Minute 1: Running for health, public office and Native Americans
If this week’s Presidential debate has you feeling depressed about the future of America, may we suggest our favorite short-term remedy: a nice long run. And while you’re out there, ponder this question: When was the last time you went for a run with someone and came back thinking, “Wow, what a jerk?” Doesn’t happen, right? While two candidates are running for President this fall, we don’t really have a runner in the race, so we can’t use that as a litmus test. George W. Bush had run a 3:44 in the Houston Marathon before taking office. Bill Clinton was an avid runner, albeit one who enjoyed mid-run stops at Mickey D’s, as parodied in this Saturday Night Live skit. Jimmy Carter was actually a pretty good runner, but he will long be remembered for melting down in a 10K in 1979, prompting this write-up from Sports Illustrated. If only Jim Ryan had run for President instead of just Congress and world mile records. The dearth of runners at the Presidential level turned our eyes toward Christina Haswood this year. When she goes for a run, she’s not just running for her health. She’s also campaigning to become just the third Native American in the Kansas state legislature. A public health researcher, Haswell, 26, began running to improve her health and relieve stress while in college at Arizona State. She comes from a family of runners and recently ran her first half marathon with her mother. “Running is our medicine,” Marietta Haswood said. Running is deeply embedded in Native American culture, from the traditional early-morning prayer runs to some of the most famous running athletes in history. Tom Longboat won the Boston Marathon in 1907. Ellison “Tarzan” Brown won it in 1936 and 1939. And the most famous, of course, is two-time Olympic gold medalist Jim Thorpe, a four-sport star known as the “World’s Greatest Athlete.” As a public health official, Haswood is helping her community address the high rate of COVID-19 in Navajo Nation. And by running, she is helping organizations like Wings of America encourage women and young Native Americans to improve their health and embrace their culture through running. #RunningForOffice
Minute 2: What’s more dangerous, running on the trail or the road?
We know that trail running can be dangerous as well as beautiful. You could trip on a rock and fall off the side of a mountain. You could get caught in a horrific thunderstorm and get struck by lightning. You could get bitten by a rattlesnake. You could get distracted, lose your way, and get lost. Or you could get attacked and killed by a bear. Or you could die on the trail from any of the aforementioned atrocities, and then get eaten by a bear. But to ultra-trail runner Amy Walsh, none of those is worse than running on the road. During her last road run, Walsh was chased by an angry dog, run off the road by a texter, and had a dude in a pickup truck play chicken with her just for kicks. Though the trail can be dangerous, running on the road has many dangers trail runners don’t have to deal with. After her road-running adventures, Walsh tweeted: “People ask me if I’m scared to run in the mountains alone. ... I think I’m good.” If you’re like Walsh and believe in the power and relative safety of the trails. we’ve got you covered with our Dirty Dozen: 12 of the best trail runners for fall. The comprehensive guide features some of the best do-everything, all-terrain shoes on the market. One of our favorites is the versatile and durable Saucony Peregrine 10. It has the comfort and smoothness of a road-running shoe, but the cushioning and protection to handle the rocks, roots and gravel of rugged terrain. It’s not bear-proof, but as the old joke goes, you don’t have to outrun the bear, you just have to outrun your companions. The Peregrine 10 should help in that regard.
Minute 3: Go ahead, have that bowl of ice cream after your workout
Professor Louise Burke had planned to run the NYC Marathon this year. Afterward, she planned to meet friends for her favorite dessert, “something with a milky component, like a mousse, ice cream or yoghurt.” The former head of nutrition for the Australian Institute of Sport makes it a point to to consume dairy products after an intense workout. Burke, who drinks hot chocolate every night when training, led a 2019 Australian study that showed dairy milk, compared to carbohydrates, enhances muscle protein synthesis and helps build muscle when combined with a workout. “It’s like having Bob the Builder and Wendy turn up on the job and you get an amplified ability to make new protein.” Other nutrition experts also champion the value of dairy before and after a run, which makes you wonder if ice cream and milkshakes should be added to this list of best post-workout recovery foods. Or these tips for how to feed a runner. Or, better yet, this list of 7 high-protein desserts you should eat after a workout. #GotMilk
Minute 4: Business update 2.0
Thank you for being a loyal reader of Six Minute Mile. We may be a little biased, but we think we have been delivering you the most fun endurance sports newsletter in the world. Well, at least we are the best value in the world, considering what you pay for it. Nada. Yup, it’s gratis, free and yours for the taking. Always has been and always will be. In order to keep this party going with an open bar, we not only need to pay our writers, but we also need to provide them with caffeine. Lots of caffeine. For simple folks whose professional wardrobe consists of old race t-shirts and jeans, they have expensive taste in java. That’s why we set our prices at $5 a cup. All light-hearted banter aside, the modest revenue we generate from our advertisers isn’t quite enough to make ends meet. So we stole an idea from Wikipedia and our local NPR station and opened up an opportunity to allow you to enjoy our content guilt-free. Please consider “buying us coffee” today. It’s only 5 bucks. And since you may have saved some money on race registrations this year, keep in mind that any gift of $25 earns you a sweet Six Minute Mile water bottle. Any gift of $50 or more comes with an even sweeter Six Minute Mile t-shirt and even less guilt. #CoffeeBreak
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Tiki Barber gained 15,632 yards for the New York Giants in the NFL. That’s 8.8 miles, or a third of what he will run in the upcoming virtual New York City Marathon. Barber is a veteran of the NYC race, finishing in a personal best 4:18.24 last year. He is also no stranger to virtual running, and even had a rivalry with former New England Patriots star Teddy Bruschi earlier this year. Check out how Barber will prepare for this year’s race here.
We reported last week that boutique fitness studio owners were lobbying New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to allow them to reopen. The group includes SoulCycle, Flywheel and Barry’s Bootcamp. Sadly, relief didn’t arrive in time for Flywheel, which just filed for bankruptcy. This is bad news for the 1,200 employees of the company who were laid off. Originally by Ruth Zukerman who had also co-founded SoulCycle, Flywheel had grown to 42 studios worldwide.
The next time you think you just can’t make it to that 26-mile mark, remember Nick Butter. Butter is the first runner to complete a marathon in every country in the world. That’s right, all 196. He started with the Marathon de Sables in the Sahara Desert and endured hundreds of flights, several kidney infections, a dog bite, and two muggings while running in some of the most dangerous places on earth. He had two just two years to complete his journey, but he did it for a very special friend. Check out his new book, “Running The World,” which hits bookstores in November.
We were heartened to see that the New York Road Runners just held their first in-person race since the onset of the pandemic. Although their signature race, the NYC Marathon, will be virtual this year, NYRR will produce additional smaller live races beginning in October. In other promising news, the Richmond Marathon just switched its fall race from virtual to in-person. Although the race will be staggered over several days, a unique timing system will allow results to serve as a Boston qualifier.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Maricar Marquez had competed in several triathlons before physical problems forced her to give up the sport she loves. Until she met Cliff. Cliff is a guide dog that helped Marquez return to competitive running. Marquez, who was born deaf and with a progressive visual condition, found Cliff through New York-based Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the only guide dog school with a Running Guides Program. Marquez’s remarkable journey with Cliff was made possible by GEB CEO Thomas Panek, who developed a special harness to help blind runners use a guide dog. Last year, Panek became the first runner to complete a half marathon assisted only by guide dogs. Before then, visually impaired runners had to be tethered to sighted guides. “If I didn’t have Cliff I don’t know if I would have had the motivation to get back to my active life,” Marquez said. Panek’s work with GEB is now inspiring blind runners all over the country. The video below explains Panek’s personal story and the logistics of how his yellow and black labs steer him safely through the streets of New York.