- On January 13, Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers' mascot, tweeted a list of New Year's resolutions for 2021, where he wrote that he wants to run a sub 20-minute 1/2 mile.
- We created a list of tips to help Gritty reach his running goal.
While we're halfway through January 2021, it's truly never too late to make a list of New Year's resolutions. And on January 13, Gritty, the Philadelphia Flyers' furry orange mascot, did just that, tweeting his list of goals he wanted to accomplish this year.
Here at Runner's World, our love for Gritty runs deep. (Here's proof.) The Flyers play a little over an hour away from our HQ, and when we're not talking about running, we're talking about Philly sports. So, when we saw that one of the items Gritty mentioned was to run a sub 20-minute 1/2 mile, we felt it was our duty to help him out.
Gritty's father was a "bully," so fierce competition is literally in his blood (or whatever it is that his heart pumps through his 7-foot frame). Plus, he's already hosted two 5Ks and streaked in front of thousands at the Flyers' outdoor game in 2019, so we fully believe he's got this in the bag.
With that said, here are our tips to get this descendent of Steve Buscemi and the rare orange porcupine to his PR.
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1. Hydrate Properly
In order to perform your best, staying hydrated is a must. Drinking enough water throughout the day is important for preventing muscle cramps, replacing lost electrolytes, and avoiding heat stroke if you are running in hot weather. The good news: Gritty already has a head start on this, since he regularly eats snow from the Zamboni machine. Keeping this up will ensure he's well on his way to reaching his goal.
2. Eat the Right Foods
Gritty's list mentioned eating more cheese, milk, and eggs. Consuming those will give him the nutrients-like protein and calcium-to keep his bones and muscles strong and run his best. (Although does he need to become even bigger and stronger than he already is? It's unclear.)
3. Choose the Right Gear
To make sure every step is smooth and comfortable, finding the right gear is a must. Everyone is different, so what works best for you might not work as well for others. We recommend lightweight, breathable clothing for Gritty because he's very furry, and we don't want him to overheat. As for shoes, something with a good cushion would be best for his giant feet.
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4. Take It One Step at a Time
The most important piece of advice we can give Gritty is to go at your own pace. Run slowly at first, and let your legs and lungs get used to the activity. Don't worry about distance-just run for as long as you can at a pace where you'd be able to hold a conversation. A good rule of thumb is to start out running for 1 minute, then walking for 4 minutes. Then you can progress to running for 2 minutes, then 3 minutes, and so on. Consistency is key, and Gritty's feistiness and determination should serve him well here.
5. Cross Train Regularly
Cross-training helps strengthen the muscles necessary for running your best, and it can also help avoid injuries from sidelining you. This can be strength training, yoga (which is also on Gritty's list of New Year's resolutions!), cycling, swimming, or ice skating-something that's a more natural fit for him. Gritty dominated on the ice during the 2019 NHL Skills competition, so he's already got this part covered.
6. Have Fun!
Above all, running should be fun! And last, but certainly not least on Gritty's list was to make having fun a priority. We all know that 2020 was one hell of a year, and 2021 doesn't seem to be any less wild so far, so doing everything you can to enjoy yourself-in running and in life-is of the utmost importance. Gritty knows what's up.