Sunday, October 25, 2009

For real people who just want to finish.

50 tips and tricks. 

  1. If you want to run fast, you've got to run fast.

  2. If you want to bike fast, you've got to bike fast. 

  3. "Go fast" training is speed training. Of course, when I say "fast," what I'm really talking about here is beating the cutoff or maybe not being last.  Those are my goals.

  4. If you're heavy or new to running, be careful with speed training because you can injure yourself.  Meanwhile, you can fake 'run fast' training (aka "speed work") by training on hills.

  5. Another way to speed up is to lose weight.  Don't yell at me.  I'm just the messenger.  Why do you think I'm trying to lose weight?  I'm happy with how I look; it's the slowness I can't stand.

  6. Cultivate medical professionals who are themselves runners; you're more likely to get solutions to keep you running. 

  7. In fact, cultivate relationships of people who have done what you what to do.  Join a triathlon or running club.  They'll help you through the tough times with their own sad stories and stuff they've learned.  It's like cult, see.  You can only listen to people in the cult. 
    Ignore the non-runner people...they aren't your friends....WE are your only friends....the mother ship is coming...

  8. If you're running, your kids can run with you. If they're little, they can ride their bikes along with you. If you're cycling, you can pull them behind.  Unless you're speed training, it's the total time on your feet or in the saddle that matters, so bring them along if you can.  This will go a long way to scoring points with the significant other who is not, themselves, into whatever you're into. 

  9. If a dog charges you, squirt him with your water bottle.  Even plain water stops them.  Even the charging ones.  I don't know why, but it does. 

  1. If you're a sprinter, you can't eat as much solid food, but you'll be done earlier when there's still pizza left, so who cares? The more intense you are, the less solid food you can handle.

  2. But intensity is relative.  I may be slow, but as a reminder: I'm still moving 170 pounds over that course, which is pretty intense.  Sooo....

  3. For the rest of us, you can train your stomach to handle more stuff or different stuff.  But do all your experimenting in training, not on race day. 

  4. Your body needs water to process carbs.  It's a chemical thing.  Each time you take in anything with carbs during a race or training, you need to drink.

  5. Speaking of which, You should drink a minimum of 2 cups of water with each meal.

  6. Unless you're an ultra runner, you really don't need protein or fat during a race. 

  7. I'd avoid high fiber, too.  (During a race)

  8. If you train enough, eventually you won't need much for shorter races. 

  9. Just a tip for those who like to eat: take up ultra running.  Their aid stations are like buffets.

  1. If your butt hurts, you need more time in the saddle.

  2. If your crotch hurts or goes numb, you need a saddle with a cutout or maybe a different nose configuration.  (The saddle, not you.)

  3. Cultivate relationships with bike shops, online or IRL, who let you try things out and return them if they are unsatisfactory.  LIKE SADDLES.

  4. You can never have too much body glide, or sportslick, or Aveeno baby creme - whatever you use.  You can't have too  much, is what I'm saying.

  5. If your feet hurt, you need to spend more time on them.  Feet time is like saddle time; your feet need to get used to supporting you for long periods.  Your spine needs to get used to you being upright and moving for long periods, too.  I had a good head start being a teacher when I started all this.  So, that's what the long run is for.  It's not just that you're moving a long time. It's that you're upright, on your feet, and moving a long time.

  6. Pretty much everything from Zombie Runner is awesome.  Peruse their web site.  They are a favorite among the crazies who run 50, 60, or 100 mile runs.  Also awesome for marathoners: Race Ready.

  7. For trail running, get yourself some Dirty Girl gators.  They come in a lot of different colors.  If you are dumb enough to be worried that they look weird, then fine, you can stop and clear all the sand out of your shoe.  Often. 

  8. Athleta and Moving comfort are my picks for big girl workout clothes.  If you're not a big girl, then you can wear pretty much anything.  If you're a big guy...leave me a comment.  I would like to know what you've found is the best clothing for big guys.
Transitions & Races.
  1. Save time by not wearing socks.  Practice this first.  For shorter sprints, you may find that you don't need them.

  2. Do not.  Do not.  DO NOT. Do a flying dismount for the first time in a race.  I've seen this done, by a friend who was coming down a hill, too.  He shall remain nameless.  Dude.  It was u-u-u-glay. 

  3. I stick all my bike stuff in my helmet.  I take it out and put it on, standing up, while stomping my feet on the empty space at the front of my towel.  I may not win the race, but I usually beat people out of transition.  It's the little things...

  4. In sprints: Unless the water's cold, whatever small advantage you get from the wetsuit will be negated by the time it takes to get it off. 

  5. If you don't already know about them, get some speed laces.  The cheap ones with bungies and slides are just as good as the expensive ones with the complicated attachments and go cheap.|

  6. In a marathon, you should feel like you're moving too slowly in the beginning.  If you feel like you could be going faster, don't.  You're doing just fine. 
  1. Don't put ice in your hat.  It screws up your body's thermostat.  Put it on the back of your neck instead. 

  2. If you're a chick, put ice in your bra.

  3. If you're a guy, get one of these

  4. Everyone can put ice in their pants.

  5. Be careful about getting sprayed by the locals during marathons and triathlons; if your feet get wet, you could be in for some problems.

  6. Drink, drink, drink.  When it's hot out, convert all your calories to liquid form. 

  7. You will slow down, and/or your perceived effort will rise, when it's warm out.  For long runs, it's something like 20 to 30 seconds added to your average mile pace for every ten degrees over 50, or something like that.  Look it up.  So if it's 70 degrees, your pace has already slowed by a minute a mile.

  8. If you're comfortable at the start line, you'll be too hot probably before the first mile. 

  9. If you have sweaty feet, get yourself some Injinji socks.

  1. If you're too cold and slender, you need more body fat.  Nyah.  Go eat some cake.

  2. Otherwise, wear a jacket that zips up the front.  Heavier runners overheat, even when its cold, and you want something you can take off and put on quickly.  

  3. A general rule of thumb is that it will feel 20 degrees warmer once you start running, so use that as a guide for dressing for runs. 

  4. For ice and snow, Baboo has an old pair of running shoes with small machine screw screwed into the soles for traction.  I'm going to try that this winter.  It goes without saying that one should be sure the screws are short enough not to punch holes in the wearer.  Oh, and they're called screw shoes

  5. If you like listening to music, get yourself some hatphones.  There are earwarmers called 180s with built-in speakers--skip them.  The advantage of the hatphones are that they still let other noises in, like cars or charging dogs.  I also own a fleece ear warmer headband with built-in speakers.  I think it's called Tuks. They don't make them any more, but I have taken the speakers out of my Nike hatphones, made a small slit in a fleece headband/ear warmer, and slipped them in there.   

  6. Don't stretch before you're warmed up.
  1.  After an intense event, recover the next day by walking or cycling.  Don't just sit.  Not only will your muscles stiffen more, but you'll lose the benefit of the physical activity you've done.

  2. Immediately after a very long run, sit in an ice bath.  It's startling at first, but it's so good for your legs.  It calms inflammation of very P.O.ed muscles.
  3. Take Tylenol after a race or workout, not aspirin or ibuprofin.  There's some research that NSAIDs interfere with recovery.

  4. Chocolate milk is an awesome recovery drink. 

  5. Within 90 minutes after your workout, replenish with some lean protein, carbs, and lots of water.

  6. If you finish before me, leave me some pizza. 



  1. Love your list! Wondering though, in "Eating: Unless you're an ultra runner, you really don't need protein or fat during a race." does "ultra runner" include "doing an ironman"? 2 weeks to go and I'm asking this. yikes.

  2. You can have too much Chamois Butter! I reapplied before the run in a tri, and the friction, combined with the hoses and super soakers the aid stations had on a hot day, means I was foaming at the crotch! The Chamois butter did not absorb into my skin at all and produced really gross liquidy white goo. It took 20 minutes of sponging off the newly formed foam before I dried off enough for it to quit. So watch out for extra Chamois butter and water. Also, not so good because the water filled up my shoes, so yes ice in the bra is much better than a hose. Great list!

  3. Thanks for the great tips! :)

  4. LOL I love no 7 about the cult

  5. Awesome! Concise! Useful! Thank you sistah!

  6. Great tips! I especially find #3 under "cold" very useful, I'm always under or over layered.

    some good links in there too, thanks!!

  7. Anonymous10:02 AM


  8. Anonymous10:02 AM


  9. Great list!!! Thanks! #6 is a lesson I learned the hard way. Now I will only go to a doctor who is an athlete!

  10. Love it...I have more runners on my schedule than anything else. Gosh, I wonder why??

  11. Love it...I have more runners on my schedule than anything else. Gosh, I wonder why??

  12. This is great! I am becoming a big fan of the trail runs because of the "buffet" aid stations :)

  13. Love #7 under training. So true. Thanks again, another great finish from you.

  14. What a great post!!

  15. You know, I'll go for some time forgetting to read your blog, and then when I return, I'll see something like this and remember, "hey, this blog rocks."

    Just got my bandanna for IM Cozumel. Bring the heat, baby.

  16. Misty, I love, love, love your blog. Re wetsuit: "Pam" the hell out of your ankles, shins, knees, thighs. Pull wetsuit over pammed calves, then spray the folded-down inside of wetsuit legs. I wear a sleeveless but if I didn't, I'd Pam my arms and inside of wetsuit arms. Even pam your clothing - bike shorts and top, or whatever you are wearing under the wetsuit. Result? I FLY out of my wetsuit in transition. My T1 is faster than my T2. Tip: Unzip wetsuit coming out of water and pull LOW on hips while you are running. Make it a point to pass the other slackers who are walking from the water. Pull cap and goggles off and hold in hand. Pulling wetsuit off of legs once you reach your bike is CAKE.

    Re running faster, google Furman institute. They have a little worksheet floating around out there that allows you to enter your 5k time, then add increments to it for your once-a-week speed workout. This speed workout, used as part of their "Run Faster, Run Less" plan, has made me faster. At 160+ pounds, that's a good thing.

  17. This is just what I needed to remind me what the heck I should be doing now that I'm trying to get myself back into the mindset of running outside in the cold.


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I'm sitting here, looking out the window.  I did 3 miles this morning.  Big whoop.  After recovering from CDiff last month, I got a cold...