From the September 2012 issue of Runner’s World
Sage advice about preparation, pacing and much more
1 GET GOOD SHOES
The best piece of advice he ever got was almost an insult, says Joe Calderon, a new RW reader stationed in Basra, Iraq. “‘Dude, you running with those shoes?’ a friend said. ‘No wonder your knees, back and shins hurt. Go to [insert running shop here] and get yourself measured for a good pair of shoes!’” Tips can come from unlikely sources. “A non-running coworker told me, ‘You know, you really ought to get fitted for good running shoes,’ after I was told I needed to be operated on due to running,” says Allison Tully, a reader for five years. “One fitting and six pairs later, I’m surgery-free.”
2 OR RUN BAREFOOT
Some runners find success giving up shoes. “After two decades running shod, the freedom and lightness experienced running barefoot is indescribable,” says Tymen Bast. Says Brian Fuerst, “An orthopaedic surgeon told me that I shouldn’t run and that I didn’t have biomechanics good enough to ever run a marathon. Since then I abandoned the field of podiatry, started running barefoot, and have completed two marathons in 3:26 and 3:12.”
3 KNOT SMART
“Runner’s World taught me how to lace without using double knots, so they don’t come undone,” says reader Andy Poon. Runner Stacey got the tip from her sibling: “My little brother told me to tuck my laces into the tops of my shoes to make sure they can’t come undone.” Eleven-year-old Kim Tantlinger says, “Square knots are better than granny knots and eliminate the need for double-knotting.” For a lace-tying lesson, go to runnersworldmag.com.au/shoelaces.
4 EXERCISE CAUTION
“Listen to your body telling you that it needs a day of rest,” says reader Laura McElduff. “Otherwise you’ll end up burned out, overtrained or injured.” Becca Dougherty says, “It is better to go into a race undertrained than overtrained.” Jaylyn Bergner uses legs-up-the-wall for recovery: “My coach in high school would have us elevate our legs for 10 minutes.” Reader Angie Shoe relies on pills: “An elderly gentleman said to take fish-oil pills daily. He promised that my joints will thank me later.”
5 RUN FAST
“During sprint workouts my coach used to say, ‘Dig deep. You can do anything for 30 seconds.’ And if you keep repeating the mantra through the workout, you can get through it,” says Courtney Bloome. Kristen Marhaver (also a reader), got go-fast advice from her dad: “The world’s most law-abiding citizen would say, ‘Run like you stole something.’”
6 RUN SLOW
“I heard that 80 to 90 per cent of runners run their easy runs too fast, so I slowed my easy runs to whatever felt comfortable that day,” says long-time runner Jeff Donahue. Coach Demetrio Cabanillas offered this advice to Kim Cowart. “He would remind me before I’d tackle my weekend long run that I’d already done my speedwork during the week and to do long runs slower. The purpose of the long run was to condition the legs to run long, and if I pushed the pace, I was essentially racing, which was counterproductive.” E. Alowes agrees: “The best advice I received for marathon training was to run my weekly long runs slow – much slower than I thought I should.”
7 RUN YOUR OWN RUN
“When I was trying to reel someone in but hating the race, I began repeating ‘Run your own race’ and everything came together,” says Brian Fay. Sandra Henriques says not to think ahead: “Be present in the kilometre you are in. Don’t worry about kilometre 18.” Reader Tracy quotes Alice in Wonderland: “Begin at the beginning and go on ‘til you come to the end: then stop.”
8 ENJOY IT
“My coach said, ‘Have fun! The hard work was the training. The race is the party!’” says Jill Mitsch. “Even if today’s run was what you would consider a failure, it is a bridge to your next good run,” says reader Sarah Wiederkehr. “This thought keeps me from fretting about lack of progress.” Any run is cause for joy, says Jen Harder. “There’s no such thing as a bad run!”
9 BE GRATEFUL
“I started saying this mantra, ‘Run for those who can’t,’ after a friend was paralysed and I realised how lucky I am to be able to run,” says Heidi Tanakatsubo. Says Jim Austin, “My big sister told me, ‘Running is your gift. You can do it any time you want, for as long as you want.’ She was born with cerebral palsy and told me that her favourite dreams are the ones where she dreams that she can run. I’ve never taken a run for granted since.”
10 JUST GO!
“‘RUN, it’s not rocket science!’ my dad said when my sister and I were calculating what pace we would need to run to meet our goals,” says reader Emily Condon. Go even if you’re tired, says Frank Young in Sapporo, Japan. “The run is never as (adjective of choice) as you thought.” The words of long-distance runner Josh Cox ring true to reader Daniele Lile. “‘Remember, your worst run is always 100 per cent better than the person who never tries.’” As reader Tom Scudder points out: “You’ll never regret going for a run, but you’ll always regret not going.”
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