January 11 Six Minute Mile

Minute 1: Who’s the fittest of them all?

Sports Illustrated just took a crack at answering the perennial barroom/locker room debate question: which athletes are the fittest? SI convened an impressive team of sports science experts to compile their list of the top 25 Fittest Men and 25 Fittest Women. (The women’s #1 title went to someone who isn’t even 5 feet tall.) A diverse group of endurance athletes made the list, including ultra runners, triathletes, Tour de France cyclists and Nordic skiers. Spoiler alert: Saquon Barkley, running back of the New York Giants, was ranked #1 fittest among men. Based on his work-out video below, it’s hard to argue with this pick. Endurance athletes will find it interesting that he spends most of his time on running explosiveness rather than jacking up big weights.

Minute 2: How dangerous is cycling?

Many of us take up cycling to give our joints a break from the pounding of other workouts. But are the benefits of healthier knees worth the risk of a serious bike crash? After all, about 800 cyclists per year are killed in accidents, mostly involving a collision with a car. One way to reduce your risk is to live in a city where cyclists are welcomed and protected. Here is a list from Bicycling magazine of the 50 Best Bike Cities in America. Outside Magazine just came out with one of the best guides we’ve seen to put your relatively low risk in perspective as well as offer practical advice for staying safe. Their story, “Cycling’s Only As Dangerous As You Make it,” has 3 ways to lower your risk on two wheels.#sharetheroad

Minute 3: Fall Marathon Registration Deadlines

If a big city marathon is on your bucket list for 2019, registration windows are closing fast. Unless you’re already logging 40 miles per week, a fall marathon is probably your best bet. The lottery for spring races like Boston and Los Angeles have already closed anyway. Fear not, the lottery for the November TCS New York City Marathon opens on Monday. (Historically, the odds are about 17% of getting a bib through their lottery.)

The October Marine Corps Marathon in D.C. opens its lottery in March. Sadly, you’ve already missed the window for the October Chicago Marathon, although limited charity fundraising bibs are still available. Remember that there are also excellent marathons every fall in cities that don’t host an NFL team. Often these races are cheaper, less stressful and more fun. Here is a good list of
The 15 Best Fall Marathons in the U.S. that includes many smaller city races. Honolulu anyone?#beatthedeadline

Minute 4: Are you healthier than the average American?

Maybe you aren’t always happy with your finish times or the number looking up at you on the scale in the morning. If you’re reading Six Minute Mile, however, chances are you’re fitter than most Americans. The federal government just released a new study showing that Americans are getting heavier and less fit by the decade. The average American man now rocks a 40 inch waist (up an inch from 15 years ago) while the average American woman’s waist grew 2 inches to almost 39 inches. To see how you stack up, here are the stats on average American weight, height, BMI and waist circumference.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • If you’re looking to overcome the trendlines in waistlines described above, a new study shows (again!) that the brain is the most important muscle to engage in your fitness journey. The New York Timeschronicles a fascinating experiment in which people were told (falsely) that they were genetically predisposed to a certain body type. And – you guessed it – their actual fitness wound up tracking what they believed to be etched in their DNA.
  • Typically fewer than 4% of men and 1% of women marathoners cross the line in under 3 hours.  But how many runners can do that throughout their lives? A running stats company just crunched the numbers and figured out that only 1 woman (Joan Benoit-Samuelson) and 40 men have run sub-3:00 in 5 different decades.  The most recent person to do it was Ron Lund, a high school cross country coach from Colorado. His hometown paper told the full story behind his accomplishment in 2016 when he ran a 2:59:15 to complete the feat in a fifth decade.
  • An Australian runner is gunning for some goofy world records the hard way. Alistair Kealy wants to run 52 marathons in 52 countries in 2019, each time wearing a kooky costume of some sort. This week he broke the record for fastest marathon in history while wearing handcuffs (3:21). You can follow his progress here.

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Dina Asher-Smith made the Sports Illustrated list of the world’s fittest women. A European champion sprinter from England, Asher-Smith avoids heavy weights and instead focuses on core work and single leg stability work-outs. Huge fist bump to anyone who can replicate this ab workout move she demonstrates below.

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Earned… Not given #coordination #agility #TGIF

A post shared by Dina Asher-Smith (@dinaashersmith) on

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