Ask me anything
by on Thursday, December 1, 2016  (8 comments)

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Another 6 months have passed. Here's your open invitation to ask me anything.

Within reason, nothing is off limits. Ask about training, racing, my thoughts on any news in the sport. Ask about the site, the coaching service, Club HillRunner.com or anything else that's going on.

If you want to ask publicly, you can do so in the comments, on Facebook or you can tweet at HillRunner.com (or tweet at my personal account). If you want to ask more privately, you can use the contact form or, if you're friends with me on Facebook or you know my email address, you can reach me through those options.

So what have you been thinking about and wanting to ask?

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8 comments
cesar

Hey Ryan!!

How often are you drinking alcohol these days? I really want to quit it, no that I am an alcoholic, but I see that I am taking it as a crutch in social situations.

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Ryan

Cesar, not often. I'd say I've had drinks less than once a month on average this year. Maybe 2-4 times I've had a beer or two and 2-3 times I've had a margarita.

I don't think having an occasional drink is a bad thing. However, it's a tricky situation if you're using it as a crutch and, obviously, once you reach a certain level it's bad for your health which, less importantly obviously, is also bad for your running.

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cesar

Thanks Ryan!!

How your diet looks like lately? What are you eating for breakfast, lunch and dinner and snacks?

Thanks a lot

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Ryan

Not much has changed with me as far as diet goes. I have dropped cereal at breakfast in favor of less processed food, ideally but not always some fruit. I'm trying to get better about eating more fruits and veggies and I am doing a little better but I have work to do. I'm also trying to be more aware of not eating when I'm not hungry and not overeating. As I get older, these are the types of things that I need to focus on to keep from putting on weight that will do nothing but slow me down. Of course, that's balanced with making sure I get enough to fuel my running and the rest of my life.

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Munir Isahak (Guest)

Hi Ryan,
I was just wondering on how or what I should do to get faster, I'm a distance runner,I tend to run longer distances. I have fast times in the 3200m and 5000m but I just can't be faster to run a 800 under 2 minutes. anything would be helpful, thanks.

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Ryan

Hi Munir,

First, if you're running on a team, I suggest discussing this with your coach. For a coached athlete to take outside advice without discussing it with the coach is risky. Your coach has a plan and you need to understand that plan and how outside advice fits with it. I can't answer those questions without much more information.

That said, with the hope that any advice you consider worthwhile will be discussed with your coach if you are indeed coached, I can offer some basic general advice.

First, strides are great for everyone. Short (I usually target around 15 seconds) accelerations done a handful of times nearly every day at a not all out pace (remember, they are often being done on easy days and should not turn an easy day hard) are great for building neuromuscular coordination as well as regularly firing your fast twitch muscles.

Second, to run a good 800, you need to do some miler's training and even some sprint training. Especially if your strengths are in the longer distances, you need to develop your sprint speed. Look at what the 200/400 runners do. Things like 200s or 300s that, for distance runners, would seem blistering fast with loads of recovery.

Third, don't discount that stamina. While you need to develop the sprint speed, that stamina you bring from the longer distances will help you hold that speed in the final 200-400 meters when many speed oriented 800 meter runners are breaking down and slowing down relatively significantly. Look at runners like Nick Symmonds and Clayton Murphy. Their closing speed isn't so much speed as stamina, slowing down less than everyone else in the second lap.

Unfortunately, I'll also bring up a sad fact of life. Some of us just aren't meant to be speedsters. We can do things to minimize our weaknesses but, if we're built to be 5000m runners, we might just not have a great 800 in us. I don't have nearly enough information to know whether you are one of those runners but it seems possible. I know how frustrating this can be as I most definitely am one of those runners but it's a fact of life for some of us and, while you can and should work at it and I hope you can do it, a sub-2 800 just isn't meant to be for some of us.

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Munir Isahak (Guest)

Hi Ryan!
I just have some concerns that I might out run my body while training during the off season.

Do you think it's a good idea to run a long/fast milage during the off season.

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Ryan

Hi Munir,

During the off season, it's best to not do real aggressive speedwork. That doesn't mean you don't do any fast running but it should feel more controlled. You shouldn't be digging too deep in the off season and should finish the workouts feeling strong. Those workouts I mentioned above would be more for the race specific phase which, for high school or collegiate runners, would roughly coincide with the racing season.

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