ATC 266: The Best Treadmills, Bilateral Breathing Tips, Shoe Blowouts, How To Resist Snacking At Work, and more!

August 3, 2018


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In this 266th episode of “Ask The Coaches,” Coach Lucho and Coach Brock answer the following questions:

Amar asks:

Hi, I went to a new gym recently and they had these new treadmills. They were curved and had no motors! I did a little googling and didn’t find anything concrete on the effectiveness of these treadmills for endurance training. What are your thoughts?

Here is a link of the ones at my gym –

The coaches say…
– The physiological and perceptual demands of running on a curved non-motorised treadmill: Implications for self-paced training
– Researchers found that runners work about 30 percent harder on the curved, non-motorized treadmills.
– Instead of making a conscious decision to speed up or slow down and then pressing buttons, the curved treadmill allows runners to self-regulate with every footfall, just as they would outdoors.

David asks:

I looking for some advice regarding bilateral breathing. I’ve been toying with the idea of trying a tri; I’m usually a runner but the diversity of exercise from a tri is really appealing. I’ve gotten my swim together ok, nothing fast, but I feel I got the technical aspect down… except for bilateral breathing. I’m really comfortable breathing out of one side, but I can’t seem to even turn enough to the other side to get a breath in. I’m ready to quit on the concept but I keep hearing/reading that it’s such an essential part of swimming. Do you guys have any tips, drills, ideas to help that I can do on my own… I know masters or a coach would also help me a lot. Thanks!

The coaches say:
– Practice box breathing – especially holding a breath on the exhale.
– Side swimming drills – especially on your non-dominant side.
– Practice your body rotation.
– Use fins for the first little while.
– Check out

Rob asks:

I have a complicated shoe question for you all that no shoe company, friend or my chiropractor can answer. I am throwing it to you all.

Every shoe I wear (Altra lone peaks and Kings, Saucony Peregrines and Xodus, Montrails, Brooks) all blow out on either the medial or lateral sides of my shoes at the bony prominence behind the large knuckle of the big toe or around the base of the little toe. I have sized up (10.5-11) and have run the same at 10.5. I thought 11 would work because in one of my everyday shoes, I wear a size 44 or size 10.5 or 11 depending on the manufacturer. I have been doing a lot of squats this season, and have noticed some weaknesses in my abductors and adductors, it’s have been especially bad, but this does not account for the last several seasons of blowouts. I know how to fix the leg issues, I don’t think this is the source of the shoe blowouts.

Do you guys have any ideas? One idea that was floated was that the terrain here in the East is especially brutal and rotational forces on the ball of the foot cause the fabric to blow out. I am a forefoot striker, with what is considered a chi running style. Anyway, I tend to float on the balls of my feet for my footfalls and takeoffs.

The coaches say:
– Forefoot runners can also put on the “brakes” when their foot plants which can cause it to slide on the inside of the shoe.
– Sounds like a foot shape issue not a footfall or body weakness.

Scott asks:

I am a 36-year-old runner (37 on 17th July) of 4-5 years who is on a journey to break 2:45 for the marathon. I ran 3:29 in my first marathon in Spring 2016, 3:10 in Spring 2017 and 3:01 this year so I am relatively inexperienced in marathoning but I’ve learned a lot from the first 3 marathons and most of all I am making progress so I am confident that I can at least give this target a good go. I am 5ft 8 tall and weighed over 200lbs when I started running and have dropped down to around 155lbs through exercise and healthier eating.

I have no real problems knowing what to do in terms of training to get where I need to be and my goal is intentionally scary and questionable in order to motivate and inspire me. I’ve also made it public to some of my running friends in order to put it out there!

I am running 6-7 times a week and including 1 speed session, 1 medium run and 1 long run every week with easy runs in between. However, I feel like I could make big leaps forward if I could just nail my diet. My current weight of about 155lbs has been the same, give or take a few lbs, since my first marathon in 2016 but I am still carrying a bit of timber around the middle in my hips and belly. I feel like I could easily drop another 7-10lbs safely and healthily but I am struggling to avoid bad food and drink.

I generally eat healthy in between but my office has a constant supply of sweets, cakes, biscuits, coke cola all out on display for visitors and I have a very sweet tooth. I tell myself that today is the day I abstain and despite a healthy smoothie for breakfast, I walk by and I’ll think “1 little choc cake won’t derail my day” and then the slippery slope begins. I hate the thought of Coke too, in that there is nothing beneficial in it whatsoever, its like smoking! But I find it quite refreshing so I’ll take a can or two a day and it will really affect my stomach during running, especially if I’m racing. But I just don’t get how I can be so mentally strong with my attitude towards running, by going out and getting it done, rain or shine, sticking to my plan etc and then fall apart when it comes to simply not eating something that is terribly bad for me!

It’s worth noting that I’m a vegetarian and I limit my dairy to a degree but I’m not totally vegan. I also want to reduce carbs and increase fats and I do this to a degree in the main meals that I eat but I completely ruin it by snacking on high sugar sweets and chocolate.

I have the willpower and I have the motivation and I’ve proved this in other aspects of my running and when I initially started running and dieting I was able to cut processed foods with reasonable success but I feel like maybe there is maybe an addiction here that perhaps I need to recognise and tackle in a different way? In fact, I honestly feel that the problem is mainly because in my current job where I have been for 3 years, these foods and drinks are on display and available for me to just snack on and if there were no sweets and fizzy drinks I would be much more successful in avoiding the bad stuff during the day and it then I’d be in a good position to tackle my evening meal in a positive mood.

The coaches say:
– Try packing healthy snacks to eat at work so you aren’t as tempted by the goodies. That is if you are truly in need of food.
– Take responsibility. You don’t have to eat it just because it is there.
– Sounds like you only believe half of the equation – the workout, not the diet.
– Very often, there is a conflict between our immediate desires and our long-term goals: What we want right now in this moment is at odds with our big picture desires and priorities. Welcome to adulthood.
– When you find yourself confronted with a desire to eat that is in conflict with your desire to weigh less, take a moment to think about why you want what you want.
– Consider how you would feel after eating whatever it is you want to eat. Will you feel satisfied? Happier? Less lonely?

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