I had a blast hosting the Blue Cross Broad Street Run tweet chat on Tuesday, May 1st! It was great to connect with everyone in real-time through Twitter. Since the tweet chat was only one-hour, I didn’t have a chance to respond to every question. Luckily, Independence Blue Cross provided me with the remaining questions and we are able to provide responses through this blog post! And remember, enjoy every mile, every endorphin. Strive to be upright, smiling, wanting to do it next year!
1. Question from @jamielee74: What’s the latest before a run it is a good idea to “run the distance” (i.e., run the full length or longer)?
• The last long run should be 2 weeks before if the length if 15 or less, or 3 weeks prior to race date if the length is 16 or higher. These need to be done 3-4 minutes per mile slower than you are able to race. See the 10 mile schedule notes in my book Galloway Training Programs for more information.
2. Question from @BeeKayd: What special precautions can someone who has given/lost blood leading up to the race take (whether that’s via a doctor’s visit, period, etc)?
• First, get approval from your doctor to run. Run 1-2 minutes per mile slower than you would normally run. Insert more frequent walk breaks. If you normally run continuously, run for 2-3 minutes then walk for a minute and continue that way. If you normally use a 3-1, run a minute/walk a minute.
3. Question from @RunningMom6 and others: We had many repeated questions about injuries and strains to the piriformis and IT band, so I would like to answer those again.
• Piriformis injury takes a long time to heal. Don’t stretch as stretching tends to prolong the healing or prevent it from happening. Massage can help. Most of my Galloway Program runners with this injury have been able to run while it heals by slowing the pace, walking more frequently and using a short stride. Many have done self massage by sitting on a tennis ball.
4. Question from @MalindaHill and @strngrm11: What can you do about hands et al swelling during long runs?
• Don’t over consume fluid before or during the run. Put your hands over your head for 10-15 seconds about every 3 minutes if they start to swell. Galloway fluid recommendations: 6-8 oz upon rising race morning and 2-4 oz of water every 2 miles.
5. Question from @audrajolliffe: What are some of the best foods and drinks for recovering from a distance run?
• Within 30 minutes of finishing, drink 200-300 calories of either Accelerade or Endurox R4. These have been the best products for recovery according to experience and research.
6. Question from @laurenmoyer: Should you rest or run the day before the race?
• There is no training effect from a run the day before. I recommend not running the day before the race.
7. Question from @jogplanet: What are some suggestions for strength training in legs and core?
• For postural muscle strengthening, I use “the crunch” and “arm running.” The latter should be done using hand held weights, in a standing position, going through a range of motion used by runners. Do 3-4 sets of 10. The weight should be enough to feel like you have done something after a set, but not so much that you struggle to do #10.
8. General Question: What is a good strategy to run in light rain?
• While waiting for the start, wear a garbage bag over your clothing. (Punch out a head hole.) Toss the bag in a garbage can as soon as you are warm enough during the first mile of the race. Don’t wear cotton clothing or socks. If temperature is over 60F, don’t wear a hat.
9. General Question: When is the latest you should have an alcoholic drink before the run? What about after?
• It’s best not to drink the night before. I recommend waiting at least 4 hours after the race to celebrate with an adult beverage.
As reference, I also wanted to include a summary of the tweet chat discussion for those who couldn’t participate. Check out the below!
Q: What is the ideal weather for a distance run like the BCBSR?
A: Ideal temperature is 60F or cooler with no wind – but this rarely occurs.
Q: Any good stretches for a sore piriformis? It's better but touchy.
A: Piriformis issues tend to get worse from stretching; massage has helped. I don't generally recommend stretching. The prevailing studies show that stretching causes injuries and aggravates them. There is no study found in any journal showing that stretching is beneficial for distance runners.
Q: How does running the LSR at 90sec/mile less than marathon pace help me run at MP on race day? Seems a big jump.
A: The only function of the long run should be endurance. You get the same endurance from running very slow. The major cause of injury in distance racing is running the long run too fast. If you want to run faster in a race, speed training is needed. See my book GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS.
Q: I hit a wall at about 7 miles. I want to seriously pump at the end. What's a good point to start going hard? mile 9, 9.5, etc
A: The "wall" is usually about the longest distance run during the last three weeks. If you run too fast, the wall will come sooner. So if you have not run the distance that you are going to run in a race, slow down and take walk breaks more frequently. Run-walk-run method can allow almost anyone to avoid the wall.
Q: Advice for college student who hasn't been faithfully running due to finals?
A: What is the longest run in the last 3 weeks? You should use your longest run in the past three weeks to determine your mix of fast and slower pace.
Q: What do you recommend to strength training, specifically leg and core.
A: I don't believe that strength is needed for most distance running. Running a hilly course, once a week is usually sufficient.
Q: My knees are killing me after a 3 mile run this morning. Should I rest until Sunday, or try to fit in another run?
A: When there are knee issues, it's best to walk gently on two days during the week before the race, 30 min walk breaks can eliminate or reduce knee issues. Frequent walk breaks from the beginning: run 30 sec/walk 30 sec
Q: Best way to combat dehydration? Lose a lot of salt when I sweat, which leads to cramping. I do stop at all the h2o stations.
A: First, slow down – 30 sec/mile slower for every 5 degrees above 60F. You will be somewhat dehydrated during a distance event. Your stomach cannot absorb much fluid. My rule of thumb is 2-4 oz every 2 miles. In addition, drink a 6-8 oz glass of water as soon as you awake.
Q: We're seeing tons of questions about what to eat for a race both the night before and the morning of, and how early to eat it!
A: Too much loading the night before can lead to un-loading during the race itself. Don't over eat – it won't help. Very little of what you eat the day before can help you on race day. Most runner eating problems are due to over-eating. It's best to eat a small meal, of food that is very easy to digest the night before. Eating the morning of a race is very individual in nature. There is no nutritional benefit unless one has blood sugar issues If you eat anything, make sure it is easy to digest and you have used it before runs.
Q: Is it better to wear new, old or slightly used running shoes on race day?
A: Generally it is best to use shoes that have been broken in, but not worn out… Best advice is to be breaking in new pair by alternating shoes during the last month or two before.
Q: Do you recommend running the whole marathon distance while training for the first one?
A: It is best to at least "go the distance" in a very slow training run, two weeks before your event.
Q: Is it okay to stop for a little after the race or should you keep jogging to cool down?
A: Best to keep walking. Standing or lying down allows the blood to pool in the legs–keep moving.
Q: Any IT band suggestions? It’s been hurting for 2wks now and I have a half in less than 3wks.
A: Best treatment has been rolling the area for 5 min with a foam roller before bed every night. Most of my runners who have had this injury have been able to continue training when they put walk breaks often
Q: Do you have tips for avoiding starting at too fast pace? Usually I am too hyped.A:
A simple fix is to pull over the side of the road and take more frequent walk breaks–every minute or two.
Q: What's an ideal Taper week?
A: Two 30 minute runs every other day, nice and easy
Q: For this week [before the race] is it not good to "run the distance"?
A: It is too late to do this. If you are short on the distance of the long run, go out very slowly and insert walks.
Q: We're seeing a lot of questions about the best SAFE way to improve your speed.
A: Best done during the 2-3 months before the race in a series of speed workouts see GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS. For running faster on race day, the best strategy is to run the second half faster than the first. Slow down during the first miles.
Q: What is your favorite way to recover?
A: Walk for 15 minutes and drink an electrolyte reloading – R4 has been the best I've seen in the research. Eat 200 calories of 80 /20% simple carb composition within 30 min of finishing. Then soak legs in a cool tub
Q: Anything I can do to reduce fluid loss?
A: The more you walk versus run, the more you reduce fluid loss. 30 sec/30 sec causes less sweating than 3-1.
Q: How can I accelerate or stave off a cold before BSR?
A: Cold the week of a race: Check with your doctor. If given the OK, run more slowly during the first 7 miles with more walks.
Q: I am having trouble with swelling between miles 5-10. Should I try compression socks/sleeves?
A: Research has shown significant benefit when wearing calf compression sleeves.
Q: I have a blister issue from new shoes I should have bought a month sooner to break in.
A: Blisters coming into a race: treat the blister with an antibiotic cream and cover it with protection tape. If prone to blisters during a race: put foot powder in sox and shoe. Put skin lubricant on areas usually blistered.
Q: What are some tips to avoid getting caught up, mentally, halfway through race?
A: Don't let the ego take away the empowerment. Try to stay in the conscious brain with positive mantras and have a strategy see my book MENTAL TRAINING.
Q: From our FB fans we got questions about chafing during the run.
A: Best product I've found is called Hydropel – it's amazing.
Q: We've also had a ton of questions about training indoors on the treadmill vs outside.
A: Fine to use on "maintenance running days." It's best to run long runs on the surface to be run in the race.
Q: If you had to give one piece of advice for a 1st time @IBXRun10 runner, what would it be?
A: First timer tip: Go very slowly for the first 5 miles. Take walk breaks often from the beginning. Don't overeat. Best advice for all–enjoy every mile, every endorphin. Strive to be upright, smiling, wanting to do it next year