February 5 Six Minute Mile

On today's issue: HIIT trends, Trail running hype video, Polar vortex, polar schmortex, and more.

Minute 1: HIIT trends

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has gone from trendy to mainstream among runners and gym goers. The work-outs are praised because they serve up a main course of cardio, a side dish of strength training and the healthy dessert of mega calorie burning.  For the fifth straight year in 2018, the American College of Sports Medicine ranked HIIT as one of the very top fitness trends. (Check out their full list of the Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2019 here.)

The Six Minute Mile crew is fond of Barry’s Bootcamp when we need a hit of HIIT, but that comes with a $30 per class price tag. So if you don’t want to pay that or if your UberBLACK driver is washing his limo, you have options. LiveSTRONG just published a good guide for HIIT newbies: 4 HIIT Workouts for Beginners. Plenty of these will challenge even very fit athletes. If you’re already looking ahead to the beach, check out the Men’s Journal survey of 10 HIIT Workouts to Get You Shredded for Summer. #HIITrecords

Minute 2: Trail running hype video

We love us some trail running at Six Minute Mile. It’s hard for us to understand why folks clomp out dreary miles on treadmills and hard pavement when they could be enjoying the scenery and zen calm of the trails. Don’t just take our word for it. Doctors, coaches and health experts all agree that trail running is better for you than road running. (We like this article on the 13 Benefits of Trail Running.)

Part of the reason trail running hasn’t grown even more popular is that too often “trail running” is considered synonymous with “ultra running.” Trust us, taking a 3-mile tour through the woods totally qualifies as trail running. There are even some excellent trail races that don’t require sleeping like a squirrel or losing all your toenails. Here is one list of the 15 Best Trail Races in the U.S., including many that offer a 5K course. Maybe your closest trails are packed in ice thanks the polar vortex freezing the northern half of the U.S. right now, but if you want a teaser for spring, check out the trail running hype video below.

Minute 3: Polar vortex, polar schmortex

Speaking of the Polar Vortex, we got chills when we read the story of this year’s Arrowhead 135 in Minnesota. The race took place despite wind chills that reached 68 degrees below zero. 146 people started the 135-mile race that includes running, biking, skiing and kick-sledding. Impressively, 52 frozen heroes actually finished. The photos of faces and gear caked with ice are incredible. So maybe you don’t want to go quite that deep into the cold, but would still like to stay active outside. Runner’s World came out this week with some advice on how to vanquish the vortex. They compiled a list of 28 Reasons Why Winter Running Can Be the Most Fun of All.
#stonecoldrunner

Minute 4: Puppy love

Earlier this month, we reported on a dog that jumped its backyard fence and completed a half marathon as a bandit. It turns out that another dog made headlines in a marathon this month. At a race in Thailand, a kind-hearted woman scooped up an orphaned puppy from the side of the road and carried it for 19 miles to the finish line with her. If you are a dog lover or just need and “Awwww” moment, the full story is here.

Minute 5: Thank you!

We have had an absolute blast sharing Six Minute Mile with you over the past 5 months. Normally we publish twice a week, but we dropped to once a week over the past two weeks. Burn-out? Vacation? Carpel tunnel syndrome in our mouse clicking hand? Nah. In the category of “Good Problem to Have,” we recently blew through our limits on MailChimp because our distribution list has grown to nearly 100,000 subscribers. That’s all sorted out now, so we will be in your inbox twice next week.

Like most good ideas, this project began on a whim without a 20-page business plan or a spreadsheet to match. We just started writing about the stuff that interests us and it turned out its stuff that you like, too. We always appreciate feedback or new ideas for people and topics to cover. Any time you’re inspired, just reply to the Six Minute Mile email and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for tuning in!

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Our favorite Instagram maniac, Devon Levesque, is at it again. This time he is paying homage to firefighters who routinely lug huge loads up the stairs of burning buildings. In fact, on September 11 every year, firefighters around the country climb 110 flights of stairs in full gear as a tribute to those who fell in the twin towers. Levesque has his own interpretation of the “fireman walk” in which he uses bands looped over his shoulders to crank up the resistance on a stair climber at the gym.  Don’t try this at home — but maybe give it a shot at the gym.

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