altra Running, "broke his back in 2012 and was told by doctors he would be unable to run competitively again."