Thursday, May 1, 2008

Take It And Run Thursday: I'm Asking the Questions Here!

This week, for Take It and Run Thursday, those of us over at the Runner's Lounge get to stop pretending like we know everything and show some vulnerability! That's right, I get to ask the questions today ;) Any comments would be much appreciated! And, in return, I will try to share the love with those of you whose questions I actually know the answers to . . . (ha, don't get too excited; I'm betting there aren't many!)

1) What are your preferred methods of "cross-training?"

2) While doing your long runs . . . do you fuel on the go (i.e. while running--and if so, how do you not choke and die)? Do you slow to a walk to fuel up? Or do you stop completely? Also, how do you reflect this in your total time for the run? For instance, do you stop your watch while taking fuel breaks, or do you simply let it run? Just curious what other people out there do. While training for my first marathon, I would pause briefly to take gels/water/sports drink/etc., but would keep the clock running ("the clock won't stop running during the marathon," I would tell myself). Then, inevitably, I would wonder what my actual running pace was, since the pace my Garmin read included these breaks. While on the topic, what are your favorite long run fueling products? Gels? Sports drinks? Bars? Others? Any particular brands/flavors?

3) How do you deal with sticking to training plans when having to travel . . . say, to Stockholm, or somewhere equally random?

4) What are your favorite core training exercises? (I'm just all about the core training right now)

5) Coffee or no coffee prior to early morning races? (This was a huge decision for me prior to my first marathon--I had been drinking a pre-run cup of coffee all through training, but then wasn't sure if I wanted to risk any tummy issues on race morning--I decided to err on the side of caution) But what do y'all do?

6) Any good pasta dish recipes out there? HA, let's be honest . . . the same old whole-grain penne/spaghetti/etc. in olive oil with dried basil, parsley, red pepper and parmigiano-reggiano gets old after a while! (and yes, I know there are hundreds of cookbooks dedicated to this very topic, but I'm looking for runner-friendly dishes here--i.e. healthy-ish)

7) Do you have a good luck charm that you carry on you during races?


Anonymous said...

1. I slow to a walk to ingest an engery gel on my long run. I also keep the watch going instead of stopping it. However, I do stop my watch if I have to take a bathroom break.

2. I love HoneyStinger gels (available at REI) and Chocolate flavored GU.

5. I LOVE my pre-race coffee. Maybe I just made me body adapt, but I haven't had a problem yet in 3 marathons.

Anonymous said...

I don't have an answer for everything but...

1. Cardio kickboxing, elliptical machine.

2. Fuel on the go. I use Sports Beans, and they're really easy to maneuver and chew while running, without needing to stop or slow down. I've only had one near choking experience. :) I always keep the clock running, like you said-it won't stop running during a race.

5. No coffee for me, but my running partner does it and it doesn't seem to bother her one bit.

Hope that helps.

EmLit said...

1) I have always liked yoga and weight training for cross training purposes. Especially yoga.

2) I've never felt the need to stop to fuel--I tend to take GUs while moving and have never had a problem with it. I mean, they aren't the greatest tasting things on the planet, but the consistency of them makes it easy for me to gulp them down while on the move. I always chase them with some water, too.

4) I think one of the best core training exercises is the plank. Hold that for a minute or two and you feel it throughout your middle.

Amy@RunnersLounge said...

That is quite a list - I think we will need to use this topic more often.

I have thoughts on some:

1. Cross training - bike/run workouts, just biking and lately a good pace walk feel really good.
2. I take gu's and water and walk through the moment - I am not too coordinated or fast - so I don't lose much time.
3. I don't - I am constantly flexing and redoing - life is too unpredictable. I try to stay with the essence of the plan versus the actual words.
4. Ick - I hate core! I know that is the wrong answer.
5. I used to swear by Diet Coke for my caffeine before race but I found it is the problem for gut aches at the end - so I have stopped after 10+ years.
6. Not really - all the really good ones aren't good for me.
7. Always - my necklace with the charms of my children - in my mind they bring me unbridled energy. And my Runners Lounge Bracelet that says, "I am a runner."

chris said...

Q & A time? Fun!

1. Weight training. Running and weight training. That is pretty much all I do. I find the bike and the elliptical boring. I use to do the "Escalator to no where" but my new gym does not have one of those.

2. Gu (the Chocolate one) and I take it while I run. I have not choked or died yet.

3. I travel in my job pretty much non stop so I ALWAYS stick to my training plan. No joke. Since I do travel so much I know that I won't have any other time to make up for missing workouts. I do them before work. If that means getting up at 4:30 than so be it.

4. Emilie is right about the plank being one of the best core strengtheners. I can hold it for about 30 seconds...2 minutes is out of my league!

5. I don't drink the swill.

Meg said...

Thanks for answering my question! You have some great ones, I'll try my best and see if anything is useful to you.
1. In the winter when I'm likely to hit the gym, I like biking. Otherwise I stick to core/weights...I'll try to do 30-60 min on a cross-training day.
2. I was wondering the same thing, I'm excited to read the answers you get! I'm usually okay eating on the run for anything over an hour, and whether I eat while running or take a walking break varies on how I'm feeling at the moment. If I walk to eat I usually stop my garmin because I want to make sure I am running the total training miles, and any walking will be extra. I've had clif bars, which are pretty dry when running but pre-cutting them into bite sized pieces make them alright, clif shot blocks are great, luna bars are okay, and I'm tempted to try pb&j sandwiches but they sound hard to eat! I also need a fuel belt to store more in.
3) I keep my training plans flexible (3-4 runs/week + 2-3 cross training) so I can take rest days or skip cross training if I need to and not feel guilty. I find it fun to run in different places but understand it's not always likely.
4) I have a few videos that I keep me entertained...I'm ashamed to admit they are Core Secrets. :)
5) I don't drink caffeine before running, mostly because of time, but I'd imagine if it is okay before training runs, it will be okay before race day.
6) Sorry, I just stick to penne and bottled sauce. :)
7) No, but I'd like one!

Shilingi-Moja said...

I've never tried eating anything while running. When I drink water, I do slow a bit (and still usually slosh it all over myself). In a race w/water tables, I've slowed to a walk. If I stop, I stop my watch.

I love to run in new places but between travel time and meetings (usually my reason for traveling), it's tough to stick with a training plan. I try to compensate by rearranging days or even weeks so that a travel week is a lower intensity week.

No coffee -- don't like it anyway but I only drink 10-12 ounces of water before heading out.

SLB said...

1. Bike, road, I live in the hills it's all up or down!
2. On the go, gels in a gel bottle, road racing with a fuel belt, trail racing with handheld bottles. Hammer Nutition products vanilla/rapsberry/expresso
3. Try and juggle if not move on, always try and keep the long run long
4. See my post for today
5. Coffee yes, but not right before
6. Try Rissotto
7. No

I see you ran LA, congrats, the finish chute was just crazy, in fact the start wasn't much better!

The Laminator said...

Hi Irish...i'm not much into core training or coffee...but wanted to offer my perspective on fueling during runs...

While training for my first marathon, i used to take a walk break after 6-8 miles or so in order to drink fluids and take gel before continuing. During those times, I'd let the clock run for the same reasons you stated. But sometime while trianing for my second marathon, I found that I became more comfortable taking drinks and gels while on the move. Now I hardly ever stop on any of my long runs. I limit myself to 1 or 2 gels at the most and drink from a hand bottle every so often. Experience has taught me that if I'm so out of breath that I can't drink comfortably, then I'm running my long run too fast. I'll stop to refill the water bottle but that's about it. I think you have to experiment and learn your own long run "routine".

Hope this helped and wasn't just a case of verbal diarrhea.