How Navy SEALs nap

NOV 12, 2022


Minute 1: Try this Navy SEAL napping technique

“You don’t have to like it, you just have to do it.” That truism appears on this list of “Best Navy SEAL Sayings” and is one of those quotes that can get us out the door on days when we’re just not feeling it. But in addition to a hardo ethos among elite military service teams, there’s another SEAL behavior that’s crucial to their success that’s often overlooked: “Can napping like a Navy Seal (for eight minutes) give you superpowers?” The idea comes from retired Navy officer, author, and podcaster Jocko Willink, and he says that an 8-minute nap is all you need to energize the rest of your day. The twist, he says, is that you’ve got to elevate your legs above your head to promote blood flow. Grab a pillow or yoga mat and lie down with your legs raised on a chair or sofa to see just how effective this method can be. We should also mention a few of the tips in “How to power nap like a pro.” One of the most important factors in healthy napping is your timing. Nap too early and you’ll be wasting productive hours, but pushing it too late could end up disrupting your regular sleep schedule. Experts suggest some time after lunch, but not later than about 3pm to minimize these concerns.

#SEALTeamSleep


Minute 2: These are the do’s and don’ts of a healthy Thanksgiving meal

Step aside fall marathon weekends, the season champ in America is Thanksgiving Day, when more runners jump into a race than any other day of the year. According to this story in the NYT, more than 1,000,000 Americans celebrate the Pilgrims and Wampanoags every year by lacing ‘em up: “How Turkey Trots Became a Thanksgiving Tradition.” If you’re anything like us, the real reward is not the finisher medal, but the big plate of turkey and fixings when you get home. It’s important to remember, not all classic Thanksgiving dishes are equal, nutritionally speaking, and if you want help deciding which ones to load up on, and which to take it easy, you should read “The Best (and Worst) Thanksgiving Foods for Your Health.” We’re happy to report that turkey itself is a pretty good choice. In fact, it’s one of the healthiest sources of animal protein, according to “From fish to bacon, a ranking of animal proteins in order of healthfulness.” Another classic to try out is sauteed brussel sprouts. They’re packed with fiber, vitamins C, K, and A. Now onto the bad news. Don’t stuff your plate with too much stuffing, especially if bacon, sausage, or other meats have been added, because this dish tops the list when it comes to calories per serving. Similarly, sweetened pies like pecan are calorically dense too, and it’s a good idea to balance them out with some fruit-filled options like apple pie. For anyone who’s working around certain dietary restrictions, you’re sure to find something great to bake on this list of “19 Holiday Side Dishes for Almost Any Dietary Restriction.” #TheRightStuffing


Minute 3: The Power Hour is an extreme workout that can bring extreme results

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits of low intensity training, as you can see in Minute 2 of this issue. Most pro endurance athletes seem to agree: the vast majority of training should be done at a gentle pace to develop aerobic capacity without putting too much strain on the body. That’s not to say, however, that you should never push yourself to the limit in training. For those who aren’t racing frequently, a full intensity workout can take you to the next level of fitness. One such workout is described in this new story from Trail Runner: “The Power Hour: Your Ultimate Race Prep Workout.” Start with about 20 minutes of warm-up jogging and strides to get your aerobic system ready. Then, the next hour will be a kind of race simulation. Run on the same terrain as you would on your next race day, starting moderate and ending hard. By the time you’re finishing the hour, you should be at your goal race pace or even faster. Finally, wrap up with 10 to 20 minutes of cooldown. The power hour is about developing mechanical resilience that goes beyond the demands of your race. You may be wondering, how often should I perform a Power Hour? Coaches have different recommendations regarding how often you should train at race pace. Some say that once every 4-6 weeks is plenty. Depending on your goals and skill level, increased frequency can be beneficial, according to “How Often Should You Train at Race Pace?

#RacePaceYourself


Minute 4: Who should be wearing stability shoes?

Our resident shoe expert, Brian Metzler, weighs in this week with a review of the Mizuno Wave Rider 26. As we told Brian recently, we ran in an old version of the Wave Rider many years ago and did not enjoy the firm ride. This is not that shoe, however, as Brian describes the improvements Mizuno has made to the Wave Rider. The excerpts below will give you a feel for the shoe’s evolution, but if you want all the pluses and minuses, please click to see the full review on our website.

The Mizuno Wave Rider is a versatile neutral training shoe that has transcended generations of runners, but it’s also evolved considerably over the past several years. The new Wave Rider 26 is just as much of an everyday trainer workhorse as its predecessors, but it brings more cushiness and comfort and a softer, smoother ride. It maintains its more traditional geometry — i.e. the 12mm heel/toe offset — but smart refinements and new materials have given it a modern vibe. Mizuno hasn’t been one of the most visible brands in recent years, but no matter if you ran in a version of the Wave Rider back in the day or if you’ve never heard of the Wave Rider, it’s capable of being a do-everything pleaser for a wide range of runners.

What’s New: As the Wave Rider has evolved through the years, especially in recent editions, it has gotten softer, more responsive and more comfortable. The 26th edition has been boosted by 2mm more of lively Enerzy midsole foam from heel to toe, adding to the cushy feel and modestly propulsive ride it had last year. There’s also a slimmer Wave plate that’s positioned slightly further forward to add a more energetic sensation, and a softer, thinner, more pliable jacquard upper that helps create a secure fit.

Why It’s Great: The Wave Rider is great because it’s so versatile and durable. It’s a shoe that’s capable of doing anything you ask it to with very good results. It’s cushy and supportive enough to handle moderately long runs. It’s light, agile and springy enough for speed work. It’s comfy and relaxed enough for recovery runs. And it’s durable enough for most runners to rack up 400+ miles in it. What else do you need in a shoe? For an all-around shoe that could be the only shoe in your quiver. Sure, it’s not as cushy as your max-cushioned trainers and not as fast as some more lively training shoes, but for the money (and its $140 price tag) it’s actually a bargain compared to some shoes that are $20 to $40 pricier.

For the complete rundown on the Mizuno Wave Rider 26, check out Brian’s full review here.

#EasyRider


Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • You don’t have to be gasping for air at the end of every exercise session to see results, and in fact going for a daily walk is enough to lower your risk of heart disease by 10% to 40%. What’s the key to getting more out of your walk? Go faster for shorter distances, according to: “Short Brisk Walks Instead of Long Strolls May Cut Risk of Heart Disease, Says Key Study of 88,000.”

  • When we hear about a coach who has trained the likes of Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, and Hugh Jackman, we know we’re dealing with a real pro. If their methods are good enough to get these celebs ready for the camera, they’ll certainly do it for our purposes. Don Saladino spoke with MindBodyGreen and offered up: “3 Tips To Maintain Muscle Mass As You Age, From A Celebrity Fitness Coach.”

  • The more scientists look into the brain and our nervous systems, the more we realize we’ve only scratched the surface of what there is to understand. That’s exciting news for anyone who’s struggled with nerve damage, because it means there are treatment methods still out there to be uncovered. One such discovery was made more or less by accident, when Jim Harris experienced a breakthrough recovery 8 months after sustaining an injury that left his legs paralyzed. He took psilocybin mushrooms, and almost immediately regained some movement. Researchers have been looking into this compound’s effect on neuroplasticity ever since. See the details of his story in “Jim Harris Was Paralyzed. Then He Ate Magic Mushrooms.” You can also read Minute 4 of this issue if you’re curious about the use of mushrooms to treat depression and anxiety.


Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

We showed you how to nap like a Navy SEAL, now it’s time to see if you can train like one. For that, there’s the BUD/S Physical Screening Test. To meet the standard, you’ll have to swim 500 yards in 12.5 minutes, run 1.5 miles in 10.5 minutes, do 50 pushups in 2 minutes, 50 curl ups in 2 minutes, and 10 chin ups in 2 minutes. Suffice to say, you’ll need a serious combination of speed, strength, and endurance to complete the test, making this a great way to test your overall athletic ability. If you want to see potential SEALs in action running this gauntlet, check out the link below.