OCT 20, 2023
Minute 1: Is cereal a healthy breakfast?
According to some nutritionists and moms, what you put in your breakfast bowl can be almost as evil as a serial killer. Nonetheless, more than 283 million Americans ate cold cereal for breakfast last year, and most of their selections were suboptimal. You can see why in: “What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Cereal Every Day.” Not all cereals are the same, but generally speaking, they’ve got low nutritional density and a lot of sugar. That results in short-lasting energy, and increases your risk of vitamin deficiency. It doesn’t have to be that way, though, if you go with one of “The 14 Healthiest Cereals You Can Eat.” Look for options that contain oats, whole grains, and some types of granola if you want additional nutrients and fiber in your bowl. If reducing not just sugar, but also carbs is your goal, consider: “Keto Cereal: The Best Keto Cereal Brands in 2023 (Ranked).” Many of these cereals are high in protein, which is the most filling macronutrient and an essential building block for athletes trying to build muscle. It’s worth noting that alongside bread, oats and fruit, cereal is often the breakfast of choice for none other than the GOAT: “Eliud Kipchoge’s simple, yet effective, diet.” If you’re looking for ideas to get away from cereal entirely, check out: “The perfect pre-running breakfast to keep you fuelled.”
Minute 2: Marathon lead-up workouts
Chocolate and peanut butter – yeah, they go well together. Spearmint gum and a rich California Cabernet – not so much. Until we read this new story from Canadian Running, we would have said that combining a track workout and a long run has more in common with the gum and grapes example than a wonderful confection: “Two long-run workouts you’ve probably never tried.” Some coaches recommend a hard distance workout a month out from marathon or half marathon race day, like the one described in workout number 2, known as the Pre-Race Challenger. This one can help you test your pacing and goal effort for race day. After a warm up, run 2 x 20-minute intervals at a slow running pace, with 5 minutes of easy recovery between efforts. Then, repeat that structure, raising the interval speed to between marathon and half-marathon pace. Finally, finish with 5 x 2-minute intervals at 10K pace with 2-minute recovery between each rep. For more ideas along these lines, check out: “Short for time? Combine your tempo and your long run.”
Minute 3: Is the snooze button healthy after all?
If you love the snooze button on your clock or phone, you may feel a little guilty about not going full carpe diem the first time the alarm sounds. Historically, researchers have told us this is one of the worst ways to rise and shine if your aim is to be productive, but some new data is calling that conclusion into question according to the NYT: “You Snooze, You … Win?” A study done in Sweden surveyed 1,700 individuals, and then tested 31 individuals in a sleep lab to measure cognitive performance. On some days, participants were allowed to hit the snooze button up to three times for an extra 30 minutes of rest. Other days, they had to get up right away. Each day, they were given a number of cognitive tests first thing in the morning, and participants who snoozed performed slightly better overall. They suspect that for some folks, being in a state of “half-waking” for a few minutes can ease the transition from sleep to wakefulness. Speaking of sleep, we are excited about a new sponsor, Better Help, in part because they explain how therapy can address a bedtime problem we encounter way too often as a small business owner: “What Causes Racing Thoughts, And How Can I Control Them?” (By “racing,” unfortunately they don’t mean running a 10K.) For more info on what Better Help offers, check them out here.
Minute 4: Shoe Review: New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 ($165)
If the running industry were a stock, Brian Metzler would be taking out a second mortgage to load up on more shares. In his latest shoe review, Brian points out that we are in a gilded age for our sport, with participation rebounding and the best selection of shoes we’ve ever seen. (And not just the new supershoes.) According to RunSignUp, the top registration engine for U.S. running races, race participation grew 5.8% in the first half of this year compared to 2023. We are almost back to pre-Covid levels, with strength among younger runners, which Brian views as an important vital sign in the health of the industry. After kicking off his review with some terrific insights into running overall, he provides an enthusiastic endorsement of the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13. We always wonder how much really changes once we get to versions 10 and beyond of a particular shoe, but Brian says that v13 is a lucky number in terms of performance. A few highlights of his review of the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13 are below, but for his full take, check it out on our website.
The latest edition of the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13, which officially hit running stores last week, is by far the best one yet. It has a new formulation of the Fresh Foam X midsole foam, new geometry (higher stack heights but a lower heel-toe drop) and a more versatile vibe. Following the lead of shoes like the ASICS Gel-Nimbus 25, Nike InfinityRN 4 and Saucony Triumph 21, the Fresh Foam X 1080v13 proves that thickly cushioned shoes can be both extremely comfortable, durable and reliable while also offering a little bit of zesty energy return.
What’s New: The 13th edition of the 1080 has been completely overhauled. It incorporates a new Fresh Foam X midsole foam with increased cushioning and stack heights. It’s considerably softer and lighter than the previous version of the shoe, and it also has improved forefoot stiffness, a new engineered stretch-knit upper that improves fit and comfort and an enhanced rocker geometry to enhance transitions between strides. It’s not quite a fully max-cushioned shoe, but that also means it’s slightly more agile and versatile.
Why It’s Great: The Fresh Foam X 1080 v13 is great because it serves up a soft, buttery ride. It does a great job at combining shock-absorbing cushioning and smooth heel-toe transitions in every stride. The Fresh Foam X midsole is not super responsive, but it’s not mushy either. It feels juicy and lively, not flat and uninspiring. The lighter weight, softer sensation, modest rebound and more distinct rocker shape are definitely trending in the right direction. I loved this shoe for long runs and recovery runs at slow to medium paces, but I also appreciated the tiny bit of energetic buzz that I felt on those types of runs. I didn’t find it ideal for tempo runs, but I did find that it easily transitioned to slightly quicker paces on my longer runs.
For Brian’s full analysis of the New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080v13, check it out here.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
For some folks, getting a vaccine is a walk in the park. For others, the side effects can be quite bothersome, leaving you exhausted or nauseous. If you’re looking to get a Covid booster shot this season but don’t want to lose a day, Novavax could be your best shot. To see how it differs from the mRNA vaccines previously available, read “Is the Novavax COVID Vaccine Actually ‘Better’?”
When it comes to longevity as an athlete, it’s hard to find a greater success story than Ser-Od Bat-Ochir. Nicknamed “Ziggy,” the 42-year-old Mongolian distance runner has participated in an incredible five Olympic Games already, and he’s optimistic about qualifying for his sixth. If you want to see how he’s pulled it off, take a look at: “Life Lessons From an Ageless Mongolian Marathoner.”
The bright lights of New York attract a lot of bold-faced names every day, and marathon Sunday is no exception. The NYC Marathon has always been home to a star-studded field of competitors, whether it's renowned athletes trying their hand at a new sport, or celebrities challenging themselves to cover new ground. To see who’s expected this year, read: “What celebs will be running in the 2023 NYC Marathon? Check out the list of names.” As Bostonians, we were excited to see one retired Bruin on the list.
Our fast friend and running music DJ, Rebecca Trachsel, is back this week with a new featured song recommendation along with a couple of custom playlists. This week's song is “BLOOM” by ill peach. You can find it on Spotify here and Apple Music here. The NYC-based duo is composed of Pat Morrissey and Jess Corazza. Both were already working together as professional songwriters for other artists such as Icona Pop, SZA & Weezer. Then finally, and to our good fortune, someone suggested they take their self-described "weird" music and start their own project. And thus "ill peach" was born. “Bloom” is on their recently released EP, “COLLIDING.” Pop, punk, alternative, sweet, salty – all of it. Please and thank you. In my humble opinion, every song is worth your time. Run, dance, do what you do. They all work. For all of it. You can also check out the mini playlist Rebecca pulled together for the recent Chicago Marathon here as well as a custom playlist she did for SMM readers here. #turnitup
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
When she won the 1996 Boston Marathon, Uta Pippig fought not only the Newton Hills, but also some challenging incontinence issues that left spectators saying: “Oooh, here comes Uta! … Oooh, no.” Sometimes, nature calls in the middle of a training run when you may have more time than Uta did in 1996, but still no private place to do your business. We’ve all been there. In a recent video, @laurentglaze filmed her husband @amglaze's close encounter, calling it a “code brown” situation, and we think that’s pretty spot on. You’d be wise to follow these “10 Tips To Avoid Unplanned Bathroom Breaks On Your Next Race,” but even with the best planning, emergencies will come up. If that’s the case, we sure hope you’re lucky like Andrew was and can find yourself a construction site port-a-potty.