living in the now

Still rambling about running. Sometimes other things.

Curing my writer's block

It's not often that I sit down for a blog post and struggle to come up with something. In the past few days, though, that's the case. Today I turned to Twitter to get people to ask me running-related questions to spur my mind a bit. There were some great questions that I'll answer below, a few that I can use for a future #runchat session and some that I just can't answer (sorry @TedWeismann, I don't know anything about maintaining glucose levels on a run). Q: @teacherswhorun: How can you use a half marathon time to find expected full marathon time? A: The timing of this is great since I'm going to run a half marathon this weekend. While both of my marathons haven't produced results I was hoping for, I have found that the McMillan Running Calculator is fairly accurate with predicting times. I actually used that calculator, among other things, when coming up with my Baltimore Marathon goal a few posts ago.

Otherwise, take your pace on a comfortable long run and take anywhere between 30-60 seconds per mile off that to come up with a goal. Some say your long runs should be even slower than that -- simply put, there are no simple answers out there. I'd love to hear other ideas in the comments section.

Q: @thetk42one: Socks or no socks? Discuss. A: Socks. Preferably Injinji. How about you?

Q: @FitNotFried: I  joined a running club, but as a new runner my pacing is too slow, and I get left behind. How can I improve? A: About 5 years ago I joined a training group for my first long-distance race and was terrified. Fortunately the group was big and was pretty much divided up into 3 groups -- fast, slow and everyone else in between. My suggestion would be to talk to whoever leads the club and tell them about your concerns. My bet would be that there will be others in the group who are at or near your pace. Together you'll all get faster and stronger.

Q: @trumpdabeast: What has been your favorite race that you ran, and what is your dream race to run? A:  I LOVE the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach in March. I've done this race 4 times, but unfortunately missed it this year coming back from my injury. Oddly enough, I don't have a dream race. I just want to get through a marathon uninjured.

Q: @notdiyheather: When wanting to increase mileage, is it better to run longer or run more often? A: I think some of this is a personal preference and it depends on what you're training for. I like to gradually increase my mileage by some sort of combination of running longer and more often. Honestly, I think the answer to this question is one I'm constantly seeking -- both approaches have worked at various times for me in my running. I'd love to hear some advice in the comments section.

Q: @TheHeldawg: How do you effectively use BodyGlide? How much? When? A:  I use BodyGlide or Mission whenever I'm going to be running for more than an hour or for races 10k or longer. The more humid it is, the more I put on.  Put it in between your legs if they rub, your nipples, your feet and, yes, even your butt. It's probably impossible to put on too much.

Q: @runforsushi: What are your rules for running when sick?  A: If you have a fever, DON'T RUN. It'll only make you worse. If I have a cold, I'll run -- in fact, I think it helps clear me out. Otherwise, if I feel bad -- fever or not -- I opt not to run and rest up. This question reminds me of one of my second ever blog entry when I woke up with a fever on race day. Check it out here.

Thanks to everyone who responded to my tweet this afternoon. This was a lot of fun. If you have any answers to these questions that you'd like to share, please leave a comment! I hope you'll join me and Scott for #runchat at 8 p.m. ET this Sunday!