Ask the Coaches Q and A

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In this podcast episode Coach Angie and Coach Nicole answer questions about pre-run warm up drills, how to return to training after an injury, training for two races only a month apart, speedwork, rest days, ultra training, and 12/24 hour time events.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a question!

Ask the Coaches Q and A

At least once a year we do a “Ask the Coach” episode where we solicit questions from our audience. It’s extra special when we are joined by one of our awesome coaches on the podcast to help answer questions. Since Nicole lives locally we were able to record with her in studio (before we left on our summer travels in Costa Rica).

Nicole was fresh off of a 12 hour race called the What The Duck Ultra in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. This was a looped course through a park. She finished 51 miles to celebrate turning 51 this year and was 1st in her age group.

Coaches’ Bios


Angie Spencer

  • Co-Founder of Marathon Training Academy
  • Bachelor of Science from Montana State University. Registered Nurse for over 18 years
  • RRCA Level 2 and USATF Level 1 Certified Running Coach
  • Has run 65 Marathons and Ultras; 3:19 marathon PR
  • Lover of books and dark chocolate!

Nicole Hart

  • Head Coach at Marathon Training Academy
  • Level 2 RRCA Certified Running Coach; Certified Personal Trainer; Certified Sports Conditioning Specialist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Boston Qualifier, Finisher of several ultramarathons up to 50 miles, more than a dozen marathons, dozens of halfs, and team relay races
  • Chapter leader of She Runs This Town and volunteer coach for Girls on the Run.

Questions Featured in This Episode

Stretches/ warm-up drills

What are the best stretches/warm-ups for running first thing in the morning? I like to run ASAP upon waking because I have about an hour’s commute to work, and I prefer to get my miles in during the morning versus the afternoon when I don’t have the energy/motivation. I have some good tips for this one  Thanks, John

Training after injury

My question is about returning to running post prolonged injury (2 months) and overcoming the fear of reinjury. How can one progress training mileage and intensity safely? Also, I fell back in love with swimming during my time off running and plan to keep on swimming with my Master´s crew while I get back to running. How can I progress the running (and hopefully train for my second marathon) while incorporating the group swimming to my routine?  Leticia

Sunscreens for runners

I have a hot weather running question: I am training for Boston and preparing for long hot summer runs in the Philadelphia suburbs. Are chemical or physical sunscreens preferred for runners. Thinking about which might stay on better with heavy sweating and if either traps body heat more.  Thanks  and love the podcast!  -Nancy Yoshimura

2 races 1 month apart 

I’ve been listening for about 5 years now and I love everything I have learned from your podcast.  You always keep me motivated and I have even kind of stolen a goal from Angie.  I am going to complete a half marathon in all 50 states.  I really enjoyed listening to her recaps of the various races and feel like it’s a great way to see the country,  and I just love to run!  I’m not fast and I’m older (50) so my focus is just on completing races uninjured.  Speed is not a priority for me. My question is,  how do I train for 2 races that are within a month of each other?  Ideally I would like to complete about 3-4 or more a year but staying healthy and uninjured is a priority. What should a plan look like between races when you only have a month?  Thanks so much!! Sincerely, Susan


If you chose one thing you could do to improve speed, what would it be? (i.e. intervals, hill repeats, tempo runs, progressive runs, sprints, etc.) -Brit

Running the day after your long run day

My question is about rest days. Is there any science to suggest, or do any of your coaches feel strongly about, when it’s best to take a day off? The day before a long run, the day after a long run, in the middle of the week, etc? For context, I usually do my long run on Saturday and I try to get in some miles on Sunday but it can be a struggle…should I push through it to shake out my post-long run legs, or should I consider the day my recovery day? Or does it not matter? v -Elena

Ultra training

I just started dabbling in ultra running, and I love it- Thinking about how to eventually level up to 50 miles and more. Any advice for someone starting out on an ultra journey late(r) on in life?  Thanks so much!!  -Yali Szulanski

12 hour and 24 hour races

I’d love to hear more about timed events, like 12 hr or 24 hr races.  What is training like for one of these races? I’d love to hear about coach Hart’s experience with hers for her birthday! It’s something I’d like to do, but they’re not common around here. Thanks! Lindsay


Also Mentioned in This Episode

Tanri Outdoors: all-natural SPF 30 mineral sunscreen, SPF 15 lip balm, an SPF 15 Daily Moisturizer, and an After-Sun Restorative Moisturizer made for runners, by runners. Use the code: MTA for a 10% discount!

The Richmond Marathon in Richmond Virginia. Run through Virginias’s capital on November 13th. They offer a half and full marathon, and 8k. Price increases July 1st!

Athletic Greens -the ultimate daily all-in-one health drink with 75 proven vitamins, minerals and whole food-sourced ingredients. Get a FREE 1 year supply of Vitamin D AND 5 free travel packs with your first purchase.

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