Enjoy the special moments

This year, I’ve had a lot of opportunities to share runs with my daughter

Taking a little break from the usual training posts. I’m not sure what to think of this but I’m apparently feeling a little philosophical.

This year, we’ve had a lot of bad moments to get through. However, largely due to at least some of what’s been going on, I’ve also found some very special moments I’ve been able to enjoy, nothing more so than running with my daughter.

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Health first

I’ve been hearing from a few people recently with health concerns. Either people who are getting COVID-19 tests because they are showing symptoms after being exposed (thankfully, nobody I’ve heard from has had a positive test yet) or those of you who live in the areas where air quality is affected by the wildfires.

My message for these individuals has been the same: health first, then fitness.

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Even this year, don’t short recovery

I may be doing more “jogging and giggling” than racing this year but that doesn’t mean I’m not going to take time to recover

My last planned “race” of the year is coming up this weekend. I’ll have run a total of two races this year, both virtual, and I did a stair climb very early in the year.

Meanwhile, my training also wasn’t up to the level it has been in past years.

So what will I be doing as next week starts? I’ll be recovering.

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Virtual Racing

My first virtual race!

This past weekend, I ran my first “virtual” race. However, it wasn’t my first run of this type. Back before virtual races were a thing, we called what I did Saturday a solo time trial.

Whatever you want to call these efforts, some of you have been doing these events this summer already and I suspect many more of you will be doing so this fall. It’s the nature of the world we live in right now. I just wanted to offer some thoughts and advice on how to handle the virtual races you might be racing this fall or how to think about ones you have run after they are over.

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Team HillRunner.com: 2020 Virtual Al’s Run

Team HillRunner.com
Unfortunately, things won’t be quite like this in 2020

Team HillRunner.com: I’m sorry for the delay in getting this together. It’s been a crazy year, hasn’t it?

While we won’t have an in person Al’s Run this year, I’d still like to have an appropriately distanced Team HillRunner.com virtual Al’s Run if at all possible. Here’s what I’m thinking, though of course I’m open to ideas:

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Don’t fear neck gaiters

You probably saw the headlines: neck gaiters, commonly used by runners, are worse than not covering your face at all for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Well, the headlines didn’t really get the story right.

The first thing to note is that the study only tested one person with a gaiter. With only one person and only one test on that person, no result would be statistically significant. Many variables could have played a role in the result.

The second thing to note is that the study wasn’t testing the performance of masks. It was testing the performance of the test being used. It was to determine if an easy, low cost test works.

It’s worth noting that other tests, including one noted at the link above, show that gaiters do in fact work. Single layer gaiters like most running types don’t work as well as multi-later ones but they still do work.

So, if a single layer gaiter is what you have available and you’re in a place where you’re around people, use it. It does help.

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Relax and win

Staying relaxed late in a race helps you finish faster

What do you do late in a race? When you need to go a little faster, how do you respond?

If you’re like most runners, you dig deep. You push yourself and strain for that last possible bit of effort. It makes sense. Run faster by exerting more effort.

Is this the best way to run faster, though?

When we start to dig, we strain. We tense up and fight against ourselves. Our muscles tighten up and work against each other instead of working in coordination with each other, one muscle relaxing as the opposing muscle tenses.

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There is room in the middle

This month, I’m going to bring up a couple topics and expand on them a little more than normal for a recap post. Then I’ll throw a bonus link or two at the end. Fewer links, a little more in depth this time.

To start, we all are familiar with hard/easy training. I’ve even written about it here. But isn’t there a value to the middle ground? Isn’t there sometimes a reason to venture off the ends of the spectrum?

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Don’t borrow from someone else’s puzzle

Don’t steal those puzzle pieces!

These days, you can see a lot of workouts on social media, not to mention websites like Strava and Garmin Connect. Some of these workouts are impressive, maybe look interesting, or just look like something fun to try.

Have you ever thought of “borrowing” a workout you’ve seen online? While I won’t say never do so, I would like to urge you to use extreme caution if you do so.

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