July 10 Six Minute Mile

Minute 1: Marathon cheating allegations lead to suicide

Frank Meza had generated lots of controversy with his too-good-to-be-true marathon times, but no one thought it would drive him to take his own life. Meza was a 70-year-old physician who recorded a time of 2:53 in this year’s LA Marathon, quick enough for a new age group record. While Meza is a longtime runner and high school coach, his remarkable results made amateur sleuths at websites like Marathon Investigation very suspicious. After digging through his splits, race photos, and even security camera footage, strong evidence began to pile up that Dr. Meza was the Rosie Ruiz of his generation.

At times, the criticism on Marathon Investigation and LetsRun.com were merciless. As critics continued to hammer Meza, he leaped to his death from the Riverside-Figueroa Street Bridge on July 4. Outside magazine weighed in with a provocative piece saying that “If he cheated, he deserved to be disqualified, but the bullying crossed a line.” The folks at Marathon Investigation have appropriately ceased comments on the matter, asking for privacy for his grieving family. We have very mixed emotions knowing that one of our photographs provided a key piece of evidence in the matter. Our sister company, Gameface, captured a photo of Dr. Meza during the 2014 SF Marathon showing him on a bicycle adjacent to the course. A runner noticed him in the background of his own photo and turned it into Marathon Investigation.

Minute 2: Outdoor gym workout at your local playground

Ever question the sanity of someone running on a gym treadmill, looking out the window at a blue sky summer morning? (Slightly related question: Why do so many of our friends wear full-length leggings to run outside during the summer?) We get it that you need to be inside to have a productive gym workout, but why do a fake run when you can enjoy the real thing? After reading a LIVESTRONG post this week, however, it’s hard to justify staying inside even for a full-body workout. Check out their article: This Playground Workout Will Unleash Your Inner Child. LIVESTRONG details exercises that mimic your favorite gym moves while also delivering some Vitamin D.

Minute 3: What fuels Peloton instructors?

Peloton instructors don’t get to look like, well, Peloton instructors, just by pedaling a stationary bike a few times a week. Most of those trainers spend lots of time in the gym and on the road to get ripped and get popular. They also pace themselves on what they eat every day. We noticed two articles recently that gave a good feel for what’s behind 6-pack abs and quads that can spin all day. 

What America’s Fittest Peloton Instructors Eat in a Day has a few recurring themes: Trader Joe’s, tons of veggies, and for the dudes, some animal protein. Peloton’s lead instructor, Robin Arzon, is a former lawyer and current ultra runner in addition to her job designing and leading classes. She lays out her nutritional advice in 3 Things Peloton’s Top Fitness Guru Drinks to Feel ‘Energized’. Her secret weapon is a 17-ingredient smoothie that actually sounds pretty delicious.

Minute 4: Gear We Love

Trail running or hiking is a terrific alternative to indoor treadmills and the shade-less heat of pounding out miles on asphalt. Typically, the shoes you love for the streets and the gym can get trashed on the trails or – worse yet – lead to rolled ankles and wipe-outs on wet terrain. Choosing trail running shoes can be a challenge. Often, shoes that can handle difficult, technical terrain are awkward and uncomfortable on roads or easier trails. Our list of the 8 best trail running shoes includes the Saucony Peregrine 8, which transitions well between trail and road. 

While you’re upgrading gear, don’t stop with new shoes. Most athletes are guilty of wearing cheap “6 pairs to the bundle” socks with their pricey new shoes. If this sounds familiar, you may be surprised by the difference a good pair of socks can make. Six Minute Mile’s 8 favorite running socks include picks such as the Balega Silver, which features silver ions to stop bacteria growth.

And please check back on Monday for our list of 10 Best Endurance Gear Deals for Amazon Prime. Word to the wise: don’t wait until the Monday sales rush to sign up for a Prime account!

Minute 5: Quick Intervals

  • The most popular item in our last post featured reviews of the best soundtracks for workouts and runs. According to a new article this week in the New York Times, if you aren’t listening to upbeat music, you may be inadvertently making your workouts harder. In particular, Calvin Harris and Macklemore boosted the performance of the test subjects in a HIIT workout
  • Cheaters will now have to cheat a little harder to get their hands on performance-enhancing drugs. A European-led bust this week arrested 234 people and confiscated $38 million of PEDs in Europe, Colombia, and the U.S. No high profile names have been released, but stay tuned. In case weekend warriors dreaming of an age group podium are still considering adding a little something to their breakfast smoothie, check out this study released in May: Little Proof That Doping Actually Works.
  • Endurance athletes are known to possess high levels of intelligence relative to their less active peers. Unfortunately for the former junior world record holder in the 5000M, Hagos Gebrhiwet, his lofty IQ was not on display at a major European race last week. Gebrhiwet miscounted the number of laps he had run and crossed what he thought was the finish line 400M too early. His elated celebration turned to embarrassment when he watched other runners pass him on his victory trot. The sadly funny video of his brain burp is here

Minute 6: Daily Inspiration

The USWNT were not the only winners at La Coupe du Monde in France last weekend. Their team sponsor, Nike, scored its own hat trick. Megastars Megan Rapinoe & Alex Morgan both sported Nike boots, the team rocked Nike apparel, and the final game set a ratings record. Without even waiting for the ticker-tape parade to begin, the world’s #1 athletic brand dropped an ad that was both tough on US Soccer for underpaying the women but also celebrated their dominant performance. Check that out below. BTW, in a typical World Cup match, players run about 6 miles up and down the pitch. We love the workout that superstar Tobin Heath uses to build lower body strength, speed and performance available here.  

Here is the Nike video that is blowing up the Instagram accounts of teenaged girls for all the right reasons:

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