Listener Q&A: November 2019


Happy day after Thanksgiving!

Hope you ate all the things yesterday.

This was my attitude for yesterday, in the form of one of my favorite GIFs ever:

Thanksgiving Feast

Anyway, I hope you have many things in your life to be thankful for.

I know that my life is very blessed, and I’m thankful for those blessings every day.

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?

Your Questions

Any suggestions for a headlamp to use while trail running?

How about some Knucklelights instead?

Yes, Knucklelights are a regular sponsor of the show.

No, I’m not just suggesting them instead of a headlamp because they are a regular sponsor of the show.

Personally, I find headlamps pretty uncomfortable.

So, needless to say, I’m not the biggest fan.

Since finding Knucklelights, they’ve been my go to light for running in the dark.

And I’d stand by this recommendation even if Knucklelights never sponsors another episode of the show. They have a good product that I prefer as an alternative to a headlamp.

How do you know when you are ready to run a longer race distance?

This is a tricky one because there is no black and white answer.

I think you’re ready to run longer when you’re ready to commit to some longer training runs.

The truth is, training for longer distance races requires substantially more time and effort than training for shorter races.

That may seem pretty obvious, but it’s not as simple as it seems.

As an example, suppose you’re thinking about making the jump from a half marathon to a full marathon.

You don’t need to be a math whiz to recognize that you’re doubling your race day distance, right?

But in order to train for a full?

You’re probably looking to 3 or 4x the amount of time it takes to adequately train for the longer distances over the course of your training cycle.

When you can commit to the amount of time required to train, that’s when you can at least entertain the idea of running longer.

Then you need to answer the question of whether or not you actually want to do the longer race.

But no one can help you answer that question.

That one is all you.

How do you accurately measure your distance on a treadmill?

I know you can calibrate your treadmill, but if you’re running on a treadmill at the gym you have to hope that it’s been calibrated recently. Because if it’s not calibrated? Who knows how accurate the display is!

And when it comes to using your Garmin, I always question the accuracy.

Supposedly, the Garmins tend to be pretty accurate when you turn the GPS setting off, but I’m not exactly sure how you’d be able to verify the accuracy running on a treadmill that may or may not be properly calibrated.

When it comes to HR training, do you need to keep your HR in the proper zone for all activities or only for your runs?

HR training can get complicated if you let it, but for most of us we would be better off keeping things as simple as possible.

And as such, when you determine your various HR limits or zones, stick to those same numbers across the board.

You’ll find that some activities are easier to keep your HR where it’s supposed to be than others.

For example, I have to work much harder on the bike to get my HR up to my MAF limit than I do when running.

But my MAF target stays the same, no matter what type of exercise I’m doing.

Do you think marathon training makes you healthier?

I do, but that assumes that you’re training intelligently.

And, sadly, not everyone adheres to an intelligent training philosophy.

If you’re not training intelligently, I definitely can see ways that marathon training can be “bad” for you.

Is it ok to train for a flat marathon on hills? Could doing so be beneficial?

Not only is it ok, it’s absolutely beneficial!

The strength you’ll build running the hills will pay off in spades on race day!

I Guarantee It

How would heart rate training work if you’re doing run/walk intervals?

It’s really simple.

You stick to your run/walk intervals, but make sure that you’re running easy enough during your run intervals that your HR doesn’t go past your determined limit.

If it does, you either slow down and continue running until you’re supposed to walk or you start your walk interval early and potentially extend it.

The key with heart rate training is to make sure you’re keeping your heart rate below your top-end number, period.

Is 3-4 months enough time to see some benefits from heart rate training?

Look, the fact of the matter is that the longer you stick with heart rate training the more beneficial it becomes.

But that doesn’t mean that you won’t see benefits in just a few months.

Are you going to see dramatic improvements to your pace? Maybe not.

But any work you’re doing to build/solidify your aerobic base will always be beneficial to us as runners.

What are some good responses to friends/family members that ask why you would want to run another marathon?

Here are a few responses that immediately come to mind:

Is there a “right” way to transition from run/walk intervals to straight running?

I’m not sure there’s a right way or a wrong way.

I think the most logical way is to continue to extend out the running interval and trim away the walk interval until you’re just running the whole time.

In terms of maintaining fitness over the winter, is it better to do three longer runs or four shorter runs (assuming approximate same total volume)?

The Rock Says It Doesn't Matter

Either is going to be fine.

What I would do is just take it week by week.

If it looks like one week you might only get three runs in, then try to stretch them out a little longer.

A week where you have four days available? You can adjust the length of your runs accordingly.

In either case, you’ll still have a solid base once the snow melts and you’re back into the groove for your next training cycle.

What is your go to music on race day?

Dave.

I’m putting together my own training plan for my next race, and it looks like I’ll be doing a long run, a group workout, and then have two other runs each week. Should those two runs be easy runs?

I live in New York and am training for a race in the south in January that will likely be a lot warmer than what I’m used to training in. Any tips for how to prepare for this kind of change in the weather?

Honestly, there’s not much you can do.

Unless, of course, you want to confine yourself to training indoors on the treadmill from now through race day.

The best thing you can do is to train in the conditions in which you live, and then keep an eye on the weather where you’re racing as the race date draws near.

If it looks like it’s going to be a warm one? Dial back your goals as the heat will likely be a factor.

Looking like it’ll be a bit on the cooler side? Lock in and race hard!

If I run a half-mile to a local pub, have a beer, then run the half-mile home, can I count that as a one miler?

I don’t see why not!

Cheers Mate!


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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