Listener Q&A: September 2016


Agreed! It is, in fact, time for the September 2016 edition of Listener Q&A!

The process is really pretty simple.

Every month I dedicate an episode of the show to answering your running (life, or everything in between) questions.

If you’d like to get your questions answered next month, the best thing that you can do is join our little group on Facebook and watch out for a post from me asking for your questions for the Q&A episode.

Then you just post a comment with your question and you’re good to go!

So without any further ado, let’s dive into this month’s questions!

Listener Q&A: September 2016

September 2016

How do I maintain a near-peak level of fitness for several races over a few months?

This is the shortened version of the question, and in the novel that Stephen wrote (kidding, it was just a paragraph) he did mention that none of these races were “A” races.

With that in mind, the best way to stay at “almost peak fitness” is to never push the limit, especially in a race. Treat your races as long (and supported!) training runs, and always keep your pace under control.

Also make sure to stay very diligent in doing your cross training and maintenance routine so your body doesn’t break down during this time.

I felt great after my marathon, but still took a full week off. Is it ok if I get back to running 30-35 mile weeks pretty soon?

In a word, yes.

In two words, yes but.

Basically, don’t try to force it. If you’re running mostly easy miles and things are feeling great, I don’t think there is any reason to advice you to avoid 30-35 mile weeks just a couple of weeks after your race.

That said, if you start to notice your legs getting heavy toward the end of the week, don’t push it. And I would probably hold off on really high intensity workouts for another week or two.

Any tips for dealing with the “post race blues” when you live in an area with minimal racing options after my fall race?

If you like the competition aspect/the training for something aspect and there is nothing in your area because you live in the taiga, would it be possible to “create” something that would give you an “event” to train for?

Even if you don’t have the time/energy to create a legitimate event, could you get together with a half dozen friends and create your own event?

Maybe an indoor triathlon of a pool swim, stationary bike ride, and a treadmill run?

Have everyone chip in a few bucks to make it interesting. Or whoever finishes last buys the first round of beers. Or something to make it feel more like an event.

Or you could just move down here to Florida for a few months during our busiest time of the year for races!

How can I avoid asthma flare ups beyond just always running with an inhaler?

Any chance you know what triggers your flare ups?

If it’s environmental, like dust or certain pollens, you might want to try running with something over your nose/mouth like a buff or a dust mask.

And if you’ve noticed the cold/dry air of winter triggering it in the past, using a buff or scarf can help to warm and humidify the air before it enters your lungs.

Other than that, I don’t know.

Is there anything in particular that seems to trigger it such as types of workouts that could potentially be tweaked?

I stretch after I run, but feel like I should work on my flexibility more often. Suggestions?


Yoga is amazing, and is great for core strength/stability as well as flexibility.

Check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, and Christine Yu shared some great suggestions for runners that want to get started with yoga when she was on the show earlier this summer. So check that episode out as well.

How do you respond when a fairly novice runner asks about signing up for/running a marathon?

With the truth.

If a runner has only run shorter distance races, such as 5k or 10k, it’s obviously a big jump to running a marathon.

That said, there’s no reason they can’t make that kind of jump without running some races of intermediate distances provided they take the time to train properly.

You’re looking at something a bit longer than the “standard” 16 week training program here. You’re probably talking 6 months minimum, to build a base and then train for a marathon.

If they want to do that and are committed to the process, there is no reason that they can’t.

Just be honest. Don’t down play how much effort a marathon takes, because the last thing you want to have happen is that they think it’ll be a piece of cake.

Cause I think it’s safe to say that no marathon is ever a piece of cake.

Running up hills isn’t an issue for me, but running downhill is tough! How can I improve my downhill running?

Practice, practice, practice!

How do we get better at anything? We practice, right?

That said, don’t just go looking for the biggest and baddest hill you can find and start bombing down it. That is going to end badly.

Start with a hill you feel pretty comfortable running down, and gradually work your way up to longer/steeper hills.

Try to be light on your feet, and focus on running out and not down. I know that sounds awkward, and wait until you hear me talk about it on the show, but there is something about trying to run the same as if you were running on flat ground and allowing gravity to do the work that allows you to basically float (and go really fast!) down a hill.

And the only way to figure out how to do it is to practice.

But once you figure it out, you’ll absolutely love any race with serious downhill portions.

That’s it for this month.

Great questions y’all! Remember to come hang out with us on Facebook and make sure to get your questions in for next month!

Answering listener questions on downhill #running, going from shorter races to the long stuff, and much more! Share on X

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