Minute 1: NYC Marathon celebrity A list
While in Manhattan this week preparing to cover the New York Marathon, we walked into a diner right behind Colin Quinn, the SNL alum. OK, that’s not like bumping into Liz Lemon, Carrie Bradshaw or Derek Jeter, but it was still a nice New York minute for a guy from out of town. In the same vein, we also enjoy checking out the celebs who run the NYC Marathon every year. The list for November 7, 2021, was just released: “New York City Marathon Announces The Celebrities That Will Be Running This Year.” This year’s line-up includes Abby Wambach, Tiki Barber and Christy Turlington. Another 2021 runner with a verified Instagram account is Nev Schulman. He gets our vote as the bold print person most likely to break 3 hours. He ran 2:58:54 back in 2018, so it all depends on current fitness levels for the star of MTV Catfish. Past NYC celebrity finishers include Kevin Hart, Alicia Keys and Ryan Reynolds. Another A-Lister we will be cheering for in New York is Shalane Flanagan. The winner of the 2017 race, Flanagan is now retired from professional competition, but hopes to wrap up an epic season by completing her 6th marathon in 6 weeks in under 3 hours. The toughest stretch came when she had to run Chicago (2:46) and Boston (2:40) on consecutive days. She is undertaking this challenge to raise awareness of the fact that girls drop out of sports at 1.5X the rate of boys by age 14. Flanagan is hoping to inspire more young women to stick with sports and fitness. #CentralParkCasting
Minute 2: Will WFH ever end?
Last week we were on a Zoom call that ended abruptly after 40 minutes because the organizer was on a free plan. Hmm. Are you thinking what we’re thinking? Encourage everyone in your universe to switch to the free tier, watch productivity soar, and make $1 million shorting Zoom stock. Video meeting fatigue aside, over the past 20 months, we have worked primarily from home and liked it. The biggest plus has been that without a commute and with shower time flexibility, we can squeeze in a run or a workout at almost any time of day. Sure, we miss meeting and socializing with our co-workers, and training younger folks is definitely tougher over Zoom. According to a new survey by BambooHR, however, people who’ve returned to the office are not as happy as they expected to be. In fact, 37% of those returnees in the U.S. say they feel worse in the office than they did at the depth of the pandemic. And as for collaboration, only 21% feel a deeper sense of company culture working under the same roof. Part of the reason may be that for 61% of workers, company perks like free beverages and snacks have been curtailed. With many organizations worried about the liability of company-owned gyms, they have also shuttered that benefit. In response, Corporate America has responded with digital perks, including snack box deliveries and coupons for Gympass. The Washington Post has details in: “Virtual pizza parties, pet adoption fees and on-demand babysitters: How the pandemic changed employee perks.” As for the plus side of working from home, there was one fact that we hadn’t expected: 41% of respondents in the BambooHR poll said they preferred using their own bathroom at home versus the metal-partitioned stalls at work. #HRDerby
Minute 3: How to avoid bonking
Many veteran marathoners will tell rookies that 20 miles is the halfway point of the race. That’s not just because Boston’s Heartbreak Hill arrives or NYC’s crowds thin out in the Bronx at that mile marker, but it’s also because that’s about the place where your body hits the wall or bonks. Just in time for the last marathons of the year, Podium Runner has published this guide: “Here are the top four reasons people hit the dreaded wall in the marathon, and how to better strategize to keep it from happening to you.” Despite what you’ve heard about the Keto or Paleo diet, endurance athletes need a good supply of carbs to sustain them past 2 hours of hard work. Most runners can only store about 375-500 grams of carbs in their bodies and it takes about 750 grams to complete a marathon. If you’re planning on a 4-hour marathon, that means you will need to consume about 60 grams per hour during the race in the form of food, gels or liquids. Proper hydration and limiting caffeine can also stave off the bonk. For training advice, we like this guide from respected runner and coach Greg McMillan: “How to Bonk-Proof Your Running.” In addition to properly fueling your body leading up to race day, McMillan recommends a run every week or two with no carbs prior to that particular workout. You should run about 80% of the way to your normal bonk point, so if that’s 2 hours, you should run 1:36. Over time, this technique should extend your bonk point. #BonkIfYouHateNegativeSplits
Minute 4: Beer mile legend
Alli Morgan just won her third straight Beer Mile World Classic in England this month meaning she is not only a superb runner, but she also loves beer. Women’s Running has the full story on Morgan’s conquest: “Alli Morgan, Beer Mile Champion: ‘You have to be good at chugging, running, and keeping it down.’” Morgan ran a 6:32mile while chugging a beer every lap, just off her world record pace. The rules of the event mandate that competitors finish every ounce of their beers and keep it down throughout the race. Once you’ve crossed the line, however, the “keep it down” part is over. “You can’t throw up during the race, but I usually try to find a garbage can or a bathroom immediately afterwards," Morgan told Women’s Running. “You know that having all of that liquid in there, you know it’s going to come up. I try to eat something after that.” (Bad news, fellas, in case you were wondering, she is married with 2 kids.) #LagerJogger
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
While our readers try to eat healthy for most of the year, we hope they will consider indulging in some nutritional rule-breaking this weekend to celebrate Halloween. Across the U.S., the 3 most popular treats are Reese’s Cups, Skittles and M&Ms. If you live in the southern part of the country, you are much more likely to enjoy Candy Corn, but the rest of the country rates it as the worst candy on the market. All the details are here: “From Reese's to candy corn, here are the most popular and hated Halloween treats by state.”
With all of the tracking data available on our wrists and phones, sometimes we like going back to the basics of simple training staples. We just came across a good list of these from Training Peaks: “3 Workouts for Runners to Guarantee Race Success.” There are just enough quirks and variation on this list to hold our interest and buy a vowel in our standard routine. They suggest a few twists on a traditional 1 minute interval workout, for instance, to make it fun and challenging.
Since our sister company is MarathonFoto, we frequently get asked about how to take better pictures outdoors. While you need bigger, more expensive lenses to cover a marathon properly, the truth is that the technology in your iPhone is better than most SLR cameras from a few years ago. We just came across this hack to make all of your outdoor photos look as if they were shot at Hollywood’s “magic hour” -- that time at the end of the day when the setting sun bathes everything in a flattering light. We found these settings in one of our favorite newsletters called The Hustle. Give it a shot for your next outdoor iPhone image that you’d like to make special: “Take a photo outside. Set highlights to -32, shadows to -26, contrast to -30, brightness to -15, black point to 10, saturation to 10, vibrance to 8, warmth to 10, tint to 29, sharpness to 14, and definition to 23. You’re welcome.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
Despite decades of doping controversies in professional cycling, the sport still enjoys a committed fanbase. Perhaps these people are also WWE or sci-fi movie lovers, since they are able to suspend disbelief to follow cycling avidly. (Full disclosure: we still watch the TDF every year.) Or perhaps these fans just aren’t that street smart and are even a little reckless. Of course there was the famous case this summer of a woman who was arrested for holding up a silly sign at the Tour de France that caused one of the biggest accidents in the history of the race. (Video here.) Last weekend cycling fans received another black eye when a fan inexplicably walked into the road near the finish of a 54-mile race in the Canary Islands. The leader of the race slammed into the woman and instead of heading to the podium, he was taken to the hospital with a head injury. Based on the video below, it is a miracle that the woman wasn’t also concussed.