Episode 149 Mens Running UK

The RunRunLive Podcast Episode 149 – Mens Running UK

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/epi149.mp3|titles=Episode 149 – Men’s Running UK]


Show intro by:

Jennifer http://www.soles4souls.org/


Hello and welcome to race week at the RunRunLive podcast.

How is everyone doing? Have I told you ‘thank you’ lately?

I know sometimes I forget your name and I lose your email but I don’t let my harried and bedraggled state belie the fact that I am supremely appreciative of your attention each week.  Thank you for being my friends.  And this social media world is about interaction – so reach out to me on Twitter or Facebook or Email or Daily Mile.  Ask me a question or just say ‘hi’.  It’s good for me to know that there are souls on the other end of the wire and not just a soulless abyss.

This is Chris your host and we have a great show for you today.  As you are listening to this I may be running my target half marathon in Palm Beach.  All the lights are green and I’m ready to go.  If you know how I did already, don’t tell me because I want to be surprised.

Taper Madness!  AHHHHHH!!!! I may look calm, but inside my brain is doing backflips.  I get really cranky the days before a race…

I’ve been training hard since the first of August for this race and I’m going into it with the expectation of success.  What have a done differently this cycle that may help me?  Well, I have focused on core strength more than I have in previous training cycles – I’ve done at least 2 total body work outs a week.  I’ve also managed to keep my weight in check and I should toe the line on Sunday at under 180 pounds which for me is reasonable.  I’ve also chosen a race that is pancake flat and the forecast looks for mid-fifties for race day.

The actual running effort was similar to programs I’ve done in the past with the major exception of training by heart rate and effort as opposed to pace.  Heart rate training has been good for me psychologically because I don’t have to worry about my watch reminding how much slower I am now than what I was 10 years ago!  I can just put in the hard efforts and feel good about them.

My peak week was close to 60 miles and my longest run was a 20 miler.  That’s pretty good load and intensity for a ½ marathon.  My body hung in there ok.  I have some soreness in my left shin and some tightness in my hips but nothing that’s going to keep me off the road.

So – in conclusion – my coach and my work have put me in a position to achieve my goal.   All I have to do now is stay healthy for a couple more days, not do anything stupid and execute on race weekend.

Today we have an interesting interview with Danny Coyle who is the editor of Men’s Running UK.  It is a slick new running magazine made out of actual dead trees that is available in the UK.  I thought it was interesting that with all the talk about the death of traditional media, here these folks are launching a niche-play, traditional ad-driven magazine.

I’m also going to hit the beginner running theme hard this week with a couple of good – dense segments for you to pass along. I got a bit of a surprise this week when I launched the simple question “what are some beginner running questions in Twitter.   I got a flurry of responses.  Apparently this is a topic that many people are vexed by.

I think this really underscores the importance of, and difference of, podcasting and social media as a medium.  We, as a community, can leverage this conversation to add value and get people involved.

So – I may go into more detail on some of these later but for now I’m going to consider a speed round and answer them all quickly.  I think this may add some quick value and help some folks quickly.

I’m also going to create a PDF of this and put it up on my site, RunRunLive.com, so you can download it and send it to your beginner runner friends to spark a conversation.  And, I’m going to commit, right now, on pain of death to use this as the content of my first newsletter to my mailing list so that we can get maximum dispersion.

This is radical folks.  We’re leveraging the conversation to spread the word.

I separated them into two categories.  First questions about ‘how’ type questions and I’ll put those into the “Quick Tip” section.  Second were the ‘stuff’ questions and I will put those into the “Equipment Check” section.

I have been talking to a couple of my business friends in the community about sponsoring the show and I’m working to see if I can find a complimentary way to let some good partners add value and keep my wife from finding out how much money I am currently spending on this!

I had a great Star Trek moment today when I loaded the voice recognition software Dragon Naturally Speaking on my PC.  I was creating and sending emails entirely by voice command in my office and it was really cool.  I’m trying to figure out how to get it to transcribe audio for me so I can turn more of the audio here into text for you.

Also – all of the RunRunLive episodes are now archived on my website over at RunRunLive.com. The first 99 shows are in the podcast archives section and I inserted an index so you can scan the topics.  The site is also searchable.   The last 49 shows are in the podcast section with show notes.  I usually keep about 25 current on Libsyn, Feedburner and iTunes because Feedburner stops working when the RSS feed gets too big and I have to delete the older ones to keep it working.

I know – too much information Chris…We don’t care how the sausage is made, just keep making it because we are hungry!

My mission is to inform, entertain and inspire but I think today is going to be heavy on the inform part so bear with me!

Hey with the holidays just around the corner I have the perfect gift for you.  Get a copy of my book of running stories “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”.

The Mid-Packer’s Lament is a series of short stories on long distance running, racing and the human comedy inherent in all sports enthusiasts. This is the perfect book for runners and wannabe runners. There are stories about training, eating, special places and special races. There are stories about the accidental athlete in all of us and t he stupid things we do for even amateur endeavors. Whether you are a weekend mid-pack runner or a competitive club runner, you’ll find something thought provoking and amusing that you can relate to in the Mid-Packer’s Lament.

You can find links to how to purchase the Mid-Packer’s Lament on my website www.runrunlive.com, Just click on “My Books!” in the menu bar.

On with the Show!

Audio clips in this episode:

Mary’s poem.

Some training audio from Chris

Skits, commercials and parodies in this episode:

Story time:

Equipment Check:

Q: What shoes should I buy?

Ahh yes, the perennial question.  This is the number one question new runner have.  That’s why shoe companies are billion dollar companies.

This is a question is hard for people because there are so many variables involved in getting the right shoe for the right person.  High arches or low arches? How many miles? How heavy are you.  How are your feet shaped? What is your stride?  What are your stride mechanics?

Some of the running stores do have a machine now that they can measure your feet, your stride, etc and point you to a specific shoe.  I tested it at the expo and it worked for me.  Any good running store should be able to get you close, but it’s not a perfect process. Don’t be afraid to return them or try several different pairs.  I usually have 3-5 pairs of shoes going at a time.

As a beginner the best advice I can give you is to not stress out about the shoes.  Go get a $40 pair of neutral cushion shoes at any shoe until you figure it out.  Treat it as an adventure and don’t lose heart.  Finding the right shoe is part of the fun of running.

Q: What is the best place to buy running shoes – big box sporting goods or running store?

This is another one of those religious questions.  If you know what kind of shoes you need go ahead and buy them online. I think there is room for both channels.  If you need to touch and feel the shoes and wear them and try different sizes – then go to the store.

But, please, it’s bad form to go shop in the store, not buy anything and then go home and by them online.

Q: What to wear?  Why should I dress in layers? Why is cotton not good?

Most beginners over dress because you may be cold when you start but warm up once you get going.  If you dress in layers you can take a layer off when you get hot.  I tend to wear clothes with options.  For instance gloves, hats, sweaters with hoods and sweaters with zippers.  This way I can open up or cover up big parts of my body to retain or vent heat when necessary.

The reason people don’t like cotton is that it holds the sweat.  They get wet and stay wet.  Wet clothes will give you chills and also cause rashes and skin burns as they rub.  Technical fabrics, like coolMax or DryFit will not hold water.  They will wick the water away from your body.  They won’t stay absolutely dry, but they won’t hold the sweat like cotton does.  No matter what I always wear a technical shirt as my under layer, next to my skin.

Again, don’t stress out about it.  If you’re a beginner you should be able to get by with anything. Wear what you’re comfortable with.

Q: What should I eat, should I pound Gatorade?

I know I sound like a broken record, sorry, records were these vinyl discs we used to store music on to get psyched up for mammoth hunts, but I digress…You don’t need to eat anything special.   If you’re a beginner don’t worry about nutrition.  Just get out.

Most beginners, regardless of how awful their diet is will see a 10-20 pound weight loss in the first few months of running regularly.  What about Gatorade and PowerBars and all that stuff?   Well, one thing to remember is that most of these sports drinks have a ton of calories in them.  They can give you an energy boost when you need it.

That being said you have enough calories in your body to run on any given day.  On the one hand I would caution against over-medicating yourself with lots of sports food of any type.  You really don’t need it.   But on the other, if it makes you feel better about getting out and running then God love the placebo effect.

My buddy Frank is a sub 3:00 marathoner and he weighs 120 pounds soaking wet, and even he has enough body fat to run a marathon without collapsing.

Once you get the habit of running and get your legs under you then worry about your diet.  Dieting and running are very complimentary but don’t take on too much right out of the gates.

Q: Do I need special equipment?

No you don’t.  The best runners in the world come from countries where they don’t have any shoes or decent clothes and have simple lives and simple diets. That should tell you something.

Q: Do I need a special watch?

No – If you are a beginner any watch will do.  I ran for many years with a $10 watch from Walmart with a broken strap.

Q: Can I wear my iPod in the race?

Check with the race director.  The RRCA lets RD’s decide whether iPods are allowed.  If you’re not going to win anything then you are probably ok in bringing along your tunes.  Just be sensitive to the others in the race and be aware of your surroundings.  It’s not worth dying for.

Featured Interview:

Danny Coyle – Men’s Running UK – www.mensrunninguk.com

Quick Tip:

Answering questions for beginning runners.  Remember I’m not a doctor, lawyer, baker or pychic card reader – so if you have any doubts find yourself a certified coach, do your own research, and don’t do anything that feels uncomfortable or that you have questions about. Be smart.

Q: How far, How long, how fast and how often?

I got a lot a lot of questions that basically asked the same thing here.  For all of these answers there are a range of answers.  Advanced runners may run 6 or 7 times a week, yes that means every day.  Professional Marathoners will run twice a day and over 100 miles a week.

If you are just starting out you I’m going to recommend that you get a plan that has you get out 3 or 4 times a week. So – Monday, Wednesday, Friday and one of the weekend days.   Shoot for 20 minutes of activity on each of these 3-4 days and try to keep this up for 3 months before increasing your days or your time or your distance. The key to beginning any new effort is to establish the habit.  The mastery will come later.

If you are just starting out do not even worry about how far or how fast.  You want to go by time duration and effort level.  Most people should follow a beginner program like “the couch to 5k” program or the NY road runner’s beginning running program.  These typically recommend a run-walk combination that slowly let’s you increase the running time without hurting you.

Make it easy on yourself.  Walk for a minute, run for a minute or whatever works.   Listen, I know you were a sports star in high school, but you’re not doing anything now, just get started and worry about the glory days later.

How fast is determined by effort level.  If you think about a 1-5 scale where sitting on the couch watching a show about whale song is a 1 and being chased by a grizzly up a mountain is a 5, you want your effort to be in the 2 range.  You should be able to hold a conversation while you run.

Q: Should i breathe through my nose or mouth? How do I breathe?

That’s actually a great question.  I like to breathe in through the nose and out through the mouth especially when it’s cold out, but you may not be able to get enough air this way.  Breathe however is comfortable for you but try to take deep breaths that fill your chest and exhale completely.  Don’t gasp or pant.  If you start to get light headed or dizzy stop running, you may be hyperventilating.  If you have severe breathing problems see a doctor because you may have exercise induced asthma which is very common.

Q: Why does everything hurt?

Yeah…well depending on your age and starting condition you may be sore when you first start.  It should get better over the course of a couple weeks if you are easing into it like we recommend. You need to access any pain.  Muscle pain is usually ok.  Aches are ok.  If it gets worse while you’re running even  after you warm up – that could be a problem take a break.  If it is a sharp pain, or a bad joint pain – that’s also a bad sign.  See a good sports doctor and get it looked at. And for heaven’s sake if you have head or chest pain stop and get yourself to the emergency room stat.

The good news is that there’s not much that is going to keep you from running if you’re willing to learn and work through it.

Q: I’ve been doing it for awhile and it still hurts, when does it start to be fun?

Well – It should get better after awhile.  However, I have found that the better shape I’m in the more enjoyable it is.  You may be running at an inappropriate effort level.  If you’ve been at it for a while and it’s still a chore, it is probably a combination of physical and mental.  You need to get yourself a coach (even if it’s just a more experienced runner) and set some goals that will invigorate you.  Try rewarding yourself too – bribery always works for me.

Q: How do i run?

One foot in front of the other, brother. One foot in front of the other.  Seriously google “how to run” and watch some videos – watch some more experienced runners – play with it – don’t be afraid.

Q: How can I get faster, run longer, not get tired?

Well my friend that is a loaded question.  But the short answer is to get fast you have to train and this will involve running some challenging workouts.  Do the work and see the results.

Q: Why do my shins hurt all the time?

Shin splints are a very common new runner malady.  They happen when the muscles in the legs overpower the connective tissue and create little tears.  Even though I know it hurts, it won’t kill you and you probably don’t even have to stop running.

My experience is that shin splints are caused by a) doing too much too fast, b) worn out shoes, c) mechanical problems with your stride.  You can wrap them or put ice on them but at the end of the day you just have to wait them out.

Q: Will I hurt my knees?

No it won’t.  Yeah – I know you had to retire from hockey because your knees couldn’t take it, but if you ease into running and have good mechanics it doesn’t hurt your knees at all.

Q: Can I run with a cold?

Yes –you can run with a cold, but be smart, if you have ebola running probably is not a smart choice, yeah?

Q: Where to run?

Wherever is easiest for you.  You can run on the roads, the trails, the track, the playing fields at your local school or on the trails.  Just be safe and take it easy until you figure it out.

Q: Will my lungs freeze in the winter?

No – this is an old wives tale.  I’ve run outside down to minus 10 or 15 Fahrenheit.

Q: How many calories do I burn per mile?

Most people estimate around 100 calories per mile, but there are a lot of variables.

Q: How fast can I increase my distance?

Don’t worry about distance until you get the habit down.  Most people will say increase no more than 10% per week – but that is an arbitrary number.  Just listen to your body and pay attention for symptoms of overtraining.  You have the rest of your life, don’t rush it.

Q: What to do when you start having side stitches?

When you get a cramp it’s because your body isn’t getting enough oxygen somewhere. Try this.  Walk and hold your arms up over your head to get the blood out of your arms and back into your body.  Take very deep breaths. On trick from cross country I learned is to take a deep breath, and then grab the place where the cramp is while exhaling forcefully.  This will send blood to that spot.  You may also consider what you had to eat before you went out to run and reconsider that choice next time.  Fried clams and hot sausages are typically bad pre-run menu choices.

Q: How to pace yourself?

One typical problem new runner have is that they ‘go out too fast’ and then have to slow down.  You’d much rather have it work the other way so try to focus on running slower in the start and pick it up if you feel ok later.  Another way to do this is to figure out what pace you want to run and measure off the ¼’s or 1/10’s of miles for the first mile of your route, you can then know if you are going out too fast and make adjustments by looking at your watch.

Q: Why do runners use pace instead of speed?

Don’t know, I guess it’s because we are usually running increments of miles or kilometers, not hours.

Q: Is it important to stretch before & after your run?

Let’s get this straight, stretching can be a pain in the butt, but it can also keep you on the road.  Here’s what I recommend. Do an Achilles stretch for one minute on each leg.  Do a hamstring stretch for one minute on each leg.  Do a quadriceps stretch for one minute on each leg.  Do this before you go out and when you get back.  Don’t force it.  It’s always better to do stretching on warm muscles.  When I’m at the track I’ll stretch AFTER my warm up mile and before my work out. I find this very effective.  If you can only do one stretch, do a hamstring stretch. It will prevent all sorts of injury.

Q: How far is this marathon?  Is it ok to walk in a marathon?

A marathon is 26.2 miles long or 42 kilometers.  And hell yes it’s ok to walk in a marathon.

But my favorite response when I asked “what are some beginner runners questions was: “How much longer” and “When can we stop?”


Ok that’s it you have ridden your one horse open sleigh over the river and through the woods to granma’s house and the end of yet another RunRunLive podcast, Episode 149 in the can.

This weekend is my target race and I’ll try to take some audio, but fair warning to you, when I compete I don’t like to be distracted.  And my Sony hand held recorder was the first compatibility victim for my 64 bit Windows 7 upgrade on the new laptop.  No drivers. That means I have to pull the audio off onto another computer and push it over.

The following weekend it’s back down to Florida for the MojoLoco and I will have plenty of extra bandwidth to record, but probably won’t have to because it sounds like Steve is going to be wired up like the space shuttle and transmitting audio, video and vital signs on all frequencies.   Id you want to see who’s running there are profiles up on the MojoLoco site.

Coming up we’ve got Steve who ran across the USA from Oregon to Florida for Colitis – interesting story.  After that I’ve got a great interview with David Hirshfeld, the owner of Holabird Sports.  And I have many other great bits and pieces for you.   It’s all good.

Just a quick note that I know these next few weeks in December are stressful for people.  Just try to stay relaxed and realize that the people you interact with are stressed out too so if you’re the one being calm, and being a leader by staying positive and moving ahead you will be making a huge impact on your own personal ecosystem.

I’ve got so many great topics I can cover but I’m going to give you a simple communication tip to take away today.  I have been using email and computers for 25 years to communicate with other people and I feel like I’m very good at communicating in that medium, but sometimes I slip up.  I’m going to give you a couple tips here about communicating so you can avoid creating the wrong impressions.

I’ll give you an example.  I worked at one point with an office in Quebec Canada.  And for some reason my short and to the point style of communicating was always translated by the marketing staff up there as an attack.  So from my end, I’m just busy and efficient and asking a question.  Form their side they think I’m being brusque and attacking their decisions and processes.

When you sense this happening, whether it is in email or on a website, or Twitter you need to stop sending emails.  When someone is totally misinterpreting what you are saying and thinks you are attacking them you are not going to make things better by sending more emails.  Pick up the phone, or if possible go face to face in your protein form.

This is also true with the example of the angry customer letter.  Let’s say you get an email from a customer and they just attack you and your company and your product etc.  What do you do?

Well what you don’t do is write a response while you’re angry.  What you do do is pick up the phone and say. “Listen, I got your letter, and I realize you are concerned.  I’d like to meet with you face to face to talk this through.  We’ll hear each other out. Maybe we won’t come to a positive conclusion and we can agree to disagree, shake hands and move on, but maybe we’ll figure out a way to work together.”

Don’t try to explain to them why they are wrong.  You’re not going to convince them of their wrong position.  Listen, restate what you think they are saying.  You can say “I hear what you are saying but in the spirit of open dialogue, I disagree and here’s why.”  You can say “I think you may have remembered that incorrectly…”  that works better than saying you are lying and making stuff up to support your point of view.

I hope this was helpful.  Remember it takes two people to have a fight.  So as much fun as a long angry exchange of emails is, it’s unproductive.  Pick up the phone.  Have Face to face. It’s a lot harder for someone to be mean to you in person. Take the high road and we’ll all get where we are going.

And I will see you out there.



From Podsafe



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Cyktrussell At gmail and twitter and facebook and youtube

Chris’ book on Amazon – > http://www.amazon.com/Mid-Packers-Lament-collection-running-stories/dp/141961584X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228687012&sr=8-1

Mid-Packer’s Lament E-book

Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy E-Book

Dial in number for RunRunLive is – 206-339-7804

Chris Russell lives and trains in suburban Massachusetts with his family and Border collie Buddy.  Chris is the author of “The Mid-Packer’s Lament”, and “The Mid-Packer’s Guide to the Galaxy”, short stories on running, racing, and the human comedy of the mid-pack.  Chris writes the Runnerati Blog at www.runnerati.com.  Chris’ Podcast, RunRunLive is available on iTunes and at www.runrunlive.com. Chris also writes for CoolRunning.com (Active.com) and is a member of the Squannacook River Runners and the Goon Squad.

Email me at cyktrussell at Gmail dot com

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