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Surviving the treadmill, business winners & losers, and national runners survey

Minute 1: Mental Survival on the Treadmill

Many of our friends are getting a little Corona-crazy from logging “boring” miles on treadmills. With outdoor routes feeling a little dangerous, the home treadmill isn’t just for rainy days and hanging laundry anymore. Sometimes to beat crazy, you need to think crazy. And there is no one more maniacal about treadmill workouts than Florian Neuschwander. The 38-year-old German just broke the world treadmill record for running 50K in 2:57:25. He is an accomplished ultrarunner who builds mental toughness on the hamster wheel. “It sounds strange but as an ultrarunner you need to get used to doing boring things.” In a detailed blog piece from his sponsor, On running shoes, Florian reveals mental tricks and his 3 favorite treadmill workouts to beat back the boredom. BTW, Wirecutter reviewed 16 popular treadmill models and published an in-depth review of its favorites. Sales of the expensive but highly-regarded Peloton treadmill are temporarily suspended, although they are still selling their bikes. #RunningInPlace

Minute 2: Fighting off quarantine weight gain

According to Running USA (see Minute 4), the #1 reason people begin running is to lose weight. And 63% of dedicated runners are not content with their weight. Many folks are fretting over the adult version of a “Freshman 15” in which working from home means there is no social distancing from your refrigerator. We are taking the opposite approach and using this time to drop the extra 5 pounds (OK 10 pounds) we’ve always wanted to shed. Personally, we are fans of the simple LoseIt app. It’s a no gimmick program that lets you record your daily food intake and gives credit for steps and workouts seamlessly. We find ourselves steering clear of the big slice of cake or extra beer since we know it will show up in the daily calorie count. If you are more ambitious, there is lots of info out there to lose weight and eat healthier over the next month. We are linking to reviews on the Whole 30, Keto, the Mediterranean Diet and the Mayo Clinic Diet. This calculator will let you know (roughly) how much faster you will run with a lighter payload. #Covid15

Minute 3: Business winners & losers

Couch potato stocks are soaring, with Netflix and Amazon hitting all-time highs this week.   (BTW, our favorite SNL fake ad – the Nike Couch Panini – seems more relevant than ever.) On the other hand, fitness-related stocks are mixed, depending on the business model. Planet Fitness is down 39% with locations closed across North America. Meanwhile, Peloton has surged 44% from its February lows and is now valued at more than $10 billion. Sadly, ClassPass just laid off more than half its team with no in-person studio classes available to sell. Not that you asked, but sales of Corona beer surged as its namesake virus spread. Some consumer surveys had forecast a steep sales drop due to the unfortunate naming coincidence. Instead, beer drinkers displayed a sense of humor and sliced limes in record numbers. Unfortunately, Corona just announced it needs to pause production, so it is now looking more like ClassPass than Peloton. #SweatEquity

Minute 4: What are you thinking?

Some folks can’t wait for the Oscars or the ESPYs every year. As endurance sports geeks, we are clicking refresh when the annual Running USA National Runner Survey is released. This year’s report polls more than 3,000 reasonably serious runners -- 88% percent of respondents run at least 3 days per week. The results include nuggets like:

  • Brooks is the most popular brand of running shoe, at about triple the rate of Asics, New Balance, Nike, Saucony or Hoka 

  • Nike is king of apparel, followed by Under Armour, Brooks and Lululemon

  • 52% of runners sustained an injury that caused them to miss 4+ days of training

  • Only 37% of runners are content with their weight

  • Facebook is favored over Instagram among runners

  • Half marathon is the most popular distance for this crowd

If you want to understand your own motivations and those of your fellow travelers, check out Strava’s 25,000 person survey that answers the question: Why We Run. #TrampsLikeUs

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • We liked this piece on Medium: How Elite Athletes Are Staying Fit Under Lockdown. They gathered quick tips from 7 elite athletes, including runners, CrossFitters, swimmers and cyclists. If you want a little Access Hollywood mixed in with your workout inspiration, Shape magazine offers “How Celebs Are Keeping Up With Their Workouts During Coronavirus.” Britney and Serena in the house.

  • UnTapped, the makers of healthy sports supplements based on maple tree sap, just announced a sweet offer to support local specialty sports shops. Their Shop Support Program lets consumers buy products from the UnTapped website, but channel a portion of the price to their favorite local store. These shops are critical partners for local events and high school XC programs. Many are hurting badly but are open for business online or sometimes for curbside pick-up. We have shared this before, but it’s worth re-posting this list of The 20 Best Running Shops in America. Also, a well-regarded industry trade group presents an award to the best specialty run shop in the U.S. every year. A full list of past winners and finalists is here.

  • UltraSignup, one of the most respected online gathering spots for trail runners, just announced a way to inspire and support local running communities. “The coronavirus has shut down our races, our public lands, our group runs, and our retailers but it can’t extinguish our community!” UltraSignup is producing a virtual trail running film festival that will debut films streaming live on May 1. Tickets are $10 and benefit Covid 19 relief efforts.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

In keeping with our Saturday Night Live fitness theme (see Nike spoof link in Minute 3), we thought we’d share a little more levity during these times of, well, not levity. Here is SNL’s take on the culture of Soul Cycle.


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