Minute 1: What do our readers think of carbon-plated super shoes?
Another weekend. Another new list of records and PRs while wearing carbon-plated running shoes. In Chandler, Arizona, last Sunday, American men set a new standard with 7 athletes finishing sub-2:10 in the Marathon Project. The previous record was 4 men hitting that mark in a single race. The winner, Martin Hehir, wore a pair of Adizero Adios Pros as he crossed the line in 2:08:59, lowering his PR by more than 2 minutes. On the women’s side, Sara Hall wore the ASICS version of a carbon-plated shoe to win the women’s race in 2:20:32, a PR for her and the second fastest American time in history. Only Deena Kastor’s 2:19:36 sits atop Hall’s performance in the record book. So what do our readers think of this new generation of running shoes? Are they fair play or should penalty flags be thrown? We had a great response to our recent reader survey question asking: How should the Olympics handle “Super Shoes?” Here is what you said:
66% -- Allow them. These shoes progress the sport and propel the capabilities of humans.
22% -- Ban them. The tech in these shoes taints our sport and dishonors past records.
12% -- Modify them. Take the carbon plates out and/or reduce the cushioning.
Minute 2: A rash of ailments
When we see a runner reaching inside their shorts, two things come to mind. 1. They may be preparing for a clothes-optional 5K, as chronicled by the NYT this summer. Or 2. They may simply be suffering from one of the most annoying running ailments known to the sport -- chafing. Since we subscribe to the theory of Occum’s Razor, we’re going with the second explanation. Avnture.com, a new UK publication, just described the dreaded “runners rash” in this story: “How to avoid chafing when running and hiking: lubrication, prevention and more.” As the story points out, “friction + repetition + moisture = pain. Intense pain.” According to the site, one male runner’s nipples were so chafed that he stopped at a farm and used the barbed wire on a fence to cut holes into his shirt just to get some relief. For more helpful tips, check out “How to Prevent Chafing While Walking or Running” or “Managing Chafing: Prevention and Treatment.” If you want something more sophisticated than old fashioned Vaseline, check out Body Glide or SportShield. #RashDecisions
Minute 3: How running can help you survive the holiday season
Christmas is a festive season, but it can also be stressful, with meals to prepare, cookies to bake, gifts to wrap, and political arguments with family members to be held. As athletes, how should we get through it? WorldAthletics.org has some helpful advice with “Five ways to use running to survive the festive season.” It recommends going on an early-morning run. “Enjoying some quiet time to yourself by running in early morning light, before the day gets going, sets you up nicely for the day ahead.” It also suggests entering a race to provide motivation. For some suggestions, check out these “December Marathons in the USA” or the well-regarded A1A Marathon on February 14, 2021, in Ft. Lauderdale. They are planning an in-person event and registration is still open -- an excellent opportunity for healthcare workers who have already received their vaccinations. By the way, if you want to know how overworked and stressed out hospital workers at the Boston Medical Center reacted to the first shipment of vaccines, check out their viral street dance video. The dude in the blue suit actually has some moves. #GoodViralSpread
Minute 4: The ‘best workout’ for treadmill season
Geoffrey Kamworor loves running outdoors. The Kenyan star is the 3-time world half marathon champion, has won the New York City Marathon twice, and is the world cross-country gold medalist. Kamworor, however, was recently forced to train inside on a treadmill during the pandemic, and then again after being hit by a motorcycle and suffering a fractured leg. But switching to a treadmill is no big deal for the world champion. In fact, he has some good advice in “Geoffrey Kamworor’s seven treadmill training tips.” Although we got past the winter solstice this week and daylight hours are now growing, runners are still facing many miles on the treadmill before spring. In addition to Geoffrey’s advice, we like this piece from Training Peaks: “Three Fun and Effective Treadmill Workouts,” including a hill workout, a 5K treadmill game, and a distance medley workout. For more winter treadmill tips, check out “7 Treadmill Workouts That’ll Make You a Better Runner” or “7 Boredom Busting Treadmill Workouts.” Of course to fend off the monotony of a treadmill session, we recommend tuning into one of our Six Minute Mile podcasts for entertainment. Listeners have particularly enjoyed our recent discussions with Courtney Dauwalter and Deena Kastor. #NotALaundryRack
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Peloton stock hit a record high this week, valuing the company at nearly $50 billion. The stock spiked on news that it had acquired Precor, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of commercial gym equipment. While Precor’s gear is nowhere near as trendy as Peloton’s, the $420 million deal will dramatically expand Peloton’s manufacturing capabilities and presence inside gyms. The news overshadowed Nike hitting an all-time stock high after a better-than-expected quarter that capitalized on pandemic-weary folks exercising at home.
Terry Collier is a long-time marathon runner and executive race director at the Las Vegas Marathon and the Los Angeles Marathon. But Collier’s mind has not been as focused on running the past 2 years, while he’s waited for a heart transplant. He entered the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida. for the procedure in February, and then the pandemic hit, forcing him to wait in the hospital for another 180 days. After finally receiving his new heart recently, Collier said “It was worth it, because I’m sitting here today.” Now he is hoping to go the distance again by running the Grand Canyon Marathon, an event he completed many years ago. “I ran the Grand Canyon when I was 40 years old and my goal is to run it again, and that’s my goal by the end of 2021,” he said. Check out Collier’s inspiring story here.
While holiday celebrations will be different in this pandemic year, many folks will still be traveling for family gatherings. That means hours sitting on planes or in automobiles, which can lead to stiff joints and tight, sore muscles. You may appreciate this advice: “4 Expert-Approved Stretches to Combat Stiffness on Your Next Road Trip.” “Muscles get tight thanks to prolonged time sitting, so whether you’re behind a desk, in a car, or on an airplane, taking regular movement breaks can keep you feeling fresh in both body and mind,” says Yoga instructor and Director of Education for YogaSix Kelly Turner.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Tuskegee Airman Mal Whitfield took an unusual path to winning a gold medal in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics. “Marvelous Mal” was an active duty tailgunner during the height of the Korean War. He trained for the Olympics on a military airstrip between his bombing missions. His legacy inspired several branches of the military to create special duty assignments for world class athletes. These programs have produced some remarkable successes, including 4 Army athletes who participated in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Paul Chelimo was a member of that group who took home silver for the U.S. in the 5,000 meters. This holiday season, more than 160,000 U.S. military personnel are stationed overseas. Many more are stationed domestically, but nonetheless separated from their families. As a tribute to their service, we are sharing the video below of military personnel who surprised their families by coming home for Christmas unannounced. We recommend grabbing a box of Kleenex and thanking a veteran for their service.