Listener Q&A: April 2022

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The April showers are drying up.

So does that mean the May flowers are on deck?


Before the calendar turns from April to May, let’s do 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 do you find your why again if/when you’re lacking in motivation?

It’s been a while since I’ve really felt a lack of motivation to get my runs in, but I’ve definitely been there before.

For me, taking something of a prolonged break usually works.

I guess I kinda try to follow the old “absence makes the heart grow fonder” routine.

Taking a couple of weeks, or more, off of running is usually enough to make me miss it.

But if that doesn’t work for you, a few other things you could try are:

  • Focus on fun
  • Make it about others
  • Change the scenery
How are you celebrating your wife and mom for Mother’s Day?

Why is a marathon taper usually three weeks?


Personally, both as a coach and for myself, I usually schedule a two-ish week taper.

Doesn’t mean that three weeks is bad, just seems more than necessary to me.

The key with the taper is that it needs to be long enough to really refresh your legs and have them ready to go for race day.

If you’re only tapering for a week, that may not be quite enough time for the legs to fully bounce back.

It could be, and in certain circumstances, I have had athletes “only” taper for a week.

But it’s a rare exception for me.

What is your opinion about the mid-week long run in marathon training?

Do you feel like your recent injury is sort of the “price you pay” for pushing closer to your potential?

Is it possible to run miles too slow?

How difficult was it to move to Florida? The Maine winters are getting old.

What are the best speed workouts?

The ones you’ll do well.

I think the best speed workouts are the ones that you’re able to really execute.

If you can lock in and hammer shorter repeats, those are the best workouts to do.

If you’re better at grinding for longer repeats or a tempo run? Then those are the best.

What can I do to strengthen my ankles for more time on the trails?

Some balance work is probably your best bet.

Working your stabilizers and some proprioceptors will give you a better chance of staying upright when the trails are a bit sketchy.

What is the best kind of Peloton ride to benefit runners?

The Rock Says It Doesn't Matter

What do you think of Adrianne Haslet running Boston with Shalane?

Is there a system to your madness when it comes to washing your running gear?

What do you do if you realize you forgot to lube up before a race?

If you got Covid and lost your sense of taste, would you then eat a Cadbury egg?

What is the proper way to carb load before a race?

You know I’m not a fan of carb loading, but if it works for you then by all means keep on keeping on.

But this feels like one of those no one-size-fits-all kind of questions to me.

Speaking of carbs, what about fueling advice for low-carb runners?

Once you train your body to more efficiently burn fat for fuel, so many fueling problems just kind of solve themselves.

At least that’s been my experience.

Which is another one of the benefits of running easy most of the time.

Not that you or I will ever be a 100% fat burner during runs, but the more you’re able to tap into your fat reserves the fewer carbs you’ll need and the lower your risk of GI issues will be.

Why does my little dog sleep on the big dog bed while the big dog sleeps on the little dog bed?

What’s the best way to tackle a hill during a race?

I suppose it depends a bit on the hill, eh?

Personally, I tend to grind a little bit early and then push a bit as I get near the top of the hill.

That allows me to “recover” on the subsequent downhill after my little burst without slowing down at all.

Is it a good idea to switch to more liquid fueling during the summer months?

I’d argue it’s a good idea to switch from gels to liquids any time of year, but that’s just me.

The liquids in the summer can feel a bit like two birds and one stone.

Just make sure there are actually enough calories in your liquids to do the fueling job.

Thoughts on doing a sprint triathlon with a beach cruiser?

What’s an easy strength training routine for runners that don’t want to add a bunch of bulk?

Hit the major muscle groups and you’ll be good.

Squats. Lunges. Deadlifts. Push ups. Pull ups.

Don’t worry about bulking up.

That doesn’t just happen by accident, I promise.

How long after a good run should you stretch?

Do Something

Is there a candy greater than a Resse’s Peanut Butter cup?

Any tips for preventing my back/traps from hurting due (more than likely) to wearing my pack during longer runs?

A little strength work maybe?

Try playing with the position of your pack to see if that helps?

What running-related media do you consume?

Mostly books and podcasts.

Is it ok to carb load three days prior to a race?

What’s the best way to get better with running hills?

Run more hills.

Hill sprints can help, but I think mixing hills into your runs is probably the best bet.

That way you get more comfortable grinding up and gliding down, and that last part may be the most important part.

Going up a hill is never going to be easy, but if you get more comfortable/confident going down hill, you can really fly without beating yourself up on the downs.

I’m torn between signing up again for a race I DNFd. Think I’m afraid of possibly failing again?

Why would one run for time vs distance?

For some people, the thought of running 10 miles might be a bit overwhelming.

But running for 2 hours? That sounds doable.

Odds are? In 2 hours, you’ll probably be pretty close to 10 miles.

So in some cases, it’s just a matter of which metric works better for the individual.

Other times, it can be a bit of an effort check.

Meaning, if you know you need to get two hours on your feet, you might be more likely to just cruise and keep things easy.

But if you are doing 10 miles, you might push a little harder than you want to in order to finish your run as soon as possible.

What are the best two or three running books you’ve read?

But if I had to…

  • Stronger Than the Dark
  • Runner’s High
  • Let Your Mind Run

Outside of book club, however…

  • Ready to Run
  • Primal Endurance
  • 80/20 Running
What is your favorite electrolyte product/food?

Is there a race that is a goal race for you? Why?

Not really, other than Boston.

There are plenty of races I’d like to do, but I can’t really think of any that I would class as goals.

What are your thoughts on running the 5k often associated with a half or full before the “big” race?


Do you really need to ask my thoughts on running a 5k?

I suppose it depends on your goal for the big race and how you would handle being in the 5k.

If your goal is to hammer a marathon, an easy 5k a day or two earlier as something of a shakeout run is fine.

Planning to just cruise the marathon? Then the 5k is clearly no factor no matter how you want to get after it.

Would it drive you crazy to run some random race distance instead of a more “traditional” distance?

Will you ever join the 50 State Club?
I Don't Know
With your 50 State goal, how “official” do your races have to be for you?

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

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