Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Minute 1: What triathletes can teach us about training variety
In the endurance sports world, triathletes are the jack of all trades and masters of the sum. But how do they really stack up as pure runners? It’s reasonable to expect that since triathletes are stretched across three training and racing routines, they can’t expect a PR in any one leg of the race. Not so fast, sport specialization savants, as this new analysis says that: “We Often Run Faster Off Tri Training.” Dan Empfield notes that a lot of triathletes are physically larger than the average elite distance runner, and that makes running large volumes difficult. The bigger your frame, the more stress running will put on your joints. Luckily, swimming and cycling offer a low-impact alternative to racking up “junk miles,” and for bigger distance athletes, that could be the difference between a season filled with injury and one filled with victory. The author concludes that these triathletes succeed at pure running not in spite of their swimming and cycling, but because of it, and we can all copy their approach in our own training. By identifying your weaknesses and working around them with cross-training, you can minimize your risk of injury. If you want to stay active without excessive burnout, try: “Cross-Training for Runners: Benefits, Workouts & Exercises.” While we’re on the topic of triathlons and running, we should mention the interesting phenomenon of the mid-triathlon running PR. We know many triathletes in shorter races who have notched their fastest 5K or 10K running time after already going full blast on their swim and cycling legs. That makes us wonder if we’re warming up enough for our running-only competitions. If you’re unsure how long your warmup should be, you can consult: “How to warm up for each distance race you’re competing in.”
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Minute 2: This Boston Marathon winner thinks running should be for life
Running legend Amby Burfoot says good runners can win a race, but great runners are the ones who come back to compete year after year. Beyond just possessing one of the best running names in history, Burfoot is a past winner of the Boston Marathon. But believe it or not, he’s more proud of his 61-year participation streak in the Manchester (Conn.) Road Race. Consistency, above all else, is what he strives for, and that’s why he wants to share: “The Six Keys To Lifetime Running.” As we mentioned in Minute 2 of our last issue, mantras are a mental hack to keep you focused and motivated. Amby agrees, and he says he finds the most inspiring lines in great works of literature like the Bible or Shakespeare. He also says the older you get, the more important it is to listen to your body. You’ve got to be wary of signs of injury, and since your risk goes up as you age, you might want to adopt a more thorough warm-up and cooldown routine. That’s one of many tips found in “Running after 40, 50, & Beyond: Masters Running Tips.” Amby isn’t the only legendary runner continuing to pursue the dream, and we found these “Lessons From Five World Class Masters Mountain Runners” to expand on his advice for not just trail runners, but road runners as well. Lots of veterans report taking a more relaxed attitude toward competition as they age. Rather than trying to set a faster PR, see how many days in a row you can run uninterrupted. You can also turn your focus toward the running community. If you’ve gained wisdom in your training, find a partner or group to run with and share what you’ve learned.
Minute 3: Start your morning right with sun salutations and core work
Happy Groundhog Day to our readers – especially those of you who rely on Punxsutawney Phil’s weather report. We’re glad to inform you that he didn’t see his shadow this week which is good news if you are tired of these cold, dark winter days. It’s got us feeling grateful for every bit of sunshine we can get, and that’s why we’re learning: “Everything You Need to Know About Sun Salutations.” Sun salutations are yoga routines designed to be done at sunrise. Getting sunlight exposure after waking signals your body to stop producing sleep hormones, and by pairing that with the gradual activity of yoga, sun salutations can be a powerful energy-boosting tool to start your day. Follow along with the routine and the guide, but avoid making common mistakes by learning: “How To Do A Sun Salutation The Right Way.” Yoga can be an excellent primer for additional exercises, and pairing it with a core workout is a popular choice. If you want to mix things up beyond the standard sit-up and plank routines, then read this new analysis: “These Are the Most Effective Ab Exercises.” Deadbugs can engage your core without allowing you to compromise form, unlike sit-ups that can often put people in compromising positions and cause back pain.
Minute 4: Top shoes at the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
Many of our friends consider the real game played at the Super Bowl to be the battle of the TV ads. Long after casual viewers forget whether SF or KC won the big game, they will remember their favorite ads, like the ones featured in this video compilation of the “10 Best Super Bowls Commercials of 2023.” In a similar vein, our favorite shoe reviewer, Brian Metzler, will watch tomorrow’s US Olympic Marathon Qualifier with one eye on the athletes’ finish times and one eye on their feet. Shoe brand execs will be biting their nails and crossing their fingers, hoping that an athlete wearing their shoes will wind up on the podium. Brian penned a very thoughtful analysis of the favorites among the humans and the favorites among the shoes at tomorrow’s races. A few highlights of his take are below, but for his full list of featured shoes, check it out on our website.
The women’s and men’s 2024 U.S. Olympic Trials Marathon are taking place tomorrow (Saturday, Feb. 3) in Orlando, Florida. Those are the races that will determine which runners qualify for Team USA and get to run the marathon in the Paris Olympics in early August.
Based on their qualifying times, there are three key favorites for the three Olympic qualifying spots in the women’s race – Emily Sisson (32, Phoenix, Ariz., 2:18;29), Keira D’Amato (39, Richmond, Va., 2:19:12) and Betsy Saina (35, Colorado Springs/Iten, Kenya, 2:21:40).
The men’s race is a little bit more complicated, in part because the U.S. has only two guaranteed spots, although it could get a third spot if the race is faster than the 2:08:10 Olympic-qualifying standard. That would be ahead of the 2:09:02 Olympic Trials record, which means that it might be a matter of which three runners can survive the best.
But the real question is: Which marathon racing supershoes will be the most prevalent in the races and which ones will make it to the podium?
Brian answers this question with a list of more than a dozen white hot shoes that goes well beyond just the famous Nike Alphafly 3 and the Adidas Adizero Adios Pro 3. Brands as diverse as Brooks, Tracksmith, Hoka and Cloudboom have cutting-edge supershoes on the feet of their athletes. Brian goes deep into the race behind the race in his full story. You can check it out on our website here.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
To go on an adventure, you don’t need to buy expensive gear or book a long flight. There is plenty of exploration to be done locally that can enrich your life and keep you active. Things like biking on a new trail, stargazing, or geocaching are just a few of the ideas you can try in: “A Microadventure Could Be Your Key To A More Adventurous Life.”
Nutritionists often advise against “stress eating,” claiming it’s an unhealthy coping mechanism. Well, what if there’s scientific research that suggests food can literally lower your stress levels? If your food is high in beta-sitosterol, it might do exactly that, and that’s just one more reason to love peanut butter: “Can eating peanut butter reduce stress? The answer might surprise you.” If that article has you convinced to pick up a jar, consider this list: “6 of the Healthiest Peanut Butters: Taste-Tested by Healthline Editors and Dietitians.”
Ultrarunning can take a lot out of you, but in the long term, it usually pays off. That was the takeaway from “This Is Your Brain on Ultrarunning,” which details the immediate and long-term effects of running ultra distances. In the short term, many runners experience some brain fog, but that’s more than offset by the long term benefits. What’s a few hours of lost sleep when it can improve your mindset and neuroplasticity?
Our fast friend and running music aficionado, Rebecca Trachsel, weighs in this week with another good suggestion for your playlist. (And remember, you can always find descriptions of the Friday songs compiled by Coach Trax along with a ready-built running playlist here.) Today's song is “Last Time” by Lovpune. Based in LA, Lovpune is an independent artist who started making music at the age of 15. She experimented with a few different bands before stepping out on her own into the ethereal world of alternative synth-pop. This song doesn't come out swinging; you have to be patient and let it build. Her voice is smooth and dreamy and she hooks you in with that alone, but when the synth is added and the song's rhythm picks up it's like....whoa, now we're rollin'. That's when you turn the volume up and let it sink in for the rest of the song. The legs are almost moving on their own by the end. It's the perfect song for a warm-up, perhaps, when you want to ease in slowly for a beat or two and then switch gears and take it to the next level. Lovpune's first album, “By Design” is set to be released this March. I'm definitely fired up for more from this artist. You can find it on Apple Music here and on Spotify here. #TurnItUp
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
As referenced in Minute 4, the Olympic marathon trials are underway, and we can hardly contain our excitement. So far, hundreds of U.S athletes have already qualified, and the state of Colorado is leading the pack, according to this post from @nbcsports. Well, there’s one very important runner who hasn’t secured his position yet, but if Galen Rupp’s resume is any indication, it’s a good bet he’ll be joining the American Olympians for the fifth time in his career. He’s battled several injuries over the last two years, but it looks like he’s back on track after refining his form and mechanics. That’s what he said in “U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials: Galen Rupp vies for historic fifth Olympics.” If he’s able to succeed in the upcoming trial, he’ll join a list of only 88 other Olympians who’ve made it to the games five times. The video below is an inspirational look at Rupp’s 2020 Olympic qualifying success. Click here to watch.