Is it a good idea to take advice from a bartender, I mean water stop volunteer?
Yesteryear, the neighborhood tavern was the meeting place for the people who lived around you to go and socialize and keep up on things. In many cases the tavern had the barroom on one side and a restaurant on the other for families, so the tavern served all. It was well known that the bartender who worked at the tavern was pretty much up on all current things and news because they chatted with the customers all the time, often dispensing advice to the folks who were regulars.
Well, things have changed and although there are neighborhood taverns still around, there are as not as many as there used to be. I thought about that the other night as I volunteered to work the water stop in the last Pub Run Series Run we had from our Bridge Street location. So unlike so many who stood behind a beautiful wood bar, I stood by a folding table with a cooler of water and paper cups and dispensed advice to the question: What is your biggest running problem?
How do I keep my shoes from coming untied?
Ed the water stop guy: Good one, just tie your shoes like normal and take the loops or ears and tuck them under the lower laces of your shoe. Like this:
It's been so hot out, how can I still get in my runs?
Ed the water stop guy: Easy. Go early in the morning when it is 70 or below or later in the evening when it cools down. Other strategies - go to a gym or if you have a treadmill use that once in a while. Also wear a hat, it has been proven to keep you cooler. You can also go to places that have covered trails or shade. Drink a lot of liquids (take them along on your run) and if it is really hot, slow down.
How can I become a better runner?
Ed the water stop guy: To become better you either have to run more or faster, but not at the same time. My suggestion is to pick either farther or faster and then once a week, do one of them. If you normally run 3 miles each time you go out, run 4 miles on one of your weekly runs. If it goes well, try 4.5 or 5 the next week. If you have the need for speed, take one of your weekly runs and throw some intervals of 15-20 seconds per mile faster than your normal pace. The intervals can start at 1 or 2 minutes and do just 4 or 5 to start. The track is perfect for intervals because of the measured distance.
I do a lot of training and then when my race comes, I blow it. How can I keep from crashing?
Ed the water stop guy: I would bet most of us reading this have been there and done that. If there was one simple answer to this question, I would have a string of neighborhood bars… I mean water stops.
Seriously, I have two things to say on this topic. The first is trust your training and be honest with yourself. If you have unrealistic expectations, you are doomed from the start. By that I mean, if you have been hurt or want to finish the race at a pace that is much faster than you train at, it usually does not end well. So be realistic and then adjust your race strategy and post-race training to help you get to your goals.
The second thing is many runners just start out too fast in their race. It is easy to do when it appears everyone else is going to leave you at the start line. Take your race and break it up into three sections. In the first section, run just slightly slower than your training pace. In the middle section, run your training pace. Finally, in the last section give it what you have. If you feel good, drop the hammer and if not, try and maintain your pace and smile as you finish because you will be passing many of those who started too fast.
Thanks to everyone who came out to support our Pub Run Series this summer. We had fun and want to thank everyone who came out. Special thanks to our footwear sponsor Brooks Sports and Jake and Bill from Brooks and our beer sponsors Middle Ages Brewery, Ommegang Brewery and Eastwood Brewing Company for their excellent products which hit the spot after a warm summer run.