Listener Q&A: January 2017

You ask, I answer.

That’s pretty much the moral of the story when it comes to these Q&A episodes.

January 2017

The slightly more detailed version is as such:

Every month I create a post in our Facebook group asking for questions for the monthly Q&A episode.

You post your questions, and then I answer them.

Pretty simple, eh?

Let's Get Started

This Month’s Questions

What is your favorite distance to race and why?

Since I ask this question every episode, it’s only fair that I get asked the same question on occasion, eh?

My answer is less than simple, unlike the question itself.

I feel like I should say that my favorite distance to race is the marathon, in large part because I have a goal of running a marathon in every state as well as an evenly more ambitious goal that I’ve yet to make public but involves running 26.2+ A LOT.

That said, marathons are hard!

I like the challenge, and once I figure out how to really run/race a marathon hard, I have no doubt it will be my favorite distance.

At the moment, the half marathon is clearly my best distance to race. It’s a distance I can run hard and intelligently, and I like knowing when I can really drop the hammer and go without fear of a catastrophic glow up.

So I guess I’m split between 13.1 and 26.2?

I don't know

Can we get a commitment on running an ultra?


5 March, 2017.

I registered for the Long Play 33 1/3 yesterday, so I guess I’m committed, eh?

After a bit of an unplanned break from running, I’m noticing several unusual aches and pains getting back into running. What’s the deal?

Totally normal.

Your body is simply readjusting to the demands of running again. As long as you’re easing back into running by going a bit shorter and avoiding speed work for a couple weeks you should be fine.

Nothing to worry about here.

If you had total freedom, what time of day would you run and where would your ideal place to run be?

Wow. This is a good one!

The time of day part of the question is a bit easier, I think. Running at sunrise is something I do enjoy, but it’s hard to get out of my own life. If I had absolutely nothing else to consider, I think I’d probably become a bit more of a night owl and therefore my runs would probably always be late afternoon or later.

As for location, I don’t know! I’d love to have access to more trails and especially some that have a little bit more for terrain change than what we have here locally. But I also like running in urban environments.

So I think my ideal place would have both options. Maybe Denver or Asheville?

What do you think about scheduling another race 2-3 weeks after a BQ/PR attempt as a backup?

I don’t have a problem with it with one huge caveat: it will likely only work if you don’t race the first one.

If you’re scheduling your second race as an opportunity to give you a second chance in case you just miss it in the first race, save your money.

Just ask Mary Johnson how trying to race marathons basically back to back worked out. Spoiler alert: not well.

Thumbs Down

But, if you’re using that second race as a buffer against things that are completely out of your control and that would force you to NOT race the first event, then I’d be ok with it.

You could still run the first race, just don’t race it. Racing two marathons within 2-3 weeks of each other is definitely not advised.

How can I improve my half marathon times? For some reason, this race just trips me up!

I have a couple of thoughts.

One, do several training runs in the 15-16 mile distance as part of your training for the half marathon. That way you’ll be confident in your ability to run beyond 13.1, so on race day the distance will seem “short”.

And with those longer long runs, run them easy for the half of the distance or more, but then crank it up for the last little bit so you’re finishing faster than your ideal race day pace. That will also give you confidence to be able to push it on race day.

Do some serious speed work! And not just long repeats either. Do some 400s. Do some 1 minute sprints. Do some workouts that really cause you to push hard and force your body to respond/adapt.

I also know a coach that might be able to help you.

Just saying

When and why did you start running?

I’m not one of those runners that can point to a specific moment in time where I went from a non-runner to a runner.

That said, without question I became a runner when I was in grad school and was working with the track/cross country team at Middle Tennessee State University.

I’d dabbled in running for many years before that time, but when I was around runners daily it just kind of became something I did and sort of enjoyed.

I mean, when you’re at the track for 4+ hours per day watching practice you you have to do something!

So I started running.

I ran my first marathon 7 months after finishing grad school, didn’t love it but didn’t hate it, and within a year or two of that race I was officially hooked on the sport. And I haven’t looked back since!

This month's Qs include my Ultra plans, when I started running, back up marathons, and more! #runchat Share on X

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

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