Listener Q&A: November 2017

It’s that time again yall!

You ask. I answer.

The process is pretty simple, but in case you’re new to these parts I’ll break it down further.

Around the middle of the month, I put up a post in the Facebook group asking what questions they have of me related to running, life, and everything in between.

Those questions are then answered here and on the corresponding episode of the podcast.

Shall we get started then?

This Month’s Questions

We’ve got a bunch of questions this month, so let’s get cracking straight away!

Thoughts on chiropractors?

Honestly, it depends on the chiropractor.

Some are great and worth their weight in gold.

Other’s not so much.

If you have a good/ethical chiropractor, he or she is definitely an asset!

What does the “rest period” during a track/interval workout mean? Stand still? Keep moving?

To each their own, but I’m a fan of easy movement.

Maybe a little walking, especially for the first half of a timed recovery segment. Then follow that up with an easy jog before it’s time to go hard again.

How do you stay committed and disciplined during the holidays?

It’s hard.

Perhaps the best thing you can do is don’t hold yourself to the standard of perfection.

You’re going to miss a run or two. You’re going to eat too much fudge and drink too much egg nog.

It happens.

Do your best and keep moving forward.

What’s on holiday wishlist for you, Diz?

World peace?

Nah, though ti would be nice.

Honestly, I don’t really want for much.

A few more clients maybe? Another couple of thousand podcast subscribers. A couple of speaking gigs for 2018. A new marathon PR.

Stuff that’s actually deliverable by Santa?

There are a few books I’d like. A nice bottle of gin and/or tequila would be good.

What should you do in the “off-season” to be in a better place when the next training cycle starts?

Cut back on your running just a bit to give your body and mind a break.

Yes, I talked about raising the floor a few weeks ago, but you can do that while also cutting back slightly.


No high-intensity training, just some easy running.

Build that base and that will raise the floor for you.

Some yoga wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

What is one running related splurge you’d get if money wasn’t an option?

If money were no option?

It would be a race-cation.

Probably a Run the World Adventures trip, either Costa Brava or Guatemala.

(More info: my interviews with Pablo from Costa Brava and Greg from Guatemala.)

If I’m mentoring a new runner, how do I encourage them without intimidating them?

It’s a bit of a tough question because I think it depends on your mentee.

I think the biggest thing is to keep it fun.

If they are having fun, they will want to push it a bit.

And they may just surprise themselves with what they are capable along the way.

But some people are going to need to be treated with kid gloves. And in that case, let those people move along at their pace.

Is a massage more useful than hitting the foam roller?

Yes. How?

There are the obvious reasons, like it being easier to relax a bit when you’re not balancing on the roller or massage ball.

But in addition to that, a good massage therapist can “feel” things in your muscles that you won’t feel while you’re on the roller, and as such may solve some problems before they begin.

Also, if you keep seeing the same therapist consistently they will get to know your body almost as well as you do.

At what point do you think it might be time for a break or a reassessment of the goals?

If you’re asking the question, it’s probably time. 

When I stop looking forward to my runs, that’s when I know it’s time to take a step back.

Maybe that means no running at all for a few weeks. Maybe that means just a few runs here and there, but totally loosey-goosey.

But if you’re not having fun at the moment or dreading the next run, pump the breaks.

Give it a little space, and before you know it you’ll be itching to get back at it.

If you are organizing a race, let’s say the first annual Diz Runs Race Weekend, what do you want to make sure is available for your runners?


So many things that I’d do differently from most races!

You’ll have to listen to my answer to get all of the details, but I’d alter the pasta dinner, have more real food fueling options available on the course, have a better/healthier post-race spread, and make sure the goodie bag is stocked!

Also, maybe an optional medal and t-shirt?

How much time do I need to plan for a proper training plan for a marathon?

There is definitely not a cut and dry answer for this one.

It depends on your goals and it depends on your fitness level BEFORE the official training starts.

Most training plans are in the 16-week range, which is plenty of time to build up your fitness to finish a marathon.

But to race it hard? You”re going to need a good base of fitness in place before you start training so you’re ready to go from the beginning.


What are your thoughts on toe socks?

They are different.

Not sure I like them better or worse than a good pair of regular socks.

They feel a little awkward at first, but once you get used to them it’s not an issue.

What is the deal with a running “off-season”? When do you take it? For how long?

I feel like the details of an “off-season” depend upon why you are taking one.

It’s a good idea to not just go hard all of the time.

We need breaks.

We need seasons.

It’s biologically normal to go hard and then relax a bit.

So after a good training cycle and hard race, an “off-season” is probably advised. It may be just a few days/weeks until you’re fully recovered and ready to go.

If you’re burnt out, it may be a month or two to allow you to recharge your batteries and enjoy the sport again.

My best advice for how long you need to take is that you’ll know when you’re ready to get after it again.

Don’t try to force a certain date. When you’re ready, it’s time to start running again.

And not a day before.

How many Lowes could Rob Lowe rob if Rob Lowes could rob Lowes?

How much is too much? Running, OCR, Crossfit–where do I draw the line?

If you’re having fun doing a bunch of different things, you’re good!

The fact that you’re doing so many different types of activities actually helps a bit in that you’re not overdoing any one thing.

As long as you’re not just tired all the time or feel like your body is breaking down, I see keep on keeping on!

Being self-coached, do you think you go to easy on yourself?



Over the years, however, I’ve learned where I need to be more firm with myself and that has helped.

And I’ve got some plans/ideas in place for 2018 where I’m going to be making myself even more accountable in hopes of really staying on track with those harder workouts where I’ve let myself off the hook at times in the past.

But my big focus for right now/into the near year is all on building/solidifying my aerobic base with easy runs.

And I’m good on that front for sure.

Does smiling during a race or hard workout really make a difference?

In a word, yes.

Lots of studies show that we percieve less pain when we are smiling than we are grimacing.

So if you’re digging and it hurts, simply forcing yourself to smile will help you keep pushing.

It sounds crazy, but it’s legit.

My kids are really getting into running, but they are still young. How much is too much for them?

You don’t need to worry about limiting your kids as much as you might think.

The science/research is showing that kids can run a lot more than we give them credit for without any long-term ramifications.

If they are having fun and enjoying the sport, you can pretty much take the shackles off and turn them free.

For more info on the subject, check out Run Strong Stay Healthy by Jonathan Beverly.

Running + strength training on the same day: thoughts?

I love it!

If your goal is running related, you don’t really need to dedicate an entire day to strength training.

Get a quick strength training session in after a run, ideally a hard run, and you’re good to go!

Any issues with walking in “regular” shoes while running with a zero-drop shoe?

Not really.

Honestly, I find walking around in my Altras feels really weird.

So IF I’m wearing shoes, which outside of running only happens 3-5 days a year, I like having a slight heel-to-toe drop on them.

The last time I wore dress shoes with a standard height heel it was awkward as hell. So that is definitely too much for me now, but a bit of a heel is what is comfortable for me.

As long as you’re taking care of yourself with stretching and foam rolling, you shouldn’t have much of an issue wearing non-zero drop shoes on a regular basis.

Though, if I can be so bold as to plug Altra yet again, they do make zero-drop dress/everyday shoes now.

So next time you need a nicer/non-running pair of shoes, you might want to look there and see if you can get a pair and stay zero-drop all the time!

The last few months have been a  bit short on questions, but this month yall came through!

Great questions, hopefully somewhat useful in the answer department!

What Was Your Favorite Question and/or Answer this Month? Let Me Know in the Comments Below!

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