Listener Q&A: March 2019

Don’t look now, but we are now almost 1/4 of the way through 2019!

Believe me, I’m as shocked as you are!

But don’t worry, before we close the book on Q1 of 2019, I’ve got some Qs to 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 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?

Your Questions

Does the camber of the road impact your gate/form?


In addition to worring about vehicular traffic, us road runners also need to at least be aware of the camber of the surfaces upon which we are running.

(Camber, in case you’re unaware, is the slope of the road. Most roads are convex (higer in the middle than the sides) to help with water runoff during rain storms.)

Running on an angle puts different amounts of stress on each of your legs.

Even though the camber of the road my not seem too severe, over miles and miles it can definitely impact you.

While I’m a big believer in always running against traffic (on the left side of the road here in the States), it is a good idea to try and balance out your running a bit by running on the wrong side of the road on occasion.

I’m certainly not recommending that you do this on a busy road, but if you can run on some quiet streets once in awhile it wouldn’t be a bad idea to run with the (hopefully non-existant) traffic once in awhile.

What is your favorite distance to race and why?

Pretty sure I’d have to say the marathon.

I’m not sure it’s my best event, though I am getting better at it.

How do you train on hills and still follow the principles of heart rate training?

The principles of heart rate training don’t change, no matter where you are running.

So that means you slow down, and probably walk, on the hills in order to keep your heart rate below your target number.

And don’t worry, you’ll still be able to run up the hills on race day even if you’re not running many of them in training.

Will training on the hills hurt me during a flat race?

Not even a little bit.

You’ll get on that flat course and just fly.

And if there happens to be a little hill at some point along the way, which there usually is, you’ll have no problem powering up that joker and flying down the other side.

How do you incorporate hills into your training when there aren’t any hills where you live?

In most cases, even if there aren’t a lot of natural hills there are some man-made ones that you can train on.

I’ve been known to run up and down an overpass several times to get some hill training in.

You can also use a parking garage. A wheelchair ramp. Boat launch. Or anything else that has an incline to it in order to add a little hill training into your routine.

You can also turn to the treadmill and ramp up the incline, but I really struggle to support that kind of madness! hehe

Don’t like any of those ideas? Be on the lookout for some other hills in your area.

You might find that some hills that don’t seem like much at all when you’re in the car are enough to give you a good workout when you’re running them.

When you get farther into heart rate training, is it more beneficial to keep running the same pace at a lower HR or increase the pace to keep HR at the same level?


Honestly, it’s probably six of one and half a dozen of the other.

As long as you’re under the limits that you’ve set for your maximum effort, it really doesn’t matter.

In either case, you’re building your aerobic fitness which is the goal.

How many tacos are too many tacos?

Brittany What?

I’m not sure I understand the question…

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What kind of weight training should I do for my 50k?

For 99.9% of us, the distances we race has virtually zero impact on what/how we should strength train.

Check out the strength training FAQs for more details, but as long as you’re strength training regularly I’m not going to nit-pick too much.

Work your core. Your hips and glutes. Don’t forget your upper back. And legs, obvi.

Basically, full body workouts that hit the major muscle groups are perfect for us as runners.

Get a 10-20 minute workout 2-3 times per week, and you’ll be good to go.

What are the benefits of having a training plan?

There are many benefits of having a training plan leading up to a race.

  • Helps you make steady progress toward your goal.
  • Keeps you accountable.
  • Eliminates the “what am I going to do today” questions.

Your training plan is really your guide to make sure you’re ready for race day.

Think of it as the difference between having a coloring book and a blank piece of paper.

Having a coloring book gives you some guidelines as you color your picture.

You still have the freedom to use different colors, but the lines in the book help keep you focused and makes it a bit easier to have a recognizable picture when you’re finished.

If you start with a blank piece of paper, you have all the freedom in the world to color whatever you want. But sometimes that freedom can be overwhelming and make it more difficult to complete the picture than if you started with an outline to follow.

How does hill training help a runner compared to intervals?

On one hand, all hard workouts are pretty much the same.

Anytime you’re pushing yourself, you’re building strength and power in your muscles.

On the other hand, doing different types of hard workouts does work your body slightly differently.

Hills are great for activating your glutes as you power up the hill. And most runners would benefit for more activation in the glutes.

Another benefit of hill training is often overlooked by many runners: practicing running downhill!

One of my biggest frustrations is hearing runners complain about how running downhill is so hard on the body.

If you’re comfortable running downhill, you can almost float down a good hill.

But the only way to get comfortable with running downhill is to practice it.

Doing a tempo run on some rolling hills is a great way to do just that.

Any suggestions for running multiple races on the same day?

The key to running multiple races on the same day is to keep moving.

Hopefully, the races are fairly close together so you can keep walking/running slowly between the races to keep your muscles from really cooling down too much.

If you have a morning race followed by a night race, try to rest as much as you can between the races and devote some extra time to your warm up before the second race.

Lunges. Squats. Running. Leg swings.

Probably some combination of all of the above would be a good idea before you toe the line the second day.

How do you manage the cost of traveling for a race?

There’s no doubt that the cost of a destination race can add up pretty quickly!

In most cases, race entry is probably the least expensive part of a destination race.

Travel. Lodging. Food. Souveniers.

And if you’re bringing family members too?

Yeah, it can be pretty expensive!

That said, check out the QT series on traveling that I did with Tom Leddy and Caroline Valls from last year. (Episodes 577, 580, 583, 586, & 589)

You can also grab their book, The Ultimate Travel Guide for Runners, which is full of great money saving tips and best practices when traveling to a race.

Why/when does it make sense to wear compression socks?

Compression socks have been shown to help speed up recovery by boosting veinous return.

So slap some of those bad boys on after a run or a race.

I have also been known to wear some when nursing a minor muscle issue. That little extra compression can help the body protect the muscle from further injury during an easy run.

What are the pros/cons of zero drop shoes?

High Heels are the Devil

Our feet are zero drop, so wearing a zero drop shoe allows us to run more naturally.

The con, if you want to call it a con, is that most of us are accustomed to running unnaturally. So getting into a zero drop shoe often feels awkward as hell.

As such, your form is likely to naturally change and you may experience some aches and pains along the way.

Personally and professionally, I think the change is beneficial in most instances from a big picture perspective. Even if it kind of sucks for a few months.

That said, if the shoes you are wearing seem to be working for you, I find it tough to recommend throwing them out and going all-in on something that is zero drop.

If I had to convince someone to get a coach, what would I say?

I’m not sure I like this question.

I’ve said, several times, that no one needs a coach.

Are there benefits that a coach can provide? Absolutely.

  • Accountability.
  • Advice.
  • Knowledge.
  • Experience.
  • Motivation.
  • Encouragement.
  • Reason.
  • Perspective.

I like to think I provide all of those things to the athletes that I work with.

But if someone really needs to be convinced to work with a coach, I’m not sure I’d like to work with that person.

How is Tanq these days?

He’s getting old. He’s got cancer. And he’s dying.

But other than that, he’s great!

Seriously though, the end is coming. Probably sooner rather than later…

When does the Diz Runs swag come out?

The show turns 5 on 1 July.

If I get my act together, there will be some show swag available then.

But the first priorit is #DizRunners swag, which is coming soon!

Have you ever considered doing a runner’s retreat?

Not really.

I would love to do one, but I just don’t have the bandwidth to plan/organize something like that right now.

I’d love to do one, but I don’t really see that happening in the near future.

If you were to start a running club, who would be the first five people, living or dead, that you’d invite?

That is an Excellent Question

  • My first relatives that came to the USA.
  • Dave Matthews.
  • Jerry Seinfeld.
  • Pre.
  • Lewis and Clark.
What running “rules” have you changed your mind about over the years?

The value of running slow/easy is probably the biggest one.

The idea of it is just so counter intuitive that I couldn’t wrap my head around it until I started reading more about the subject and looking at the research.

Same with a lower-carb diet/fueling strategy.

After a big marathon PR, I’ve realized that I didn’t feel too bad on race day. Does that mean I could/should set my sights higher next time?

First and foremost, job well done on the big PR!

Secondly, maybe.

If you’re well trained and run intelligently, your body shouldn’t be in too much misery on race day.

That said, with another good training block and good race day conditions, I’d venture to say there is still room to go faster!

There we have it, folks.

Another month, another Q&A episode of the show.

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.

Or better yet, open up your podcast app of choice, subscribe to Diz Runs Radio, and listen to this episode (and all future episodes) on the go/at your convenience.

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

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