And just like that, another month is drawing to a close.
Only five more months until we can put an end to 2020 once and for all!
One last thing to do before we put July 2020 out to pasture, and that is a little Q&A!
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 awhile 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 are the best ways to deal with an acute running injury?
Obviously, a lot depends on the specific injury itself.
But if I’m going to speak in generalities, one of the most important things you can do post-injury is to try and limit/manage the swelling.
That’s where the old RICE formula comes into play.
But is that still the best formula?
I’m not as up-to-date with the current research/trends as I used to be, but I know there is a growing body of evidence that suggests that RICE isn’t be best option anymore.
Newer advice is to keep things moving as much as possible (within reason) in the days post-injury.
This helps to improve blood flow to the area, which helps bring in the “good stuff” in via your blood that helps the body with the repair process while helping to pump the swelling out of the area.
The old formula? It works.
The new formula? It also works. And perhaps it works a bit quicker.
Is it normal to feel the burn in your glutes while doing calf raises?
No, I would have to say that is not normal.
I’m assuming that when you’re doing calf raises, you’re doing them single-legged, yes?
If so, the burn in the glutes can be explained by a probable glute weakness.
When you go single-legged, your glutes (specifically, your glute medius) are called upon to fire to keep your hips fairly level.
So my hunch is that your glutes are working to their limit to keep your hips level and that is why you’re feeling it in your glutes while you’re doing your calf raises.
Why is it so hard to take a rest day?
We’ve been told in one form or another that hard work is the key to success in every aspect of life.
As runners, that means that the only way we are going to achieve our goals is by putting in the work.
For most of us, work means doing.
Running. Strength training. Cross-training. Whatever.
A rest day? By definition, that’s not doing.
So a rest day feels like a wasted opportunity to make progress toward your goals.
Of course, in actuality this couldn’t be further from the truth!
Our bodies need a break in order to continue to grow, get stronger, and reduce the risk of breaking down over time (aka developing certain injuries).
Once you’re able to really wrap your head around the value of a rest day and how important it is to your ability to successfully reach your goals, it becomes a fair bit easier to take a rest day on a regular basis.
What are your Top 5 running movies?
I’m not necessarily the biggest fan of running movies, but there are at least a couple that come to mind.
What about your Top 5 running books?
I’m pretty sure I can come up with 5 for this list!
- My Year of Running Dangerously
- Born to Run
- Nowhere Near First
- Natural Born Heros
- Older Faster Stronger
Pizza or tacos?
The bit at the start of each podcast episode, how do you decide what to use?
Is it ok to run with a broken arm?
Can’t see why it wouldn’t be.
What are some of the best trail shoes?
Depends on the trail.
For a not very technical trail, you really don’t even need trail shoes most of the time.
For trails that are a bit more gnarly, some good trail shoes can definitely be an asset.
So what shoes should you get?
I would start out by looking at the shoes you wear on the roads and see if the company makes an equivalent trail shoe.
But you’re going to have to experiment a bit to find the right trail shoe for you and the trails you’re running on.
I’m noticing a bit more achiness/soreness in my feet/ankles as I’m continuing through the #GVRAT1000K. Nothing hurts while I’m running. Any suggestions?
Kind of just sounds like an accumulation of mileage over the past couple/few months.
If you’ve increased your mileage significantly over the course of the challenge, your body may still be playing catch up to the increased demands you are placing upon it.
Assuming you’re ahead of the buzzard, might not be a bad idea to take a pretty drastic cut back week (including a couple of days off) and see if that doesn’t help calm things down a bit.
And once you make it to VA and finish the thing, give yourself a little extra rest/recovery time just to be safe.
Does the “run far to run fast” theory apply to walking as well?
Buidling up a base of fitness is invaluable for walkers and runners.
Getting a bit more time on feet will definitely pay off down the road.
Are there “morning runners” and “afternoon/evening runners?”
It’s no secret that early birds and night owls are a thing, right?
So I’d assume that night owls would really struggle with running first thing in the morning.
Ultimately, we all just have to find what works best for us in terms of how we feel while running and the demands/time constraints of life.
How do I know if/when I should add more volume to my regular weekly training volume?
This can be a bit of a tricky needle to thread, but I’ll do my best.
Adding volume can definitely help you get stronger/run faster.
But at a certain point, adding more mileage to your weekly routine can certainly provide diminishing returns.
At what point does running more shift from being an asset to a potential liability?
There are lots of variables at play, but things to consider before you start adding more miles to the schedule:
- How do you feel physically at your current level of running?
- What are you cutting out of your schedule in order to add more running to the mix?
- Are you typically pretty durable, or do you have a bit of a “colorful” injury history?
Is it possible to be dealing with overtraining when my training volume really isn’t that high?
Whatever you want to call it, you can’t ignore the impact that “life” has on how you feel before/during/after your runs.
And it’s safe to say that 2020 is having an impact on all of us.
Sadly, there is no “magic bullet” that is going to help everything fall back into place so you can get back to feeling better about your training.
Instead, it’s all about trying different things. Mixing and matching. And (hopefully) stumbling upon the right formula for you to have some of the burden lifted and enable you to feel a bit better about your running right now.
How long should I wait to run after strianing my calf?
Impossible to give a firm timeline.
Could be a few days. Could be a few weeks.
But the last thing you want to do is rush the process and make the timeline even longer.
First rule of thumb, make sure you can go through daily life without feeling it at all.
Once you get to that point, you can maybe try a short run or two and see how it responds.
But the goal for that short run is to finish pain-free and feeling like you could go farther!
Push it until you’re feeling it again? And you’re really running the risk of a set back.
What’s the deal with those massive calf cramps that hit in the middle of the night?
I used to get those cramps on a semi-regular basis, so I know first hand what you’re dealing with!
As far as what causes them, it most likely has to do with your electrolyte balance being off.
Could be dehydration. Could be not taking in enough salts to make up for what you’re losing when you sweat.
It could probably be a half dozen other things, but those are definitely the leaders in the club house.
So drink a bit more water. Maybe add a bit more salt to your diet.
And stretch your calves a bit more too, just for good measure.
What is the best way to run downhill on the trails to avoid going ass over elbows?
First things first, may want to get some trail shoes.
A bit more grip on the soles of your feet will give you a bit more confidence in your footing.
And I feel like you’re most likely to slip and slide when you’re not confident about the surface you’re running on.
Another thing that can help is to shorten your stride in order to keep your feet under your center of mass.
Doing so increases your coeffiecient of friction, which reduses your odds of slipping on the unstable surface beneath your feet.
Last but not least, just be intentional about looking for the best place to put your foot with every step.
On the road, we don’t have to really be too careful about surveying the road in front of us looking for the best place for our feet to land.
But on the trail, you need to always be looking for the best spots to land.
When I start adding speed work to the mix, I seem to always wind up injured. Any idea why?
Higher intensity work is exactly as advertised and it’s definitely harder on the body.
So it sounds to me like your body isn’t quite ready for the increased demands that you’re placing on it.
That doesn’t mean you can’t/shouldn’t do any type of harder workouts just yet, but it sounds like you might be wise to try lowering the intensity a little bit.
Mixing in some strides may be a good place to start.
You can also try the harder workouts that you’ve done in the past but be more intentional about limiting the effort.
So instead of an “all out” effort, aim for something like your 5k pace as your max effort.
And then as your body gets stronger/adapts to these increased demands, you’ll be able to push the pace on your hard efforts a bit more.
Do you write your own training plan?
I mean, I guess my own plan.
Though calling it a plan is rather generous…
And there you have it.
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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What Was Your Favorite Question and/or Answer this Month? Let Me Know in the Comments Below!
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