Running Related Posts

Recently a reader sent an email and asked if I could put together a list of articles I’ve written recently about running shoes and training.  Thinking out loud, none of the articles are “new”, but it makes a lot of sense to have them all compiled into one spot.

Instead of doing a Running Store post this week, I thought I would get all of the posts together in one spot.  As always, if you have a question about shoes, the running store, or anything else feel free to ask.  I’m not an expert or professional but I do like running and working in a running store.

Recent Shoe Reviews:

Adidas Energy Boost
Adidas Supernova

Asics Nimbus 19

Brooks Ghost 9
Brooks Glycerin 14
Brooks Launch 4

Hoka Clifton 3
Hoka Bondi 5 

New Balance Zante

Saucony Freedom ISO
Saucony Zealot ISO 2

Important Shoe Related Topics:

There is no Perfect Running Shoe

Running Shoe Reviews Are (Mostly) Worthless

Running Shoe Specific Topics:

Five Secrets about Buying Running Shoes
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
Should You Race in Racing Flats?
How to Transition into Minimalist Running Shoes

Training Posts:

Are Losing Toenails a Runners Rite of Passage?
How to Prepare for Running in the Heat: 
Why 5ks are the Best
How to Race Well
How to Race in Unfavorable Conditions
How to Run in the Heat

Running and Nutrition:

Protein and Running

Other:

Thoughts While Working in a Running Store

There you have it!  As always if you have any questions or comments, feel free to ask.  I’ve gotten a couple questions regarding nutrition (something I’m still trying to figure out) as well as fun things to do outside of running that I’ll be chatting about soon too!

Questions for you:

What is a fun fact about your job?

What is one thing you enjoy about the sport of running?

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Training Last Week: Not Meeting Goals

In summary, last week I tapered for a race that didn’t go well. For the last six months, I poured my heart into training, recovering and eating relatively well and didn’t achieve what I wanted. As blunt as that is, it seems to be the theme of the last few months of training.  While yes, a 1:26 is a very respectable half marathon time, but it’s not what I trained for or wanted.  When you don’t achieve what you train for, it stinks.

But that is a post for another day.  Last week I just focused on easy runs and tapering.  As far as the actual week of training, it was one of my boring weeks.  Tapering should be though.  I spent the week without my Garmin and just ran the same 5-7 mile loops that I typically do.

Not worrying about pace this week was fun and I viewed most of my runs as outings versus strenuous runs.  They were relaxing, and I enjoyed them.  I actually began to feel confident going into the April Fools half marathon that I would be able to turn the lackluster training cycle around.  At first, the weather was supposed to pour rain, and then, it just didn’t.  It turned out to be a little bit windy but other than that, ideal conditions.

Monday: Easy 7
Tuesday: Easy 7
Wednesday: Easy 5
Thursday: Easy 5…was going to do 7 but felt like garbage so didn’t
Friday: Rest
Saturday: Easy 5
Sunday: Atlantic City Half (1:26.20)

On Thursday, I was both tired and exhausted so just decided not to do 7.  I actually don’t know if I ran 5 at all because I took the shortest route possible home.  I do know it was between 4-5.

To Briefly Recap the Atlantic City Half Marathon:

It was supposed to rain but then didn’t.  With the exception of wind, the conditions were ideal. I never felt great from the gun.  Before the race, I actually thought I might PR, or run well but it didn’t happen.  My splits ranged from 6:20-6:50 depending on the wind but the majority were around 6:30.  I didn’t meet my A goal (to PR), my B goal (to run under 1:25) but I did meet my C goal of finishing healthy.

What are my plans for next week?

This week, while not ideal for Broad Street I’m taking time off.  Maybe I’ll run this week, maybe I won’t.   The race as well as where I’m at mentally was a red flag that I do need a few days I need at least a few days off from running.

Questions for you:

How was your week of training?

Have you ever not met a goal during a training cycle?

Training: Off Weeks

Last week’s training didn’t go as anticipated.  Most of the Northeast got a huge heat wave, and while I’m thankful for it, my body didn’t adjust well.  Plus around Thursday-Friday, I started to feel somewhat sick.  Essentially last week, running was put on the backburner.  I had time to run, but I didn’t make it my priority.  I managed to run most days but quality miles? Eh, I’m not so sure about.

Monday: Easy Run
Tuesday: 1 hour Easy Run
Wednesday: Workout
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 1 hour Easy Run
Saturday: 1 hour easy Easy Run
Sunday: 45 minutes tempo (7:30)
Total:  60 miles

Wednesday’s Workout:
1X25 minutes (goal 6:46…actual 7:15)
2X2 miles (goal 6:23…actual 6:55)
2X3 minutes (goal 5:53…actual 6:58)

This workout didn’t go well. I’m not sure whether it was my body or the fact that I was probably at the early stages of a stomach bug but no part that felt good minus I was injury free.  I left the workout feeling bummed and disappointed with myself.  After throwing a pity party for a few minutes, I put the workout in my rearview mirror and focused on another day.  It stinks to be so far off an interval but sometimes that is life.  Lately, I’ve had more of those workouts lately than I care too.

Due to the weather on Sunday, I changed my tempo pace.  It was 85 degrees when I started, and I still wasn’t feeling great.  Even though it was extremely far off of any true tempo pace, I made it through the workout.  The first workout in heat always wipes me out and spent the rest of the afternoon watching Netflix and rehydrating.

Thoughts:
Obviously, this wasn’t a finer workout week for me.  As someone who blogs primarily about running,  it can be daunting to write a post about having a bad week…but it happens.  Every runner, elite, midpacker or beginner has bad weeks of workouts.  The most important part is I’m injury free and just trying to chug along.

Next week is the April Fools (Atlantic City) Half Marathon.  Originally, this was my goal race of the year.  I know the course well and have typically ran well there.  As time gets closer, I don’t feel as though I’m in the same shape as when I’ve set PRs here and my times in the last few months reflect that.  I’ve been bouncing around with several 1:27 half marathons and an outlier 1:23 half in Dallas.  This week is all about recovery, and regardless it will be nice to run one of my favorite races.

Finally, good luck to everyone running and racing Boston!

Posts of the week:
Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?
Clean Air 5kish (19:50)

Questions for you:
How do you mentally bounce back from a workout?
Did you watch Boston?

Should You Wear Running Shoes Outside of Running?

Another common question we get at my local running store is:

Should you wear running shoes outside of running?

The short answer is: Yes, but they will break down much faster.  There are many articles and blog posts telling you: only wear your shoes for running.  It is definitely true and if you want to save money and the lifespan of the shoe, then you should only wear them for running.

But is there anything wrong with wearing them to do daily activities? No.

Thinking out loud, I use running shoes that already have reached their running life span to walk around in them.  Once I’ve run 300-400 miles in them, they are retired to walking around (or working) shoes.

Here are some things to think about if you wear your shoes outside of running:

Do You Want to Spend a Lot of Money on Shoes?

You can get a cheaper pair of shoes to “kick around and do errands in”.  Heck, most running shoes aren’t the lookers of the shoe world.  It’s easy to find a cuter and more fashionable shoe to walk around in.  Yes, I work at a running store but I’m not going to lie and say running shoes are trendy and cute.  That isn’t their function.

Are You Injured?

Certain injuries need to have a supportive shoe or you cannot get heal.  If you’re suffering from an injury such as plantar fasciitis, you need to be in a well cushioned shoe all of the time to allow healing.  It’s important to have a supportive shoe if you are coming off any injury.

So How do You Know When To Replace When You Use Them all of the Time:

If you do use your running shoes, know that you have to take into account the mileage you wear them outside of running.  You might have only run 20 miles in the shoe, but if you have worn them for 8 hours a day for at work for a week, that is a lot more stress on shoes too.

The lifespan of a shoe depends on several factors:

  • Type of shoe: Minimalist shoes last less time.  It’s less of a shoe.
  • Running Style: If you strike somewhere strongly (whether it’s the heel or the forefront), your shoe is going to last less. This includes myself as I tend to burn through the front of shoes quickly.
  • How Much You Use Them: Think about your running…realistically that is only an hour or two a day. If you are spending 10 hours a day in the same shoe, they are going to last far less time. Gage when to replace your shoes, especially if you regularly run and then head out on errands wearing the same shoes.  If you wear your shoe every day for errands too, it’s going to last about 3 months.

For the most part, shoes last between 300-400 miles.  I always tell people if your legs feel less tired or you are getting aches and pains and haven’t done anything differently, it’s probably the shoes.

The bottom line is: Yes, you can wear your running shoes for everything and it will be more comfortable, however, your shoes will not last as long.
In case you missed any of the previous weeks Running Store and Training:
Thoughts While Working in the Running Store
Should Race in Racing Flats?
Are you Getting Enough Protein for Running?
Why 5ks are the Best
How Alternating Shoes Can Benefit Your Running:
How to Transition in Minimalist Running Shoes
Question for you: Do you wear your running shoes for everything?

Why a Running Break is Necessary

To summarize my training last week, I ran once on Monday.  Then I got sick and slept for three days straight.  Not exaggerating, but I slept over 16 hours daily for three days.  By the fourth day, I still had a headache and didn’t want to run.  Finally by day 5, I was already five days into not running, so I thought: “why not just extend my break longer?”  I didn’t miss running at all. 
Why a running break is neccessary

So to recap, I ran once and haven’t run since Monday.  My plan this summer was to take an extended break and now worked out well.  I’m not sure how long I’ll take off, but I’ll run when I’m mentally ready to run again.

Instead of writing a traditional training post, I’ll talk about some reasons for resting.  The idea of rest isn’t new, unusual, or life changing.  It’s important for every single runner, new or old, elite or not, to take rest.

So what are some worries?

Worry 1: Your Body Will Lose Fitness

You aren’t running, and your body will lose fitness.  It’s a real statement.  The longer you don’t run, the more likely you are to lose fitness.  However, you will gain fitness back quickly, and you will come back stronger.  A few weeks isn’t a big deal and the benefits of taking the rest outweigh the consequence of losing fitness.

Worry 2: You’ll Gain Weight

I’ve gained a few pounds everytime I’ve been injured.  That’s my body’s way of saying: “Hey you are doing the recovery thing right.”  I used to think not running meant I should cross train as much as I ran, but that isn’t the case.  Allowing your body rest might cause weight gain but once you start running again, you will lose whatever you might have gained.

Yes, you might gain a few pounds but if you don’t rest and recover, the rest period doesn’t do you any good.  To clarify, I don’t think it’s easy and all rainbows and butterflies, but it’s necessary. 

For me, I’ve been running nonstop for about a year.  I’ve had cut back weeks and mini taper weeks but nothing considered significant rest.

My last two months of running I’ve felt all of the following:

  • Physical Burnout: I’ve had more bad runs than good runs…
  • Mental Burnout: I’ve had more days I’ve felt like running is a chore and not a hobby.
  • Minor aches, issues and pains: my butt hurt after Shamrock and metatarsal pain last month.

Most of the time my running breaks come from a serious related running injury. Being injured forces me to take time off and give myself a break.  After resting, I come back stronger.  Since this break isn’t caused by an issue, it’s hard to “just take the time off”.  I can rest when I want too, so I’ve pushed if off until tomorrow…and tomorrow…and tomorrow.

So what are benefits of full running rest?

Not reduced mileage but full running rest

Physical benefits:
  • Recovery: First and foremost, you’ll recover from months of possible damage to your body. The damage includes both hard races and just training. Your body will recover from the stress that you’ve put on it.  You might not realize that you had several small aches and pains forming.
  • Injury Risk: Your injury risk goes much further down.

Mental Benefits:

  • Mental Recharge: This is the most important for me right now.  Mentally my heart isn’t into running, and it’s giving me time to recharge and do other things with my life.  When I miss running, I’ll start running.  It could be a week; it could be a month.
  • More Time: You have plenty of extra time to relax and get other things done.

Finally, How Can You Get the Most Out of Your Break?

  • First and foremost, actually rest.  Don’t substitute over cross-training for everything.  Sure, working out occasionally is fine but take your rest as serious as a goal race.
  • Don’t fear weight gain: Like anything, your fitness is based on months and years.  You might lose fitness or gain

I can’t tell you how long my running rest will be.  Maybe I’ll run in another week, but maybe it will be longer.  I did get in the pool on Sunday, which was more enjoyable than anticipated.

Questions for you:

Outside of an injury, have you taken a break from running?

Have you felt burnt out from something before?