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How to go further and faster in a group run

DEC 23, 2022

Minute 1: Seven ways to cultivate a happy running mindset

Even if you love running, it’s hard to show it when we’re in the middle of a race. Sometimes, the physical discomfort overcomes our passion, our smiles fade away, and so does our energy. That’s a big problem, according to Coach Joe Vigil, who had an epiphany while watching the Tarahumara folks run the Leadville 100 miler. They were on their way to dominating the competition, but unlike a lot of the other participants, they looked as happy as can be. By embracing the fact that we were born to run, Coach Vigil thinks we will perform our best, and you can do that by following his “Seven Tips for a Perfect Run.” An easygoing mindset requires an easygoing rhythm. Around 92 bpm is a good tempo to try, which happens to match Rock Lobster by the B-52s. You can also sort your Spotify library with this site to find tracks with the right groove. Changing our mental focus can have an impact as well, so try practicing mindfulness and mantras on your next run. Legendary music producer Rick Ruban says he repeats mantras wishing his family well as he runs, and attaching the activity to something bigger than ourselves can connect our runs to a higher purpose. Humans evolved to run and hunt together, which is why “You’ll Go Further And Faster If You Run With A Group.” The 2022 Strava was just released and it shows that the average pace of a group run was 7 seconds per mile faster and 1.3 miles longer than an individual run.

Minute 2: Add these workout videos to your Netflix queue

In the past, Netflix’s “are you still watching” prompt has been a signal that we need to get up and moving. Well, that’s about to be flipped on its head for those who start watching Nike Training Club. That’s right, come December 30th, Netflix will be streaming workout videos produced by Nike, and we can’t think of a better way to get us off the couch and in shape. See the details in “Netflix will start streaming Nike Training Club classes next week.” The videos arrive right in time for new year’s resolutions, so if you aim to do more core workouts, Vinyasa Yoga, HIIT and strength training, you’ll want to tune in. This content is an expansion of the library Nike already offers through their app, so if you want a preview of what to expect, check out this “Nike Training Club Review: Outperforms even the Most Expensive Apps.” Users have been pleased with the quality of the content so far, and it seems like Nike spared no expense when it came to production. You can search videos based on how much equipment you’ve got, what intensity you’re looking for, and what skills you’re trying to develop. You can view them in Nike's app to make use of their workout tracking log, or on Netflix for an easy transition back to TV when you’re done. #NetflixAndDrill

Minute 3: Runners can follow in the footsteps of Lionel Messi

While not strictly considered an endurance sport, the training and performance of soccer players in the World Cup has been a great inspiration for distance runners. We looked at Tyler Adams’ stamina-building routines in Minute 1 of this issue, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg of what there is to learn from these competitors. Argentina came out on top after a historic finals game, and what better place to look for advice than the man who led them to victory: “Here’s what runners can learn from Lionel Messi.” Messi’s professional career dates all the way back to 2004, and throughout his journey, he’s prided himself on showing up early and staying late to train. If you want to develop championship level consistency, listen to the advice in “Dear Coach: How Do I Ensure My Training is Consistent?” It’s been said that “you don’t have to feel good to get started, you just have to get started to feel good.” On the days you feel like taking a break, split your workout into smaller sections and attempt the first part only. You might be surprised at the domino effect of energy you experience that carries you through the rest of your routine. Knowing when to turn up the intensity and when to slow down is important as well. Messi spent nearly 85% of his game time at a walking or slow jogging pace. When it came time to go all out, he had plenty of gas left in the tank. You can mimic this approach in your training with “Interval Training for Runners: Why, How & Techniques to Use!” 200, 400, and 800 meters are common distances to cover during your fast interval, and during your recovery section, you can jog or walk roughly half the distance you previously ran.

Minute 4: Shoe review: UA Flow Velociti Elite ($250)

Our resident shoe expert, Brian Metzler, weighs in this week with a review of the brand new UA Flow Velociti Elite. It’s holiday time and most runners are thinking about 2023 running goals while also managing running amid big meals and tasty desserts. With that forward-thinking mindset, it’s a perfect time to think about one of the best running shoes coming out next spring. I’m talking about Under Armour’s new UA Flow Velociti Elite, which arguably had the most auspicious debut of any shoe since the advent of Nike’s original Zoom Vaporfly Elite in 2017. The excerpts above 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.

At the New York City Marathon last fall, Sharon Lokedi laced up a pair of World Athletics-approved prototypes of the new Under Armour shoes — built with an advanced foam package, a semi-flexible carbon-fiber plate a super-light upper reminiscent of elite-level track spikes — and won the race in her debut at racing 26.2 miles. The Arizona-based Kenyan athlete had been wear-testing prototypes of the shoe for the past year, and her stunning performance says as much about how the shoe performed on race day as it did about her training buildup and recovery in the months before the race.

OK, truth be told, UA was late to the game with advanced racing shoes — five years later than Nike and two or three years later than most other brands — but some of that tardiness was at least partly because of the manufacturing slow-downs tied to the pandemic and ensuing supply chain shortages. In 2021, in advance of the U.S. Olympic Trials track championships in Eugene, Oregon, the brand gracefully allowed the athletes it sponsored to break or suspend their contracts in order to run in high-performance super shoes from other brands. UA was already fast at work on the Flow Velociti Elite long-distance racing shoes and its Shakedown Elite track spikes ($150), but they just weren’t ready at that point.

Fast forward to the fall 2022 and, well, better late than never! Based on initial results and wear-testing, Under Armour knocked it out of the park with each of those shoes and, from a racing performance point of view, that should become even more evident in 2023 as both become available on a global basis. (As per World Athletics regulations, each of the shoes were sold in small quantities for a brief period last June.)

Why It’s Great: The biggest difference-maker in the Flow Velociti Elite is that the plate embedded in the midsole is semi-flexible — in other words, it doesn’t have the hard, rigid feeling that so many of the other marathon racing shoes have — as well as the shallower stack height of the midsole, a moderate forefoot rocker shape and a foam (and not rubber) outsole. That all combines to help this shoe feel light, fast, snappy and smooth, but decidedly less like a sharp racing blade and much more accommodating for a wider range of foot shapes, stride patterns and paces.

For the complete rundown on the new Flow Velociti Elite, check out Brian’s full review here.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • If you’re looking for a healthier and tastier way to cook, then an air fryer should be top of your holiday wishlist. In addition to cooking food with less oil and calories, they’re more energy efficient than a typical oven. They’re not just for fried food like chicken wings and potato fries, because they can add a ton of flavor and texture to your veggies as well. If you’ve just received one for the first time, or already have one and are looking for some ideas to try out, read these “Four healthy air fryer recipes for winter.”

  • Runners can start to feel a little stuck in the winter, especially if most of your training has been moved onto the treadmill. If you’re already getting bored of the lack of scenery and variety, you’re going to need some tools in your arsenal to spice things up through the rest of winter. We’ve got you covered, thanks to these “4 Ways To Make Your Treadmill Runs Less Miserable, According to a Run Coach.”

  • It’s a no-brainer that runners need to take care of their knees and feet after a run. Don’t let that take your attention away from the rest of your body as you undergo recovery, because there are tons of other areas that receive a lot of added compression while you exercise. The lower back is a common problem area for a lot of us, so make sure to “Treat Your Lower Back Pain” with these stretches and rolling techniques.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Anyone who’s run cross country will know that some courses are more forgiving than others. There are flat sections, hills, solid ground, and even muddy pitches. Every once in a while, there’ll be a perfect storm of conditions that will all but guarantee you’ll lose traction, and that happened more than a few times at a recent European XC Championship event. Like the song says, when you get knocked down, you’ve gotta get up again, and that’s exactly what these competitors did after taking a nasty fall. We’ve got to commend them for their urgency and determination to get back in the race, and it’s the same spirit we hope to emulate if we’re ever faced with a fall in our own running. Take a look at the smooth recovery in the clip from @running_peak.


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