Listener Q&A: February 2021
Well then, how has February been for you?
That good, eh?
Let’s try to end the month on a high note with a little Q&A then, shall we?
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
What is your favorite finish line moment? Anyone ever cutting onions around you?
There’s definitely been a few cases of onion cutting going on when I’ve gotten to the finish line of a race before!
The finish line at Marine Corps in 2019 definitely was a moment I’ll remember for a long time.
I think the combination of the day itself, and also the Marines at the finish line… Yeah, that was a good one.
I also had Adi run me in at a trail half marathon a handful of years ago which was pretty cool.
My first ultra was also a special one, in large part because Beks ran the last mile or so with me.
As cliche as it sounds, every finish line is special though and there is something I can remember from just about every one of them.
But those three, at least off the top of my head, are the ones that are the most special.
What’s a good way to maintain fitness/work on goals when there are no races to train for?
I mean, the simple answer is to just keep running, right?
I get the sense that what you’re really asking is how do you stay motivated to train when there are no races to run?
And that is a bit more of a complicated question with a much more nuanced answer.
There’s no doubt that races are a lot of fun, and for a lot of folks they really do provide that motivation to get out there and get the miles in.
But with no races, that means you need to shift your focus to some other metric, some other goals, to train for.
Shifting your focus to consistency. Or to mileage. Or to progress via a time trial or MAF test.
Maybe sign up for a virtual race/challenge. Get an accountability buddy. Hire a coach.
The key is finding the thing that works for you. That motivates you.
Might take a little soul searching. Maybe a little trial and error.
But the right motivator for you is out there, just have to find it.
Do you still do HR training while you’re on the Peloton? If so, how?
I absolutely keep my HR in check while I’m on the bike.
My purpose for riding the bike is to supplement/support my running fitness.
So when I’m doing Peloton classes, I rarely will pay attention at all to the prompts of the instructor about resistance or cadence.
I might adjust my numbers a little bit here and there based on their suggestions, but I’m doing what I need to do to on each ride and not what they are telling me to do.
Book progress is minimal, but it has begun.
Guitar progress is continuing as well. Still not a virtuoso, but it’s nice to feel like I can sort of play a little bit.
Why do people hate the treadmill so much? And what do you like about it?
I would imagine that the fact that the treadmill was literally created to serve as a torture device may have something to do with the hate…
Clearly, the treadmill is divisive.
If you like running on it, cool.
I think there are multiple reasons people, myself included, don’t like the treadmill.
- Lack of variation in pace/terrain.
- Ease of quitting.
There’s so much variety in the outside world, even when you’re running in the same places every day, that for me I’ll take the road or trail over the treadmill any day.
As for what I like about the treadmill, there’s honestly not much.
Maybe safety? I suppose it’s good for filming/analyzing your form? Getting used to running/maintaining certain paces (assuming the data is accurate)?
That’s all I got…
Any tips/tricks for getting some good sleep after long efforts?
Regrettably, I’m not sure that I have much to offer.
The fact is, your body is in a bit of a state of shock after all of the miles and there is a whole lot of things happening underneath the hood that prevents, or at least inhibits, real quality sleep.
Good sleep practices should help, but they are far from silver bullets.
How would you suggest incorporating the little things into an established routine?
In theory, the worst thing you can do here is to overthink things.
Get started, first and foremost.
That said, nothing wrong with being strategic with how you go about specific activities.
Foam rolling or stretching or various other recovery boosters? You can pretty much do them any day/every day with no worries.
Strength training or cross-training? Those are a little trickier.
In theory, doing them on off days is ok. But if you are doing something every off day, do you really have any off days?
You also want to think about where in your schedule you’re doing those activities, and how you’ll feel a day or two later.
For me, my heaviest lower body strength training day is always Tuesday. That way my legs have had a chance to recover by my Saturday long run.
My runs on Wednesday and Thursday? Usually, my legs are a bit heavier after doing all manner of squats/lunges/deadlifts in the past 24-48 hours.
So based on your running schedule, you may end up doing your strength training and cross-training on running days. Or not.
It kind of depends.
What is the story of the banner photo in the FB group?
Back in the day, Beks used to work at one of the churches in town.
That photo is from the inaugural 5k fundraiser (2013?) that the church put on, the proceeds of which directly supported the program Rebekah was in charge of.
That photo was taken very near the finish line, hence the spectators/signage/whatnot.
Maybe it’s time to update the photo, eh?
When are you and Chris going to do a last man standing race on the treadmill?
If you couldn’t run anymore, what would you do for fitness?
I really don’t know.
If I had to pick something, it would probably be weight lifting/strength training.
Nothing crazy in terms of competing or anything, but I suppose that would be my focus.
Maybe get back on the ice? Reffing hockey again? Playing hockey in a men’s league?
Hopefully, it’s not something I’ll ever really have to answer for the next 40-50 years!
What is/are your favorite Seinfeld episodes? Have you started the Office yet?
I hate these questions because there are so many great episodes!
In no particular order, here are 5 episodes I can watch over and over and still laugh every single time:
- The Marine Biologist
- The Soup Nazi
- The Contest
- The Junior Mint
- The Yada Yada
And no, still haven’t started the Office.
Does running in the rain impact shoe quality/longevity?
I wouldn’t dry them in the dryer, though.
In theory, that could cause some issues.
My best bet for drying wet running shoes? The refrigerator.
How do you keep your sleep routine intact when the days start getting longer?
Honestly, I don’t mess with things too much.
I try to keep things more or less the same, but I’d be lying if I said that it was perfect.
Listen to your body. Go to bed when you’re tired.
And if you sleep a little less when the days are a bit longer, you might be surprised to find it’s not really that big of a deal.
When is the new clothing/merch coming in?
Any chance Rebekah will be making another podcast appearance soon?
How are you doing with your goals for the year?
Thoughts on the vaccine? Will you get it when you can?
Can’t get that needle in my arm quickly enough.
Would you consider providing audio proof of your guitar playing at some point?
Maybe I’ll make it a FB group exclusive…
Any issues with shoveling a lot of snow before going for a run? Should I limit my mileage on those days?
I can’t think of any real major issues, other than the fact that exercise stress is still stress.
I don’t think I’d recommend going out and pushing the pace after an hour or two of snow shoveling, but an easy-paced run really shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
Just listen to your body, and maybe plan a route that would allow you to easily bail early if needed.
I’m planning to run my first marathon in May, and would like to race a 10k two weeks prior. Any issue with this plan?
Assuming your training progresses well, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Do your last epic long run the week before the 10k.
At that point, it’s all downhill to the marathon.
Can you recommend any shows for binge-watching?
Your mileage may vary, but IMO you can’t go wrong binging:
- Parks and Rec
- Brooklyn 99
- Schitt’s Creek
And, apparently, The Office is pretty good too.
How do you combine heart rate training into a race plan?
Good training principles are good training principles, whether you’re training for a race or just building fitness in general.
So I don’t struggle at all with maintaining heart rate training while building up for a race.
Maybe mix in a few workouts speed workouts/tempo runs/fast finishes, but no need to go overboard.
If your fitness is improving, you’ll be stronger on race day.
Why is it that, at least on occasion, we have our best runs on the days when we least expect it?
It definitely happens, but who knows why?
Humans are weird creatures, so maybe that has something to do with it?
Also, I think it’s a case of expectations vs reality.
Like, maybe those runs aren’t objectively great. But when our expectations are so low, anything better than miserable feels pretty darn good?
From time to time I find myself running with clenched fists. Is this a sign I’m tired?
Can you explain VO2max? And is it something we should be concerned with?
VO2max is how much oxygen your body can utilize during intense exercise.
So, in theory, it’s something we should absolutely be concerned with.
The problem is, there’s only so much you can do to improve it. And another problem is the accuracy of measurement leaves something to be desired, unless you have access to a kinesiology lab.
I don’t pay attention to my VO2max at all. If you want to, it’s fine.
But if you’re following good training principles, your VO2max will just kind of take care of itself.
And that, as they say, is that.
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