Minute 1: How to run a 5-minute mile
One of the most frequent questions we receive from readers is something along the lines of: “Why did you name it ‘Six Minute Mile?’ I’ll never be able to run that fast.” Well, maybe that’s just because we’ve all been aiming too low. This week we were inspired by this new story from BoxRox: “How To Run a 5-Minute Mile.” To hit that standard, you’d need to run a 74 second lap on a 400M track or 12 MPH on a treadmill. Of course for some folks given suboptimal genetic VO2 max and slow twitch muscle fibers, that may not be possible to sustain, regardless of how much training you do. But if you are willing to invest the work in interval training and hill work, it is possible for many more runners than we may believe. For more evidence of this fact and additional training ideas, check out this story from Outside magazine a couple of years ago: “How Our Totally Average Runner Broke the Sub-Five-Minute Mile.” The author of the piece owned a PR of 22:39 in the 5K and 1:49 in the half marathon before he started training for the mile in earnest. He relied on a steady diet of hill intervals and 100M and 200M sprints to get down to his goal. Of course many of us will never see 4:59 appear on our watches, but perhaps by aiming for that standard, we may get to a 5:59. #BHAG
Minute 2: More Peloton problems
Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug. Peloton’s marketing department for years was the windshield on a Maserati. Those PR folks helped build the company into a public entity worth more than $50 billion. The first cracks began to appear 2 years ago when they botched a holiday ad that seemed to imply a husband was buying his already fit wife a Peloton to lose weight. (Video here.) At the time, actor Ryan Reynolds was quick to poke fun at the ad spot with his own commercial: “Ads We Like: Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin enlists Peloton wife to down a gin martini in a zinger ad.” As we reported last week, Peloton received some bad press and a stock price setback recently when a fictional character on Sex and the City had a heart attack while riding a Peloton. (Hard to make this stuff up.) Once again, Ryan Reynolds jumped into the fray, but this time with a clever ad in support of Peloton with a very-much-alive Chris Noth (aka Mr. Big) and a real-life Peloton instructor. (Video here.) Marketing cognoscenti were praising the witty ad that was produced in only 48 hours. That’s until Reynolds and Peloton were forced to wipe out all links to the ad online yesterday when this news broke: “Peloton and Ryan Reynolds Delete Traces of Chris Noth Commercial Following Sexual Assault Allegations.”
Minute 3: Covid and endurance athletes
We are sometimes guilty of slipping into the mindset of: I am fit and healthy. Do I really have to worry about Covid? We just read a story this week that reminded us of why we must all be vigilant: “Superfit dad's heartbreaking final text before he died from Covid after refusing vaccine.” John Eyers, 42, was an avid triathlete, weightlifter and mountaineer before he contracted Covid and eventually went on a ventilator. His twin sister said: “John mentioned to me once that one of his beliefs was that we shouldn’t live in a climate of fear around Covid. If you were young and fit and well, you’d be fine.” Whatever your political beliefs on this issue, the numbers are fairly clear – unvaccinated people are more likely to die than their vaccinated counterparts. Of course, everyone is free to draw their own conclusions and make their own risk calculations based on that data. A group of health care workers just expressed their views on the matter by taking out a full page newspaper ad: “Health care workers take out ad asking people to get vaccinated.”
Minute 4: Breakfast nook
About a year ago we took a look at our “healthy” breakfast and realized that it was actually a sugar bomb in disguise. Blueberries, bananas, yogurt and unsweetened cereal washed down with a smoothie or OJ/seltzer water combo. Most of those components are healthy on their own, but piled on top of each other, they provide more of a quick jolt than long-lasting fuel. Instead we switched to eggs with veggies and a little bit of protein as the staple of our breakfast and we haven’t missed the sugar for a second. Always on the lookout for ways to spice up the morning routine, this story caught our eye this week: “35 Healthy Egg Breakfasts That Will Keep You Full ’Til Lunch.” The list includes things like sweet potato, broccoli and bacon egg “muffins” and baked eggs in an avocado. And speaking of that low-carb fruit, we also appreciated this new story: “How to Ripen an Avocado In Less Than a Minute With a Simple Hack.” The trick is to slice the avocado in half lengthwise and remove the pit. Leaving the skin on, wrap the avocado halves in plastic wrap and microwave for 15 seconds. If that’s not enough to soften it up, try it for another 10-15 seconds. Now that rock hard avocado is ready for your breakfast burrito or salad. If you’re looking for a way to liven up your eggs with a healthy seasoning, check out
“Sprinkling This Spice on Your Eggs in the Morning Can Curb Cravings All Day Long.” The mystery spice is cayenne pepper which has Capsaicin as its active ingredient. Apparently the heat from cayenne pepper makes you feel you feel fuller and also tamps down a desire for unhealthy salt.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
With the New Year’s resolution season fast approaching, we like the simplicity of this idea: “Make every mile count in 2022 with the #Run1000Miles challenge.” You can sign up for the formal program with Trail Running magazine, or you can just track yourself logging an average of 20 miles every week on Strava or your favorite run tracking app.
Garmin devices for endurance athletes are getting some stellar reviews this week. Check out “Garmin Fenix 6 Pro Review” where the iRunFar reviewer calls it “the best GPS running watch I have ever used.” Another review site sang the praises of this Garmin device, giving it 5 stars: “Garmin HRM-Pro review: a premium heart rate monitor for athletes.”
We are big fans of trail running, as both a way to stay entertained and to stay healthy. We have always believed that the softer surfaces of trails and varied foot strikes help avoid injuries. As a way to show that we are open to other theories, we share this news: “Study says trail running doesn’t decrease your risk for injuries.” The researchers concluded that “While runners are encouraged to enjoy the psychological benefits of trail running, trail surfaces do not appear to reduce loading forces associated with running-related injuries.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
For many folks who crossed marathon finish lines this fall it was the realization of a dream that started at the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Running was a way to get out of the house, a way to boost endorphin levels, and – by setting sights on a marathon – a way to stay optimistic about the future. Alyssa Amos Clark, had already been running marathons her whole life, so she set some loftier goals for herself. The objective was pretty simple: run a marathon every single day until she physically couldn’t anymore. 3 countries, 3 U.S. states and 2,489 miles later she had officially set the Guiness World Record for most consecutive days of running a marathon at 95. If not for contracting COVID-19 she might still be adding to her streak. The next record on her list is the 339-mile Pinhoti Trail on the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia and Alabama. Watch her full story here.