Minute 1: Protein for runners
We usually associate protein supplements with dudes whose t-shirts have been attacked by the sleeve monster and who make jokes like: “I went for a run this morning. Worst 2 minutes of my life.” But protein is not just for guys who favor the free weights section at the gym. Several recent stories have highlighted the importance of protein for endurance athletes. TrainingPeaks provides a good primer on the subject: “The Endurance Athlete’s Guide to Protein.” Most athletes understand that protein helps build muscle and speed recovery, but TrainingPeaks explains that there are many more benefits like hemoglobin production and maintaining fluid balance. This story from Bicycling magazine delves into the recovery benefits of protein: “Here’s How Protein Postride Can Benefit Your Muscles.” As for good sources of protein, you may want to check out these recent ideas:
“I’m a Dietitian, and These Are the Best-Tasting Vegan Protein Powders” -- from Well + Good
Grass Fed Beef and Free Range Turkey Jerky -- from The New Primal, our favorite paleo food company
“The 7 Best Low Calorie Protein Bars (That Actually Taste Good)” -- from LIVESTRONG
“Peanut Butter as a Sports Superfood” -- from VeryWellFit
Minute 2: Should you follow The Murph and start running with weights?
Lt. Michael P. Murphy was a Navy SEAL who was awarded the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart for his actions in Afghanistan. While his heroism has been widely recognized, he may be remembered best for creating The Murph, a workout routine that is now a Memorial Day tradition. The Murph Challenge consists of a 1-mile run, followed by 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 squats, and another 1-mile run. That’s tough enough, but Lt. Murphy used to do the entire workout while wearing a 20-pound vest. The added weight requires “brutal toughness,” as BoxLife Magazine points out in “Murph—Why We Do It.” While that may work for a Navy SEAL, we have always wondered whether occasionally training with ankle weights, small dumbbells, or a weighted vest makes sense for runners. Healthline.com points out the “Benefits of Running and Working Out with a Weight Vest,” which include improvement in speed and running posture, while boosting your heart rate and burning more calories. But there are also some downsides, which is why you should check out Runner Click’s recent post, “Running With Weights From A Coach’s Perspective.” Another take comes from Run To The Finish which answers the questions “Running With Weights -- Will it Build Muscle? Make You Faster?”
Minute 3: How to overcome the emotional turmoil of injuries
Like death, taxes, and Alabama football championships, running injuries seem inevitable. According to Yale Medicine, more than half of all marathoners will suffer an injury each year and some studies place the number as high as 80%. Mitch Smith, director of Sport Psychology Services at Florida Atlantic University, says that the emotional toll of an injury is “a little like the stages of dealing with death: denial, anger, etc.” Those emotions can be particularly intense right now with lockdown restrictions and gym closures leaving fewer alternatives for working out and training. Portland, Oregon, distance runner Corinna Jackson endured an emotional process after suffering a knee injury earlier this year. What did she learn? “It was OK to feel some grief,” she said. Women’s Running has some advice for dealing with setbacks in “How to Take Control of Your Injury Recovery.” Professional trail runner and running coach Addie Bracy dealt with a similar challenge earlier this year, enduring a long layoff due to injury. How did she handle the down time? “Treat it as a gift,” Bracy wrote in “The Mental Side Of Coping With Injury.” Aaron Yoder is a college track coach who has been plagued by debilitating knee injuries. He eventually noticed that his pain was greatly diminished when he ran backwards rather than forward. Channeling lots of positive energy, he dedicated himself to this slightly offbeat form of locomotion and wound up setting the world record for the fastest backwards mile in history, clocking a 5:30 last year. His conversation with us on this Six Minute Mile podcast has become one of our most popular episodes ever. For more advice on how to deal with injuries, check out “6 Running Experts on How to Overcome an Injury.”
Minute 4: Home improvement projects
If you’re doing pull-ups in your bedroom closet or using your copy of “War and Peace” as a dumbbell, it might be time to upgrade your home fitness equipment. With gyms still closed in some states and many still wondering about the safety of working out in a gym, athletes are opting to create their own home workout spaces. One of our favorite sources recently weighed in on the trend with tips for building your own exercise facility. Women’s Running polled 10 top trainers to come up with “The Runner’s Guide to Building a Better Home Gym.” And this story explains how to do it affordably with “Here’s How You Can Build an At-Home Gym For Under $75.” As for when we can emerge from our basement/spare bedroom gyms, Dr. Anthony Fauci said this week that “hopefully by the fall of 2021, we could start approaching some degree of normality.” We are inching closer to herd immunity every day, with the CDC tally of vaccinations likely to pass 9 million in the U.S. today. #WorkoutShelter
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Imagine planning and preparing for a beautiful and challenging 5-day hike, only to discover that you’ve only got 3 vacation days to scratch it off your bucket list. What to do? More and more athletes are turning to fastpacking as a solution to this dilemma. The basic idea is to pack as light as possible, with only the bare essentials, so you can cover as much terrain as possible. Advnture.com explains “How to get more adventure in less time” by fastpacking. Designed for trail runners and long-distance hikers, the outdoor adventure site says fastpacking is “more than simply backpacking in a hurry … [it] is a pursuit — even a subculture — all to itself.”
More than 5 million viewers tuned into the season finale of the Bachelorette when Tayisha Adams chose Zac Clark in a tearful, made-for-TV moment. It turns out that one reason Zac was able to outrun his competition was that he is an experienced marathoner. He has finished the TCS New York City Marathon 6 times, including a 3:48 performance in 2014. A recovering substance abuser, Zac has run the marathon to raise money and awareness for Runwell, a group that uses endurance sports as part of addiction recovery.
We convinced our co-workers at MarathonFoto to once again activate a special promotion just for Six Minute Mile readers. Just use the code SMM30 to knock 30% off the price of any purchase from their archives of more than 200 million action shots of you and other runners from races of all distances from the past 15 years. And speaking of low, low prices, one of the best bargains in all of endurance sports is the $14.99 price tag on our Six Minute Mile t-shirts. Perfect for workouts, Zoom calls, and impressing the heck out of friends and family.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Instagram fitness sensation Kayla Itsines has earned nearly 1 million followers by sharing simple, but challenging workouts online. If you’re looking for a full-body challenge in the new home gym we told you how to build in Minute 4, you’ll appreciate one of her new 2021 workouts below.