February 20 Six Minute Mile

Minute 1: Mountain lion attack update

Travis Kauffman finally described in detail how he was able to survive a mountain lion attack while out for a trail run in Colorado. Understandably, Kauffman spent time licking his wounds before emerging to throngs of TV cameras and reporters to share his story last week. He knew he was in deep trouble when the cat locked onto his wrist and wouldn’t let go, but his biggest fear was that the young mountain lion’s mother would show up to rescue her 70-pound offspring.

Kauffman wrestled with the cat and hit it with rocks and sticks, but it would not release his wrist and continued thrashing at him. He was able to pin down the cat’s legs and began choking it with his foot. “Slowly after a few minutes, I thought I was getting close, then it would start thrashing again. Then after a couple of minutes, it stopped moving and its jaws opened and I was able to scramble back up the hill and get the heck out of Dodge.” Runner’s World has an excellent account of Kauffman’s story here. The 150-pound avid outdoorsman has remained humble during his 15 days of fame. “The hardest part is that I’ll never be able to live up to the reputation. The story is bigger than my puny form.” Check out his full video interview and return to the attack scene below.

Minute 2: Is BMI relevant for athletes?

Our Commander in Chief just received another report of bad news. No, it has nothing to do with Robert Mueller, but it may be even more damaging to his personal image. The official White House physician recently completed the President’s annual physical exam and he is now officially obese according to BMI standards. At 6’ 3” and 243 pounds, Trump’s BMI is 30.4 which is just a few Happy Meals over the threshold of 30.0. (Check out where you stand on the BMI scale.)

Many people have criticized the BMI standard over the years for being overly simplistic. JJ Watt, one of the most athletic and strongest NFL players, has a higher BMI than Trump. The President may also take solace from an unlikely source. Trail Runner magazine just published an excellent piece titled Don’t Worry About What the Scale Says. The story explains why too much focus on weight impacts your self-esteem along with your athletic performance.

Minute 3: New Strava feature gets kudos

Strava just released the beta version of a new feature that will have premium Summit users across the world saying: “This so great, I wonder why they didn’t build this years ago.” The simple idea is that you can open a map, roughly trace a running or cycling route with your index finger, and let the app render a detailed route map with waypoints, distances and elevation data.

Yes, some cynics will say, “Yeah, I could do that with Google Maps years ago.” The huge difference is that Strava mines data from millions of prior athletes who tend to gravitate toward the best routes. Often the shortest distance between two points on Google maps isn’t the safest or most scenic route for runners and cyclists. Strava explains the details here. BTW, we are also fans of Strava’s constantly improving photo functionality. They gave themselves and their members a visual shout out by publishing the best Strava user photos of 2018. Even some of the iPhone shots are stunning.

Minute 4: Dress for success

Call us shallow, but we will admit that sometimes a new piece of workout gear or apparel provides that little extra motivation to get out of the house and into the gym or running route. Not sure why, exactly, but a new pair of sunglasses somehow makes the feet feel a little lighter during an afternoon run. To scratch your fashionista itch (a relative term among sweaty runners and gymgoers), we dug up a couple of good ideas. Because winter ain’t quite over, check out this list of our 13 Favorite Running Jackets. We also like this new Runner’s World list of 12 Shoes for Intense Cross-Training since, frankly, some of these are much better looking than our clunky every day running shoes. And if you want to dress Range Rover, but spend Toyota, you may enjoy these 31 Lululemon Hacks to Save You a Fortune.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • Lance Armstrong continued his comeback from the low point of his Oprah interview to a very respectable 3:02:13 performance in the Austin Marathon last weekend. While it didn’t match his PR of 2:46:43, he did raise $2,594 for charity. We have reported before that Lance made his financial comeback a few years ago by investing $100,000 into Uber that grew to more than $20,000,000.
  • Don’t think about a fire truck for the next 5 seconds. If you couldn’t block out that mental image, fear not, most people fail that little test. Most people also fail at blocking negative thoughts from entering their psyche. While you can’t entirely prevent darker thoughts, according to a provocative new piece, 8 Types of Negative Thoughts Limiting Your Potential, you can manage them. The advice applies to sports, careers and relationships.
  • A new study from JAMA discovered a direct correlation between heart disease and a man’s ability to do push-ups. Anyone who can do more than 40 push-ups rarely has heart problems. Those who can only muster 10 or fewer need to watch their cholesterol. See where you stack up and find details here.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

So you think you’re a pretty fast runner? Or at least you’re proud of your glory days moves in youth sports? Blaze, a 7-year-old running sensation, will humble both your past and present self. He has nearly 500,000 followers on Instagram who worship his world record speed of 13.48 in the 100 meters. He not only has straight-line afterburners, but also lateral movements that break ankles and drop jaws. (Check out his flag football highlights here.) To top it all off, he has much better hair and is much cuter than we were at age 7. Blaze’s track dominance is showcased in this video:

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