Don’t look now, but the year is just about half over!
Seriously, where did the time go?
Time flies when you’re having fun, right?
Well on that note…
If the first half of the year is coming to an end, that also means that the month of June is about finished.
Which means it’s time for the monthly Listener Q&A episode!
In case you’re new to these parts, allow me to explain how this works.
Every month in our FB Group, I put up a post asking for questions from you guys.
You ask the questions, then I answer them.
And with a little luck, my answers are actually helpful.
This Month’s Questions
We have a solid list of questions this month, so enough small talk!
Let’s rock and roll!
Any tips/tricks/ideas for beach running?
First things first about beach running, it’s really difficult!
The softer the sand, the harder it is to run in it. So be prepared to work really hard, potentially feel a bit out of shape, and for the numbers on your watch to be way slower than usual.
Now that we got that out of the way, a couple of other things to consider.
Shoes or no shoes?
It depends. I’ll usually go no shoes if I’m only running on the beach. If I’m running a few blocks/miles to the beach, then running along the beach for a few miles, and then hitting the road/sidewalk again, I’ll just keep my shoes on the whole way.
The last thing you want to do is take your shoes off, get your feet all sandy, and then try putting your shoes/socks back on to run some more.
That would be blister city!
Lots of people run barefoot, lots will have shoes on. You do what you want to do here.
Another thing to be aware of is that the sand nearer the water, where it’s wet, will be easier to run on because it’ll be much more packed together.
That said, depending on the beach you are visiting, that area could be sloped pretty heavily.
You can still run there, but realize it’s hard on your body to be running at a fairly big angle like that and you may be better off trudging through the softer sand farther from the water’s edge.
And last but not least, if you’re going to be running for any length of time make sure you bring some water with you. Even at public beaches you sometimes have to hunt for a water fountain.
Don’t take any chances. Carry a bottle with you.
I think I may have broken a few capillaries on the back of my leg. Could it be a fluke or something I need to be concerned about?
It could be a fluke and it could also be something with the potential to become more serious.
In most cases, bruises don’t just show up out of nowhere.
So the question becomes, what caused the bruising/soreness?
It could be a small/minor strain, though odds are you would have felt something when it happened.
It could be from doing some serious foam rolling that the pressure causes a capillary or two to break, and the result is some bruising and mild soreness.
Based on the question, I’d say the latter is probably the more likely scenario.
The big test comes when you’re running. If you’re able to run without it bothering you and without it getting any worse, it’s probably a fluke.
If running makes it worse, you’re probably looking at a strain which means you need to dial back the intensity and probably take some time off from running to let the tissue heal.
I’m trying to adhere to 80/20 Running, but I really struggle with going slow enough on my easy days. Any advice for running slower?
Just keep working at it.
It may feel really awkward/difficult at first, but if you’re serious about 80/20 Running then you need to persevere.
How to make it happen?
If you’re just going off of pace, then keep an eye on your watch like a hawk. Anytime your pace starts creeping up, dial it back.
If you have a HR monitor that you’re using, which is a much more accurate way of measuring how hard you’re working when it’s hot and humid, keep an eye on your HR data. When it creeps up, you have to slow down, and possibly even walk.
With both scenarios, a lot of watches will have alerts you can set to notify you when you get above a certain threshold. My advice? Set your alert just a touch below your max pace/HR so you’ll have a chance to dial it back before it’s too late.
And don’t discount the value of walking a little bit. As you get more accustomed to keeping your pace easy, you’ll be able to settle into those easy paces and just run steadily.
But if you’re really struggling to slow down, just go ahead and walk a little bit to bring your HR back down and kind of reset your body and mind a bit. Then when you start running again, hopefully you can dial it back enough to keep you in the proper zones.
How do you bounce back from a performance that is “close but not quite” in relation to your big goals?
I wish I had some sage advice for you here, but honestly the biggest thing is to give it some time and space.
Logically, I’m sure you can wrap your head around the fact that you did well and made a pretty good leap forward as a runner.
But when you finish a marathon at 4 hours flat, it’s easy to try and figure out how you could have trimmed one more second off of your time in order to finish sub-4.
And that really doesn’t help.
When I missed my goal of going sub-1:45 in the half by 4 seconds, the biggest thing that helped me get over it was time and space.
If you could build a custom GPS watch, what features would you want it to have?
This is a tough one for me because honestly there aren’t many features that I care about in my GPS watches.
Does it tell my how long I’ve been running, what my pace is, and how far I’ve gone?
Then I’m good.
I guess if I had to offer one suggestion, I’d love a watch that updated your pace instantly.
One of my many frustrations when my current watch is that it takes FOREVER to update your pace.
If I stop to walk for a second and then start running again, it’ll show me at 18-minute pace for a solid 10-15 seconds before it starts to get closer to the pace I’m actually running.
But then is that the pace I’m actually running, or not?
So someway to get an instantaneous and accurate pace measurement would be appreciated.
What is your opinion of virtual races?
Not really my thing.
I don’t have anything negative to say about them, but I don’t really understand them.
To me, a big part of the allure of the race is having other people there and running an official course.
None of that really exists with a virtual race.
So they just aren’t my bag. But if you enjoy them, then by all means, go for it!
What are some options for hydration/electrolyte replacement during long runs in the summer?
Personally, I’m a big fan of Tailwind.
It’s got some sugar in it, but not enough that it’s overpowering like a lot of other drinks, and it’s definitely got you covered in terms of electrolytes.
Another product I’ve used in the past that has worked well for me is called EnduroPacks. This is a tasteless spray that you just add several sprays to your water bottle and it adds some electrolytes to whatever you’re drinking.
You can also go with salt tabs, to make sure your body has the electrolytes it needs during your workout.
At the end of the day, the biggest thing you can/should do is try some different options to see what works best for you.
If you’re a salty sweater, then it’s even more important to try a few different options because you will be expelling a lot of salt while running and you need to replace that somehow.
How much slower should you do your long runs compared to your speed workouts?
There are a lot of variables at play here, but I’ll try to provide some generic advice that you can hopefully use to give you an idea of what you need to do.
I try to keep my long runs at an effort level of 3-4 on a scale of 1-10. What does that mean? If you can carry on a conversation while running, you are probably in that 3-4 range. If you can only spit out a few words at a time, slow down a bit.
As for speed workouts, it depends on the workouts.
If you’re doing 400m repeats, you should be going about as hard as you can go! So that should be an 8-9 on the scale.
If it’s a tempo run, then more in the range of a 6-7.
Hope this helps give you a bit of an idea where you should be. When in doubt, run your speed/hard workouts HARD and err on the side of going too easy for your long runs.
Is there a problem with splitting my long run into two runs on the same day? And how does a long walk help me with my running fitness?
Splitting your long run in half is ok. Sort of.
When I have clients that need to split the long run, I always have them do a mile or two more (combined) than they would have done if they had done the entire run in one shot.
If you’re going to do a 20-miler, splitting that up into to 10s just isn’t the same.
Sorry, but it’s not.
So I might have them do a 12 miler in the morning, and add on another 10 in the evening.
Does that work in a pinch? Absolutely!
Would I be comfortable doing that for an entire training cycle worth of long runs? Probably not.
Learning how you are going to feel and how your body responds over the course fo 16 or 18 or 20 miles is important to getting ready for a marathon, and it is my view that most runners do better to experience those longer miles at least a few times in the build up to their race.
As for the second part of your question, it doesn’t built/improve your running fitness per se. What those long walks do, however, is just build the endurance of the muscles in your feet, legs, and core.
And that endurance is beneficial to your running performance.
Is there a benefit of going for a long walk regularly? Absolutely.
What is the best way to travel with a foam roller?
The one drawback about my preferred foam roller is that it’s not very easy to pack for a plane flight.
So what do you do when you need to take your foam roller with you on a trip?
You can get a shorter foam roller. Something that is 12-18 inches will easily fit into any size suitcase and can still do a number on your legs and glutes.
Another option is to trade in your foam roller for a massage stick, which also fits more easily into a suitcase. It’ll also fit into a purse or backpack, so you could carry it on with no issue.
And you can also use a lacrosse ball, or something similar, that is even smaller and easier to pack. Using a ball for massage is different than a foam roller for sure, but boy will you know it when you hit a tight spot!
How do you measure/track cross training “miles” as part of your weekly/monthly workouts?
Personally, I don’t think you can do an apples to apples comparison of cross training miles to running miles.
Meaning, if you were supposed to run 5 easy miles today, I don’t think it’s the same thing to jump on the elliptical and do five miles there and call it a wash.
Why? I don’t trust the accuracy of any exercise equipment.
What I do do is track time.
So if I’m on the bike or elliptical or the rowing machine, or some combination therein, instead of running, I’ll make note of how long my run should take me.
5 easy miles? 45-50 minutes.
So now my cross training workout goes for 45-50 minutes and I’ll consider it a wash.
That’s it for this month!
Hopefully, the answers were at least a little bit helpful.
If you want to hear the full questions and my full answers, make sure you hit the play button at the top of the post.Listener Qs on beach #running, GPS features, splitting long runs, and more! #runchat #runningpodcast Click To Tweet
What Was Your Favorite Question and/or Answer this Month? Let Me Know in the Comments Below!
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