JAN 25, 2023
Minute 1: Should runners try CrossFit?
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. Q: Why do all CrossFit gyms have chalk? A: You can use it to mark where the bodies fell.
Sadly, that hardo gallows humor hits home for many athletes who have attempted a WOD. The fast-paced, explosive nature of CrossFit makes it applicable for runners looking to improve their strength and agility – provided they do so safely, according to this new story: “The Pros and Cons of Doing CrossFit.” CrossFit is a combination of weightlifting, running, calisthenics, powerlifting, kettlebells and other movements designed to present you with a different challenge every day. As such, you can expect it to improve just about every muscle group in the body while also developing cardio in the process. The downside is it can be quite challenging, and some of the exercises it utilized are advanced, posing a risk for injury. Before you give it a shot, you should be aware of the “10 Most Common CrossFit Injuries and How To Prevent Them.” Wrist injuries are common when performing Olympic lifts like the clean and press or snatch. By developing your grip strength and wearing wrist wraps, you’ll build the foundation for proper, safe technique. For a list of workouts of the day geared toward runners, consider these “8 CrossFit Workouts for Runners.”
Minute 2: Why am I tired after a good night’s sleep?
As WHOOP users, many of us here at SMM have awoken to a good recovery score, but still feeling wiped out. There are times when life tires you out so much, not even a full night’s rest can restore your energy. If that sounds like something you’ve experienced, you’ll relate to this: “I sleep for 10 hours a night – but still can’t get up in the morning.” It’s possible to experience sleep disruptions without realizing it, so if you struggle to feel rested, it might be time for a sleep clinic visit. The article links to a quiz to determine your level of daytime sleepiness, so check out the “Epworth Sleepiness Scale” to see if you’re in need of an exam. Napping is one way to cope with fatigue that can transform your productivity, if done correctly. Take a look at “Napping: Benefits and Tips.” Napping has been shown to improve cognition, lower risk of heart problems, and reduce stress. There are a couple rules of thumb you should follow when napping to avoid disrupting your usual sleep cycle. First, keep it under 30 minutes. That prevents you from falling into a deep sleep, which can often cause grogginess when awoken. Next, aim to finish your nap more than 8 hours before your bedtime. Napping too close to nighttime can disrupt your circadian rhythm and make it difficult to fall asleep on time. Last but not least, try eating a few of these “Foods That Can Improve Sleep.”
Minute 3: Morning rituals can shape your day for the better
Getting off to a good start is not just advice for when the starting gun goes off, but also for when your alarm clock chimes. The first few minutes of the morning can set the tone for your whole day. If you’d like to inject some more positivity into your starts, you will find good advice in this new story: “What Are Morning Rituals and Why You Should Consider Using Them.” Whether you’re aiming to boost mood, reduce inflammation, improve relationships, or increase productivity, there’s something for everyone in the article. Starting your day with a 5-minute meditation sounds small, but the results are anything but. Follow “Morning Meditation for Beginners: How to Get Started” for a guide and tips on how to stick to it. You can expect to lower your stress, anxiety, and blood pressure levels. If you’re looking for something more active, consider journaling about your thoughts and dreams to develop a clearer method for introspection. Morning journaling can jumpstart your creativity and provide mental clarity, so try out these “Journaling Techniques: 12 Tips for Writing Morning Pages.” There’s a lot of useful methods to be found in “22 Ways To Wake Up And Have a Positive Day.” It’s worth noting, setting yourself up for a good morning often starts the night before. By tidying up and picking your outfit for the day, you’ll jumpstart your process and avoid having to rush or skip important steps like breakfast.
Minute 4: Whatever the distance, we’ve got the workout for you
We’ve done our fair share of promoting Zone 2 training. If you need a refresher on what that means, check out Minute 2 of this issue. It may seem counterintuitive, but for endurance athletes to get faster, the solution is often slowing down most of your runs. A common recommendation is to take it easy about 80% of the time, but what should you be doing that other 20%? One of these workouts is a good place to start: “Running Speed Workouts for Every Race Distance.” Whether you’re training for a mile or a marathon, everyone can benefit from speedwork. Not only will it raise your race pace, but it can improve muscle definition and reduce the effects of aging too. For shorter races, running intervals of 200 to 800 meters will give you the right intensity. For a half marathon and up, tempo runs will strike a balance between developing speed and endurance. Tempos and intervals are just a start, but once you’ve tried those out, here are “7 Speed Workouts Runners Need to Know.” Strides allow your body to adapt to faster speeds while maintaining a relaxed posture, so the goal shouldn’t be to exhaust yourself. Start slowly, and work your way into the fastest pace you can manage with good form, holding that speed for 10 to 30 seconds.
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
Smoothies are quick, nutritious, and most importantly, easy to tailor to just about any dietary need. They can be a convenient source of anti-aging compounds like antioxidants, and who better to speak on that than the king of athletic longevity: Tom Brady. Lucky for us, the folks over at TB12 just dropped a comprehensive guide to making your own smoothies, and you can download the PDF from this link: “The TB12 Smoothie Guide.” For more ideas, check out: “Delicious and Nutritious Smoothie Recipes for Runners.”
Treating and curing Alzheimer's disease is one of the greatest challenges facing the biotech industry today, but a drug known as lecanemab could be the biggest breakthrough yet. It just received accelerated approval from the FDA thanks to some promising trial results. If you’re curious to learn how it works, and what the future of Alzheimer's research holds, read “New Alzheimer's drug slightly slows cognitive decline. Experts say it's not a silver bullet.”
Nitrites and nitrates are found in all sorts of foods, but not all of them are alike. Some are naturally occurring, like in leafy greens and vegetables like beets, while others are added into processed foods. We need some nitrates in our diet, but an excessive amount has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes in a recent study. See the details in “Consuming Higher Levels of Nitrites and Nitrates May Increase Risk of Type 2 Diabetes—Here Are the Foods to Keep an Eye On.”
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
You’d think in the middle of winter, everyone would be looking to stay out of the cold whenever possible. It seems like the opposite is true for @codysnyderfit, who’s challenged himself to take a cold plunge every day for 50 days. Proponents of cold exposure say it can improve your immune system function, blood flow, and ability to tolerate stress, but it’s a challenging habit to adopt. The good news is, it seems like the body is able to adapt fairly quickly, as you can see in Cody’s video below. Day 1 looks like it took just about everything he’s got to stay in the tub, but by day 30, the dip is a lot easier. Check out the clip to see just how adaptable the human body can be.