Episode 61 The Goon Squad

[audio:http://www.RunRunLive.com/PodcastEpisodes/PodcastArchives/epi61.mp3|titles=Epi61 the Goon Squad]


Hey folks – this is Chris and welcome to episode 61.  This is the Goon Squad Runners episode where I rode down to the New Bedford half marathon with these folks last weekend.

I’m out on the west coast and I’m using my travel mic to record so I apologize for any audio quality issues – just turn up the volume and grit your teeth.

Thanks to Helen and her lovely Scottishness for reading the intro for me – you can get in on the fun too, it’s easy.  Here at RunRunLive we offer a fully staffed guest announcer training program with professional voice coaches, paid relocation and lucrative honorariums.

It’s been a busy week.  The Tuesday before the half marathon I ran the 35 mile ultra-run-to-work and back, but I felt ok from that.  I don’t think that’s where I got injured.  I think it was running on the ice in the woods on Wednesday or Friday, because I fell down a couple times.

But – as we were driving down to New Bedford Sunday morning I had a bit of a sore spot on my right calf muscle, on the shin side.  I didn’t give it a second thought because I’ve never had a calf injury and I’ve always got some achy bits when I’m running a bunch of miles.  I self massaged it and forgot about it.

Then in the race I went out hard and was holding a strong race pace during the first couple miles with some up-hill sections.  Right around mile 3 my calf really started to hurt – it felt like a cramp.  So I pulled over and stretched a bit and tried to massage it out.

I figured I’d jog a little more and see how it felt and jumped back into the race at a slower pace.  Since the course has a nice downhill section from that point I was able to flatten out my foot strike and not toe-off so much.  The calf hurt – but wasn’t stopping me from running – so I just kept going.  The pain numbed out so I was able to finish ok and had a pretty good run.

Now I know what you’re thinking – “Chris you’re an idiot. If it hurt why didn’t you stop?”  Well it didn’t hurt that much and I thought it was just a cramp and if I stopped running every time something hurt – I’d never run.

It wasn’t until I went running out in Golden Gate Park with Neumen on Tuesday that I finally realized that it was swollen and not going away.  So, bottom line, Mr. Indestructible has probably torn something in his Calf.  I’m going to give it the rest of the week off.  I’m also on a vitamin I regimen and I’m massaging analgesic gel into it a couple times a day.

We’ll see how it goes.  I’m not too worried because I don’t have any high-stress races coming up.  “But Chris” you may say “Don’t you have a marathon next week and then Boston 2 weeks later?”  Yes I do, but I’m not really racing those and I should be ok.  We’ll see, I have the rest of my life to run.

So – Pray for my calf and on with the Goon Squad show!

Left turn Audio

Equipment Check:

Since we’re on the topic of Creams to rub on your muscles, weren’t we? – You may remember from highschool that Coach would give you some heat rub to put on your muscles to warm up, and then you’d put it in the jock straps of the people you didn’t like as a practical joke?  Sure same thing applies to us old folk before races.  I will still rub down my legs with a warm-up cream before a big race.  Most of these have menthol or capsicum or some other ingredient that actually causes a slight inflammation in the muscles to bring blood out into the muscles.

You can argue whether it works or not, but athletes have been getting rub-downs with this type of thing for hundreds of years.  I personally like a product called Flexall 451.

Again – I’m no Doctor and I don’t play one on TV so make your own decisions – but try a little Flexall on your major leg muscles before your next race and see if it makes a difference.  Just massage it in until the greasy stuff is gone.

The warning here is that if you have an injury that is already swollen you don’t want to add a cream that causes further inflammation – ice is better or an analgesic to bring the swelling down.  The other thing is do not get this stuff near any mucous membranes or you’ll regret it. Eyes, lips, nose, armpits or the naughty bits will burn like crazy, so be careful.

Neumen Audio

Goon Squad Interview

Quick tip – Taper

OK folks let’s talk about your taper.  Here’s the important point – don’t stress about it.  The taper is not an exact science.  If you have done your training well you have to really try to screw up during your taper to have it make a big difference.  And, conversely if you haven’t trained well, all the taper in the world isn’t going to make a difference.

I have done one week tapers and 2 month tapers.  The hardest thing is not running, especially when you’re so close to your event.  Try to error on the easy side.  You’re not going to gain any additional conditioning in the last two weeks so don’t try to “cram for the test”.  But if you’ve been running 50 miles a week, a 25 or 30 mile week isn’t going to hurt you.

Here’s my taper.  I’ll do my last long run 3 weeks before the event, let’s say a 22 mile run, just for the sake of argument, yours might be 18 miles or 30 miles.  That’s my peak mileage week.  Then the next 2 weekends I’ll run 12-13 miles.  Two weeks before I’ll drop to 60% of my peak weekly mileage.  And the week before maybe 40% of my peak.  I may drop some race specific tuning work outs in, like a short set of hill charges.

The final week I’ll run Monday, Wednesday and just 2 miles on Friday.  Saturday I’ll take the dog for a long walk.  Sunday I race.  I also try to get a lot of sleep the week before and eat lighter, simpler foods.

If you do it right you will feel like a coiled spring at the starting line.  If you have any questions shoot me an email or a tweet and I’ll try to help. That’s cyktrussell@yahoo.com and cyktrussell on twitter.

Mexican radio audio


Ok folks that’s it another episode of the RunRunLive Podcast in the can.  I’ve been busy but I have some more great interviews coming up.  Go out an Google the Goon Squad Runners to see who these crazy people are.  Also – everyone within the sound of my voice go to www.grotonroadrace.com and register for the race – it’s a cheap race, it’s a closed course and the swag is good – so sign up and even if you don’t run – let me know and I’ll send you the awesome cow shirt!

I’ve got a guy from the Indoor marathon to talk to, I’ve got another one of our friends who wants to talk about nutrition – everybody has an opinion about nutrition!  I’ve got some running stroller people and I’ve got Dave Mcgilvary the Race Director for Boston to bring back on before the race if I can.

Thank you so much for all the notes of sympathy about my calf issue – I’ll let you know how it progresses.  I’ll let you know my official Goon name when they decide too.  And I will, even if I’m limping piteously, se you out there.


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