Minute 1: How to recover from a rough night of sleep
Whether it’s caused by stress, alcohol, or a “just 1 more episode” Netflix binge, we’ve all had nights where the Z train went express and passed us by. One session of poor sleep can screw you up not just for the next morning, but also for days to come. The answer is not to apply a caffeine BAND-AID, but there are ways to make up for lost time according to a new article from LIVESTRONG: “8 Things Sleep Experts Do in the Morning After a Poor Night’s Sleep.” The best thing you can do is get on top of the issue as fast as possible. Resist the urge to hit that snooze button, as sleeping in will delay the body’s natural process for becoming sleepy as the day progresses, causing you difficulty falling asleep at a normal time the following night. Coffee is an obvious aide to jumpstart your morning, but there’s a natural remedy to drowsiness that could be even more powerful: the sun. Exposing yourself to sunlight during the day will promote alertness and regulate your circadian rhythm for better sleep consistency. Consider starting your day with a Sun Salutation. What’s that, you ask? Find out in “Sun Salutations Explained - and Why You Should Master Them.” In short, they’re a common practice in yoga stemming from a Hindu tradition of morning prayer. For best results, they can be performed facing the rising sun so that you get all the benefits we’ve already listed. Not to mention it will give your body a jump start on its vitamin D requirements. Here’s some advice on why it’s so important and how to absorb more of it: “How to get more vitamin D from the sun.” If you’re worried about choosing between healthy skin and sunlight exposure, fear not, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. It is possible to absorb vitamin D even after applying protective sunscreen: “Sun Protection and Vitamin D.” #SunriseAndGrind
Minute 2: All about stress fractures
Stress fractures are all too common among runners, but don’t let that stress you out. Dive into “A Runner’s Guide to Stress Fractures” from Women’s Running to learn how to avoid them throughout your training. Stress fractures can occur even in healthy bones, and they usually develop due to overuse. High mileage, lack of recovery time, and lots of downhill running are all common risk factors. Stress fractures cause an aching feeling long after you stop running, but so do shin splints, a far less serious condition. To learn more about the difference, see “Shin Splints or a Stress Fracture? How to Tell.” In general, stress fractures cause pain in a smaller area of the body. Apart from lowering your workload, diet is the most important factor in keeping your bones healthy. We’ve written before about various “Nutrients For Bone Health,” like calcium and vitamin D. While those are the most significant, be sure to consider your phosphorus intake as well, since “Bones Need Both Calcium and Phosphorus.” Your bones require a balance between these minerals, and taking too much of one without the other can impede the absorption process. If you still develop a stress fracture despite these prevention tips, it’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible. The faster you identify the signs and reduce the causes of stress, the sooner you’ll get back to full strength. #StressReversal
Minute 3: How to set effective running goals
The most addictive part of a running or fitness experience often hooks us in the first few months as times drop and weight room reps increase. Your progress moves faster than a babysitter’s boyfriend when a car pulls into the driveway. Eventually, however, we all hit plateaus and need strategies to keep us on track. One of the most effective steps you can take is defining your goals. Check out “How to pick a good running goal” for some guidance on the matter. The first step is to start small. Don’t tell yourself “I want to win a road race for my age bracket” right from the get go. You’re not doing yourself any favors without charting a clear path to success. Instead, pick something small and specific, like “I want to run 30 miles a week for a whole month.” Another helpful strategy is to set multiple goals. For instance, as you prepare for a race, you could set a minimum pace target, and an aspirational best-case scenario goal. Setting goals will point you in the right direction, but it's still only part of a winning formula. Here’s some no nonsense advice to ensure your success from Outside magazine: “Two Simple Rules for Progressing at Anything.” #Goooooaaalll
Minute 4: Don’t let rain stop your run
Resilience is what separates great runners from the rest of the pack, and that means putting in the miles, rain or shine. Running in a downpour isn’t easy or pleasant. (Have you ever seen a shoe ad in Runner’s World where the model is soaking wet?) More important than photo opportunities, there are a few things you should consider before “Running in the Rain” according to RunnerClick. The biggest risk to look out for is slippery terrain. When the road is slick from rainfall, it's a bad time to push the pace. Sprint work can be an accident waiting to happen, but it's not a great time for a long, slow run either, as you don’t want to spend too much time getting drenched. Instead, do a moderately-paced medium distance run to strike a balance between comfort and safety. The upside of rainy day runs is their benefit to performance. Get used to running in bad conditions, and nice days will feel even easier by comparison. Also, rain can give a much needed break from hot weather training, especially during the summer. “What’s the ideal temperature for running?” you ask. One study found that about 44 degrees Farenheit is ideal for non-elite marathoners, so a bit of cooling rain can actually be a blessing in disguise if you want to log some solid distance. If that doesn’t convince you, check out these “5 Reasons You Should Run in the Rain” from Fleet Feet. #NoRainNoGain
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Most of us will never know the thrill of winning an Olympic medal, but we can all enjoy the pure satisfaction of supporting a fledgling email newsletter focused on endurance sports. They say that money can’t buy happiness, but we believe that this “They” person is dead wrong. Wasn’t it also They who said that it’s better to give than to receive? Rather than continuing with this 3 lies and 1 truth game, we’ll get to the point. The double espressos, IPAs and carbon-plated shoes favored by our staff don’t come free (unlike this newsletter). That’s why we’re inviting you to a win-win-win opportunity. If you subscribe to the paid version of SMM -- Six Minute Mile Professional Edition -- you will (1) receive awesome insider content about endurance sports; (2) support thirsty, shoeless artists; and (3) receive inner satisfaction more radiant than the shiniest Olympic medal. What if we told you all of this would be yours for only $6 per month? (Answer: you’d run, not walk to SMM Pro to swipe your credit card.) You see, it’s the same staff that publishes the free version of SMM as well as SMM Pro. So when you support SMM Pro, you also support this version of the newsletter.
The super shoe arms race (or foot race) is gearing up. More manufacturers have taken a stab at developing their own version of the new carbon technology and it’s getting a little confusing. Enter Podium Runner with a helpful comparison of 10 great options you can choose from right now. See how the prices, support levels, and weights differ as you pick the perfect shoe to help you shave precious seconds off your mile splits: “Super Shoe Showdown.”
Mindfulness is one of the most exciting areas of development in pursuit of mental health and wellness. That’s why we were psyched to hear the latest news from eMindful, a leading provider of evidence-based mindfulness programs. They’ve recently been acquired by Wondr Health, and their partnership is likely to yield big results. Find out more in “Mental Health Acquisition of eMindful Accelerates Wondr Health's Breadth, Innovation And Scale.”
The Olympics are serious business, with billions of dollars involved. But thanks to The Onion, we can now find humor and irony in an event that probably takes itself too seriously at times. Check out their satirical piece: “U.S. Olympians Describe What Inspires Them To Compete.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
We are fired up about watching the Olympics from the couch and have been admiring some gritty performances. But our celebration rarely goes beyond a casual fist pump or involuntary “Yesss!!!” Some people go a little further with their cellies than we do. The gold and silver medals so far belong to Australian swimmer Ariarne Titmus’s coach after watching her claim gold in the 400m free and the student body of Alaska’s Seward High School as they watched their schoolmate Lydia Jacoby win a surprise swimming gold medal. After a year as tough as we’ve had, we could all use some celebration and we don’t begrudge Australian swimmer Kaylee McKeown dropping an F bomb in a live TV interview after surviving a pandemic and the loss of her father. The fun kicks in at 2:37 of the first video, while the second video is just pure youthful exuberance the whole way through.