AUG 27, 2022
Editor’s Note: OK boomers, listen up. Our senior editors are on vacation this week, so they turned this issue over to us – the summer interns – before we head back to college. To our editors, we hope your vacation is lit. Please don’t fire us if we mess up the vibes here. To our readers, you may need to consult the Urban Dictionary or the nearest available Gen Z’er to grasp the subtleties of our vocab choices.
Minute 1: Here are the deets on heart rate training zones
In Minute 3 of this past issue, we featured an article from Polar with an interactive scale to determine your maximum heart rate. We’ll take a moment to flex, since ours were all in the dope zone, as you might expect. Give it a try yourself, but once you know where you stand, stay tuned. There’s still a lot of ground to cover on heart rate training zones. For that, we’ll read the next 2 articles in Polar’s series. Let’s dive into “Basic Endurance Training | Heart Rate Zones 1-3.” Zone 1 is about 55% of your max HR, 2 is 65%, and 3 is 75%. Those are all pretty low intensity, but they’re lowkey the most important part of training for an endurance athlete. That’s because it'll develop your aerobic capacity. This lets your body make energy on the go by burning fats and carbohydrates, and that’s essential to maintaining a fast pace over long distances. Low intensity zones let you log tons of miles every week while still giving your body the ability to recover, since they’re far less taxing than Zones 4 & 5. When are these upper zones useful? Read “Tempo Training | Heart Rate Zones 4 & 5” to find out. Tempo training enters the anaerobic zone. Carbs and ATP provide the rapid source of energy needed to keep up with your speed, but you’ll produce lactic acid as a result. That’s what causes a burning sensation in your muscles. The good news is, spending time in these zones trains your body’s ability to clear lactic acid more efficiently. If you remember from last issue, that’s what we call a high lactate threshold, and you’ll need one of those if you wanna catch a dub in your next 5K or 10K.
Minute 2: Chronic Inflammation ain’t it, chief
As an endurance athlete, you’re bound to be sore AF at some point during training. Some level of soreness is to be expected, and it’s just part of the process you’ll need to accept if you want to slay races. There are some pains, however, that are unnecessary, and they’re often caused by chronic inflammation. Living with inflammation is not the move, so you should read “5 Ways Reducing Inflammation Can Make You a Better Athlete” to learn how to fix it. Having inflammation doesn’t just make you feel bad; it can disrupt your athletic efficiency too. Inflammation in your joints reduces range of motion, and potentially disrupts the nerves that control your muscles. To make matters worse, your body will have to divert resources to control inflammation that would be otherwise used to maintain normal cell function and recovery. Big yikes. What can you do about it? Well, diet and sleep habits are two of the biggest contributors to inflammation levels. Here’s a list of “Foods that fight inflammation” that are absolutely bussin’, straight from the folks at Harvard so you know it’s not cheugy. To learn whether proper sleep can help, read “Is there a Connection between Sleep and Inflammation?” How much sleep you need varies by individual. We know that healthy, restorative sleep comes from consistency in your schedule, so don’t make the same mistake we do by binging TikTok late into the night. We know, it's cringe. #HateTheAches
Minute 3: Shoe review – Brooks Launch 9 ($110)
It’s simple fax that the boss is boys with Brian Metzler, a verified shoe dawg. He’s great and all, but sometimes when he’s pimping $250 kicks, it can seem a little bougie. That’s why this week we are fired up to spill the tea on a pair that won’t cost you mad guap. The new Brooks Launch 9 is not basic – striking the right balance between drippy and Gucci. Brian hits the highlights below, but if you want all the pluses and minuses, please click here to see the full review on our website. Here is our kemosabe Brian’s take: Is it possible for a shoe with a $110 price tag to be a legitimate training shoe at a time when most competitors are in the $150-$180 range and modern racing shoes typically cost $250? Yes, it is, if we’re talking about the Brooks Launch 9. This humble but effective model will do everything you ask of it, including training you up for your next marathon. Does it compare with premium training shoes with higher price tags? Of course not, but it’s more versatile than a lot of those pricier shoes. The key to appreciating this shoe is understanding what it offers compared to other low-priced shoes. From that perspective, it’s really great. With a bit more foam in the midsole, a new outsole rubber and the same utilitarian qualities and affordable price tag any runner could love, the Launch remains a good choice for budget-minded runners or anyone interested in adding another versatile shoe to their quiver. (There’s also a stability version of this shoe called the Brooks Launch 9 GTS that offers a lot of the same versatility for runners who want a little more support.) What’s New: There’s more BioMoGo DNA foam in the midsole (2mm higher stack height) than previous editions that provides a softer and slightly cushier ride. There’s a new outsole rubber made with silica, which isn’t a huge feature but it makes it slightly better from a sustainability point of view. Version 9 also gets a thin creel mesh upper, which gives it a more snug and connective fit than previous editions of this shoe. Why It’s Great: We like the Launch because it does so much for such an affordable price. It’s cushy enough for long runs but it’s got enough energetic pop to tackle tempo runs, long intervals and fartlek workouts. In other words, it’s great because it’s versatile enough to be an everyday trainer. It’s a bit of a throwback because it has a higher heel-toe offset and it doesn’t have a modern, hyper-energetic foam or a super cozy interior, but for what it is, it’s pretty darn good. For more on the salty and the sick about the Brooks Launch 9, check out Brian’s full review here. You can shop the Brooks Launch 9 here.
Minute 4: Here are the best ways to get ginger in your diet
Who knew ripping shots could be healthy for you? Shots from the juice bar, we mean. If you’ve been living on the Outer Banks or something, we have the 411 on a growing trend in the healthy beverage world – high concentration of superfood ingredients thrown into a shot glass and waterfalled for a quick burst of nutrition and energy. Ginger shots are among the most common options, which has us asking “Are ginger shots good for you?” TBH, we could do without the bitter taste, but it’s worth it for the immune system boost. Ginger is believed to have antibacterial properties, in addition to a bunch of antioxidants. These shots are great for relieving indigestion and nausea, and there’s some evidence to suggest they regulate blood sugar levels as well. If shots aren’t your thing, say less. We’ve got 8 alternative sources to check out in “Why You Should Start Your Morning with Ginger.” When combined with fruits in a smoothie, that strong ginger taste becomes a welcome addition of zestiness that’s absolute fire. For example, try this “Mango Ginger Kale Green Smoothie” for a simple but tasty immunity boosting beverage. Last but not least, we’re spilling the tea on ginger tea, so here are the “Top 6 health benefits of ginger tea.”
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Speaking of shots, we’ve got related news you should check out. Alcoholism can be a difficult condition to treat via traditional therapeutic methods, which has researchers looking elsewhere for a cure. One drug they’ve found to be effective? Let’s just say you won't find it at your local CVS: “Psychedelic drug helped people with alcohol use disorder reduce drinking, study shows.” Psilocybin mushrooms taken under the guidance of a therapist were a whopping 30-50% more effective for resolving problematic alcohol use according to the study. Let’s be clear, we’re not advocating the unregulated use of these substances. Believe us when we say, this stuff hits different. Or so our team of *ahem* field researchers tell us. But we are excited by recent developments in this field and hope these plants will be put to good use as we learn more.
Running is a great way to make yourself feel better, but what’s just as good is that it provides an opportunity to lift up those around you, too. As a runner, you’re automatically part of an international community, and the benefits of sharing that experience are powerful, both physically and mentally. If you want to see how spreading good vibes enhances your experience as a runner, read “Here’s how kindness will make you a better runner.”
When we think about the most boring of college lectures, we can probably remember a splitting headache or two thanks to a particularly awful PowerPoint presentation. Well, that’s no coincidence, as it turns out – difficult cognitive tasks can actually produce a physical response. Fatigue, lower blood flow, and reduced heart-rate variability are all common side effects of mental strain, and the cause may be a neurotransmitter called glutamate. Read about it in “Why thinking hard makes us feel tired.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Yeah, we cringe as much as you do when certain posters on the Gram look a little too thirsty with their marathon posts. OTOH, we have mad respect for anyone clocking big PRs with a no cap attitude. Sometimes when you race, the most significant wins are the ones you get over your past self. Beating a competitor is great, but clocking a new PR is perhaps an even stronger indication that you’re having a glow up. @motivated.mrs (aka Janelle) strikes the right tone and strikes a chord with us when she posted two finish line clips of her 1st to 2nd marathons. It’s a main character moment for sure. If you want to learn more about her story, check out the link to her blog for stories about her journey as a runner so far.