It’s that time again!
As we are getting ready to kick February to the curb, it’s time for me to answer your running (or non-running) related questions!
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 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?
What are 2-3 things you’d like to tell every runner? What are 2-3 things you think can only be learned by experience?
Things I’d like to tell every runner:
- You inspire others more than you might think.
- Stay patient.
- Have fun.
Things I think must be learned the hard way:
- How to listen to your body.
- Less is (often) more.
- The feeling of finishing your first marathon (or another epic moment you weren’t sure was even possible).
Where do you stand on training runs longer than 3 hours?
I’m of the belief that pace is more of a problem than duration.
I have absolutely no problem with going longer than 3 hours during marathon training, provided that you’re keeping your pace legitimately easy.
Don’t go at goal race pace for your 20 miler.
Keep things nice and easy and just get the time on your feet.
And odds are, you’ll want to keep the next week of training a bit lighter to allow your body to recover after the long run.
Can a Cadbury Egg be considered good pre-run fuel?
When you trained for your 50k, what was your longest training run?
Any tips for running a 50k?
Yeah, I’ve got a few…
- Don’t feel like you have to run the whole thing. Walking is 100% ok.
- Get used to eating real food during a run.
- Have zero time goals for the race.
- When you get to your dark patch, don’t despair. It’ll get better.
- Loop courses aren’t as bad as you might think.
What is a good regimen for training between training cycles?
Don’t overthink this one.
The simple answer is to keep running in order to make sure your base is as solid as possible.
Having a good base in place when you start your next training cycle gives you a world of options with your next build up.
Letting things go a bit and having to spend several weeks building your base back up really limits what you can do during your training.
Also, this is the perfect time to work on raising your floor to raise your ceiling.
Do you use the same shoes for road and trail running?
I don’t, but you totally can.
Ultimately, it depends on the trails you’re running and the conditions that you’re in.
Most of the trails here in Central FL really don’t require trail shoes as they aren’t technical at all. So having a bulky tread and more protection isn’t really required.
If you’re running more technical terrain or in conditions that are likely to be slippery, trails shoes would be advised.
What are the best Altra’s for higher mileage runs?
If it was up to me, I’d probably never run in anything more cushioned than the Escalantes.
That said, there is really no way to properly answer this question because the “best” shoes are going to vary wildly from one runner to the next.
I’d encourage you to check out RunningShoesGuru.com for reviews of a number of shoes to help you determine what kind of shoes you might want to add to your aresenal.
I’m a fan of the Torin Knits, and you might find that the Instinct/Intuition works for you. The new Paradigm and the Duo may also be worth checking out.
What causes muscle cramps while racing?
Few things will ruin your day like a serious case of muscle cramps.
There are a handful of possible causes of cramps, but two of the more common ones are overuse/fatigue of the muscles and electrolyte imbalance.
When you’re pushing the muscles longer/harder than ever, which is common on race day, the muscles may reach a point where they just can’t go anymore.
When you push the muscles too far, they lock down to keep you from pushing any further.
On the electrolyte side of things, if the ratio of electrolytes gets too far off the muscles can’t contract/relax any longer.
Dehydration can play a part in this, especially if you’re a very salty sweater. But making sure you’re replacing electrolytes if you’re out on the road/trail for a long period of time is important to help prevent cramps.
For someone thinking about switching to a zero-drop shoe, what would you recommend?
I’m an Altra guy, so clearly I’d recommend something from their catalog.
Specific models depend on what shoe’s you’re wearing currently.
If you’re in a heavily cushioned shoe, probably better to start with something with a little more cushion.
If you’re in a lighter/minimal style shoe, then trend toward a less cushioned model.
But maybe the more important thing to think about is how you’re going from what you’re wearing currently to a zero-drop shoe.
If your current shoes have a pretty substantial drop, say more than 8 mm, you might be wise to get a pair with a 4mm drop as part of your transitioning process.
Any advice on not going crazy when you’re sidelined due to injury?
The easy answer is to do what you can from a cross training/strength training perspective.
Obviously, that depends on your injury and what you can do that doesn’t irritate the injury that you’re currently dealing with.
Outside of that, make sure you’re taking care of your diet and getting plenty of sleep.
Giving your body the best possible environment in which to heal will help you get back out there as quickly as possible.
How do you differentiate between something you should push through and knowing when to back off?
This is tough, and there really is no “right” answer.
If running seems to be making the pain/discomfort worse, backing off would be advised.
But there are lots of variables to consider in the equation, which makes it hard to give a universal answer.
I’m feeling some lingering soreness while training for my first half. How do I know whether or not to push through the discomfort or back off?
I feel like I just answered this one…
There we have it, folks.
Another month, another Q&A episode of the show.
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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