Listener Q&A: October 2021

Trick or treat, yall!

Hope your final Halloween preparations are coming together nicely and you’ve set plenty of Reese’s pumpkins aside for yourself instead of giving though away to the neighborhood kids. #protip

Anyway, it’s time for another round of Q&A.

Hopefully, my answers are closer to treats than tricks this month!

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

If you had the opportunity to run to major marathons on back-to-back weekends, or even on consecutive days, would you do it?

How do you handle drivers that view stop signs as mere suggestions?

The fact of the matter is that cars always win when it’s car v runner.

That means that when I’m approaching an intersection with a vehicle approaching simultaneously, I always assume the driver is just going to blow through no matter who has the right of way.

More often than not, at least when I’m in my neighborhood, the driver sees me and lets me safely cross (even if I don’t technically have the right of way).

Occasionally? It’s a good thing I’ve erred on the side of caution.

What is your favorite flavor of potato chips?

On race day, probably just the plain Lays.

I don’t eat potato chips often outside of race day, but if I’m going to be tempted it’ll be for kettle-cooked BBQ or sour cream and cheddar.

What are some other running podcasts you would suggest/recommend?


I honestly don’t listen to many running podcasts, so I’m not sure I’m the best person to ask!

That said, here’s the shortlist off the top of my head:

  • Running with Jake
  • Not Your Average Runner
  • Ordinary Marathoner

That’s just a few of the great shows out there, but hopefully that’s enough to at least get you started.

Why do you love maths?

Great Questions

I don’t really know.

It’s always come really easy for me, so I’m sure that has at least something to do with it.

Also because it’s relatively black and white.

Either the math checks out or it doesn’t.

And I like that lack of ambiguity.

Do you think males and females need different training or coaching because of their biological differences?

Sure, I guess.

I also think two different males or two different females also need different training schedules or workouts or coaching because they are different from each other.

Did Thessaly change your mind about treadmill running?

What running-related items are going to be on your Christmas list?

Can’t even get to Halloween before we already start talking about Christmas, eh?


I’m a pretty simple man, but here are a couple of things I may be asking Santa Diz for this year:

  • Good socks
  • Compression tights
  • Heavy kettlebell
  • Foot pod
  • New tattoo
  • New running dog
  • 50 States medal hanger
As your feet and legs get stronger do you still need as much support in your shoes?


Any tips/tricks to making it a bit cheaper/easier to run a race in every state?

Nothing beyond the standard stuff.

If you’re traveling somewhere anyway, try to find a race to run while you’re there.

If you’re able to run multiple races in neighboring states, that can save you a trip.

And if all else fails, create something like concierge coaching to get other people to pay for your travel/expenses!

Do you have a time goal to get to all 50 States?

When are we going to hear you play a song on the guitar?

Though I did post a video on the FB group a while back of me playing a little bit if you want to make your ears bleed.

Can running help with circulation issues?

Running can help, but you still may need to be proactive to help your body get your blood out of your legs and back to your heart.

Compression gear. Legs up the wall. Staying well hydrated.

Mix and match, but circulation issues are something you likely need to tackle from multiple angles.

How should I break the habit of signing up for halves but then bailing and not running the race?

What’s the reason you’re not running the race?

Seems like that’s the real problem that needs to be resolved.

Nervous about whether or not you’ll finish? Anxious about being around that many runners? Putting too much pressure on yourself to hit a certain time goal?

If you can start to figure out what’s keeping you from wanting to race, you can address that and then maybe sign up and run the race.

Any cold weather running gear recommendations?


I don’t really know what gear is the best gear, seeing as I don’t have any need for good cold-weather gear.

But what I do know is that you often get what you pay for when it comes to running gear.

You’re better off spending a pretty penny on a few key pieces than shopping the bargain bin for all the things.

The quality stuff will perform better and, provided you take care of it, will last for years.

Another thing to remember is that you don’t want to overdress and overheat once you get going.

The rule of thumb I’ve heard before is to dress for weather that is 10-15* cooler than what the temperature actually is.

Yes, that means you’ll be cold for the first mile or few, but once you get going you’ll be happy you didn’t pile on too many layers.

What is your favorite Halloween movie?

Does this count?

How long should your taper be?

Too many variables to even pretend to be able to answer this with any certainty.

Remember, the goal of the taper is to give your body a break and your legs a chance to be fresh and ready to go on race day.

So depending on your training, your goal for the race, the distance of the race, and various other factors, your taper could be as short as a few days or it could be as long as a few weeks.

Am I going insane for hurting so bad while running Chicago but wanting to run another one really badly?

What are some of the best cross-training workouts for runners?

The best workouts are the ones you’re most likely to do.

That said, there’s an argument to be made that the activities that are closest to the running motion are going to give you the most benefit as a runner.

So walking/hiking or the elliptical.

But a counterargument could be made that other activities would be better as you’re working your body differently in a way to shore up weak links and reduce wear and tear on running-specific muscles.

Personally, the bike is probably my favorite.

But is it the best? I don’t know.

Do you need/want a book writing accountability partner?

How long did it take you to transition to Altras?

Slight exaggeration.

My transition from “whatever was cheapest/on sale” to Altras took place over the course of a couple of years, if I’m honest.

Before I switched, I spent close to a year changing my stride from an overstriding/heel-striking gait to one of a more mid-foot/forefoot strike.

Once that new gait pattern was ingrained, I switched to a Brooks shoe with a lower drop.

It was at that point that I rolled the dice on the Altras and transitioned over the course of a few months to running exclusively in the Altras.

Not saying it needs to take you that long, but it’s definitely something that could take that long depending on what you’re used to and how your body feels.

What is your best wildlife encounter story?

That one time I played chicken with a 12+ foot gator that was laying right next to the trail I was running on…

Have you ever done any OCRs?

What’s your favorite non-Disney amusement park?

Thoughts on wearing gaiters for trail running?


I feel like there’s no harm in wearing them.

If you don’t need them? It’s not like they get in the way or cause problems.

But if you need them and don’t have them on? You’ll be kicking yourself for not wearing them just in case.

If I’m running slow to keep my heart rate down, how will I ever be able to run faster without my heart rate rising?

This is the most common push back to heart rate training, and I totally get it.

How will running hard/fast ever get easy if you don’t do it very often?

That is an Excellent Question

It all boils down to becoming more efficient physiologically.

As an example, let’s say you’re currently running at a 10-minute pace with your heart rate at 140 bpm.

Over time, your pace starts creeping up so that you’re not running a 9-minute pace at the same heart rate.

That means you’re able to run faster without fatiguing nearly as quickly, and that’s the key to getting faster on race day.

When you’re hammering it, your HR is going to be high.

That’s not a problem, that’s just what happens.

But when your pace at an “easy” level gets a bit faster, that’s what we are trying to achieve.

How should I pace myself for a race after really committing to heart rate training?

Admittedly, this is a tricky one.

I prefer to race entirely by feel these days vs trying to pre-plan a specific pace or HR zone.

Not sure that helps you, but you kind of have to go with your gut in terms of what might work best for you.

Training hasn’t gone as planned and my longest long run is only going to be 18-19 miles. Am I going to be ok for my first 26.2?

Training rarely, if ever, goes as planned.

First marathons are hard for most people, no matter how training goes.

Take it one mile, and one step, at a time.

And at the end of the day, you’ll be a member of #Club262.

You got this!

Taper crazies–any suggestions?

With heart rate training, I notice I’m taking shorter strides. Is this a problem?

Shorter stride length is a natural by-product of slowing down.

I’d be more concerned with overstriding while running at an easier pace than I would be of getting into a habit of taking short strides.

Because when you push the pace, whether in a workout or on race day, your stride will naturally lengthen back out.

I promise.

If you’re worried about it, mix in a few strides during your HR runs a couple of times a week just to set your mind at ease.

Is Nike phasing out the Zoom Fly 3s?

Hydration pack in a marathon: should I wear it or not?

I tend to wear mine, but it’s up to you.

As long as you’re comfortable with it during training, I think there are lots of reasons to wear it.

But it’s certainly not necessary.

How long can one expect to improve as a runner as they get older?

Eventually, Father time is going to catch up to all of us.

But I think that a lot of us, especially those that start running in adulthood, can see progress/improvement for years (decades?).

And once you do start slowing down a bit due to age, nothing says you can’t change your metric of improvement.

There are age adjustments you can make to give a more accurate comparison over the years.

You may also start competing in your age group, where maintaining your current levels of fitness/performance is a means of improvement in and of itself.

I expect to continue to improve as a runner for as long as I keep running, even though I know that at some point I’ll cease to be setting PRs.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

For running, I always go back to my two 13.1 PRs on the same day.

Outside of that, I think just building the business to the point where it is today is something I’m pretty proud of.

Why did you want to become a running coach?

I Don't Know

I don’t know that I ever really wanted to become a running coach if I’m being honest.

It kind of just happened over time.

Do you still like to eat at Applebees?

And I’m spent…


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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