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Shhh. Semi-secret marathon registration window is open.

Minute 1: Should your running schedule enter vacation mode when you do?

We hope everyone has found a way to emulate Zac Brown this summer:

“I got my toes in the water, ass in the sand

Not a worry in the world, a cold beer in my hand

Life is good today, life is good today.”

While you’re chilling on the beach, however, your mind may eventually wander back to the idea that: “I’ve got a running routine to keep up with!” Well, here are “7 Tips to Stay Fit While on Vacation” from RunnerClick. The first question to ask is, should you continue to run on vacation, or is it time for a break? That depends on how convenient it will be, and where you stand in your training cycle. If your running is going to get in the way of group plans, you should put things on hold and enjoy the trip to the fullest. Looking for activities like a hike or bike ride is a good way to compromise while staying active. After all, planned rest is an important part of the training process, as you can learn about in Fleet Feet’s “How to Take a Break From Running.” If, on the other hand, you’re only days or weeks out from a competition, time off might not be an option. You should consider traveling with resistance bands, which let you turn any living room into a modular home gym. Also, consider trying a HIIT app; they’re a great way to get your heart rate up when you’ve got limited running space to work with. Here’s some inspiration for you to “HIIT the Beach With These Intense Fat Burning Workouts.” #NoDaysOff

Minute 2: Protect your liver with coffee and other foods

If the fountain of youth is ever discovered, our money’s on the fact that coffee gurgles through it. We’ve written at length about the energy benefits java provides, but now there’s good evidence to suggest it fights disease as well. Take a look at “All Types of Coffee Protect Against Liver Disease, Study Shows.” Liver health is critical for athletes, since our livers store and process glycogen. Learn more in “The Liver and the Bowel: essential for athlete's health.” Cases of chronic liver disease, or CLD, occur when persistent inflammation leads to damage of the liver tissue, potentially leading to liver cancer. Researchers set out to see what kinds of coffee, if any, protect from CLD. They found that decaf, instant, and ground coffee were all associated with a reduced risk; 21% lower chance of developing CLD, and 49% less likely to die from the disease. Researchers aren’t certain what ingredient is most essential for fighting the disease, though they suspect it is a combination of various natural chemicals found in coffee. If liver health is your goal, don’t just stop at your morning cup of joe. Read about the “Fatty liver diet: 8 foods to eat - and 8 foods to avoid.” Foods high in vitamin E can help, so get some spinach, bell peppers, and peanuts in your diet. Flax and chia seeds are a great addition to a smoothie or bowl of oatmeal that are also shown to fight liver disease. Most importantly, avoid consuming too much alcohol, which puts direct pressure on your liver as it's processed and removed from your system. #CoffeeLover

Minute 3: Olympic dining via TikTok

Coffee was definitely in large supply for athletes in Tokyo this year, but so were steaming hot takes on social media. Dining in the Olympic Village was a major trend on the Gram and TikTok. Athletes were more than willing to share their culinary journeys, as detailed in: "Olympic TikTok Is The Best." Athletes like Dominique Scott provided walk-throughs of the cafeteria with its sprawling and numerous international options. "Tokyo Olympic Dining Explained by Olympians on TikTok" collected a bunch of TikTok videos for easy digesting and details where you can learn about some of the options available to the athletes. As you’d expect, the caloric intake for many of these athletes is nothing short of Herculean. "Olympic Athletes Come With Olympic-Sized (but Healthy) Diets" discusses some of the sports that demand the most intake. Swimmers take in 5,000 to 10,000 calories a day. Distance runners are about the same as swimmers, with marathoners eating a carb-heavy diet. The carbo-loading spaghetti dinner is a myth that has needed busting for quite some time, so it's enlightening to see that many athletes are tackling carb-rich smoothies and drinks to get the same effect. Lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables - all staples of an Olympic diet. #TikTokDiet

Minute 4: Get the best of both worlds with combo runs

As a runner, you’ll often ask yourself the question: “should I develop my speed or endurance today?” It’s a delicate balance you have to strike, and if you’re having trouble choosing, maybe you simply need to work on both. Conventional wisdom tells us you can’t have your cake and eat it too, but whoever came up with that saying obviously never heard of combo runs. Neither have you? Well check out “The Endurance-Building Power of Tempo Run Combination Workouts.” Combo runs vary the kinds of stress they put on your body to facilitate multiple kinds of adaptation. They typically feature a tempo run, interval workout, and recovery period all fit into one outing. That way, you’re getting some output at a high speed, while also conditioning your body to go the distance. A run that builds your versatility demands a versatile shoe. For that, we bring you “The Most Versatile Running Shoes” to handle whatever kind of run you can imagine. You’ll want to find something lightweight, so you don’t inhibit your speed, but also with a fair bit of cushioning to get you through those high-mileage days injury free. The article includes 3 options for the road, and 3 for the trail. #TheRightCombo

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • The fall marathon calendar is the busiest in the history of the sport. IN a 6-week span in October and November, there will be multiple options for runners. We had assumed that the biggest name races were already sold out, but we learned this week that one of our favorites has a few bibs left - the Marine Corps Marathon. While most major marathons just rolled their 2020 registrations over into 2021, the Marines decided to refund the fees last year and then re-opened a fresh registration window for their October 31, 2021, edition. Normally, the race sells out in hours, but we just learned this week that with all of the confusion and scheduling overlaps of the fall season, you still have time to get into the MCM without needing to raise thousands of dollars for charity. The race is regarded as one of the best-produced events on the planet and is legendary for its swag like amazing finisher medals. Registration link is here.

  • A lot of records were broken on the track in Tokyo, and that was no accident. The track was designed by an Italian company called Mondo. "Olympic Runners Are Fast. On Tokyo's Fast Track, They're Shattering World Records" profiles the process behind the track surface, which was years in the making. The science that went into the surface is as equally intense as the process for the Super Shoe. "The top of the track consists of semi-vulcanized rubber granules that create a solid layer to help runners grip the surface. Below that is a honeycomb backing that consists of hexagonal air chambers that can compress in all directions and bounce back with a runner's forward motion."

  • Eating healthy does not mean skimping on calorie requirements. All too often, when we opt for a salad at lunch or dinner, we’re making something with the caloric content of a side, not an entree. It can leave you unfulfilled, and without the energy you need to live an active lifestyle. Take your salad game to the level it needs to be with these “6 Ways to Make Creative, Filling Salads That Keep You Satisfied, According to an R.D.”

  • Fitness brands and influencers are in a constant battle with each other for your attention. Unfortunately, that means the catchiest content is often promoted instead of reasonable, scientifically valid advice. Enter the fitness challenge. They can be a lot of fun, and spread like wildfire on social media, but they don’t always live up to their promised results. Worse yet, they can be unsafe. Check out the article from LifeHacker on “How to Tell If a ‘Fitness Challenge’ is a Complete Waste of Time.”

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Call us sappy, call it a need for normalcy, but this video highlight reel from NBC hit us right in the feels. The Olympics have always been about the spirit, the joy, and respect of sport and international competition. It's the moments of shared respect that have a way of hitting that inspirational note. This feels especially needed during a time when we've spent over 18 months keeping our distance and avoiding hugs. So, here's 5 minutes of incredible moments, but most importantly, 5 minutes of athletes hugging it out. Included in the mix is the scene we did a reader poll on last week: should the high jumpers have split the gold medal or done a jump-off to determine 1 winner. In the spirit of international cooperation, 89% of you agreed with the decision to share.


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