Episode 5 – Marathons are Badass!

This week unfortunately, Jason was not available to record an episode. He came down with a virus and has been bedridden all weekend. So Ray was alone and hosted the episode (download here) that featured our first guest EVER. Molly Marco (@Lifeiskitsch) joins Ray as they recap their week of training, and discuss the recent trend that shows 1/2 marathons growing in popularity over the past decade.

Training Update: Ray finally went back to running this week. He ran almost 5 laps around a track. Molly is training for the Rock ‘n Roll 1/2 half marathon in Los Angeles this fall. She just started training a couple of weeks ago and she is already at 18miles a week. She loves her Vibrams Five Fingers barefoot running shoes.

This weeks conversation centered around the growing popularity of 1/2 marathons. A recent Running USA article shows the trend that the number of people participating in 1/2 marathons has more than doubled over the past decade. Since 2003, this road race distance has seen a growth in participation by 10% or more each year. Both Molly and Ray agree that one main driver for growing trend is that a 1/2 marathon is less intimidating to long distance running beginners and more challenging than 5 and 10Ks.

This episode also featured a spot by our first advertising partner, The Out Running Podcast. A show similar to ours where Chuck Wickens(@the_wick) chronicles his training. You can find out more about his show at outrunningpodcast.blogspot.com

Until next time, leave feedback on iTunes, email questions and comments to geeksinrunningshoes [at] gmail [dot] com. We are also on twitter, you can follow Jason (@guttocutwl) and Ray (@adeyemiking).

Thanks for listening!

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3 Responses to Episode 5 – Marathons are Badass!

  1. JCM says:

    Ray, great job solo podcasting, I really enjoyed the show. Jason, I hope that things clear up for you and you get back on your feet soon. Take it easy on your first couple of runs and you should be able to return to form in no time.

    Ray, I think as far as the ‘barefoot running’ discussion goes, I believe that Coach Jeff has it right in that the emphasis should not be solely on your foot coverings, but on your running form as a whole: Bad form in Vibrams is just as damaging as bad form in Mizunos.

    Also, I have always been skeptical about the “Train for 10 miles, and let the adrenaline carry you the final 3 miles” advice for new half marathon runners. I have seen so many reports of people hitting the wall in races, and it always seems to be about 1 or 2 miles past their longest training run. Then again, there are other anecdotes in the blogosphere that also support the advice, so I would take both sides into consideration. Sometimes it is impractical to go the full distance in training, but I think approaching the distance prior to the race would allow one to better experience the body/muscle/energy requirements of a half marathon in training so that come race day, it is all about the running/racing experience and not about trying to recover from mistakes when in unknown ‘distance territory’.

    Good luck and once again I enjoyed the podcast.


    • adeyemiking says:

      Jay, I really appreciate the positive feedback. I was kind of nervous at the beginning of the show but I am glad it turned out well. Of course, I can’t take all the credit, Molly turned out to be an awesome guest.

      You are right though, foot covering should always be second to form. However, it seems like conversations around the “interwebs” focus more on the gear rather than how to actually run forefoot. I believe Molly even mentioned on the show that initially she had no idea how to run on her forefoot and almost got injured running the wrong way – even though she had VFFs on. I think more emphasis should be made on how to run fore foot during barefoot running conversations. Coach Jeff has a short video on fore foot running drills that I will post a link to later on today (after I receive permission from him).

      By the way, it is interesting that you bring up the point about not training for all 13.1 miles when preparing for the race. I think this is the first time that I’ve heard that counter argument. However, how does a beginner fit this into a 12 to 16 week training program? All the training plans that I have seen promote this and some sort of taper at the end of the race. For instance, the training plan that Lauren and I are following – Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training for Novices. As you can see this 12 week training program ends with a 10 mile long run at the end of week 11. One week before the race. Anyway, I agree with you. I think it makes a lot of sense to run the race distance at least once prior to event, if nothing else, just for the mental confidence of having done it before.

      Again, thanks for the positive feedback. It is really encouraging.

  2. JCM says:

    And therein lies the rub: most novice training plans are not geared for the full 13.1, so making the jump in training when following a plan is not a great idea since it will often cause a greater jump in mileage than is appropriate for a training/tapering schedule.

    There is some research suggesting that the perception of exertion and performance during endurance exercise is programmed, in part, through experience. Thus if your body ‘knows’ what 13.1 miles requires, then internal pacing strategies and exertion levels will equilibrate to those levels. But if your body only ‘knows’ what 10 miles is like, then the internal pacing will adjust to that (or those) experiences and miles 10.01 through 13.1 may require much more effort and exertion than one would think based on how one was feeling at mile 10. An extra 3.1 miles is a mileage jump of almost 24%; inspiration and adrenaline can get you going, but can it be sustained for an additional 30-45 minutes on the course? This is only speculation and extrapolation on my part, mind you, so please take this with a grain of salt. I in no way wish to give anyone the impression that they should abandon their training.

    Another point is motivation. If your goal is to run 13.1 miles, then train all you like and head out to the track for ~53 loops and call it quits, you’ve done it. But if you goal is the Half Marathon Experience, then why potentially spend the final triumphant miles in complete agony and having to finish ‘at whatever cost’? Again, this may or may not happen regardless as a result of some unfortunate or unforeseen happenstance, but eliminating as many variables that could detract from the enjoyment seems the wiser choice. If both are the goals, then stop your longest training run at 12.5 or 13 miles; you’ll still preserve the distance, and your body will be prepared for the Experience.

    Then again, just getting out there in any capacity is a triumph in itself, and probably shouldn’t be over-analyzed like this!


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