I'm glad I have gotten so much positive feedback on Coach's Corner posts. I was, admittedly, a bit hesitant to start it. It's one thing giving advice to an individual runner, but quite a different thing putting it out there for all to read and criticize. I was also worried the posts might be a bit boring for some of those who have been running awhile, but I'm glad I took the leap of faith to post these. Thank you for all the good feedback. And seriously, I am open to constructive criticism from other runners and coaches... so please feel free to e-mail me with comments.
Question of the Week: Is it ok to move a scheduled training run?
Answer: I got several different forms of this question this week, and the major point I want to make is that training schedules should be flexible. Most of us are not elites, and we do not make a living at running. While following a training schedule to a T will certainly prepare you for an event, following it at the expense of other things could cause problems. Are you having pains? Continuing to train could make injury worse. Often taking a day or two off at the first sign of injury can alleviate the issue. Are you sick and running a fever? Running while feverish will not make you feel better. Plus you’ll likely be sluggish and the slower, harder run could eat at your confidence. Are you going out with a friend to have a late night before your long run the next day? If you can shift the day to the right or left so that there are no issues, then there’s no reason your social life should always be put on the backburner (although sometimes it'll probably have to be if you're training for a big event). Is the weather going to turn bad tomorrow and you want to get in your run while it’s nice and sunny? Again, a small schedule shift is generally not a big deal. Now, with all that said, you should remember each run does serve a purpose, and it is important that you don’t shift a speed workout to the day before a long run. If you’re moving days such that two days are back-to-back, make sure that there is an appropriate overload and recovery cycle happening (i.e. medium/hard effort followed by an easy/recovery effort). There is no limit to how many times you can adjust your schedule. Trust me, my personal training schedule gets readjusted constantly (right now it’s being adjusted due to sickness AND being stuck in the house with a sick kid).
Tip of the week: Getting dressed for a run!
The first general rule of thumb to remember is that you will warm up during your run. You should dress how you would if it were 20 degrees warmer outside. With that said, don’t forget to check the wind chill, because wind can be brutal!!!
We’ve already talked about shoes, but good socks can be just as important… especially when it comes to preventing blisters. You do not want to wear a typical cotton sock. You’ll probably want to try out several different types of sport socks. You want to look for a sock that specifies “moisture-wicking”. The other things you want to look for is the thickness (this is usually a matter of personal preference) and also temperature rating (if it’s 100 degrees, you probably don’t want a thick wool sock). I am not blister-prone and prefer the fairly thin Nike Dri-fit socks (when I'm not wearing CEP compression socks). But when it’s super cold, I love my wool Thorlo’s. Many who are blister-prone love the toe-socks made my Injinji. Other great brands include Drymax and Balega and all your typical sports companies like Asics, New Balance, Under Armour, etc.
Clothing is also a lot of personal preference. Capri’s, shorts, pants, skirts? Tanks or short sleeves? The key here is “moisture-wicking” yet again. Every brand has their own name for it. Nike refers to it as “DriFit”. Moisture-wicking fabrics are synthetic fabrics that will pull moisture (i.e. sweat) away from the body. This will keep you dry and comfortable. During the cold, it’ll keep you much warmer to not have moisture on your skin. When it's hot, it'll help keep you cool to have the fabric wicking away moisture and letting your skin breathe. Moisture-wicking fabrics also help minimize chafing – huge bonus! Remember also that there is a reason most running apparel is “fitted”. The less the fabric swishes back and forth across your body, the less likely you are to chafe. (If you aren’t familiar with chafing, I wrote a long blog post about it a few months ago HERE.)
Other clothing considerations: gloves, windproof and/or waterproof jacket (something I don’t have that’s been at the top of my wishlist for a long time… make sure you look for something “breathable”), hat or visor, non-fogging sunglasses, sports bras (Moving Comfort is a great brand for those that need more support), and believe it or not… moisture-wicking underwear.
Runner’s world has a great “What should I wear?” tool.
Motivational quote of the week -