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There Can Be a Beauty in Running Solo

Quick Tip-Forgo the Group and Go Running Solo

In last week’s quick tip, I talked about some of the etiquette of running as a part of a group.

While I really do enjoy running with others, running solo provides some unique challenges and benefits so I would definitely encourage everyone to run by themselves from time to time.

There Can Be a Beauty in Running Solo

Running Solo Can Be a Good Thing

In most races, especially the smaller ones, you are going to find yourself in a hole with no other runners at some point. And it can be really difficult to maintain your pace when you’re by yourself and don’t have anyone to help pull/push you along.

There can also be times, no matter how awesome your group is, that you’re going to have to be running solo for some of your training runs.

Maybe your child is sick, so you’re unable to make the early morning run but do have a chance to squeeze in a run in the evening.

Or maybe you’re on vacation, and you’d like to take a running tour of the area that you’re currently visiting.

Or maybe you just really want to catch up on some back episodes of the Diz Runs With podcast, and you’d rather listen to the show while running by yourself so you can enjoy the company of others while you’re running with friends.

Whatever the Reason, Here are a Few Things to Keep in Mind When Running Solo

  • Be Aware of Your Surroundings: You don’t want to get lost, obviously. But also (and especially for the ladies) just looking like you’re paying attention and being aware of what’s going on around you is a good thing.
  • Lower the Volume: I listen to podcasts when running solo, but always make sure I can hear what’s going on around me as well. I can hear if a car is approaching from behind. I can hear if someone calls out to me. It would be too hypocritical of me to tell you to not run with headphones, but if you’re like me and are wearing headphones while you run make sure you can still hear the environment around you.
  • Let Others Know Where You’re Going: I suck at this one! So this is definitely a do as I say, not as I do type of tip, but letting someone know where you’re going and how long you should be gone is important in case something happens to you, heaven forbid.

Are there reasons that running by yourself can actually be beneficial to you as a runner? You bet there is! Make sure you hit play below, where I’ll talk about some of the benefits of running solo.



The Dynamics of the Group Run

Quick Tip–Group Run Etiquette and Rules of the Road

When I have my choice, I love being a part of a group run. Getting a group of running friends together always pushes me to run farther or faster than I would on my own, whether it’s a speed workout, tempo run, or long run.

I love the group that I run with, and am really itching to get back out with them soon since I’ve missed them a lot since the baby was born.

But anytime you get a number of people together for a group run, you wind up with a set of issues that you don’t have to deal with when running by yourself or with just one or two others.

Each group is likely going to have their own set of “rules” for the group, but it’s important that everyone participating in the group run are on the same page regarding a number of issues that may come up from time to time.

The Dynamics of the Group Run Read more

How Important is a Pre Race Warm Up?

Quick Tip–To Warm Up, or Not to Warm Up Before a Race?

Back in the day, if I saw someone warming up by running before a race, I thought they were wasting energy and hurting their performance for the race they were about to run.

Funny how things have changed.

I have learned through experience that there is an incredible value in performing a good warm up before a race, but I’ve also learned that the definition of a good warm up changes from runner to runner and race to race.

How Important is a Pre Race Warm Up?

Always Warm Up Before a Race

 

Confused yet? I think I still understand what I’m trying to say, so please allow me to try and make sense of it all. Read more

Running on an Empty Stomach

Quick Tip-Is There a Benefit to Running on an Empty Stomach?

I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on Facebook and Twitter talking about the best options for fueling your body during a long endurance event. I’m partial to using real food as fuel, even if I don’t always practice what I preach.

But is there ever a reason to go running on an empty stomach?

Running on an Empty Stomach

I think there is.

I don’t remember exactly when I started doing it, but I haven’t done much fueling before a long run in awhile. Granted, I haven’t done a long run in awhile, but that’s neither here nor there. Getting back to the point, why would I purposely stack the deck against myself when it comes to fueling before a training run.

The answer is really simple, I want to make my training difficult so my races will be as “easy” as possible.

Flipping the Script on Race Day

I know what you’re thinking, that you’re not supposed to do anything on race day that you haven’t already tried dozens of times during your training. Yeah, well, I consider that to be more of a loose guideline as opposed to a hard rule.

I’ve called plenty of audibles on race day, and so far at least, I really don’t have any terrible stories to tell because of it.

But in this case, I’m giving myself an assist on race day. If I’m able to run 18+ miles with little to know fuel, it is actually easier for me to get through 26.2 when I’m fueling and hydrating regularly during the race.

To me, it’s the same reason a baseball player warms up with a heavier bat, a sprinter trains by running with a small parachute, and a swimmer does laps with a kick board. By making it harder in practice, you’re better able to overcome the challenge (mental and/or physical) in the actual event.

Should You Try Running on an Empty Stomach?

If you’re a new runner, I’d recommend holding off until you have  a few races under your belt.

But if you’ve been running for awhile, I’d absolutely recommend doing your morning training runs without eating anything and see how you feel. You might not notice the difference at first, but especially if it’s a long run day, you might really feel yourself crashing towards the end.

That’s ok.

Stack the deck against yourself by running on an empty stomach, and then stack the deck in your favor on race day by eating breakfast and fueling regularly.

For some more insight about running on an empty stomach, just hit play below!


Winter Running, Winter Wonderland

An Often Overlooked Challenge of Winter Running

Winter running brings with it a whole number of challenges that runners don’t have to deal with any other time of the year. Between cold temperatures, wind chill factors, snow drifts, and black ice, out door winter running provides plenty of drama.

Winter Running, Winter Wonderland

But do you regularly commit the cardinal sin of winter running? Do you even know what that sin is? Read more