Listener Q&A: April 2021
Don’t look now, but April is about done and dusted!
Before we put this month to bed once and for all, let’s do a little Q&A, eh?
You Ask, I Answer!
In case you’re new to these parts, here’s what’s going on.
At the end of every month, I do an episode dedicated to you and your questions.
Want to get a question answered in a future Q&A episode? Come join our FB group, watch for the post asking for Qs, and put your query in the comments.
Basically, whatever you ask I try to answer!
Sometimes, the answers aren’t worth a whole lot. But every once in a while I like to think (or at least hope!) that I hit the nail on the head!
When it comes to free advice, there are no guarantees that you won’t get any more than what you paid for it.
That said, I promise to do my best!
And if nothing else, there are usually at least a few decent memes/GIFs to make it worth your while.
Let’s get into this month’s questions, shall we?
This Month’s Questions
I heard that setting the treadmill incline to 1-2% better simulates running outdoors. Any truth to this?
What is a good warm-up for yoga?
Most good yoga routines kind of build as you go, so the warm-up is usually incorporated.
At least, that has been my experience.
What is the timeline for the physiological benefits of training to actually take place?
The loose rule is about two weeks.
Which is why most taper periods end up being about two weeks in duration.
Thoughts on back-to-back long runs for ultra training?
This is definitely a situation where there are no hard/fast rules.
So much depends on overall volume, base, how well you recover from training, and a whole lot more.
And perhaps the biggest variable is the length of those long runs.
Not sure I’d be keen to schedule an athlete for back-to-back 20-milers indefinitely, but back-to-back 15s as a “minimum” might make a lot of sense in certain situations.
As always, there is no universal “right” way of preparing for any race distance. It’s about figuring out the right way for you to prepare that matters.
Is it a dumb idea to stack races?
If you’re trying to hammer every race, then dumb might be an apt adjective used to describe the stacking of races.
But if you’re ok with using multiple races as workouts to prepare for a race in the future, then it’s not a dumb strategy at all.
How do you implement the things that you know you “should” do?
If I figure out a sure-fire way to practice what I preach, I’ll be sure to let you know!
Any chance my pre-race meal is hurting my performance?
Are you consistently having a blow-out mid-race?
If not, I’d say you’re probably doing ok.
I suppose you could make the argument that you could always optimize things a bit, but if it’s working I say keep on keeping on.
For someone with a history of foot/Achilles issues, is running on the sand a bad idea?
It’s not the best idea, that’s for sure.
There are a lot more variables to consider when running on the sand vs running on the pavement, and any of those variables has the potential to flare something up in your feet/ankles.
A little beach running? You could make an argument that it could help with strengthening things in your feet/ankles.
But this would be the kind of scenario where it’s a fine line between ok and a potential disaster, so proceed with extreme caution.
How is the posture corrector working out for you?
What is the deal with all the toilets you see in your neighborhood?
Any suggestions for breaking up the monotony of certain stretches of road that don’t require driving somewhere else to run?
This is obviously a tricky one, as you’re eliminating my first response.
Another option, depending on your route, is to change where in your run you encounter these boring stretches of road.
Instead of always hitting this one area at the end of your run, can you run there first? Vice versa?
And as long as you feel safe to do so, maybe just put on some music or a podcast to help distract you from the monotony of that area.
Nothing wrong with zoning out for a bit during a run, Lord knows I do it just about every day!
My 12-year-old wants to run with me, but it’s not my favorite. Any suggestions?
So is this where I’m supposed to give parenting advice?
Or where I’m supposed to abstain from giving any advice at all?
How do you handle doing easy runs during a run streak?
Pretty sure my stance on run streaks is well defined, but if you’re going to do one I’d make a strong argument that pretty much every single one of your runs should be easy!
An occasional workout once in a while? Ok. But everything else really should be easy.
Also, I’m thinking about streaking in May.
Do you have any particular energy drinks before/after your runs?
Nothing but water before a run, seeing as I’m an HR guy I don’t want anything speeding my ticker up before I even get out the door.
Does the timing of foam rolling make a difference?
Ideally, you’d probably get the most bang for your buck doing it post-run.
But as long as you’re doing it consistently, timing isn’t something to stress about.
Could compression gear exacerbate a problem such as ITBS?
In theory, it definitely could.
How do you feel about running in a cold rain?
Do you plan to travel to any races this year?
No firm plans, as of yet, but there is the potential of doing so later in the year.
I’ll keep you posted.
In the age of Covid, will you stop at aid stations or carry your own water?
I’ve been carrying my own water for years, so nothing will be changing there.
And that doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t still stop at aid stations here and there, especially at an ultra when potato chips are available.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I suppose the first career ambition I had was to be a baseball player.
The first actually attainable career goal was to be a marine biologist.
And by the time I got to high school, I set my sights on being an Athletic Trainer.
How was your MAF test from the other day?
How often are you really excited about your runs? Meh? Not looking forward to them at all?
I wish I could tell you I’m always excited for my runs, but clearly that would be a lie.
The majority of the time, I’m probably meh.
I know that I’ll be happier when I’m finished with my runs, so I “make” myself do it, but it’s rare that I’m really fired up about getting out there and getting it done.
That happens occasionally, but those days are few and far between.
As for days I’m not looking forward to it or really dragging my feet?
That’s me at least a quarter of the time, and almost every long run.
Could you break down MAF tests for me?
Here’s a link back to a QT specifically about the MAF Test, but here’s the quick version.
- Same exact route, every time.
- Narrow HR window is important.
- 2-4 miles is plenty.
- Repeat it every month or so to help gauge progress.
If all goes well with your training, you’ll see your pace per mile during the test improve a little bit every month.
That will tell you that you’re building your aerobic fitness, which for most of us is the key to making progress toward our running goals.
What bacon is the best bacon?
What is the best way to determine which race to travel to next?
Have you ever wanted to live out of a van/RV and travel the US?
Never enough to do it, of course, but the idea sounds great.
I’m running my first 26.2 at the end of May with a friend, and it’s an S&G kind of thing. How should we pace it?
Start slow and then slow down.
Obviously, you don’t need to plan to be out there all day, but pace is the last thing you should worry about.
Start conservatively, listen to your body, and just cruise.
If you are feeling good and want to pick it up a bit toward the end, great.
But I’d say you’re better off cruising and have fun than risk blowing up in an S&G.
And that, as they say, is that.
As always, the answers in this post are the abridged versions. For a bit more, make sure you press play at the top of this post.
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