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Quarantine cuisine, the Appalachian Trail is (mostly) closed, and indoor workouts.

Minute 1: Quarantine cuisine

Have the dudes on our staff ever swapped recipes before? No. Are we all pretty bored with our quarantine cuisine at home? Yup. With necessity being the mother of all invention, we are now feeling like Michael Keaton in this clip from Mr. Mom – finding our inner domestic Rocky. A couple of foodie site menu items we uncovered this week had us anxious for the Zoom call to wrap up so we could get back to the kitchen. For mid-day, check out “20 Easy and Flavorful Lunches Perfect for Work-from-Home Days.” To add some varied texture to your standard salad routine, here are “25 Super Satisfying Grain Salad Recipes.” The first one on the list uses farro, our favorite grain. (Here are “5 Benefits of Farro” according to Healthline.) Finally, we love this Paleo and Whole 30 compatible dish from New Primal: Sweet Potato BBQ Chicken Sliders. BTW, we have reviewed New Primal before and we love their sauces, dressings and jerky products. That led to their CEO pinging us and offering Six Minute Mile readers a 15% off coupon. Just use SMM15 when you check out. #SchoonerTuna

Minute 2: The Appalachian Trail is (mostly) closed this year

The Appalachian Trail has always attracted both soul searchers and record seekers during the summer months. Two years ago, ultrarunner Karel Sabbe smashed the trail’s record, covering the 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine in just over 41 days. That’s a pace of more than 50 miles per day over rocky, mountainous terrain. This year, many hikers and trail runners planned to quarantine themselves in tents rather than apartments as they sought peaceful refuge from the Coronavirus. Faster than you could say PPP, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy put an end to those plans, publishing this directive in late March: “Please stay off the Appalachian Trail.” As a result, thousands of hikers decided to shelter in place rather than in lean-tos. When a few hundred defied the advice and marched northward anyway, controversy ignited among the normally chill tribe associated with the AT. Read the details in the NYT’s “How the Pandemic Splintered the Appalachian Trail.” We’ve always gained running gear insight from these through-hikers since most of them wear trail running shoes these days instead of hiking boots. (REI explains the pluses and minuses here.) Last year Altra’s Lone Peak model topped the list of the 7 most popular shoes on the Appalachian Trail. Out on the west coast, people who finished the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail had slightly different preferences. They opted for the Hoka Speedgoat as the top selection on their list of the top 5 shoes worn on the PCT. Whichever trail running shoes you opt for, we recommend pairing them with the Bomba’s Running Calf Sock. (Not just because they pay us dozens of dollars, oh cynical one, but also because they are really good socks with an equally noble social mission.) #TheTrailLessTraveled

Minute 3: Is walking around barefoot good for you?

Give us the on-screen thumbs-up emoji if your Zoom fashion choices look something like this: Reasonably clean shirt, mostly neat hair, comfy/unwashed sweats and bare feet. Kinda like a mullet is business in the front…party in the back, Zoom call chic is all about looking decent from the waist up. As we pad around the house on bare feet between calls, however, we’ve started to wonder whether spending most of the day shoeless is good for us or not. Sometimes the heels get a little achy and the arches get a little tweaked. (And let’s not even discuss the horror of stepping on Legos.) Well, just as we were pondering yet another profound question of the Corona era, this article came across the wire: “Is Walking Barefoot Bad for Your Feet?” According to the orthopedic surgeon interviewed in the story, our 21st century feet probably aren’t cut out for prolonged standing and walking on hardwood floors. According to Healthline, spending time walking barefoot can help restore a natural gait while forcing us to build muscles that may go unused while wearing supportive shoes. On the other hand, unless you are a Tarahumara tribe member, running barefoot outside carries some risks (sandy beaches aside). #BornToZoom

Minute 4: Indoor workouts

With Peloton now worth $18 billion, it may have jumped this shark with its latest marketing promotion. No, this one doesn’t hint that your significant other needs to work out more often like their holiday ad did. Instead, Peloton is mimicking the golf match with Tiger, Phil, Peyton and TB12 that drew 6 million viewers last Sunday and featured an embarrassing wardrobe malfunction for Brady. In the Peloton version, they have assembled some top athletes like Rory McIlroy and Allyson Felix to face off in a 20-minute Peloton competition. If you are more budget conscious than your typical Peloton purchaser, you may want to consider these 5 Best Peloton Alternatives just released from CNET. If you just want to access the classes without the Peloton bike, check out “The 17 Best Peloton Classes, According to Power Users.” If spending more time hunched over a stationary bike or a home office keyboard has your back feeling neglected, check out “At-Home Back Workouts If You Have 10 Minutes, 20 Minutes, or No Minutes.” #BackToWork

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • If you’re looking for glimmers of hope that fall running races will take place, a slender ray of sunshine pierced the clouds this week. The National Federation of State High School Associations just came out with its recommendations for which sports could take place this fall. NFHS ranked high school cross country events within the lowest risk category as long as they use staggered wave starts. Moderate risk sports include soccer and tennis, while the high risk category is headlined by football and wrestling. Check out the full list of recommendations here.

  • Filmmaker Marina Zenovich really put Lance on the couch in the first installment of ESPN’s 30 for 30 biopic on the cycling star. If you thought you knew the Lance story already, you’re guaranteed to learn more about the unfathomable drive under his hood. By some accounts, Lance was not happy with how the film turned out despite having spent hours in front of the camera. Velo News calls it “the defining work of the Lance Armstrong story.” The first installment aired last Sunday and the final segment will air this Sunday at 9:00 pm EDT. A link to the trailer is here.

  • The boring folks in the back office tell us that we have to pay the prima donna salaries of our staff writers somehow. If you want to keep them fueled with espresso and sleeping on their own sweet futons rather than a buddy’s couch, please consider our more-popular-than-we-expected Six Minute Mile t-shirts. You get to look sexy and feed hungry keyboard warriors – biggest no-brainer two-fer ever. They are available in any color you want, as long as it’s black. Check ‘em out here. And while you have your credit card warmed up, you may want to dive into our guide highlighting 8 new pieces of running gear at the crossroads of fashion and function along with our earlier guide to trail running gear and Top 8 Shoes for All Kinds of Runners.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

We’re finding our stride at last in this work-from-home thing. Distractions are tamped down, workouts are squeezed in, and personal hygiene has improved. Even our local Starbucks is now open for takeout, which is boosting productivity. Unlike Airpods, this journey is not a one-size-fits-all affair, but there seem to be some common elements. So we’ll stray from our usual endurance sports inspiration stories in this segment to share this hilarious portrayal of The Five Stages of Working from Home chronicled by internet sensation Dude Dad. Parts are so accurate, they’re cringe-worthy.


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