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Running in the dark

Minute 1: Our new product guide on masks

Millions of college kids would rejoice if the legal drinking age were suddenly lowered from 21 to 20. Even though most of them couldn’t take advantage of the new law until their junior year, they would still celebrate in anticipation of increased freedoms. That’s kinda how we feel about the positive news on Covid vaccines this week. We know we will be running maskless at some point in 2021, but we still have to follow the rules until then. Nothing about the vaccine trials has changed CDC recommendations to wear face coverings in all public settings. While they specifically advise against wearing N95 respirators and other medical grade masks (which are still in short supply and much needed by healthcare workers), washable masks with 2+ layers significantly reduce the risk of transmission. And unlike with medical-grade equipment, suppliers have caught up with the demand for athletic, everyday face coverings. As of now, all the items in our new guide, “Top 6 Masks for Running,”are available with quick shipping options. Our personal favorite pick is the Under Armour Sportsmask for its style, comfort and moisture-wicking performance. It includes three layers of fabric and is washable for repeated usage. The material stays comfortable throughout a run, and is well structured but lightweight. #IncognitoMode

Minute 2: Survey says

Tim Cook rises every morning at 4:00 am to run a business that’s now worth more than $2 trillion. It’s not completely a coincidence that Apple has thrived under his early bird leadership. After all, there is a “Scientific Reason Why Being A Morning Person Will Make You More Successful.” Even if the net worth of our average reader is 6 or 7 decimal points south of Apple, our latest Six Minute Mile survey suggests that you are successful in your own right. When we asked “What is your preferred time to run?” more than 7,300 respondents told us the following: 

  • 69% - Morning

  • 13% - Afternoon

  • 5% - Night

  • 13% - Depends on the time of year

In a smaller sample size, we have now interviewed 16 guests for our Six Minute Mile podcast and practically all of them told us they prefer a morning run to start their day. #RunRise

Minute 3: Running in the dark

The shortest day of the year is only a few weeks away which means 2 things: 

  1. At least 10 times in the near future you will start a sentence with: “I can’t believe it’s only…” and

  2. More of us will be wearing a headlamp while running. 

We have enjoyed some of our favorite runs while following a bouncing headlamp beam down a smooth, dark country road. But we have also cursed fading batteries and bad headbands that turn fun into frustration faster than you can say “Rayovac.” Gear Junkie has channeled some of our grievances in “Why We Secretly Hate Headlamps.” On a more positive note, Triathlete magazine just published this helpful guide on safety essentials: “What Do I Need for Running In Low Light?” The story offers suggestions on reflective clothing and reminds us that lights serve 2 roles: lights to see and lights to be seen. You will find examples of both in ”31 Gear Suggestions to Stay Safe on Your Night Runs.” There are also tons of apparel options in this piece: “Best Reflective Running Gear.” #PetzlLogic

Minute 4: How you can learn to love running hills

Having grown up in New Hampshire, we love running and hiking over hills and mountains. Many of our friends, however, regard hill repeats as necessary evils -- like report cards, thank you notes and true intimacy. It’s why you see posts like: “Hills Suck — Why You Should Do Them Anyway.” Or, “Hill Repeats: The Thin Line Between Love And Hate.” But has some hill-running advice you might appreciate this week. In its “Hill Run Workout: The Secret to More Speed on the Vert,” running coach Cory Smith says hill repeats, long hilly runs, and vert-focused climbs can not only improve your workout, but also help you outpace other runners. Smith’s hill workouts are designed to help his athletes create a surge at the top of the hill to overtake the competition. #RepeatOffender

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • Would you love to star in a running commercial? If so, you should enter Michelob ULTRA’s ‘Everyone’s A Runner Challenge.’ With its ‘The Chase is On’ running commercial and Team ULTRA fitness campaign, Michelob has been aggressively marketing its brand to runners and fitness enthusiasts. Their promotions include a social media campaign that could connect a winning runner with a former football star, a celebrity trainer, or Molly Huddle. And the grand-prize winner will be featured in a 2021 running-focused commercial.

  • COVID-19 has had a profound impact on many older adults. One inspiring exception is Kana Tanaka, the world’s oldest person. The 117-year-old woman is set to carry the Olympic torch ahead of the Tokyo Games. Tanaka, who was born in Fukuoka, Japan, was originally scheduled to carry the Olympic flame in the 2020 relay but the Games were postponed due to the pandemic. Her new date is May 11, 2021, when she will be 118 years old. Tanaka was born before the first modern Olympics in Athens. More than a century later, she is set to carry the torch while being pushed in a wheelchair at her care home in Fukuoka. She was invited to perform the ceremonial role by Olympic sponsor Nippon Life Insurance Co., which wanted her to “send a positive message about this time of long-living.”

  • Next Monday, a small gathering of elite American women will try to break the U.S. record of 52:12 in a closed 10-mile race. The event is being organized by the folks who normally produce the Credit Union Cherry Blossom Ten Mile, one of the nation’s iconic road races where the 52:12 mark was established by Janet Bawcom in 2014. Dubbed the Up Dawg, thanks to a classic scene from The Office, it will be live streamed on the event’s Facebook page.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

One of the most common ailments among runners is knee pain. One of the most common ways to source excellent information these days is through TikTok. We are marrying those two megatrends and bringing you our first-ever TikTok link on Six Minute Mile that explains how to bullet proof your knees to continue running in good health. (Our tween daughter is going to be so proud.) The video below from a former division 1 athlete actually changed the way we think about the hottest media outlet on the planet. It’s lit. (Do kids still say that? Lit?)


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