Help Wanted: Do You Have Any Answers? (Jan. 2014)

I get asked a LOT of running questions:
From arches to shins to hips to shoulders, and all the body parts in between.
From treadmills to tracks to trails, and any surface in between.
From blisters to chafing to PMS, and all the “personal” running issues in between.
From GPS to pedometers to heart rate monitors, and the many tech gadgets in between.

The truth is, I have a lot of answers.  It’s kind of my job to have a lot of answers.
But then, sometimes, I don’t.  Or my answers don’t work.
*enter the coolest part*
And then – AND THEN – I have something much more powerful than myself.
I have an entire running blogosphere of smart, helpful folks.

Lately, I’ve been stumped by a few questions.  So, that’s where you all come in:

Question #1: I have a client who works long hours and is often on-call.  She lives in the northeast, and right now, it gets dark ridiculously early.  She lives in a city where she’s not comfortable running at night – and her schedule precludes her from joining many of the local groups.  So in the winter, she does most of her running on the treadmill.  But unfortunately, despite the TV, the towel-cover-the-time trick, and pace/elevation games….she still finds the treadmill incredibly boring.  So what am I missing?  How can she liven up her treadmill time?

Question #2: A friend just got gorgeous new headphones for Christmas, and wants to try listening to some podcasts during her runs.  I used to (like, 4 years ago) listen to podcasts regularly while running. But even then, my tastes took a turn toward the science-y.  And nowadays, I listen to audiobooks or learn my indoor cycling music/choreography while running.  So for those of you who podcast, what are your favorite podcasts – especially those with a running focus?

Question #3: As you’ve all probably heard (and are tired of) by now: Run With Holly just entered the Twitter world (@Coach_Holly).  I’m just dipping my toe in right now, seeing how this new-to-me piece of social media works.  Some folks have already generously offered some “Getting Started” tips for me (huge shout out to Happy Running Mama!).  But now I want to know: If someone told you that you could keep just THREE Twitter feeds, what would they be?  Who are your “must-follow” folks?

That should be quite enough for today.  As all of these are, well, questions – I don’t think I need to close with any additional questions today.  Thanks in advance for your advice – I’ll be compiling answers back into another post, once everyone has weighed in.  So please, speak up!!

You help me, then I'll tell you all about our hiking trip to Hong Kong.  Deal?  Deal!!!

You help me, then I’ll tell you all about our hiking trip to Hong Kong. Deal? Deal!!!

24 thoughts on “Help Wanted: Do You Have Any Answers? (Jan. 2014)

  1. Debbie @ Deb Runs

    Question #1: It seems like you have everything covered except maybe watching a riveting series on her iPad. Maybe if she finds a show that she loves, but doesn’t allow herself to watch it EXCEPT when running on her treadmill that will make it more bearable.

    Question #2: I can’t help you with any podcast suggestions. I don’t listen to anything except the birds singing when I run, or my friends talking on the days I run with someone. When I run alone, it’s my time to think, plan, and just daydream.

    Question #3: You’ve probably already learned more about Twitter than many of us (and by us, I mean me) since you’ve said that people have reached out to you to tutor you. Perhaps you can write a little Twitter tutorial about what you’ve learned so far! 🙂 I’m not kidding!

    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Mmm…I suggested an audiobook that is reserved ONLY for running; but a series might be more engaging. Will convey the suggestion!

      And I’m a long way from writing a Twitter tutorial….but who knows what the future could hold? 🙂

  2. misszippy

    These are tough questions! Number 1–if you get a good answer, please tell me because I loathe the treadmill! Number 2–I don’t wear headphones when running, but when I do listen to running podcasts, I recommend Runners Connect and Endurance Planet. Number 3–oh man, that’s tough. I do love Outside magazine’s feed…so many interesting stories. HuffPost Healthy Living, too. And Mark Remy from RW is so much fun!

  3. Logan @ Mountains and Miles

    1) Well, since I clearly never mastered this skill, I have no suggestions. I would MAYBE alternatively suggest if there is any way she can run outside during her lunch break? I do that sometimes and it’s a wonderful release. Even if it’s only 4 miles (I usually have time for 4-5.5), that’s 4 less than you have to be on your treadmill for! Sometimes when I am on my bike trainer and I get bored, I chunk it with other activities…like bike for 15 minutes (or run for 1 mile), do some squats, bike for 15, do some push-ups, etc. etc.

    2) National Geographic has a lot of cool podcasts. I like the Weekend edition (

    3) I’ve been on it for months and still don’t get it. #goodluck

    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Lunch is a good suggestion. Her schedule is quite erratic, so I suppose it would depend on the day – but even one run at lunch is one less run on the treadmill! I also like the suggestion of mixing it up with off-the-treadmill activities, just to break things up. Thanks, Logan!

      What’s your Twitter handle? I’m having a heck of a time finding people!!!

  4. Char

    I’ve got nothing on any of those questions. I won’t run on a treadmill because it’s too boring. I’ve never listened to a podcast – only to music or the birds. And I’m not a twit (terrer).

  5. Nicole @ Work in Sweats Mama

    Ha! It seems that Q1 has stumped everyone. I struggle with the dreadmill too and always end up running much shorter than I would outside. Q2: I rarely use headphones when I run, so I’m no help here either. Wow, I’m kinda worthless! Q3: Three twitter feeds? Oh dear! I’m addicted to Twitter and add new feeds all the time. I agree with Miss Zippy though. Outside is a great one to follow.

  6. Kristen L

    Hmm — good questions! 1) I’m not very good at running on the treadmill either, but I like Debbie’s suggestion of watching some sort of riveting TV series or movie that is only allowed to be watched while on the treadmill. 2) For podcasts, I don’t usually listen to them, but I have heard good things about the Jillian Michaels podcast, and Runner’s World recently posted this article on some podcasts (

  7. Grace

    I find the treadmill deathly boring, too. I’ve realised my mind needs a certain amount of stimulation just to stay happy, and the rate of information flow I get from most TV programmes just isn’t enough for me – but I will happily watch episodes of the West Wing because the dialogue is so snappy. So, for BOTH questions 1 and 2, my suggestion is audiobooks! Of things one is dying to read but never has the time to.

      1. Grace

        Ha, I read so many trashy Patricia Cornwell and James Patterson and Jonathan Kellerman books, but they’re all from the library because I can’t bring myself to buy trashy things that’ll take up space on my precious shelves! (Okay, I try to balance them out with other stuff – I’m trying to read the whole 2013 Booker shortlist and am already two books in).

        1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

          I was into Patterson for awhile, and recently re-read the whole Scarpetta series (thank you, Singapore Library). I listened to a Kellerman awhile back, but kinda forgot about it – should probably revisit Delaware (that’s his name, right?). I’ll also cop to enjoying the Jack Reacher series (Lee Child), and Karin Slaughter is my current library-borrowing-binge.

          On the ‘serious side’, I’m currently mixing in a few books on CSS and HTML, Eat & Run (Scott Jurek), and re-reading Willpower (Roy Baumeister).

  8. Angela

    So at first I was all, Ooh! Ooh! Me! I like to help! But then I read your questions, and realized I would be no help at all.

    1) Geez, me too! I usually can’t run more than 4 miles on the ‘mill at a time. I think a few times I ran up to 6 & kind of wanted to shoot myself towards the end. So if you find the answer to this, let me know!

    2) I’m an audio-book girl, and when I do podcasts, it’s usually stuff like This American Life or Radio Lab, so I am no help here either.

    3) I suck at twitter.

    Sooooo….I guess I am just saying hi??? Hope you get some answers!

    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Hi Angela! Thanks for stopping by – and wanting to help!!! The support and helpfulness of other bloggers is what makes this such a fun place to hang out, truly.

      But what’s REALLY funny is that your name is VERY close to the name of the client for whom I asked Question #1. When I started reading your reply, I was thinking “Of course, A. That’s why you asked me for advice, and that’s why I’m asking here!” Then I checked the spelling and noticed the website, and realized what happened. But you and my client (of a similar name!) share a treadmill aversion. 🙂

      And perhaps I shouldn’t have limited my suggestions to running-only podcasts. That was my friend’s request, but there is lots of other good stuff out there that is interesting and applicable. So thanks! Indeed, I often hear positive reviews of TAL.

  9. Meagan

    Q1. I would suggest she give music or a podcast or a book/audiobook a try if the other methods aren’t working for her. I find that the TV is usually enough, along with playing with the speed/incline.

    Q2. I don’t listen to podcasts much anymore, although I have seen a few blog posts recently listing some of their favorite podcasts. I can look them up if you want! I used to love this running podcast called Phedippidations. The author (is that what you call podcast creators??) was this guy Steve Walker who I think used to be a radio guy, and he records his shows while out on the run. I liked all of his earlier posts, where he would talk about running topics and highlight running legends, but then he started talking less about running and more about wine, etc. and I lost interest.

    Q3. I’m not on Twitter 🙂

    I hope these help, I want to hear about hiking in Hong Kong!

    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      Aha. Will suggest the combo method – good idea! 🙂

      Will do some internet searches; friend was just looking for personal recommendations too – although I suppose it doesn’t matter, everything is hit-or-miss for each person anyway.

      And don’t worry about being un-Twittered. I caved to the pressure (and it’s a good business move for me), but I’m not yet convinced that I love it…

    1. Holly @ Run With Holly Post author

      I see where your podcast taste lies. 😉 So many good options…I could probably fill my whole day with podcasts! [Except I can really only listen to them while doing ‘mindless’ tasks; otherwise I get distracted. 🙂

      I should be easy to find…. @Coach_Holly !!! What’s your handle?

  10. Sophie @ life's philosophie

    I was going to recommend listening to a podcast for # 1, which leads quite nicely into #2. My all time favorite podcast is Runner’s Academy Podcast. I am obsessed. So much so that I have a post coming up soon where I talk about it! I listen to it on my commute to work and I’ve heard some people listen while running. Matt Johnson, the podcaster (?), talks about all running topics under the sun, but he does so with expert guests (Matt Fitzgerald, Dean Karnazes, Scott Jurek, etc.). The quality of the podcast is, in my opinion, unparalleled.


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