Saturday, 4 February 2012

Obscure learnings

I have done, and still do a lot of reading since I decided to make running a more serious hobby. Some of what could be called "tips and tricks" I have learned by myself, though - just through experience. A few of them do seem rather obvious now though.

Shoe tightness:
- if I stand in my shoes before doing up the laces, my feet settle into them better and I won't have to re-tie them.
- if I tie my shoe laces while resting my foot on a bench, I'll have to re-tie them later, but not if I'm standing firmly on the ground.
- if I wear my running shoes from door to start line as opposed to waiting until I arrive at a race to put them on, my feet are perfectly settled into them.
- if I run longer than 2 hours, my feet swell, so if I'm in a marathon I'll bring tylenol to stop it.

Mini-bounces on your toes are the best way to keep warm if you have to stay still, for example at traffic lights or volunteering at a cold race (learned this from being a course marshall in November).

Hands get cold long before the head does.

-25 is not too cold to run, as long as there's no wind and bright sunshine.

After a couple of winters' running, you become an expert in the physiology of snow and ice, knowing in detail what it'll be like from texture, colour and memory of the previous 2 weeks of weather.

Speaking of winter, dogs have no idea what the temperature is.

Windy conditions don't just slow you down due to increased drag, your stride is effectively shortened by being blown backwards (yes it's obvious, but so much more noticeable when running).

Drivers, when turning right, only look to the left for what's coming. If the driver looks both ways, that's a runner behind the wheel.

Calgary is an ideal place to race if like me you have trouble with the heat - even if the day high is going to be 25 or more, it's still only 7 or so at start-gun time.

I get my best race times and have less perceived effort if I start near the front, stick close to the leaders and go "too fast" for the 1st km, then dial it back to target pace thereafter.

I believe standard running tracks are 400 metres long if travelling in the middle of the inside lane.

My self-image of how I look while running doesn't match most of the photos I see afterwards.

If I need to run less (due to injury, etc.), the exercise bike is good replacement for speed and tempo runs if like mine those workouts and runs are time based (rather than distance).

The "Macmillan calculator" doesn't apply to me all that well. Based on my half marathon time, my 5k time should be a whole minute faster. I am overall disproportionately slow in the shorter distances.

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