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Whether you just started running or have been for years, you've probably noticed that runners love to give each other advice. While helpful, we sometimes discover that what works for some people just doesn't work for others. This month we asked our RADs about running ideas they've discovered is a myth. Read Michael, Karin, and Arielle’s writing below.

Michael Goldin

When I first started my running journey, I was told that running was an individual sport. I fully embraced this concept and quite enjoyed the time with myself. I relished in the fact that I was getting out of running what I was putting into it. If anyone asked, I would say that I loved running the miles alone; it was very therapeutic. When people asked if I ever got bored running by myself, the question was a hard no. What would I even talk about with someone else for an hour or more each day?

As time went on though, I was less and less able to keep all the running talk to myself and wanted to discuss it all the time. (We’ve all been there! IYKYK) There was just so much to talk about between workout splits, training theory, nutrition, apparel, the list goes on and on.

Insert the start of a friendship with another runner (a fellow RADrabbit) who often ran in my neighborhood. Over time, we went from waving as we ran by one another to texting after each run to running once a week together to running together every day. Running was no longer an individual sport. I felt like I was a part of a team. We would cheer each other on during weekly workouts and go to races together. We saw each other at our highest points and lowest points. We became those annoying best friends who wear matching clothes (often our newest rabbit purchases). We had shared mantras for races we ran together. (Together we go far. Can’t stop, won’t stop.) And we were always working towards the same goal: to get the absolute best out of ourselves – an individual and collective goal.

This helped me frame the entire running community in a different way as well. Everything from post run social media posts to being a part of this fun group we all love called RADrabbit is a collection of people who all enjoy and love the same thing. We cheer each other on, have our hands on each other’s backs, and root for one another to succeed. It’s definitely a vibe. While each individual runner is trying to get the best out of themselves, the entire running community stands behind that runner in the best possible way. So yes, running may be an individual sport in the sense that for any (non-relay) race, it only shows one person’s name next to a time. However, there is an entire team of runners encouraging and cheering that individual runner on every step of the way.

Arielle Trumble 

I’ve been a registered nurse for 7 years and have been working in the operating room for over 4. There are things that you don’t question: Prepping the patient in 3 passes of betadine. Stand against the wall and don’t touch anything blue. Don’t say the “Q” word or else you’ll invoke the wrath of the staff.

Some of these are rooted in evidence-based practice and have rationale. Others are things that we call “sacred cows”, meaning ideas or concepts that are above criticism and not meant to be questioned. Old rules that stand the test of time.

This concept can be applied to running as well: Don’t try anything new on race day. The first mile of a run totally counts as the warm-up. Don’t run too much before a race or you’ll waste precious energy. If you walk at all while on a run, you’re not a runner.

With that, the two sacred cows for me that turned out to be myths are: Nothing new on race day and if you walk at all, you’re not a runner.

How did I come to these conclusions? I decided to be curious and see what would happen if I tried new things and see if they would work for me. If they didn’t, then I would know.

It wasn’t until I started trail running and ultimately ultramarathons that I learned my body can withstand a lot of things beyond my initial comprehension of running: Hours upon hours on feet, running through the night into the next day, eating every 30 minutes, the fear of missing cutoffs being a stronger rush than any energy drink, and so much more.

Prior to running my first 100 mile race last summer, I had a phone call with my coach, Lindsey Herman, who took 3rd at the 2022 Leadville 100, her first 100 miler. Lindsey ate ramen and cheetos during Leadville and she never had them in training. She told me to eat whatever my body was telling me to eat. So I did and it worked out for the most part.

During Oregon Cascades 100, I had quesadillas, broth, ramen, Rice Krispy treats, black coffee, and a lone breakfast sausage. All of those sat fine and were exactly what I needed. As far as the pancakes and maple syrup I had at an ungodly hour of the night…well those ended up on the road in less than 3 minutes. Might be a while before I try that combo again.

Sometimes walking IS the smarter option. I know that I can get nauseous if I push too hard on a climb, so why would I force myself into that position when I can have a moment to breathe and reset? I can also have a snack, and I love my snacks. One of my strengths is grinding out climbs, and I wouldn’t have that skill if I tried to run them because I’d be toasted. If you watch footage of professional ultrarunners, they’re probably not running the big climbs: they are power hiking them because they’re saving their strength for when they need it the most.

I don’t have any fall races on the calendar right now, but that could very well change. In the meantime, I’m out here vibing.

I like to treat my training runs as experiments nowadays: What gels can I bring back into rotation? Am I going to sprain my ankle in my Calderas again? If I bring back Tailwind, would it be a viable option on race day?

I won’t know until I try. Sometimes those sacred cows aren’t as sacred as they need to be.

Karin Bachrodt

I have been running for almost 35 years. That has included all sorts of training from traditional high school cross country and track, to "I'll just run a 5k every day and race 5k & 10ks on the weekend", to triathlon training, to charity team marathon training, to writing my own training plans as a certified coach. Finally, in Jan 2021 I started training WITH a coach. I followed a structured training plan. One that was tailored for me, my strengths, my goals, my needs, and adjusted depending on how I adapted to training. I had a BIG year ahead of me. I had 4 B races (25k, marathon, 50k, 50 miler) leading up to my goal race in December, 100km.

I had a lot of ups and downs during those training blocks. I had to fundamentally shift the way I trained. The first thing I learned was that the body doesn't care how FAR you ran, rather it knows how much TIME you ran. Now, instead of running 6 miles at X pace, I would run 50 minutes at a specific RPE. No longer did it matter how many miles I covered, rather, what was important was time spent on feet. The heart and body don't know or care if you ran X miles, they knew you've been moving for Y minutes. That was a huge shift in mindset and while it took a minute to adapt, I did so, and eagerly.

The second fundamental change I made is to SLOW DOWN. Run slow to run fast. The 80/20 rule. Lots of ways to describe it, but they all get at the same point run your easy runs EASY. Save your speed and spice for your harder efforts which, should only make up about 20% of your training week. For the better part of my life, I had one pace and that's what I ran no matter if a 5k or 20 miler. Once I made the intentional shift in the way I train, all of a sudden, on my easy days, I HAD to run easy I was too gassed from my quality sessions the day before. And then as the cycle rolled on, I had an easier time hitting paces during my quality workouts because I had taken it properly easy the day before. It all came full circle.

And when it came time to race, my body was ready. I had trained properly, tapered when necessary. I wasn't hitting that awful "overreaching" feeling that I had in years past (trust me, don't get there, it's no fun). I was able to run and recover properly. I ran my easy runs easy (again, MOST of my training time each week was easy!), and saved my harder efforts for the 20% of my week that was dedicated to specific training. I ran the programmed minutes or hours on my plan, and didn't worry if I hit a nice round "mileage" number at the end. I ended a lot of workouts with a X.78 miles or Y.24 miles. In the past, it would make me cringe, but now, it was the norm.

Running faster is not always better, and the body knows time, not distance.

Trust the process.

Eyes up.


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