Listener Q&A: September 2021
Nine months down, three more to go and 2021 will be behind us.
I know, right?
Before we get cracking on the 4th quarter of the year, it’s time for 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 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
How far are your short runs?
I don’t know that I’d class my daily runs as short, but I get in a six-miler pretty much every morning.
If I had to define what short is for me, I’d say it’s probably two miles.
But please don’t compare your short runs to mine.
If short for you is five miles? Cool. If short is a half-mile? Cool.
Long or short. Fast or slow. Easy or hard.
It’s all relative.
What do you consider a good run?
Lots of factors go into a good run.
The pace/HR/RPE are all in alignment.
Weather conditions are ideal.
The dog only stops to use the bathroom once.
A good podcast episode is cued up and lasts the entire run.
Safe to say, not every run is a good run! LOL
What are your flavor recommendations for tailwind?
Straight up, my favorites are mandarin orange and lemonade.
A combo of the two? That’s some really good stuff.
If one or both of those were caffeinated? That would be the winner.
Of the caffeine varieties? The fruit punch and green tea are legit.
That said, favorite flavors are pretty subjective.
What actor/actress will you watch no matter what? Or director?
Not sure I really have one, to be honest.
Do you have a pre-race ritual that you have to follow?
I typically eat the same thing the night before a race, but I wouldn’t freak out if I ended up eating something different for some reason.
Yes, I like my routines in pretty much every area of my life.
But I’m definitely Type B- enough that I can go with the flow when necessary.
How do you get through the “this sucks” portion of your long-runs?
I’ve been known to let an exasperated horse noise or few escape my lips.
I may bitch and moan a little bit.
If I’m flying solo, I’ll put some music on.
My biggest “secret” is to make sure my long-runs are either an out and back or a big loop as much as possible.
Because if the only option is to run back home, I usually end up running back home.
How would you build an ideal taper?
The ideal taper and a realistic taper are more than likely two different things.
Ideally, your tape would always be pretty low-key in all areas of life.
So while you’d be dialing back your running a bit, you’d also be dialing back on the other demands of your life so you can really focus on resting and rejuvenating ahead of race day.
Realistically, it’s probably just pulling back on the running a bit.
Do you keep a journal, running or otherwise?
As my heart rate rises during a longer run, should I slow down to keep my HR steady or maintain my pace and let my HR climb?
I suppose the answer depends on whether or not you’re training based on HR, eh?
If you’re trying to keep your HR in a certain zone, slow down so your HR stays in said zone.
If you don’t really care about your HR, then keep on keeping on.
Based on the fact you’re asking the question, I’m going to assume that your HR matters to you so slowing down is almost assuredly the right choice.
But perhaps there’s a third option that you’re overlooking.
What if you started your long run at a lower level of effort so that even if your HR creeps up toward the end of your run you’re still staying within your HR window?
Would you consider doing an Inside Tracker test and sharing your results?
Have you ever experienced catching a “second wind?”
Have you ever dealt with low-iron levels?
No, not personally.
And as a coach, not that I’m aware of.
How crucial is doing a good warm-up?
What are you guys dressing up as for Halloween?
Anything particular that I should be aware of for my first 50k?
As much as you can, go in with zero expectations.
It’s not going to be just like doing a marathon, because it’s not a marathon.
So whatever standards you would have for yourself about a “good” 26.2, forget about them.
Take your time. Have fun. Keep moving forward.
Easy for me to say, probably hard to comprehend until you’ve done a few ultras.
How different is a trail half compared to a road half?
It’ll be different, for sure.
How different? Depends on the trail.
Some trails are fairly runnable and aren’t that much different than cruising on a road.
Others are pretty much night and day different from road running.
What do you think about Salazar’s ban being upheld?
How is the book coming?
How do you handle aiming for a PR when you’re stuck in one of the last starting corrals?
You can absolutely still PR from a “less-than-ideal” starting situation.
The key is running intelligently aggressive until the race thins out a bit.
You don’t want to be bobbing and weaving around runners the entire race, or you’re liable to run an extra half mile or more.
But at the same time, if you’re just going to go with the flow there is zero chance of a PR.
So when you can make a move to get around some other runners, go for it.
But when you’re hemmed in a bit? Just be patient and wait for the opportunity to gun it again.
Just don’t be a douche and ruin the race experience of everyone else.
Is it ok if I skip a couple of runs the week before my race in order to get a bit more sleep?
Have you set any goals yet, running or otherwise, for 2022?
What is autumn like in Florida?
How do I reintroduce other topics beyond running into daily conversation?
What if someone wants to run a race with you, how would that work?
At the new level of coaching that I’m putting together, it’s actually included that I’ll race with you a couple of times per year.
But beyond that, it’s something that I don’t have a firm answer for but would definitely be open to the possibilities.
There would be lots of variables at place related to costs and expectations and what not, but it’s definitely figure-outable.
Any tips/tricks that can benefit you on race day?
- Have a plan, but not too specific.
- Start slower than goal pace, then settle in and cruise.
- Don’t drop the hammer until you can literally see the finish line.
- Trust what your body is telling you.
- Never say no to potato chips.
Most important: have fun.
How do you flip the switch and run fast during a race after buying in to HR training?
This is a tricky one to answer clearly because it just sort of happens.
I honestly think the switch is more mental than anything else.
If you’re on board with racing fast mentally, your body will respond.
At that point, the key is staying out of your head enough to avoid reflipping the mental switch.
Easier said than done, especially the first few races after you really embrace HR training.
But once you see it play out favorably for you, it pretty much becomes second nature.
And that, as they say, is that.
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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