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Will isometrics make you a better runner?

AUG 21, 2022

Minute 1: Isometric training ideas

For athletes of a certain age, the idea of isometric exercises evokes flashbacks of gym teachers wearing too tight coaching shorts, screaming at scrawny high schoolers to hold a wall sit for another 10 seconds. These types of moves were eventually replaced by the idea of “full range of motion” exercises. It turns out that Coach Tank was onto something after all, as holding muscles in one position for a prolonged period delivers a nice complement to more common gym movements. Unlike concentric and eccentric exercises, isometrics don’t create as many micro tears while building muscle mass. They also do a better job of “training the nervous system to coordinate with your muscles in that specific position and fire the right muscles at the right time,” according to this helpful overview “What the Heck Are Isometric Exercises, Really?” For a more advanced challenge, check out this new CrossFit-inspired story: “10 Isometric Abs Exercises to Bulletproof your Core and Build a Better Body” If you aren’t familiar with Pallof Holds, L Sits and Warrior Pose 3, you will be after reading that piece. To see how you can improve your running with these moves, check out: “Top 6 Isometric Exercises For Runners.” As with most trendy trends, TikTok got involved with an isometric challenge that went viral last year: “Why Men Can’t Beat the Viral “Center of Gravity” TikTok Challenge

Minute 2: Tough times for Peloton and SoulCycle

The post-pandemic world was tough on a couple of former fitness company phenoms last week. Peloton and SoulCycle both bonked, announcing layoffs and location closures. We are fans of both brands, but these types of changes usually cause some reputational injuries: “Top SoulCycle instructors – some with huge followings – say they’re being laid off with little to no pay.” That story emerged after the company announced it would be closing 20 of its 82 locations as client trends have evolved since the onset of Covid. Peloton has lost more than $40 billion in market value since its peak during the pandemic. In response, the company had to tighten its belt: “Peloton to Cut 800 Jobs, Hike Prices and Shut Stores in Sweeping Overhaul.” Perhaps counterintuitively, Peloton is raising the price of its treadmill by $800 and its top bike by $500, while asking customers to assemble gear themselves. If you are looking for a bargain, however, the company has a surplus of its original model Bikes and is selling them at a significant discount. #PedalPowerOutage

Minute 3: Was Dean Karnazes actually attacked by a coyote?

Prolific ultramarathoner and author Dean Karnazes has run into wild controversy following this Instagram post in which he says he was attacked by a coyote while on a 150-mile run in the Marin Headlands. At first, most social media reactions were supportive, wishing him and his bloodied face a quick recovery. The Gram can be a fickle friend, however, and sentiment quickly changed from hugs to hate when wildlife experts called the attack into question. Trail Runner magazine just posted this piece: “Did Ultrarunning Legend Dean Karnazes Really Get Attacked By A Coyote?” Coyote attacks on humans are extremely rare, but it’s possible the animal was after an energy bar the runner was holding. The TR author interviewed Karnazes and concluded: “The coyote did not bite Karnazes, but in his defense, he never said it did. Karnazes did, however, use the word ‘attack,’ in his recounting, when the only thing being technically ‘attacked’ here was his unwrapped energy bar, which may have precipitated the incident.” For advice on how to stay safe out there, iRunFar provides this advice: “A Trail Runner’s Guide to Sharing the Trail With Wildlife.” #CoyoteUgly

Minute 4: Nutrition hacks to avoid cooking

If you’re like us, you appreciate a good healthy meal, but don’t always have the time or patience to fire up multiple burners on your stove to deliver the goods. That’s why this story caught our eye: “I'm a Dietitian & These Are My Favorite One-Pot Dinners.” There are lots of mouth watering ideas on the list, including chicken & kale enchiladas and a vegan coconut chickpea curry. They will all leave you with just one cook pot to clean. If even that amount of work seems like too much, consider this list from LIVESTRONG: “7 Vegetarian Heat-and-Eat Meals With 15 Grams of Protein or More.” Options include a vegan pasta bolognese and a gluten free enchilada bowl, all coming pre-packaged and ready to heat up. Apparently there is a dangerous trend emerging among folks who are really trying to shortcut the whole cooking thing: “More Athletes Are Getting Their Nutrition Through an IV. This Should Stop, Experts Say.”

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • If you are looking to squeeze in some late summer or autumn outings, the Washington Post just published a helpful piece: “A visitor’s guide to the country’s 63 spectacular national parks.” While the National Park System gets most of the attention, smaller and often quieter state parks are also a good option. For ideas near you, check out: “The most beautiful state park in every US state.”

  • Boston Marathon Race Director Dave McGillivray has always done more than his share to give back to the sport that has given him so much. Dave has written books and shared his wisdom with other race professionals for decades now. He has also never forgotten his humble roots growing up in blue collar Medford, MA, where he was frequently the last pick for pick-up games, but followed his passion for sports anyway. If you are around Boston on September 18, we’d encourage you to check out his Run Medford event that has something for runners of all ages and abilities. He is offering races ranging from 1 mile to 5K to 8K. All proceeds will benefit the Dave McGillivray Finish Strong Foundation, which empowers youth across New England and beyond to increase physical activity; expand literacy; and build community and self-esteem through running, reading, and performing acts of kindness.

  • If you are looking for ways to upgrade your back-to-school or back-to-the-office wardrobe, forget about crowded shopping malls and judgmental boutique owners. You should turn instead to our exclusive Six Minute Mile online gear shop that will leave you with sore palms and a slightly bruised forehead from dope-slapping yourself and exclaiming: “Why didn’t I buy some super cool gear from SMM months ago?!?!”

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Fall marathons are only a hop, skip and jump away. You’ve put in the 50-mile weeks, made the travel arrangements and maybe even picked out your race day outfit. There might be one thing you haven’t considered towing along with you; your personal cheerleading squad. We’re unaware of any scientific studies that proves this, but we’re pretty confident that a hype team late in the race gives you a much better shot at hitting a new PR. Check out this video below and consider sharing it with your potential cheering section.


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