Minute 1: Six Minute Mile Professional Edition launches tomorrow
In one of the biggest shake-ups to the publishing industry since Johannes Gutenberg ruined the quill pen market, we are launching a new edition of Six Minute Mile tomorrow. Our weekly SMM Pro newsletter is geared toward endurance industry professionals, and will soon be considered essential for generating profits and advancing careers. We expect important clients and corporate bosses to be asking our readers: “Is it just me, or have you gotten a lot smarter and more insightful recently?” We will explore topics like new shoe releases, venture capital investment in fitness companies, and curated listings of dream jobs in the industry. Each edition will feature a longer original story that explores an important issue facing the endurance industry. Tomorrow’s launch edition will make a deep dive into what the fall race season will really look like. If you’re a race director, specialty run shop employee, or endurance brand marketer, this is must-read stuff. Or if you just love endurance sports, there will be something in every issue for you, too. So let's lace up and take a lap around the industry together. The price is only (you guessed it) $6 per month. (Get it? $6? 6 Minutes?) That’s less than 2 cappuccinos at Starbucks and a small price to pay to assuage your profound guilt over reading all of the regular SMM content for free. Plus, unlike other member-supported stations, we won’t interrupt our regular programming for telethons and tote bag promotions. Check out all the exciting details here. #TurningPro
Minute 2: The importance of staying relaxed while running
Prolific essayist George Will once observed that baseball is not a game you can play with your teeth clenched. The season is long and the best hitters in the game are unsuccessful 70% of the time. Running is similar. Marathons play out over dozens of miles and 99.9% of the time you don’t win the race. Like baseball players, the less tension a runner feels, the better. Stress leads to tension, which compromises your running form and makes you less efficient and, ultimately, slower. It then causes you to push harder and increase your effort, which leads to even more tension and leaves you as stiff as a light-hitting shortstop. Triathlon Magazine Canada says “relaxing your body can help you to keep hitting your splits throughout the run, and will allow you to speed up for that finishing kick.” It offers some tips in “How to stay relaxed while running.” It recommends taking a quick inventory of your body and looking for signs of tension. Are your arms and shoulders creeping up toward your ears? Are you clenching your jaw? Are your eyebrows drawn together so tight you look like “you’re about to blow a gasket?” If you’re wondering where to draw the line between healthy pre-race intensity and getting over-hyped, check out this thoughtful analysis: “Effects of Intensity on Performance.” As legendary University of Colorado coach Mark Wetmore told his team on the eve of the national championship race in Running with the Buffaloes: “You’re fine, you’re gonna be calm and cool. You’ll beat people who are better because you’ll outsmart them and outcool them.” Runner’s World recently cited a study that showed that even a mouthpiece “Could Help You Become A Better Runner” by lowering lactate levels. It’s also a good idea to check out tips like “How To Breathe While Running | 3 Breathing Exercises To Try.” Another good source for learning to relax is the aptly-named The Peaceful Runner, which teaches the basics for “How to Relax to Improve Running Economy.” #CoolRunnings
Minute 3: Puma jumping back into running game
For the past few decades, Puma was known as an athleisure brand conjuring up their glory years of sponsoring hip athletes in the ‘70s. The words “performance” and “Puma” rarely appeared in the same sentence. It wasn’t until Puma made history with world’s fastest man, Usain Bolt, that it began to make its mark in running. After Bolt won 3 gold medals in the 2008 Beijing Olympics and set the world record in the 100M and 200M in 2009, Puma signed the Jamican sprinter to the largest ever sponsorship deal in track & field. Bolt, an 8-time gold medalist, later signed a $10 million per year deal to stay with Puma through the end of his career, and is still the brand’s leading ambassador. Despite the investment in Bolt, Puma has made little effort to compete with Brooks, Asics, Nike and other top brands in the endurance running shoe market. Until now. Puma has developed new running shoe technology and is set to release 5 new shoe models in March. Forbes recently detailed why and how Puma is jumping back into the running game in “Puma Diving Heavily Into Remaking Running Shoe Lineup.” “We have always made it and offered it in our collection but haven’t had a real brand focus in quite some time. The approach this time has been very different,” Erin Longin, Puma global director of run/train, told Forbes. Puma is starting over with Nitro Foam cushioning and new rubber outsole technology to give its shoes better traction in all conditions. Its Deviate and Deviate Elite models feature Puma’s own carbon fiber plate, and it’s also placing an emphasis on running shoes made specifically for women. After retaining less than 1 percent of the U.S. running shoe market in 2020, the brand recently signed Olympic distance runner Molly Seidel, prompting Outside to ask: “Will Puma Finally Break Through in Running?” #CatTracks
Minute 4: Why you should take your dog on a run
Our yellow lab wags his tail uncontrollably over 2 things in life: the sound of dog food being poured into his bowl, and the sight of running shoes being laced up. On days when motivation is lacking, those sad eyes looking toward the kitchen door are enough to make us postpone our own meal and head out for a few miles with him instead. Canadian Running tells us this week that we are not alone, and explains why a pooch is the perfect running partner in “5 benefits of running with a dog.” The story reminds us that because most breeds are not ideal for long training sessions, a dog means you always have a running buddy to make sure you don’t overdo it. “You might think you’re doing your dog a favor by bringing him along on runs,” the author says, “but it’s really the other way around.” Other running experts and dog lovers also recommend running with your dog. The American Kennel Club has tips for “Training Your Dog to be Your Running Companion,” while Runtastic offers “9 Tips To Keeping Your 4-Legged Running Buddy Happy.” Runner’s World ranks the “Best Dog Breeds for Runners.” #6LegsAreBetterThan2
Minute 5: Quick Intervals
At Yale University, students have been subject to some pretty severe Covid lockdown restrictions. The college newspaper recently documented the challenges many student runners are encountering: “Running in Circles: Frustrated on-campus runners adapt during month-long arrival quarantine.” The school’s protocols allow students to leave their residential colleges but they are still expected to remain on campus and avoid walking and running in the city of New Haven. That has forced several members of the school’s running club to move off campus to be able to continue running. “It’s definitely a pretty mind-boggling policy,” 21-year-old student Daniel Blatt said. “With a lot of runners it seemed pretty bizarre that Yale is restricting an activity that is so essential to students’ well-being and that poses such a low COVID risk. There’s definitely a lot of frustration.” While it’s hard to fault Yale administrators for being overly cautious, especially when many colleges have tried and failed to stop campus partying, it’s easy to understand the frustrations of avid runners who just want to go for a run.
Runners have discovered over the years that chocolate milk is not just a good snack for kids after recess or youth sports. It’s packed with carbs, protein, electrolytes, calcium and vitamin D, making the unique combination a good recovery drink after running. It is now also the inspiration for a new sports beverage hitting the market. GoodSport is the brainchild of Michelle McBride, an attorney and mom who was looking for a good source of hydration for her son while participating in youth sports. With the help of Andy Friedman, the founder and former CEO of SkinnyPop Popcorn, and Bob Murray, former director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, the trio created GoodSport. Food Business News says the new drink “seeks to clean up sports nutrition,” while DairyReporter.com calls it the “Dairy-based sports drink launched with industry support.” The company uses ultrafiltration to eliminate the milky color and taste, making it look and taste more like a traditional sports drink. It also filters out the protein, which can be hard to digest, while harnessing the milk’s electrolytes, vitamins and carbs. The company is targeting athletes and fitness enthusiasts with a product it says has 3 times more electrolytes than traditional sports drinks, with 33% less sugar and two types of carbohydrates for optimal hydration.
You’re headed out for a run and you’re armed with a smartwatch, fitness tracker and phone. Maybe you’ve also strapped on a heart monitor because you just read about the “8 best heart rate monitors to track your fitness.” GearJunkie suggests, however, that maybe you don’t need all those gadgets. In “The Case for Running Naked: Ditch the Electronics for a Happier, Healthier Run,” it recommends leaving the gadgets at home and relying on your body to tell you how you’re doing. While there are benefits to the latest running technology and gadgets, longtime runner and physical therapist Alison Williams-Morris, says relying on electronic metrics can cause you to focus too much on performance and push yourself too hard, often leading to injuries. “If you’re listening to loud music and checking your pace/distance on your smartwatch every quarter-mile, it’s easy to lose touch with your form,” she said. “This may push you to get in the habit of running too fast, which can cause deviations in running mechanics and eventually lead to overuse and, in turn, injury.” Williams-Morris recommends “running naked” for 15-25% of your training mileage, or about once a week.
Minute 6: Daily Inspiration
As we documented above, it’s important to relax when you’re running and try to stay focused on your running form. That’s easier said than done, though. Some runners struggle with proper running technique, while others simply have bizarre running styles. Comedian Greg Goodyer recently had some fun with this in his video “Twenty Hilarious Running Styles.” From “Drying Nail Polish'' to “Desperately Needing to Pee,” Goodyer nails the struggles some runners have sticking to proper form. And yes, ouch, we see some of our own bad habits in here. Check out Goodyer’s painfully accurate take below.