Let’s Get to Know Each Other: Running Survey

Running Trail, Seattle Washington

I realize I’ve been posting some in-depth and technical running science articles lately, so I thought I’d give all of our brains a break and post this fun running survey that has been circulating on several other running blogs. So let’s get to know each other some more!

1. Would you rather run along a beach path or a mountain trail?

Mountain trail (I know, who would have guessed based on all the hiking?). I’m by no means a trail runner, but I love the mountain  so I would definitely choose the mountain trail. I also have an huge aversion to sand, especially when it gets in my shoes. 

Goat Lake Hiking Trailhead


2. If you could choose the flavor of Gatorade at your next race’s aid stations, what would it be?

I’d skip the Gatorade for water. Gatorade and my stomach are not friends. If it was Nuun Active Hydration (which more and more races are having!), I would choose TriBerry or Watermelon.

3. If you had a $100 gift card to a running store, what would be the first thing that you would purchase with it?

Brooks Pure Connect 4s. I really want to try them! Or a long sleeve technical shirt and another pair of Oiselle Women’s Distance Shorts because that’s my running uniform. 

Also, running stores should sell books because I really want to read The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition and RUN: The Mind-Body Method of Running by Feel.

4. Do you prefer to follow a training plan or wake up and decide then how far and how fast you want to run?

I usually love having a plan and often develop running schedules even when I’m not training for a race, but in the immediate weeks after a race I like to just go with what my body feels. Right now I enjoy and appreciate following a rigorous training plan (Hansons Marathon Method), as it removes the guesswork each morning and is helping me discover that I am capable of running faster and farther (especially weekly mileage) than I previously realized I could.

5. Would you rather start your run with the uphill and end on the downhill, or start your run with the downhill and end on the uphill?

Start with downhill, save the uphills for later. Portland does that, Boston does that, and even one of my current running trails does that. I push too hard on the uphill if I start with it (see: Go! St. Louis Half Marathon). Downhill hurts (and I’m not being a wimp: I read in Lore of Running that the eccentric contractions of downhill running can impact your muscles with 3x your bodyweight) so I prefer to go conservative on the downhill, which is easier at the start of a race.

Then again, I like how hiking begins uphill and then goes downhill, so maybe I just need to learn to pace myself better in races. 

6. When you can’t run, what type of cross-training do you choose to do?

I want to say hiking, but I would think that if I couldn’t run, I couldn’t hike. I’m going to say outdoor cycling (once I get my new bike!), because I need the fresh air and vitamin D and Pilates because that’s what I did when I was injured five years ago.

7. Which is your preference: out and back, point to point, or loop runs?

Out and back. I like being able to note the halfway point and mentally note mile markers. Running in a loop feels too repetitive for me, which is probably one of the reasons I actually prefer the treadmill over the track for speed work. 

8. If you could recommend any running related item to a new runner, what would it be?

High-quality wicking running socks and underwear/sports bra specifically engineered for running. Blisters, chafing, and bouncing make running very uncomfortable and can be major deterrents for new runners. It’s worth the investment if it keeps you running!

9. Do you ever see any wild animals while out of your runs?

Yes—rabbits, herons, hawks, and chipmunks. I really want to see a fox someday, because then I can take it home with me and domesticate it. I’m only half kidding. 

Wildlife on a Run

10. Ever gotten lost while out on a run?

 I did once while running around the a park in the town where I studied abroad in Germany. I usually plan out my routes ahead of time because I am very much a planner. I hate getting lost. Out-and-back routes are also good for not getting lost!

11. If you could have one meal waiting and ready for you each time you got home from a run for the next 30 days, what would it be?

Oatmeal, fruit, and black coffee. If it’s a long run, that plus some bacon and salty eggs. 

Click through for source.

12. Capris or shorts?

Shorts, please! As long as my top half is warm, I wear shorts until it’s below 40 degrees or 30 if I’m racing. 

13. At what mile into your run does your body feel warmed up and ready to go?

About 2 miles, sometimes even up to 4. I usually warm up for 2-3 miles before a speed or tempo run.

14. What do you do with your key when you run?

Most of my shorts have zipped pockets, so I just put my key in there and go. I always have to have some article of clothing with a pocket when I run, to also carry my ID, pick up litter, and stash my phone if it starts to rain.

15. If you could relive any race that you have done, which one would it be?

The Valpo Half Marathon, my first half marathon. I felt so strong for that race and I love the surprise of running faster than I anticipated. The wind was pretty brutal and it was really cold though, so maybe not that part.

16. What type of run is your least favorite?

Hill sprints. I’m adding easy hill repeats to build some strength, but the idea of actually full-on sprinting up a hill makes my stomach turn. Which of course means I’ll be adding them in soon, whether in marathon training or base building, because if I hate it, it means it is an area in which I need to improve.

17. What has been your biggest motivator to get out the door and run?

Running a Boston Qualifier, or at least finishing my first marathon at a good pace and feeling strong. When I’m not training for a race, my biggest motivator is running out all my excess energy so I don’t drive Ryan insane. 

18. When you go for a run, do you leave from your front door or drive somewhere to start?

Back in Valpo, I just ran from straight out my front door. Here in Bothell, I drive about 15 minutes to go run along different bike paths and urban trails.

Running Trail, Seattle Washington

19. When running in daylight, are sunglasses a must-have or an annoyance?

If it’s sunny, I must wear sunglasses. I prefer running when it’s overcast and not wearing sunglasses. Another reason why Seattle is my spirit city.

20. When you get tired, what keeps you from quitting?

Sheer stubbornness. The idea that a hard workout now will only make race day easier. My desire to build my mental fatigue resistance as much as my physical endurance. Also, it’s hard to quit when you’re on an out and back trail and your car is a few miles away.

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[Tweet “Play along with this fun running survey on @thisrunrecipes #fitfluential #runchat”]

Questions of the Day: 
It’s your turn! 
What keeps you from quitting when you’re tired?
What’s your biggest motivator right now?
Choose any of the questions above and answer.

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16 Responses

  1. Its a great strategy to run an out and back in order to keel yourself from quitting! I realized that on Sunday when I was 5 miles from my car with no way to get back other than to run:)
    I dont always like wearing sunglasses, but lately I have had to wear them all the time because its either sunny or there are bugs, and the glasses help to keep them out of my eyes!

  2. I think for me, music really helps me keep going. Downloading a new song onto my phone motivates me to get out and listen to it a zillion times!

  3. My biggest motivator right now is just looking back at all the amazing things running has brought to my life. I’ve grown a lot in my running journey and want to continue to challenge myself and grow. This is what also keeps me from quitting. I would relive my last half marathon in June- I trained so hard for a sub 2:00 and did it! Such an amazing feeling!

    1. That is such a great motivator, especially because that motivation will always be there! And that’s so awesome you reached your goal at your first half – definitely an amazing feeling!

  4. Love this survey… So interesting to see all the different answers from different runners! Biggest motivation – NYCM in November. Is it too early to start getting nervous : )

    1. Haha I wouldn’t think it’s too early! If it was me I’d probably already being trying to stalk the weather forecast…I may have already looked up Portland in the farmer’s almanac.

  5. What keeps me from quitting is knowing if the work doesn’t get done the guilt feels much worse 🙂
    My biggest motivator right now is the New York City Marathon this November.

    1. I agree – guilt feels much worse, and I find it’s a great reminder during those really hard miles of a race. Congrats on getting into NYCM – and good luck as you begin training! 🙂

  6. This is a really fun survey! I completely agree with your mentality that a hard workout will only make race-day easier. Whenever I get tired during a workout I always tell myself, ‘You will feel this again. Prove to yourself that you’re able to get through it!’ Works wonders 🙂

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