MAY 10, 2023
Minute 1: Don’t make these common interval training mistakes
Patience is the quality you admire in the driver behind you, but can’t stand in the driver in front of you. On track workout days, many runners act like a driver who’s late for work – they can’t wait to pass the person in front of them, regardless of what the speed limit is for that workout. We’ve logged plenty of workouts at 5K pace that were supposed to have been at half marathon pace. Like a bad driver, we knew this was wrong, but didn’t know precisely why until we read: “Interval workouts: what runners typically get wrong.” Author and performance coach Steve Magness writes that your sprint workouts shouldn't start like a dog rushing out the door for their walk. To get the most out of your workout, you need to run in a way that makes every interval count, not just the first few. Try to set a pace that you can hold for every rep, and that consistency will improve your body’s ability to maintain form and speed under stress. If you’re looking for some interval workout inspiration, there are plenty of options among these “4 interval training sessions to help you hit any race goal.” For 5K training, fartlek runs are a popular option. That’s Swedish for “speed play,” and they’re done by alternating between 30-second to 3-minute intervals of fast running, then jogging. The workout should last for about 15 minutes, plus a warmup and cooldown. If you’re interested in developing strength, acceleration workouts can pack a lot of intensity into a short period of time, according to this piece: “Acceleration Training for Speed.”
Minute 2: What to bring and where to go on your next hike
Part of the appeal of hiking is how accessible it can be. Other than decent footwear and a water bottle, there isn’t much else you’ll need for most trail outings. That’s not to say equipment and tech won’t make your experience better, which is why you may want to check out the “10 Tech Gadgets That'll Elevate Your Next Hike (Beginners or Veterans).” The first step is making sure your gadgets have the battery to last, and a solar power bank is a good way to improve their endurance. That way, you can keep your GPS or phone charged to keep the music playing and the navigation running smoothly. Speaking of music, portable speakers like the JBL Flip 4 are a fun way to share your tunes on the go. Once you’ve got your gear situation figured out, you’ll need to plan your trips, and it’s a good time to “Reserve Now: These National Parks Require Timed Entry Reservations for 2023.” To help cut down on crowd size, National Parks are utilizing scheduled visits more and more. Arches, Glacier, and Rocky Mountain National Parks require a scheduled entry for the whole park, but most other parks will only require a reservation to visit certain busy areas. If you’re looking for a more impromptu hike, take advantage of the local trails near your city. Here are “12 of the best cities for hiking in the US.”
Minute 3: Here are the herbs and spices of a healthy life
If you want to improve your nutrition, you may want to spice things up. We’re speaking literally, because herbs and spices are an often overlooked source of polyphenols, antioxidants, and other healthy dietary components. To see what we mean, take a look at “The 12 Best Herbs and Spices for Better Health.” Included on the list is cinnamon, which is believed to help regulate your blood sugar, blood lipid, and blood pressure levels. Your best bet is to go with Ceylon cinnamon, a variant of the spice that comes from cinnamon tree bark. For more on that, read “Health Benefits of Ceylon Cinnamon.” Also included on the list is parsley, which contains flavonoids that may protect against cognitive decline and heart disease. Not to mention, it can be the perfect complement to salmon, which is a rich source of Omega-3s. Those are “The One Fat Cardiologists Want You to Eat More Often.” According to nutritionists, Omega-3s are good for your heart in a number of ways. They can lower your blood pressure, risk of heart disease, plaque buildup, and risk of irregular heartbeat. Fish are one of the most highly concentrated sources of Omega-3s, but if you’re looking for other options, try these “Foods High in Omega 3 (that are not fish).”
Minute 4: Become an even healthier version of yourself on vacation
When we travel to a new place, or meet new people, we are often surprised about what that experience teaches us about ourselves. Vacations can be a powerful tool to break out of our old habits, making room for new ones, and that’s what Bev Thomas described in “A holiday is about more than just a break. It’s a chance to dip a toe into a new version of yourself.” Traveling through Thailand, and then later in New Zealand, Bev met a number of strangers with whom she shared moments of radical honesty. They spoke about hopes and aspirations, and it helped her uncover a clearer purpose in life. That’s cool, you say, but how does this apply to athletes? Well, the freedom of travel can be an opportunity to alter your diet and exercise for the better. Here are “5 Travel Workouts: Get In Shape While Traveling.” Most of these exercises are done with little to no equipment in a small space, so even a hotel room can become your personal gym. They also include tips on eating healthy on the go, like packing your own lunch so you have full control over what you’re eating. If you’re more inclined to get your exercise while exploring, this list of “The Best Wellness Destination In Every State” could be exactly what you’re looking for.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Some exercises will take your breath away, so to speak. But today, we’re trying to do the opposite. That’s because there are techniques that can improve your breathing efficiency, as well as deliver a variety of health benefits. All it takes is a few minutes a day practicing one of “The 10 Best Breathing Exercises for Sleep, Fitness and Calm.” For a more focused list of improvements runners can make, read “How To Increase Lung Capacity for Running.”
Speaking of a breath of fresh air, there’s a lot to be said about the benefits of simply spending time outdoors. In the past, we’ve covered mental health benefits that nature can bring, but there are several positive physical changes from outdoor time too. It can lower your risk of hypertension, asthma, and even some cancers according to this new story: “Want to Improve Your Health? Research Suggests Taking a “Nature Pill.”
For fans of women’s professional sports, finding a way to watch your favorite teams is harder than it should be. That’s evident every time you walk into a sports bar and see the ratio of male to female games being displayed. One savvy entrepreneur named Jenny Nguyen saw this as an opportunity, and her hunch was right, because the “43-year-old used her life savings to open a bar that only plays women’s sports – it brought in almost $1 million in 8 months.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Almost every runner is familiar with the experience of waiting to learn your official finish time. The combination of exhaustion from your race and the excitement of a potential PR can make for intense moments. When you’re chasing down national records, the stakes are even higher, and so is the glory. Connor Burns experienced this first hand last week when he broke the U.S. high school 5K record. It had been standing since 2004, when Galen Rupp posted a time of 13:37.91, but Connor lowered it to a time of 13:37.30. It doesn’t get much closer than that in the world of endurance athletics, and you can catch a recap of the event in “Connor Burns Breaks Galen Rupp’s National High School 5,000-Meter Record.” You can watch footage from his historic finish in the clip from @soundrunning.