AUDIO ONLY - 318: When More Is Not Better
[00:00:00] This is the real life runners podcast, episode number 318. When more is not better.
[00:00:07] Angie: What's up, Runners? Welcome to the podcast today. We're super excited to be back with you. We are back in Florida after a couple weeks away from home. We were on vacation for a while, so we did still release the podcast. I was so proud of myself that we like recorded multiple podcasts before we left. We got that all out there.
I hope this
[00:00:46] Kevin: one goes smooth. It's been a while since we've sat and recorded a podcast. I know. We actually were ahead of the schedule.
[00:00:52] Angie: It was great. I know. So, Before we jump into today's topic, I just wanted to make a quick announcement. We are going to be running a new free [00:01:00] class, teaching you how to run faster and longer by running easier, by understanding how to connect to your body, to listen to your body and learn how to run easier and get better results.
So if you want to be the first one to know about that class, it's going to be happening in two weeks. Head over to our website, realliferunners. com, scroll all the way down to the bottom of that homepage, and you can enter in your name and your email address. So that you can be the first one to know when registration for that class opens, but we'll be giving out some more information here on the podcast, but you definitely want to be on our email list as well because we send out a weekly newsletter with tips and things about, you know, how, how you can improve your running, um, with our latest podcast episode with wins from our Academy members, all sorts of fun stuff.
So. Head over to the website and get on the email list so you guys can be the first to know when we drop new classes and new trainings for you. Yeah, and that
[00:01:53] Kevin: training is slightly related to what we're talking about today of, you know, that one's about going easier. The whole [00:02:00] idea of today is this idea of doing more and whether or not it's helpful.
[00:02:03] Angie: Right, and so I think a lot of times we often think that more is better. In Both are running and in the rest of our life. We're like, if we could just do more, if I can accomplish more things will be better. I will be a better runner. I will be more successful, whatever it might be, but. Even though a lot of times we think that more is better, sometimes it's not.
Sometimes more is just more, and sometimes more is even worse
[00:02:28] Kevin: for us. Yeah, and I mean that, that applies to all aspects also. Sometimes putting more things onto the checklist that you need to get done that day... Allows you to get more things done. Sometimes it allows you to check fewer boxes because you're just overwhelmed by the giant list of things in
[00:02:43] Angie: front of you.
Oh my gosh. You're like calling me out so bad. Sometimes I just I did not mean to. It's okay. You can totally do it. I do it to you as well. But I totally do this. I totally fall into this trap of Wanting to just do more wanting to check more boxes and oftentimes that does lead me [00:03:00] to not Accomplish some of the bigger things that I need to do because I'm doing all of these little things that superficially seem Like they're checking boxes getting things done right getting things done.
It gives me that feeling of accomplishment I get that dopamine hit from from checking those boxes, but a lot of times that It requires me to put off bigger projects that are actually going to move me forward
[00:03:23] Kevin: in the long term. So you never ate the frog?
[00:03:25] Angie: Oh, yeah. I don't like that analogy. I mean, I understand the analogy.
I do like the analogy. I just don't like frogs.
[00:03:32] Kevin: Yeah, I know. That's probably why you didn't eat the frog. I know. But I mean, just in case anybody's not sure of that one, it's the whole idea of, Look at your list, whichever thing you don't want to do at all, you have to start with that. You gotta do that first,
[00:03:43] Angie: right?
[00:03:44] Kevin: Otherwise, you'll just check every other box and be like, Oh, I ran out of time to do that
[00:03:47] Angie: one. Right, so the whole idea of like the Eat the Frog concept, this came from a book, is
Eat the Frog. I'm sure it is. [00:04:00] Disgusting frog on the cover. Right, so the whole idea is that you know you have to eat a frog today or the next day. And if you keep putting it off, then all you're going to think about all day long is the fact that you have to eat this frog. And even though you have other things to do, you're always going to be thinking about the fact that you have to eat the frog.
And if you just get it done and do that thing first. suck it up, eat the frog at the beginning of the day, then you can go, go on with the rest of your day and you don't have to think about it anymore because you've already gotten that big thing accomplished. Yes.
[00:04:31] Kevin: All right. Then you're not just putting more on your plate to push the frog away.
Right. So today
[00:04:36] Angie: we want to talk about When more is better. We want to talk about when more is just more and it's kind of neutral or when more is actually worse for you because oftentimes more can lead to improvement, but it can also lead to injury, burnout and exhaustion. And there's this sweet spot for all runners.
And it's this place where you're doing enough to challenge yourself, but you're not overdoing it [00:05:00] and breaking yourself down. So how can we find that? Sweet spot for ourselves because unfortunately that is different for every, every single runner out there, right? There's not one clear cut answer. It'd be great if we were like, Oh, all you have to do is run 25.
6 miles per week and you have to do 32 minutes of strength training and blah, blah, blah, blah. And you know, this way in this pace and this effort level, and it just does not work that way because we as humans are individuals and we all adapt differently. I like the
[00:05:29] Kevin: engineering voice that you put on there.
It's very nice. That's really good. Um, but no, there's not that formula. And beyond it being very individual, it also, within one person, it could change within a year, like from the start of the year to the end of the year. Maybe the heat training over the summer changes what is the appropriate amount of miles for you to be doing and effort levels.
Like it all changes depending on so many different circumstances, not just from person to person, but from one part of the year to the next, from one season to the next.
[00:05:58] Angie: Absolutely. So let's start [00:06:00] out When talking about when more is better, okay, because there are definitely times that you will gain improvements in your running or in other areas of your life by adding more to your plate.
Because a lot of times we don't do enough, like there are times where we set goals and we don't do what we need to do to actually achieve their goal. And if we're not doing enough to achieve that goal, then that's going to lead us to. Not reaching that goal or not reaching our true potential because we're not doing what's necessary and we've talked about this on the podcast before and for a lot of us, especially, you know, we recreational runners.
There's a lot of us that can benefit from doing more, but not just for the sake of doing more when we add things to our training plan, when we add things to our plate to our life, we want to make sure that we're still adding the right things so that we can benefit from them. Yeah,
[00:06:54] Kevin: and most of what these things are that should get added in are very fundamental [00:07:00] things.
It's not like, Oh, well, I want to add something else to my training plan. So I'm going to do this super complicated involved workout because I saw somebody do it online. It's probably something very, very simple. It's probably. Maybe an extra five minutes on to each of your runs during the week and just literally increase the time running.
[00:07:18] Angie: Can five minutes really make that much
[00:07:20] Kevin: of a difference? If you're running five minutes on each run, you run four times during the week. That's an extra 20 minutes during the week. That's going to start adding up quickly. Like it really does. And you're like, Oh, but if I do five minutes and then I figure out how to fit that schedule.
And a couple of weeks later, When I've adapted to it, if I add another five, now suddenly you've added a whole lot of extra time to it without really damaging your schedule too much. And it's one of the easiest places for people to go now, don't get me wrong. And don't stop the podcast now and be like, I've got it.
I just going to add all the miles. Because I, I lived in that world for a while, like I just see as many miles as I can possibly run, but there's a giant asterisk at [00:08:00] the end of as many miles as you can run while still comfortably handling all the other things that should go into your training plan and your life.
[00:08:09] Angie: Yeah, and I like that you started off with just adding in some more time in a small amount of time to our running because like we talked about on our episode last week that we released with Elizabeth Scott, she, um, from Running Explained, she came on, we had a great conversation. A lot of the, the mistakes that We see newer runners, especially making, but really runners of all experience levels are thinking that they need to get fancy before they actually do.
So I love that you started with the basics, just adding in some more easy mileage. We're not talking about pushing harder. We're not talking about more speed work. We're just talking about. Five more minutes of easy running and starting to add those types of things in those basic things can really make a big difference in our fitness.
[00:08:55] Kevin: I was listening to the podcast with the two of you chatting and one of the things [00:09:00] because you guys highlighted how newer runners often want to jump and do something that's cool and new. Yeah. And do all the different workouts and like all the things that they saw other people do online. But Runners that have been going for years and years who have some speed workouts going during their week sometimes forget That they could in fact benefit by adding five or ten minutes onto a couple of runs during
[00:09:21] Angie: the week.
Absolutely And that's why I say runners of all experiences Um that have been running for all sorts of different amounts of time. Yep. Yeah, so yes running more can Possibly add to your fitness level, but don't forget about one of my favorite things, which is strength training, because if you're just adding running miles or running minutes and you're not Increasing your strength training.
A lot of times that can lead to some, some breakdown because you always want to make sure that you're building that foundation and your foundation includes your easy running. It also includes your strength and your mobility. So In order for your [00:10:00] body to handle an increase in training volume, whether that's mileage or minutes or however you like to track it, you want to make sure that you also have the strength in your muscles and in your bones and your joints and your tissues so that your body can handle that increase in your training load.
[00:10:18] Kevin: And so this involves making sure that you are strong enough that you've possibly even increased your strength routine before you start adding on mileage. Yes. If you don't have strength routine at all, put that in before you start adding mileage. Mileage is is not the low hanging fruit in this case.
If you're looking at your training schedule and it never says strength, that's your easiest fix. That is
[00:10:40] Angie: definitely your easiest fix. If you're not strength training already, you need to be. Like, period, end of story. I will say that until I head to the grave. all runners need to strength train. If you want to be a strong runner, if you want to decrease your risk of injury, if you want to get faster, if you want to run longer, any way that you actually want to improve your, your running, [00:11:00] you have to strength train any way that you actually want to just improve being a human.
You should be strength training because as we get older, we lose lean muscle mass and strength training helps to counter balance and counteract. The natural quote unquote natural effects of aging you don't have to lose muscle as you get older you can reverse or Slow down or kind of balance out those age related changes in muscle loss through strength training
[00:11:30] Kevin: Okay, so these are a couple of things that you could actually add into your schedule that are not just more, but would be beneficial.
It's possible, it's likely, it's 100% given that if you're not doing strength, you need strength. If you have strength, make sure that it is enough before you think, okay, I could add some extra easy running to my schedule, because it's possible that just adding in a little bit of easy running and then a little bit more and a little bit more is going to tip the scale so much that you're not strong enough to handle that volume.
So make sure that you're getting [00:12:00] enough strength that you feel strong and capable of doing it. Yeah.
[00:12:02] Angie: And if you're only doing one strength training day a week, you will benefit by adding a second. Like I will go ahead and hands down say that as well. Yeah. That's a good way of doing strength training at least once a week.
I recommend most runners do two to three times per week in strength training. But again, like we go into later in this episode, Adding more for just the sake of more or adding more just because you're like I want to keep getting stronger stronger stronger There are there are points where it starts to go in the opposite direction Okay, but if you're only doing strength training once a week, you can definitely add in a second strength day Maybe even a third depending on what you're training for right now or what your future goals are All right
[00:12:40] Kevin: fundamental number four that does not take a huge amount of time And will actually beneficial to you.
So it's, it's more for benefit without putting in a huge amount of more is drills, like running is an actual skill. If you were doing any other sport, if you were playing baseball, you would spend some time doing batting practice, not just playing [00:13:00] games. You would spend some time taking ground balls, not just playing games.
Sometimes we're like, Oh, it's running. I'll just spend my time running, but there are drills that you can do that will improve your form, improve your efficiency as a runner. And doing those will help one running feel easier and likely improve your mobility that will help you stay
[00:13:20] Angie: healthier. Yep. And another thing that you want to look into where more can benefit you is recovery, especially if you are increasing your mileage or increasing your strength, you're increasing.
Your training load, the load that you're placing on your body, you need to also increase the amount of recovery that you are allowing yourself so that you can reap the benefits of all of that extra
[00:13:41] Kevin: training. Excellent. All right. Now those are, those are big fundamentals. The next one is gonna show up in, uh, more is better.
More is more and more is worse. And this is speed work. Speed work is great, but not necessarily required for everybody, and certainly not in huge amounts [00:14:00] for everybody. Mm-hmm. , it can. do a great job of improving your running ability, and it can do it over a short period of time. So people are like, Oh, well, I should do this all the time.
This would be great. Except speed work is also extra stress on your body, more than some of the fundamentals that we talked about more than. You know, properly done appropriate load strength work more than adding five minutes here, 10 minutes here as easy running speed work is more forces on your body.
So it is a little bit more dangerous to start adding this guy on from an injury perspective.
[00:14:34] Angie: Right, but speed work is definitely something that if you want to get faster, you're going to need to do speed work. Yes. It's just a matter of how much and in what ratio and in what volume. And there's a lot of different factors at play here, um, including your own experience with speed work, including your history or your tendency toward injury.
Um, so. It's definitely one of those things that you want to [00:15:00] add in, but not
[00:15:02] Kevin: excessively. I would say if you're doing no speed work, a great place to start is strides. Do you agree with that one or do you think we should start on like a moderate speed? What's your thought on where to start with speed? I think
[00:15:14] Angie: strides is a great place to start because you can do moderate strides as well, right?
Like you don't have to go in and like jump into sprinting. Well, strides aren't sprints in the first place, but you don't have to jump into hard effort strides. You can start with just medium effort strides and just to get yourself used to running at different speeds, at different effort levels, at different paces, so that you can start to learn what those different things feel like
[00:15:40] Kevin: in your body.
Right. And then you can also do moderate speed. Like you don't have to, everything doesn't have to be super, super fast. Speed work can be Medium effort. It can be kind of like 5k effort. It can be pushed a little bit beyond 5k effort. It doesn't all have to be super, super fast. There can be medium effort level speed, newer runners, people that aren't used to speed [00:16:00] can gain huge benefits from tapping into any of these things.
I used to think when I was training for a 5k that I had to get speed work that summed up to three miles worth of speed work on the day. I think some of this came from my not really paying attention in high school as to how the workouts worked out. I'm like, no, no, no, if I'm racing three miles, I need three miles worth of speed work.
Definitely not the case. If you're starting at zero speed work, then adding in a half mile, a mile worth of speed work into your week somewhere, we talk about the 80 20 principle, about 80% easy and 20% at that medium or harder effort. If you're currently at 100% easy and no, no harder efforts, Just a little bit is where you should be starting.
[00:16:44] Angie: Yeah, and I also think that this when you point out that we can do moderate effort level It's really important for us to point out that most of your training needs to be done at an easy level So when we talk about earlier about adding in more minutes or [00:17:00] more miles. We're talking about easy running.
And if you aren't familiar with effort based training, you can go back in our podcast. We've got lots of episodes based on our talking about effort based training. That's what our, um, our training class is going to be in a couple of weeks. So if you want to learn more about effort based training, you should definitely sign up for that free class.
And. When you're doing the majority of your mileage at an easy pace, adding in some extra moderate pace is fine. What we're not talking about is that if you are already doing all of your runs or most of your runs at that medium to moderate effort level, adding more moderate to medium effort is not going to benefit you at all because you're not doing enough easy level.
Right. And I think that's going to take us like into our next topic here of like, when more is just more, when more is worse, because if you're pushing too hard, so we talk about, you know, pushing harder or doing more. There's a lot of that mentality that is kind of infiltrating the running space where people, it's actually hurting [00:18:00] people.
[00:18:00] Kevin: So I hit this last point on more is better. And I think it'll sign kind of blend into more is sometimes just more is extra mileage is a great way, almost regardless of what distance you're racing for. So some people are like, well, if I'm training for a marathon, I would, I see how adding some extra mileage would improve my, my aerobic capacity.
Same thing happens if you were training for like a 5k. A 5k is almost entirely aerobic. So it is also just as beneficial if you're training for a shorter distance.
[00:18:33] Angie: All right. So now let's talk about the idea of when more is just more. Okay, because we just. wrapped up when more is actually better. And a lot of us can improve by actually adding more to our schedule, whether that's more mileage, more speed work, more strength training, more recovery.
There's a lot of things where we adding more can actually benefit us. But sometimes adding more has. No benefit. Adding more is just [00:19:00] more for the sake of more and doesn't actually benefit us in any way, and we oftentimes see this because especially with all of our technology and devices. Now we're always keeping track of our mileage.
We're keeping track of our personal best. We're keeping track of our Strava segments, and we're always striving to get better, which is fantastic. There's nothing wrong with wanting to improve, but it can also get dangerous because a lot of times runners become obsessed. With the numbers. So if they don't see those numbers improving, they feel frustrated or disappointed and that like because they feel like they need to have those numbers increasing or decreasing, depending on if we're talking about, you know, mileage or pace or whatever it might be.
If those numbers aren't changing and aren't improving, they feel like, oh, I better do more.
[00:19:46] Kevin: Right. And I mean, one of the easiest ways on this one is tracking how many miles you run over the course of a week or a month. I know the, the app connected to my watch does this. Strava does this. It lets you know over the month, it gives you a nice pretty bar graph.
You [00:20:00] can see the bars for the last 12 months and you can see what your current bar looks like. You're like, well, that looks like it's shorter than last month. Oh yeah, I didn't check my July. I better start ramping up my mileage to make sure that it's bigger than the last month. Why? There might have been a valid reason why this month bar is shorter.
And just looking at it, and this is the, I think the problem with looking at the numbers. Is it takes away all of the other things that go on in your life? Yeah, if you just look at and you're like, oh last month I ran 100 miles this month. I'm on pace to run 80 miles That's not good. I need to ramp my mileage up.
That's not a valid reason to ramp your mileage up, right? There was probably a valid reason why it dipped in numbers so Look into that before you just think to yourself, I have to put more miles on it. Otherwise, it's just more miles because you did something the month before. So you have to do a little bit more this month.
That's not a good reason to
[00:20:55] Angie: go up. Yeah. I mean, it can be, I think, I think it can be because I think that. [00:21:00] Mileage and tracking mileage is a way that some runners like to challenge themselves, right? They want to beat last month because in their minds if I'm running more mileage That means that I'm improving and that's where the fault is right that statement right there is where the fault is Yes, you are able to run more miles, but does that mean you're actually improving does that mean that your endurance suddenly got?
That much better if you did one more mile this month than you did last month. You know, I think that that's where we have to watch the associations that we're making in our mind between the numbers and what we're making those numbers mean. Just because you ran more miles this month, does that actually mean that you're improving?
It might. Right? It might mean that you're more fit. It might mean that your endurance has improved because you are able to do more, but it might not. It might be you just increasing mileage for the sake of mileage, but you're actually not improving your fitness in
[00:21:55] Kevin: any way. It depends on what it is that your, your goal is to get out of that month.
If [00:22:00] you planned out the month and you're like, I'm going to increase my mileage this month to try and increase my, my overall endurance base. I've. Okay. Bye. Bye. I built up some strength, so I'm pretty sure that I can add a little extra mileage. I definitely want to see an increase in mileage number from last month to this month, then yes, you, you should see an increase.
But if you're just, if you're trying to stack month after month after month, where it just gets a little bit higher each month, because you think that's going to do something, it may or may not do something at some point. You might cross over that threshold where you're not gaining extra benefit from putting the miles on.
Because it's, it's adding so much stress and to go back to what we talked about when more was better, maybe you're hitting the more miles, but you're doing it at the cost of some of the other fundamentals. You're doing it at the cost of some speed work, some recovery, some strength training, some drill work, some mobility work.
If you're doing more miles at the cost of something else, that might not be as effective.
[00:22:57] Angie: Right. But you can actually get. a [00:23:00] lot more benefits by staying at your current training level. I think that oftentimes we as runners like to level up, right? Like, we're like, Oh, okay, great. Like I just hit my PR. That means that I should be running more miles or my training paces should change or I should be having longer workouts.
Like you were saying, you know, before when you said I have to be doing at least three miles of speed work in this workout. Maybe you don't write. Maybe you get. A lot of benefits by just staying right where you are, and I think we've definitely seen this inside with our clients, you know, they think that as soon as they hit that PR that all of their paces need to be adjusted or that they should automatically increase their mileage in order for them to move up to the next level.
And we very often have to tell people, no, no, no, we're good here. You can, there's still a ton of benefits that you can gain just by doing the same thing over again. And do we make little changes? [00:24:00] Sure, no problem. But a lot of times for us recreational runners, One cycle, like one training cycle of doing this, this one thing is not enough to realize our full potential.
When you think about Olympic athletes, they train for years and years and years. And so much of their training is just repeating the same thing over and over and over again. It's a four year loop. Yeah, right? Like, and this is, but, but for some reason we think that, oh, well. I, you know, I'm improving so I have to change a bunch of things when a lot of times we don't need to change things.
We don't need to add more. We can gain a lot of benefits just staying right
[00:24:38] Kevin: where we are. Yeah. I mean, you look at a lot of elite level marathon runners, they essentially have the six weeks before their marathon repeats every time they're like, this is my goal marathon for the year. So I'm going to repeat the exact six weeks that I did before the last one, unless something went like catastrophically wrong.
Even then, they make [00:25:00] small adjustments. Like, ah, that workout left me so tired that I couldn't hit the next couple ones after it. So maybe we adjust that one workout. But for the most part, it's, it's this familiarity with it. It's this comfort in the lineup of workouts. They've got always the same workout that they do three weeks out before the marathon.
And then there's the last long run, exactly how it goes. They're trying to hit something that is so repeatable that they know that that's how it builds up. And that doesn't mean they're not going for faster times. They're always going faster times, but it it's the, those exact workouts with the same volume that sets them up for greater success.
It's also beneficial to tap into effort based training off of this. If you're like, oh, well now my half marathon went from a 2 0 5 to a 1 55, so all of my workout times, all of my paces should drop a certain number of seconds per mile, right? None of that matters. If easy runs feel easy. If moderate runs feel like [00:26:00] roughly a level five out of 10, then the exact paces don't really matter so much.
You can keep a good eye on. You know, your race times, you can keep an eye on your overall volume and things like that, but exact paces from the day to day fluctuate so much.
[00:26:14] Angie: Yeah, exactly. And so, um, I just really want to highlight this because This is when, I think that so many of us fall into this trap, like I, I think that so many of us think that once we finish a training cycle, once we complete a PR, we hit a goal that we need to level up and we don't always need to do that.
[00:26:36] Kevin: Well, I mean, here's, here's a little real life example. So our washing machine is not working darn washing machine super effectively right now. It's not. Especially if we throw sheets into it. Sheets. tangle up on themselves. Yeah. So our daughter sheets got washed a couple days ago. Last night. Last night.
And uh, and the sheet wrapped around the, the fitted sheet wrapped around one of the other sheets anyway. [00:27:00] So it goes through the spin cycle and they don't spin themselves dry. So they're still like soaking wet in the washing machine. And. She took them, soaking wet from the washing machine, and put them right into the dryer.
One load of the dryer did not fully get the water out of the sheets. Went for it again. Two loads did not fully get the water out of the sheets because there was a comforter with it, and it was holding so much more in there. Right. Sometimes, You just need to keep running the cycle. Eventually you'll be able to wring everything out of it, but it's very likely that one three month training cycle has not wrung all of your ability out of that cycle.
[00:27:39] Angie: sometimes you need to go in there and take the big heavy comforter out and just let the sheets be by themselves. Actually let the sheets dry and then do the comforter separate. Or sometimes you have to go in and untwist all of the sheets where, and, you know, cause Kevin said to me. Like, he, he was gonna go fix everything.
He was gonna go take, take out the sheets and do it all. And I was like, no, no, [00:28:00] no, let her do it. We're trying to raise independent kids. She can do this, you know. And he's like, they're gonna be all twisted. I'm like, okay, then that's what's gonna happen. Like, it's gonna be okay. And I think that some of us oftentimes are, are stubborn that way, right?
I know I am, um, where we're like, I'm gonna do it myself. And like, that might mean that we have to go through several cycles to get it right. The sheets dried or to, to, um, reach our full potential in this case. Well,
[00:28:25] Kevin: I mean, the other thing like to, to bring it back to a running training cycle, is it, is it possible that during that cycle, that there were a couple of days that didn't go well for you or that you missed, it's unlikely that over a three or six month training cycle, that every workout felt great.
Even if you managed to check the boxes and say, yes, I did all the workouts. You probably had some days that didn't feel great. That just, you didn't. You didn't bring, I mean, you may have brought as best as you could on that day, but you didn't necessarily hit the workout as intended. And so going back and doing the same cycle again, now maybe you [00:29:00] hit that workout differently, and it goes through and has trickle down effects through all the rest of your workouts.
[00:29:05] Angie: Right. And then sometimes you just need like a coach or a mentor that takes a look at your twisted training sheets and your, your, your cycle and just removes the one thing that's preventing them from. Yeah. And reaching their full
[00:29:19] Kevin: potential. Small adjustments. Right. Not massive overhauls because you're, you finished a training cycle, let's do something completely different.
Often it's small things. Sometimes it's time to shift and do something different, but very often you can make very small adjustments or repeat.
[00:29:35] Angie: Which is funny because sometimes like when we have people come into our program or with, you know, people that we've worked with in the past and we're like, okay, we're going to make some of these small tweaks or even just with.
Clients that we've been working with for a few years now, we're going to make these small tweaks. They often are like, well, What is that gonna do? Like, is that gonna be enough? Like, I'm already doing all these things, you're just gonna, like, people oftentimes want a large overhaul [00:30:00] for some reason, because they think that that's the answer.
Like, I haven't made progress, I've been at this plateau, and it's like, yeah, but if, if we can make these small, tiny tweaks, you're gonna, all of a sudden, it's like, um, Like, unclogging the toilet. Let's just use all the metaphors from our house this past week, right? By actually just, like, removing this little block, then the toilet will actually flow.
Everything actually flows. We've got some plumbing issues in this house. Um, but, but that's what can happen, right? It doesn't have to be huge, like, always adding things. It doesn't have to be these huge overhauls. It can be small tweaks that make a huge difference in your
[00:30:34] Kevin: training. Yes, because sometimes more is more in your training plan.
No matter what level you're at, it does not necessarily need to be. be the fanciest training plan. Stick with the fundamentals. No matter what your running age
[00:30:45] Angie: happens to be. All right, let's talk about when more is worse. Okay, because this is the trap that we often find a lot of people falling into. We start doing more because we think that that's what's necessary for us to improve or we see other people [00:31:00] doing more or we've been running for a while and we've been like increasing our mileage and we've been doing all the things and we keep improving.
So we just assume that there's this linear progression to our training and to our improvement. So we ramp up to quickly thinking this is going to lead to linear improvement. I've already like, you know, a year ago I was running zero or 10 miles a week, you know, and now I've now, you know, six months later, I'm running 20 miles a week and then I'm going to bump up to 30 miles a week because I've gotten faster as I've done this and linear increases in your training do not lead to linear improvements in your running, in your times, in your paces.
And. Oftentimes, if that's the way that you're thinking, if that's the way that you're training, at best, it can lead to a lack of progress and more fatigue. And at worst, it can lead to overtraining and injury. Yeah, I
[00:31:54] Kevin: think often, especially if you stick with just mileage, is people get caught up. And that's why I said, please [00:32:00] listen to the whole episode and don't stop on the very first part where I said adding mileage is often the answer.
Yeah. Because sometimes what happens is people add mileage and they improve and they because they're living in the world of more is better. And then they add a little more mileage and it doesn't improve because they're currently living in the world of more is just more. And they get frustrated. Because they didn't realize they made a jump from more is better to more is more.
So they doubled down and add more on top of it. And they make it all the way from more is better, to more is simply more, into more is worse. And now, they're so frustrated. And not just not, not getting anywhere, but they're going backwards because they were living on the plateau. If they just stuck on the plateau for a while, they may have had the breakthrough and continue to progress, but they kept adding even more to it.
Okay, to go with the plumbing analogy off of this one, if you've got a clog, shoving more down the [00:33:00] drain is not going to unclog it. You're just increasing the clog. Okay, you actually need something that's going to help. actually make progress into this. Moore is definitely worse, if the problem is a clog.
[00:33:11] Angie: Uh, that is such a good insight. Like, I, I'm like, just listening to you talk right now, and it's so true. And it's so funny, right? We, we add, we're at Moore's better. We add more and get to more is just more where we're not making any progress. And instead of going back down, we're like, no, no, no, no. That just means I'm not doing enough, right?
Like I just probably didn't add enough more. So we then double down. add more, and then we get into the more is worse. That's so
[00:33:41] Kevin: interesting. I think the most important part of this thing, because there are definitely times people can see when more is better. Yeah. And there are times that people can definitely see when more is worse.
Yes. Okay. But that more is just more. That's a hard place to figure out. And it's very tough to decide if you're there or not. Because it's a plateau. [00:34:00] Right. And sometimes when you're on the plateau, Pulling back is the answer and sometimes just living on the plateau and not trying to increase even further, but just hanging out on the plateau and seeing what happens if I stick here for a while.
Do I get a breakthrough? Because no one likes living on the plateau. Everyone wants to have the running coach, man, but I. If you train with us, you'll never have a running plateau again. I've seen these ads on Instagram. Run the
[00:34:26] Angie: opposite direction, if anyone ever says that.
[00:34:28] Kevin: Sure. You can, you can get somebody off a plateau rather quickly.
You look at their training plan. And change it. Yes.
[00:34:35] Angie: Look at what they're doing and make a change.
[00:34:38] Kevin: The end. Change something. Look at the four fundamentals we did in the first section and Increase one and decrease another and you're done. And you're going to do something. Yeah.
[00:34:48] Angie: You're going to get some
[00:34:49] Kevin: sort of movement.
There's going to be a change. You're no longer on the plateau, but just continuously adding things. That's, that's the issue. So knowing when you've reached that more is more and how to adjust. Do I, how do we know that? [00:35:00] If, if you have increased any of your big fundamentals and that includes increasing a little bit on the speed work also, because I think this is a very, like what we said at the very beginning, adding speed work is playing with fire.
Because it helps make progress really quickly. But if you add speed work and you see that progress, so you're like, Oh, I should do a little bit more speed work and you don't get the progress. It's very easy to progress too fast and speed work. I think it's slower to progress too much in mileage because you'll get a little bit.
a key before you get hurt. And so then you're like, Oh, I feel a little tired. I feel a little achy. Maybe I pull back on my volume. If you go extra speed work, maybe you're doing one speed session a week and you go suddenly to two speed sessions a week. You just doubled it. You're like, Oh, well, this seems like an awful lot.
Your body may break before it just starts getting achy. Yeah,
[00:35:52] Angie: that's, that's a really good insight and you, you put a really good analogy in here about workouts and higher mileage are like seasoning on, on your [00:36:00] food.
[00:36:00] Kevin: Mm hmm. Yeah, because some is good and it makes your food taste better. Especially like if
[00:36:05] Angie: we're talking about salt.
[00:36:07] Kevin: A little bit of salt makes almost everything taste better. Like, honestly. Even ice cream. Yeah. Salted ice cream. Yes. I have chocolate ice cream. Try adding a little bit of salt and it improves it just a little bit. Too much salt and then your ice cream is disgusting. So this is workouts and high mileage are like seasoning.
Mileage. is generally good. High mileage and which that, that word high very much depends from person to person and season to season. Yes. But workouts in high mileage are good. Some is good. More is very likely to be too much and the flavor is wrecked. And this falls into the category of too much, too soon or too hard.
And these are the things that are going to push the athlete too far. And now
[00:36:53] Angie: you're broken. I like the ice cream analogy better than our plumbing analogy.
[00:36:57] Kevin: Yes, yes. [00:37:00] Yeah, I can rinse the ice cream away down the sink where the plumbing still works.
[00:37:04] Angie: And it tastes much better too. Yep. I went there. That's what I did.
All right. So you guys, um, that's what we have for you today. I, we hope this is, this was helpful. Um, it's one of those things that. is sometimes hard to figure out yourself. And so if you want somebody to look at your training, if you're looking for some help or some guidance or some coaching, you can head over to our website, realliferunners.
com. Right now we are offering a seven day free trial for our coaching program that includes. Personalized training plans. It includes coaching, live coaching calls, feedback from coaches and all the educational programs that we've created inside the real life runners academy. So head over to the website, real life runners.
com and check out that free trial today. If you're looking for a little bit of guidance, that trial is only going to be good for maybe another week or so, but I'm not sure exactly when that trial is coming down, but it's going to be ending, um, [00:38:00] this month for sure. So limited time off. So if you want to.
You want to get in on that seven day free trial and give it a go and see what, um, the Academy's about. Head over to the website and check that out. Um, and that's, I think what we've got for you guys today. So as always, you guys, thank you for joining us. If you found this episode helpful, please share it with a friend.
And if you haven't yet, please leave us a review on Apple podcasts so that we can reach more runners and help them improve their running and their life. You can. Do that over on Apple podcasts. And as always, thank you for joining us. This has been the real life runners podcast, episode number 318. Now get out there and run your life.