World class runners and coaches are here to answer all of your running questions. Learn about training for a marathon from top long distance runners like Deena Kastor or Dave McGillivrary, or find out how to best recover after a race from physical therapists like Kate Edwards. No matter your question, you can browse informed answers from a curated list of verified experts on AnyQuestion.
You should practice taking in up to 90-100 grams of carbs per hour when running at your optimal pace, and lower amounts (20 grams/hr) for slower long runs. It is not an exact science, but with practice you can get better at it. Transcript: "So part of your skill as an athlete is practicing taking in carbs, absorbing carbs without problems, practicing all this stuff in training and you can train your gut like you train your body for fast long runs whatever it is. Now the science looks like we want to try to take in up to 90 to 100 grams of carbs per hour okay and we can okay. Now it has to be practiced and it's very individual okay. Some people get problems with this but if you keep working at it you can get better at taking in carbs the same way you can get better at training. And you know I like the Martin program it is around that area and it's known that Kipchoge took around that when he broke the world record. You know and you're not limited by your size you're limited just by your stomach okay. So small people can take in a lot and big people take in the same amount. So I like the Martin program you know fluids matter as well but use a program, practice it, refine it, get better at it. And yes I do like messing around with carbs. You should not always be taking in this amount okay. This is when you're at your optimal fastest long run most specific marathon pace stuff you're gonna practice that and get good at it. But when you are running less intense than that you want to take in less carbs. Now there's some people that don't take in any just take in water with sodium to prevent hypneotremia but you can take in a little bit you know maybe 20 grams for per hour for a slower long run. Practice all this stuff you'll get better at it and it's not an exact science but you can get better."
Priests Trail, Amazon Rexius Trail System, Lane Community College, Westmoreland Park are all great places to do fartlek. Be sure to choose a surface that is forgiving and has some undulation. You can also mix up surfaces like wood chips and asphalt for added reactivity. Transcript: "So, Priests Trail is a great place to do fartlek. It's a softer surface, you know, it's a few miles. You can do loops and make it continuous. So you want to do fartlek on a forgiving surface for the most part because the speeds are less important you're going on and the overall matters a little more and it's about the effort a lot of times. So Priests Trail is great, Amazon Rexius Trail System is great, you can do loops around Amazon and measure the overall a lot easier. Lane Community College has some grass areas that would probably be really good for fartlek. There's a practice football field by Austin Stadium that people do intervals on that would be decent for fartlek. Westmoreland Park is a park with a wood chip system, a mile loop kind of thing and also some undulation that you could do fartlek on. So ideally you want some undulation if you can, but you want it to be a forgiving soft surface and you want it to be a great place mentally with an environment that's natural trees and grass and green because the science says that's actually a little better for your head than running in an urban environment. So a lot of great places to do fartlek. You can find your own place. I would definitely do it where the footing is decent. You don't have to think too much on your footing and definitely not a rocky trail or anything like that. Just do it, keep it continuous and there is a time and place to I think you can mix some surfaces too, some wood chips and even some asphalt when you want to get a little more reactivity from your feet and not sink in too much."
When designing your running schedule, make sure to also include mountain biking workouts. Integrate it into your running plan just like you would do with any other workout day by alternating between running and mountain biking for different weeks. Make sure that the hard efforts are still included in whichever sport you choose and that your easy days really stay easy. Transcript: "I am a youth athlete, mountain biking but also want to run the distance races. How would I integrate this into my training plan? I think these sports can complement each other if done appropriately. I think the biggest thing is when you're designing your running schedule, but you also want to be competitive in mountain biking. It's easy to sometimes treat biking as a recovery day. Where is mountain biking? True? Mountain bike rides are very hard to get a true recovery. You're definitely getting into the anaerobic system a lot on mountain bike rides. So if you're putting it on a day that you're considering a recovery day from running, you're probably not going to get full recovery. So I would recommend integrating it into your running plan along the same way you would do workouts. So, you know, maybe you're doing two workouts a week. One is a running workout, one is a mountain biking workout or maybe you're alternating weeks where one week your workout day focuses on running and the next week your workout day focuses on mountain biking. But these two can easily be intermixed as long as you're making sure that you're still getting a couple of hard efforts in whichever sport you choose and then making sure that your easy days really stay easy."
Calf strengthening is very important to me as a runner and I believe it should be incorporated into any running program. We focus heavily on the soleus muscle, with heavy loading exercises such as double leg and single leg calf raises, plyometrics, skipping rope, ladder drills, and balance variations. Transcript: "How important is calf strengthening to you as a runner? Well, with my work with the Bowerman Track Club, I'd say one of the biggest things we've implemented over the last few years is calf strengthening. What we've found in more and more gait analysis and research is that one of the calf muscles, particularly the soleus muscle, is severely overlooked in its role in, one, just like injury prevention, especially with Achilles tendinopathies and foot issues, but also in just the ability to get off the ground faster. And so we do a ton of heavy, heavy calf loading. We do focus on the gastroc with heavy loading, knees straight, double leg and single leg. We do a lot of seated, knee bent, soleus focused heavy loading, along with plyometrics, skipping rope, ladder drills, and then a lot of balance variations thrown in there too. So I think the calf muscles are sometimes not given enough credit, but super important to put into your lifting program."
My favorite iron-rich foods are leafy greens and lentils, as well as beans and other overlooked sources of iron. Transcript: "What is your favorite iron rich foods? Well, I am someone who follows a plant based diet, don't eat any meat. So sometimes I have to be a bit more intentional about making sure that I'm getting a variety of iron rich foods that do not come from animals. So for me, I like to really focus on a lot of dense leafy greens and then also really incorporating a lot of lentils into my diet. A lot of beans and just other other foods like that, that sometimes are overlooked for the amount of iron that you can find in those."
Yes, we do a lot of plyometrics as part of our running training. Transcript: "Do you perform plyometric training as part of your running training? Do you perform plyometric training as part of your running training? Yes, 100%. With Bowerman, we do a ton of plyometrics in the gym, usually paired with our heavy lifts."