Listener Q&A October 2016

It’s that time again y’all…

Listener Q&A October 2016

That’s right, it’s time for the monthly Listener Q&A episode of the podcast!

And as fate would have it, today is Halloween. So hopefully my answers will be less trick and more treat, but I make no promises.

Anyway, let’s get on to the questions!

I have a random pain in my foot in the morning and the evening but it doesn’t hurt when I run. Any ideas?

In a word, no.

That said, does it seem to get worse from running? If not, you might be able to get away with some running to keep you from going crazy.

I'm Loco

Either way though, might want to get it checked out. If it’s not getting any better after 2 months, it doesn’t sound like it’ll get any better on it’s own.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of breaking up a long run?


  • Schedule flexibility
  • Easier on the body


  • Requires discipline to do the second run
  • Your race isn’t broken in half

How do I stretch my IT band?

It’s tough.

Really, there is no great stretch for the IT band because of our anatomy. In order to isolate that tissue to stretch, too many things get in the way (other leg, pubic bones, male anatomy).

You can get a bit of a stretch with a seated twist or laying on your back and crossing one leg over your body while keeping your shoulders flat to the ground. Those stretches primarily hit the lower back musculature, but will get some hip muscles as well.

The foam roller can help loosen things up as well, but honestly a tight IT band is kind of a canary in the coal mine.

If your IT band is tight, you have other problems like a weak core or weak VMO/inner thigh.

Instead of trying to stretch your IT band, do some strength training to fix the underlying cause of the tightness and you might be good to go.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of of carrying water during a supported race?

I don’t see any disadvantages of carrying water, provided you’ve been doing it during training (same pack/bottle/setup).

As for advantages, there are several.

  • Drink on your schedule, instead of where water stops are
  • Avoid the water stop traffic jam
  • Your preferred mix/concentration (if you’re not drinking just water)

Tips for running with a jogging stroller.

Running with a jogging stroller is a bit of an adjustment.

It obviously impacts your arm swing. Depending on your stroller, you may kick an axle or a tire once in awhile. You also have to be more aware of bumps/sticks/curbs that you could easily hop over but now have to navigate around.

Personally, when I run with Adi I typically only push with one hand so my other arm can swing freely. And I’ll regularly switch arms throughout.

As your kids get older, realized you’ll probably have to stop because cups/pacis/toys get thrown out of the stroller all of the time. Runs may have to be cut short because junior is OVER IT!

All that being said, it’s still totally worth it and a lot of fun. Just slow down a bit and have fun!

What is proper headlamp etiquette?

Would you believe I’ve never run with a headlamp?

I really don’t like the idea of having a strap tight enough around my head to hold a light remotely still, so I’ve always just taken the chance when running in the dark. (That said, since beginning to work with Knuckle Lights I’m absolutely IN LOVE with those lights and being able to see and be seen during my runs.)

Whether you’re using a headlamp, Knuckle Lights, or a flashlight, I think the biggest thing is to just be aware of the angle of your light.

Don’t shine it right in the face of another runner coming towards you, so just turning your head slightly is all you really need to do.

If you have a “hi/lo beam” option, you can always click that button but just don’t get your headlamp right in someone’s face and you’ll be fine.

I can honestly say, I’ve never been blinded or distracted by another runner’s light, so I don’t think there’s much to worry about.

What are good goals for stepping back from longer races (like halves) to shorter races?

I think speed is the most obvious place to at least start the conversation.

If you goals for the longer distance were typically just conquering the distance, why not put some time pressure on yourself to get faster?

I don’t know what kind of runner you are, but if you’re a run/walker you could play with the idea of running the whole thing. I’m not anti-run/walk by any means, but that could be something you could measure and work towards.

What is the appropriate amount of “time” between marathons?

This sounds like a rule of thumb type of question if I’ve ever heard one!

There is no “right” amount of time, honestly. It depends on how your body feels and how solid your base level of fitness is.

It also depends on how hard you ran the most recent one. Did you push to the limit with everything you had? Probably need to back off for awhile.

I mean, there’s a reason the elite’s only race one to two marathons per year.

That said, if you ran the entire thing at a comfortable pace and you’re very well trained, there’s nothing that says you couldn’t run one ever week if you wanted to.

What do you recommend for long run distance while in the “off-season” before the next marathon cycle?

There’s certainly no right or wrong answer here, but what I’ve adopted since Running With the Bears is the idea that 15 is the new 10.

I used to do all of my non-training plan long runs at about 10 miles. Occasionally I’d bump it up a mile or two, occasionally I’d be a mile or two under, but all things being equal I pretty much do a weekly 10 miler.

Now, 15 is my new 10. My Saturday target now is 15 miles. Sometimes it’s a bit shorter, sometimes it’s a bit longer, but it’s almost always within shouting distance of 15 miles.

Remember, at this point your training is focused on solidifying your base level of fitness. So your distance should be something that is mildly challenging but not overly taxing.

That could be 10 miles. That could be 18 miles. Just depends on where your sweet spot is.

My shoes have about 350 miles on them. They still feel good, but I usually retire my shoes (same shoe, different model) between 250 and 300 miles. Should I get some new kicks or keep on keeping on? 

I vote keep on keeping on, as long as you’re feeling good physically after your runs.

That said, it might not be a bad idea to get a new pair of shoes, and ease them into the rotation.

Personally, I hate going from a broken in and comfortable shoe to a new shoe cold turkey. I’d rather get that new pair of shoes while the old one still has some life, and ease the new shoes in over the course of a month or so.

What is a good pre-run calf warm up?

Hard to argue with a few toe raises and some lunges and/or squats.

I don’t do much specifically for my calves, though with my issue with my right calf this year maybe I should, beyond just an easy mile or so to get the blood flowing and all of the muscles loosened up. When I go above and beyond that simple warm up, it’s usually 6-10 walking lunges and then I get after it.

You can also do some ankle mobility exercises, where you are moving your foot in all directions. Think circles or “drawing” the letters of the alphabet.

Bottom line: don’t overthink it.

What made you want to start a podcast?

This podcast specifically? I thought doing an interview show would be easier than the solo show I was currently doing.

Yeah, it’s definitely not any easier but it is a lot more fun having cool people to talk to.

The original show? And this one to a lesser extent? Exposure.

It’s still much easier to stand out with a  podcast than it is with a blog, so I went with the podcast over blogging.

For me, it was definitely the right decision.

Any suggestions for time management to make sure I have time to get my runs in with all of the other stuff going on in my life?

My biggest suggestion is to schedule your runs just like you do anything else in your life, and don’t cancel your run time unless it’s a legit emergency.

And FYI, there are rarely legitimate emergencies.

Put it on your calendar as an appointment, and be sure to keep that appointment.

Another idea that’s slightly less time management but may still apply is to be realistic.

This is something that I struggle with BIG TIME! I’ll schedule my day (runs, interviews, blog posts, etc) and then be upset when at the end of the day I didn’t get it all accomplished.

The problem is that I’m not allowing enough time for each task so I end up over scheduling my day and something has to go.

I was planning a fall marathon, but life happened and I had to miss it. Thinking of running a race in the spring with a full/half option. Should I run the full even though I missed the fall race, or should I do the half and then run my first full in the fall of 2017?

Honestly, there is no “right” answer to this question.

Training for a spring full in the winter can be tough if you don’t like running in the cold/snow/ice and don’t have access/can’t handle the treadmill.

That said, the same thing applies for a fall race with training in the summer heat and humidity.

There is nothing like your first 26.2. That said, the experience is much more enjoyable when you’ve been able to prepare properly.

So if you decide to do the full in April, you better be ready to run in in the winter snow/ice/cold/short days.

Why is PBR the “official” beer of ultra marathoning? And how do we go about making a change?

First of all, there’s nothing wrong with a little PBR on occasion. Provided it’s a tall boy can, of course.

For what it’s worth, PBR is the ONLY beer I’ll drink out of a can.

Secondly, I’ll take a PBR of some nasty/bitter IPA any day of the week!

Thirdly, in an ideal world the post-race beer would fit somewhere in the middle of the spectrum. Not too hoppy, not too flavorless/watery.

Give me a petition to sign that makes a nice Lager the official finish line beer of runners everywhere, and I’ll sign that joker yesterday.

How many miles should you wear a shoe before you decide if you like them or not?

Simple answer: I don’t know?

As long as they aren’t causing you a problem, that’s up to you.

If you don’t like them, get rid of them. If they are kind of meh, you can keep them in the rotation for as long as you want.

Life is too short to run in shoes you don’t like, but shoes are too expensive to throw out every pair that isn’t “perfect”.

You have to find your happy medium when it comes to shoes that are, at best, only ok.

That’s it for this month.

Great questions y’all! Remember to come hang out with us on Facebook and make sure to get your questions in for next month!

Answering listener questions on PBR, split long runs, shoe shelf life, the 'off-season', and much more! Click To Tweet

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