Minute 1: That viral peloton ad
Like the doe-eyed actress from the Peloton ad, we appreciate how the $2,200 stationary bike company beckons us over and over. We tried to resist writing about the controversy, but it’s bigger than both of us. For those who haven’t seen it, check out the ad that nearly broke Twitter here. Critics think that Grace in Boston looks like she’s starring in a hostage video with her mild-mannered husband standing guard (at least emotionally). What is he trying to tell her, anyway? Despite your good looks and athletic figure, you should drop a few pounds by riding this bike I left for you under the tree??? The backlash has cost Peloton more than $1 billion in stock market value. We chalked it up to a bad batch of Kombucha at their Brooklyn ad agency rather than malicious intent from the company itself -- and we vowed not to write about it. Until the story turned into a soap opera. Literally. It turns out that Grace in Boston is actually a budding actress named Monica Ruiz and she has a really good agent. Thanks to the viral Peloton ad, Ruiz was booked to appear on the Bold and the Beautiful soap opera in January. And Ryan Reynolds just released an ad for Aviation, his gin company, that spoofs the Peloton ad and stars Monica Ruiz. The ad has nearly 6 million views on YouTube at last count. #callmyagent
Minute 2: What’s cooking with 2020 food resolutions?
“I want to spend more time in the office,” said no sane person ever in their New Year’s resolutions. While the National Association of Office Desk chairs figures out a social media strategy to change that, the $70 billion U.S. diet industry is fist-bumping their pals in the $120 billion supplements market. They are both filled with holiday cheer, knowing that most of us will once again choose “eat healthier” in the drop down menu of 2020 resolutions. If you’re looking to get more specific about your nutrition goals, you might enjoy this from LIVESTRONG: 8 Food Trends You’re Going to See Everywhere in 2020. Impress your friends by explaining why “alt flours” are not just for the gluten free set. Time explains Why Your New Year’s 2020 Health and Fitness Resolution Might Be Outdated by 2030. This is a good overview of how food, diet and health trends evolved over the past decade. (In 2010, juicing and the Baby Food Diet were each a thing.) If you really want to dive deep, check out the Eat This list of 50 Top Food Trends for 2020. Those in the know forecast more food from West Africa, healthier vending machine offerings and more CBD food products. #2020FoodVisions
Minute 3: Saucony joins the carbon-plated shoe market
If the Peloton ad isn’t enough controversy for you, here’s another contentious question that just won’t go away: How high-tech is too high-tech for running shoes? Marathon times have dropped lately, with Nike Vaporfly’s at the front of the pack. As we’ve noted before, these carbon-plated shoes have been shown to improve race times by about 4%. Now other shoe companies are racing to create their own carbon-plated shoes. The latest market entrant is Saucony with their Endorphin Pro. Both the Endorphin Pro and the latest Vaporfly will set you back $250 – which could make them inaccessible to many runners. Hoka had its own carbon emission earlier this year with their Carbon X. The Runner’s World review focuses more on the shoe’s rocker motion than on how carbon fiber plates can store and release energy with every stride which has made them so controversial. Hoka did something right with the shoes since Jim Walmsley wore the Carbon X to break a 36-year old record for a 50-mile race. (Wrap your head around his 4:50:07 time.)
Minute 4: Surviving treadmill drudgery
As Bostonians, we know how hard it can be to maintain a running routine year round. The days are short, the sidewalks are icy and the wind is biting. And treadmills stink. Right on cue, a flurry of advice just hit the wires about how to survive winters with your mind and mileage intact. The Wall Street Journal advocates for getting out the dang door regardless of temps in Why Running Outside in Winter is a Killer Strategy. They quote one running coach explaining that “Running in cold weather acts like strength training for the lung” because they have to work so much harder to process cold air. On those super frigid days when your treadmill screams “take your laundry off me and hit Go,” we like this advice on how to make the treadmill bearable with these 5 tricks. If you’re wondering how a treadmill run compares to the real deal, check out Triathlete’s story: Is Running on the Treadmill the Same as Running Outside? Frankly, we’re skeptical that anything can make a treadmill not terrible, but we’ll make sure to give these tips a try this winter. #TreadNightly
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Kenyan runner Reuban Kipyego was supposed to serve as a pace setter for teammate Dickson Chumba for the first 30 kilometers of the recent Abu Dhabi Marathon. When Chumba dropped out after the first 10K, Kipyego felt good and decided to keep going. He went all the way to the finish at the head of the pack, winning with a 2:04:40. That not only rewarded Kipyego with his first marathon win, but also a fat check for $100,000. Kipyego acknowledges that this race was life-changing. He wants to continue building off his success in this marathon, and plans to spend his earnings on his family in Kenya. Vivien Kiplagat won the women’s race in 2:21:11, earning her $100,000 in a more traditional manner.
There was an ugly incident earlier this month when an idiot dude slapped a female TV reporter on the backside while she was doing a live stand-up on the side of a 10K in Georgia. Not cool. Even less cool that it turned out the perpetrator is actually a youth minister and Boy Scout leader. The video and details are here.
46-year-old mom Jo Pavey is training to compete in Tokyo 2020, which will be her sixth Olympics. The 5K and 10K athlete first competed in the Sydney Olympics in 2000. Pavey matches a trend of several renowned athletes remaining competitive well into their 40s. Maybe she can give Tom Brady a few pointers heading into the play-offs.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
This week’s inspiration comes from one of our readers who loves a good endurance adventure story as much as we do. This Red Bull video documents a record-setting mountain bike ride on one of the most iconic trails in America, the White Rim trail in Utah’s Canyonlands. Red Bull’s video content producers never disappoint.