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Is it OK to talk to yourself while running?

Minute 1: How to break in running shoes

One of the many simple pleasures of our sport is the arrival of a new pair of running shoes. For sneakerheads and gear junkies, tearing open that box can be as thrilling as having a race official hang a finisher medal around your neck. It’s a total bummer, though, when you take your new kicks out for a spin, only to develop a blister after just a few miles. Runner Click has some advice for avoiding such a letdown in “How To Break In Running Shoes (And Do You Really Need To?)” The short answer is, yes, you do need to break in a new pair of shoes, and you also need to take precautions to make sure they fit properly. Unless you rotate your shoes (we documented earlier how you can prolong the life of your shoes by rotating them), Runner Click recommends putting 20-30 miles on your new shoes before wearing them in a race or racking up double-digit miles on a pair. Sports Performance Advantage recommends taking your new shoes for walks rather than runs in “How to Break in New Running Shoes.” If you are simply wearing a new pair of the same model you’ve run in for years, the break-in time could be very brief, according to “How Long Does It Take to Break In Running Shoes? #ThatNewShoeSmell

Minute 2: It’s OK to talk to yourself, as long as you keep it positive

It’s a little odd to pass a runner on the road or trail who appears to be talking to themselves. It’s even more bizarre to be running along and suddenly realize that you are babbling to yourself. We’ve often daydreamed about creating an app that pairs up folks prone to talk to themselves so at least it could look like they’re having a conversation. As weird as it sounds, maintaining a personal monologue is fairly common. Studies have shown that we spend about a quarter of our time talking to ourselves, or getting in touch with our inner experience. In sports, most of this is self-talk, a motivational tool we use to push us to improve our performance and convince ourselves that we can achieve a seemingly unreachable goal. We’ve documented before how many people use running mantras to keep them going. A new study shows, however, that most self-talk is negative, and it doesn’t vary much from sport to sport. Outside dove deep into the study in “What Marathoners (and Badminton Players) Think About.” The study found that most self-talk among runners trended toward negative statements like “I want to quit,” “I can’t keep going,” or “I’m not going to make it.” Though some respondents pushed themselves with mantras like “I can make it,” many more admitted to letting their thoughts wander to statements like “I’m hungry,” “I want a shower,” or, the most popular choice, “What will I do later today?” The study also surveyed marathon runners separately and found that novice runners are more likely to focus on negative self-talk than experienced runners, who tend to be more positive and accustomed to tuning out negativity. recently interviewed several elite distance runners and documented the importance of staying upbeat in “Positive Self Talk: Inside the Heads of America’s Top Runners.” Outside concludes that “running is a never-ending battle between confidence and self-doubt, which is why motivational self-talk has the potential to help.” For more ideas on channeling your inner Stuart Smalley, check out “The Best Running Mantras to Use on Your Run,” “10 Self-Talk Mistakes Runners Need To Avoid,” or “How Runners Can Use Positive Self Talk.” #DarnItPeopleLikeMyRunning

Minute 3: How to freshen up after your at-home lunchtime workout

One of the benefits of working from home is the opportunity to squeeze in a lunchtime workout between emails and Zoom meetings. During “The rise of working out while working from home,” runners and exercise enthusiasts have gotten pretty creative at figuring out unique ways to break a sweat during short work breaks. The downside, though, is having another video chat scheduled right after your workout. There may not be time for a quick shower, a change of clothes or even winding down. The results could leave you looking red-faced and performing like Evan Baxter in “Bruce Almighty.” LIVESTRONG recommends recovering with these “6 Tips to Freshen Up Fast After a Sweaty Workout.” They surveyed sports scientists and exercise physiologists, who recommend such tips as staying hydrated and participating in low-intensity workouts, while health and beauty professionals offer advice like washing your face and going with an easy hairstyle. If you’re looking for a quick lunchtime workout, check out “How To Stay Fit While Working From Home.” For some low-intensity workouts, try these “9 Low-Impact Workout Moves You Can Do At Home.” And then after you’re sweaty and stinky, try these “7 Ways to Freshen Up After Exercise Without Actually Showering.” #ZoomService

Minute 4: Cardiac risk for endurance athletes

A friend of ours ran nearly every day. He had completed more than 20 marathons along with numerous other races, including a couple of triathlons. Though over age 50, he was one the healthiest, most physically fit people we’ve known. Imagine the shock when we learned he had died from a heart attack while running in a charity marathon. While studies have shown that endurance exercise reduces the risk of heart disease, the risk increases during races. According to The New York Times, 1 in 100,000 long distance runners suffer cardiac arrest, with the number almost doubling (1 in 57,000) during races. Triathlon organizers have been concerned for years about an abnormally high occurrence of cardiac incidents during the swim portion of a race. A 2018 study in the Annals of Internal Medicine concluded that 1.7 per 100,000 triathlon participants had suffered cardiac arrest while running. The Cleveland Clinic addresses the issue in this story: “Sudden Death During a Triathlon: Are You at Risk?” That’s why race organizers and healthcare professionals recommend runners and race participants learn CPR. While most races are well equipped with emergency medical personnel, fellow runners may be the most important first responders. Women’s Running calls CPR “The Lifesaving Skill Every Endurance Athlete Should Know.” According to the American Heart Association, CPR can double or triple the chances of surviving a heart attack. Studies have shown, however, that 70% of Americans don’t have the confidence to perform CPR in emergency situations. Though CPR classes may be hard to find during the pandemic, the AHA has training kiosks around the country, while local CPR classes can be found at Women’s Running also recommends adding CPR training to your local running club or to pre-race preparations. You can also take classes online. National Health Care Provider Solutions explains how in “How to Safely Get CPR Training During the Coronavirus Pandemic.” “You never know when someone around you may collapse,” says Dr. Jonathan Drezner, director of the University of Washington Center for Sports Cardiology and a spokesperson for the AHA. “Training in CPR could save a life.” #FromTheHeart

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • THANK YOU for your support of our new Six Minute Mile Professional Edition. The response has been remarkable and greatly appreciated by our small, but scrappy team. As we expected, many folks who make a living in the endurance industry subscribed early and often. A happy surprise, however, was that many of you signed up because you love endurance sports or just because you want to support our humble staff. (Humble, but with expensive tastes in coffee and IPAs.) We have calls into our local NPR station to see if they have any extra tote bags or umbrellas that we could emblazon with SMM Pro logos to show our appreciation. You can find all of the info on SMM Pro -- including a really gratifying subscription button -- by clicking here. Alternatively, you can just respond to this email with a brief message reading: “Interesting. Hum me a few bars.” Operators are standing by.

  • Fitness trackers are like Swiss Army knives for runners. They measure everything from our pace and speed to the calories we burn and how well we sleep. A recent study by Stanford University School of Medicine found that digital monitoring devices can help people shed a few pounds. examines the results in “How fitness trackers and digital tools help us lose weight.” The study found that 74% of participants who used digital tools to monitor their weight enjoyed positive weight loss results. “Through regular self-monitoring, individuals can gain increased awareness about their eating and exercise behaviors, which allows them to track progress over time and compare that progress with prespecified goals."

  • The Boston Athletic Association announced this week that it will have a reduced field for the 2021 Boston Marathon on Monday, October 11. In addition to the traditional race from Hopkinton to Boylston Street, the BAA will also offer a virtual race for up to 70,000 people. We know, we know. We are tired of virtual races, too, but when the BAA does something, it is usually first class. “For the first time in our history, most everyone will have the opportunity to earn a Unicorn finisher’s medal for every B.A.A. race in 2021 — no matter whether they choose to walk or run,” Tom Grilk, president and CEO of the B.A.A. said. Virtual racers may complete their race any time between October 8 and October 10.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Earlier this week we shared some info on the joys of running with dogs. We particularly enjoy outings with our dog on trails where he can be off leash and explore the woods along our route. We have had 1 or 2 run-ins with coyotes, but luckily all canines trotted away without a scratch. There have been some much scarier encounters out west recently where two mountain lion attacks in the past month have pet owners around Estes Park, CO, on edge. One man was able to scare off a mountain lion attacking his dog with a few well-placed whacks with a stick. Almost exactly 2 years ago, one of the most famous attacks took place in Colorado when a trail runner defended himself by strangling a young mountain lion. These stories reminded us of one of the most famous trail runner/mountain lion accounts ever captured on camera. Last fall, avid Utah runner Kyle Burgess was out for a 10-mile run when the trail led him into a mama mountain lion and her cubs. The video below is super tense and scary. Pardon the expletives, but given the circumstances, they are understandable.


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