March 1 Six Minute Mile

Minute 1: Finding the best battle-tested gear

You can take gear recommendations from glossy magazines or from Instagram fitness models. Or you can find the best outdoor apparel and trail running shoes from people who live in that gear for months at a time. We love going through the annual surveys of what people wear on the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail. These people don’t choose gear based on the number of zeros on their endorsement contracts. They buy stuff that won’t rip, delaminate or let in the rain. Here is the list of top gear for the AT and here is the list of top picks for the PCT based on extensive surveys with the through hikers. Altra Lone Peak trail runners are very popular with the crowd, but Salomon and Brooks also score well. Icebreaker, Patagonia and Montbell are top picks for apparel. #dressforsuccess

Minute 2: Busting a move

The Manziel family had a tough February. First, the Canadian Football League banned the former Heisman Trophy winner from competing in their league. Then his wife was busted for cheating in a half marathon in California. Johnny has always had trouble staying on the straight and narrow. Apparently, that trait runs in the family as his wife, Bre Tiesi-Manziel, went off course at the Diva’s Half Marathon two weeks ago.

According to timing data, she ran the first half of the course at a 14:22 per mile pace and then really turned on the jets to run the last six miles at 4:00 per mile. Apparently, all of the trotting on the treadmill as part of her “booty workout” really paid off for the fitness model. The most likely explanation is that she failed to do a second loop on part of the course, but she refuses to back down from her claim that she completed the entire race in 1:58:22. Deadspin has a pretty hilarious account of how Bre and her Maxim/Playboy model pal Khloe Terae are defending their honor.

Looking good after running 4 minute miles

Minute 3: Digging deep for charity

“Dear Friends – I am running the ABC Marathon for the XYZ Charity and could use your help.”  We’ve all received those emails over the years and sometimes we give generously and sometimes we roll our eyes, thinking our friends are doing it just to get a bib for a sold-out race. After attending the annual Peer2Peer conference this week, we will be in the “dig deep” camp from now on.

P2P is the largest gathering of charity events in the U.S. Collectively, our active friends raised a staggering $1.4 billion in just the top 30 event series in 2018. Story after story described how someone got involved in a charity event and wound up changing their own life in the process. Through social media, raising money has never been easier for the runner, triathlete, walker or cyclist. Facebook Fundraiser is a particularly popular and effective tool. Big events in the top 30 include Relay for Life ($184 million), Bike MS ($65 million) and Team In Training ($23 million).

Minute 4: What’s ancient is new again

Most endurance athletes have been guilty for years of relying too heavily on grains like wheat and rice at their training tables. New research has shown that the modern grains we buy at the supermarket don’t pack the same nutritional punch as grains that have changed little in centuries. We like this new story on the subject: 9 Ancient Grains that Deserve a Spot on Your Plate. There is good info on how to incorporate foods like farro, freekeh and foxtail millet into tasty dishes.

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • We have written before about the controversial Nike Vaporfly shoe that has been shown to lower finish times by 4%. Now you can not only run faster on the roads, but also look fabulous at your next hipster gathering with a custom print version of the Vaporfly. Sneaker aficionados are toeing the line waiting for the new $600 version of the shoe to drop.
  • Speaking of footwear, we just released a new list of our 8 Favorite Running Socks, at prices much more grounded than the Vaporfly. This is a follow-up to a story back in November about the growing popularity of waterproof socks.
  • We submitted an application this year for the 2019 TCS New York City Marathon. So did 117,708 of our friends and neighbors, unfortunately. Although we didn’t make the list of 10,510 lucky folks who were accepted through the lottery this week, we were still interested in how the numbers broke out. The golden tickets were given to 3,035 New York area runners; 4,433 other Americans; and 3,042 international runners. The odds were about 9% of being selected in each of those lotteries. If you’d still like to run the Five Boroughs, you can get a bib by raising money for one of the NYRR-approved charities. If hustle and bustle ain’t your thing, check out this list of the top 15 Fall Marathons(13 of which don’t have New York or Chicago in their name).

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

Our 11-year-old daughter walked into the kitchen holding the family iPad this week.  “This is awesome,” she said, head buried in the screen. Oh no, more Fortnite junk melting her brain? Nope. She had somehow discovered the new Serena Williams Nike ad and loved what she saw. So did millions of other women and girls around the world. The 90-second spot has been viewed more than 16 million times on Instagram and more than 7 million times on YouTube. Its message for women and sports: “Show them what crazy can do.”

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