What's Hot On The Forum: Archive

The RW forum is a huge beast, so each week we cream off the stuff that's getting you up and down (July 2008 - March 2009)


Posted: 17 March 2009

For the week ending 2 March 2009

Hot to trot...

Post-Run Pleasures

  • Some research suggests certain kinds of exercise led to cravings for certain foods. After a long winter run, I absolutely must have hot tea and toasted teacakes with real butter and perhaps marmalade. Anyone else? Adrian Lowery
  • I always want a hot cup of tea. My ultimate post-run snack is banana and honey on toast with a nice cup of tea. nom
  • Garlic spaghetti and lots of water. Then, after I've rehydrated, a G'n'T. Parklife
  • There's only one thing I crave after a run - a pasty. I pass two pasty shops on my runs, one of which is in the railway station, through which I usually pass on my way home from a race. It exerts a gravitational field that I cannot fight. Muttley

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Strike A Pose

  • I’ve read that most long distance runners use a flat foot strike, but since heard that it’s better to go heel to toe. I usually like to land with my entire foot on the ground.Is there a definitive answer? Sheryl Smith 2
  • Methods like Chi and Pose running recommend forefoot running. Personally, I tend to have either a flat foot or forefoot strike, but any attempt to change the way you run should be done gradually. JulieFrazz
  • Forced forefoot running can feel wrong as you may be pushing yourself up onto your toes. If you read up on different techniques you should be able to understand the principles behind them and why they work. M.ister W
  • Isn't this one of the things about running that no-one knows for sure? I have to favour the way that feels like it is causing me the least harm, and that for me, at the moment, is heel striking. Shufflepuck Cafe

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Too Many Tees

  • Can anyone suggest what to do with excess race T-shirts? Most of them haven’t even been worn and it seems a shame to throw them out. Mad cow running
  • You could donate technical gear to a charity shop. I've also given stuff to friends or family who are new to running but are a bit reluctant to buy expensive technical clothing. Go-KL
  • Give them to your local school or playgroup as messy play shirts. Or make a rag rug! beebs
  • I use them as throw-away tops for my next race. That way, I stay warm at the start but don’t mind disposing of them. I always make sure that I throw them into an area where rubbish is already being collected, so I don’t make extra work for the volunteers at races. Water Vole

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Lingering Lovehandles

  • I started running last year, and I've managed to lose just over a stone. However, I still have a flabby belly and love handles which don’t seem to be going down. I always thought you lose fat all over at the same time? Noob
  • We're all genetically predisposed to carry fat in different areas. You (like me) seem to carry more on your waist. It will eventually come off if you keep up a calorie deficit but you'll also need patience. barongreenback
  • Think about how long did it took you to build the belly in the first place. Most things in life that take a long time to build up are going to take a while and a bit of effort to disappear. Jimo
  • The only thing that's helping me get rid of mine is cutting right down on the booze… *sobs* Johnny Blaze

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For the week ending 23 February 2009

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Fun On The Fells

  • Having read Richard Askwith's Feet in the Clouds, I feel inspired to have a crack at fell-running. I don't have a clue where to start though – any help much appreciated! Adrian Lowery
  • Please make sure you carry enough kit, and be prepared to get yourself out of trouble if you find it. Why not consider some of the adventure racing or navigation courses out there? Or at least get yourself some fell running guidebooks to start off with. ed_m (a.k.a. ultra bunny)
  • You already hike so you know what the hills can throw at you. Running on the fells is always going to be a compromise - especially on your own. It's always worth having 'worst case scenario' kit with you. eL Bee!
  • Road shoes will do, but you will feel clumsy. At this time of year there’s probably a fair bit of snow and ice up top - not fun if you are new to it. I would suggest you take full body covering and an emergency blanket - and let people know where you are going. Nick L

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Recipe For Recovery

  • What's your recovery secret after a long run? I still seem to ache two days later. I was advised not to stretch after long runs, so I normally just elevate my legs then sit in bath with my sports drink. Slimline Chips
  • I have a cold bath (up to my waist) for the time it takes me to drink a cup of tea. I keep my top half warm with a jumper or something, and then have a hot shower. Then a recovery drink and food within half hour or so. Rio!
  • A brisk walk later in the day really helps - I do this out of necessity because the dog always needs a walk in the afternoon but I'm convinced that's what helps to stave off aches and pains.JulieFrazz
  • Some things that appear to help are: cold water immersion for 15 minutes, gentle exercise other than running, vitamin C, cherry juice and avery gentle massage of sore areas. I read something about vibration therapy helping too, so if you've got access to a PowerPlate ... Siance

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Tap Water Troubles

  • I was out running today and it was really sunny, so I drank more than usual. I popped into a cafe but when I asked for some tap water, I was told they weren't allowed to give me any as they couldn't prove the water was safe to drink! Has anyone else had this problem? Sarah Bennett 8
  • Carry a pound coin with you - then you can stop wherever and buy some. It’s always wise to carry a pound or two anyway. M.eldy
  • Map a run past pubs or big supermarkets so you can use their loos and drink from the taps. I'm not proud, obviously... Nam
  • We run past a café, and if we leave something in the charity box they fill our water bottles for us. mitten

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Losing Fitness

  • I’ve been injured and had a week off. I'm training for FLM and am concerned about going back to square one. How quickly do you lose fitness? Slimline Chips
  • It shouldn't be a problem - you might even feel a bit better for it. I had two weeks off before a marathon last year (although I still swam and did weights) - it didn't make a jot of difference. Good luck! JuanaH
  • A couple of weeks shouldn’t matter too much. I recently had a break from mid-November until the start of January and it has taken me over a month to get back to my November fitness levels. I wonder if time off is proportional to time taken to regain form? Shufflepuck Cafe
  • Two weeks = negligible effect. Three or more and it starts to be noticeable. I read somewhere that a rule of thumb is two weeks' training per week lost (after three weeks lost). To sum up: don't worry! candy ollier

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For the week ending 16 February 2009

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Half-Marathon Munchies

  • I’m training for my first half-marathon. What should I be munching during my runs - and when - to keep my energy levels up? Micro Dot
  • Try lots of different things. Carbo gels don't work for everyone – some people find them sickly. Jelly Babies are a cheaper option too. And make sure you try them out before race day! Cinders
  • Munch whatever suits you best - there's no optimum solution. Just make sure you've got a good dentist! Muttley
  • Try to find a compromise between flavour and carb content. Gels have the most carbs, but sweets have more flavour. Paul Farquharson

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When Rest Is Best

  • I've been wondering how many rest days to have as since I've started to do longer runs, I've been getting more tired. Are rest days for wimps, or are they essential for effective training? Start the debate! Bunches77
  • I always have the day before my weekly long run off. I look forward to my rest days - I've earned the right to have one day off a week! I also rest when my body has "words" with me. Listen to your body Bunches - it knows what you're capable of. Liverbird
  • I usually have one complete rest day per week, and one day of cross training or easy running too. It recharges me mentally and physically. Everyone is different though - I used to train everyday but that was years ago, with a much younger body! Life's Too Short
  • Easy - Friday night is for drinking, so Saturday is my day off! Siance

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Sweaty Commutes

  • I want to run to work, but my workplace doesn’t have a shower. I was thinking of using a big washing-up bowl or one of those camping shower-in-a-bag things. Does anyone have any better ideas? Chrissie Kelly
  • I use tea tree wipes from the chemist, plus a decent deodorant. I’m a sweaty lady, and no-one at my work has said anything (yet!) Vixx76
  • How about not washing, and spending all day covered in mud and cow muck with that nice sweaty smell for good measure? They’ll soon think about getting a shower installed. NickL
  • I usually have a strip wash in the sink - I keep a flannel, soap, towel and anti-perspirant in my locker and some fresh work clothes at work. Although washing in the sink isn’t ideal, I reckon it’s worth it to get a run in! martin cherokee ring

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Vanishing Vets

  • Why aren't there more 70 and 80 year olds racing? A lot of us are quite obsessive about our sport, and every runner I speak to wants to carry on for as long as possible. With modern equipment surely there’s no reason not to keep running until you drop?! get carter
  • Maybe the running boom didn’t take off early enough? Were there as many races and running clubs 30 or 40 years ago? I reckon there will be more "oldies" in 20 years’ time. I certainly can’t imagine giving up unless I was forced to by serious illness or injury. Night Nurse
  • I know a couple of runners over 70. One of them I know was even running ultras until a couple of years ago! I can't see that I'll ever stop unless I'm forced to. I started running when I was 23 and I'm 50 now. Aviator
  • When I first joined a running club I used to run with a couple of real OAPs. They could leave me standing back then and probably still could now, 10 years on... Muttley

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For the week ending 09 February 2009

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First Steps

  • I'm a newbie, and keen to find out what made you all start running, and how long you’ve been running? Phil W 102
  • Race for Life 2007. My first "run" was on March 6 and I nearly collapsed…I signed up for my work team and the rest is history - it’s my second half-marathon on Sunday, and I’ve got a whole new world, vocabulary and wardrobe! Foxy Lady
  • My wedding day was in October 2008 so I started running with my now wife, who’s always run. I lost nearly two stone and looked much better in my suit on the day. I’m still running and have never looked back! Johnny Vee
  • I had a rubbish shift job in a factory, and a lot of spare time on my hands. My first ever run lasted about 200-300 yards before I had to stop and walk. Last year I ran 145 miles. Not bad improvement?! Nick L

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Smoothly Does It

  • Runners seem to be split into two groups: gliders, elegantly skimming the pavements; and pounders, bulldozing everything standing between A and B. What are you? The Hoose-Goer
  • For the first couple of miles, I'm a pounder. Then I settle into a glide for a bit, but soon it’s back to pounding again. I saw a bloke recently who looked like he was auditioning for Riverdance - his arms were pinned down by his sides and his knees were really high - seemed to work though, he was whipping along! CazSoul
  • A problem with the gliding method - one minute I'll be coasting along thinking how graceful and athletic I look, the next I'll be spreadeagled on the pavement after tripping over the tiniest of bumps. Not so graceful! Juliefrazz
  • Usually I bound around like a hippo with vertigo. But every now and then I get in the zone and become a glider. Running is effortless, my arms move gracefully back and forth and I remember why I love running. It is a wonderful thing when it happens! Puffin1

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Ice Ice Baby

  • My training this week has been completely messed up by icy roads. Is anyone else in the same situation, or have any solutions? (not a gym!) Leigh Blinman
  • I've been running off-road. If you go to a park, there should be enough grip on the grass to run. It all seems to be melting away now - fingers crossed the temperature stays up a little and the roads will clear soon. MD6
  • Go off-road – wet feet soon dry off! M.eldy
  • Confidence might well play a part - if you're tentative and unsure you're more likely to fall down. The more 'normal' you run the safer you’ll be. LS21

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Good people, bad days

  • I ran with a few others this morning - lovely weather, lovely route, lovely people. But after a measly 5K I had to bail out, completely exhausted! I know my body was probably just too tired, but I feel very battered and bruised and sorry for myself. Karen Ball 6
  • Remember when you first started running - I bet the "measly 5k" you did today would have seemed like a marathon then. Listen to your body and your mind - there was a reason you couldn’t do any more today. Rest, and use this as a learning experience, and you will come back stronger. martin cherokee ring
  • You'll have good days and bad days, it happens to us all. I bailed out of a 10K on Tuesday feeling rotten, then ran 13K today without a problem! It is hard to be nice to yourself sometimes when things aren't going well. The trick is get some rest - and don't panic! Bunches77
  • The group might have been running too fast for you - try plodding along for a while without a care in the world. Your body will find its natural pace for your longer runs. Yifter. S

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For the week ending 02 February 2009

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Short Shorts

  • Being an optimist, I reckon we only have about a month left of genuinely cold weather. Who’s made it through the whole winter running in shorts? Jimo
  • I’m definitely a shorts wearer, I haven’t worn tracksters since the early 90s. The only down side is when the gritting lorries go by and spray stones at me - ouch! SyM.es
  • I put it down to years spent playing football and rugby. I wouldn't have been seen dead wearing anything other than shorts, and I probably stood around a lot more than I do when I’m running... Dustin
  • If you need a hat and gloves, you need leggings! Do none of you pay attention to the weather forecasts?! gingerfurball

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Fantastic Form

  • I've finished three marathons by brute force, inefficiently huffing and puffing. But for Paris in April, I want to apply a little less force and a little more form. So for the stylish runners out there – how can I fix my form? BrandyB
  • Running economy comes with practice. Whatever your natural potential, long slow miles will build your economy. Stump
  • You could look into Chi running. It won’t make you Martin Lel overnight, but it should give you an insight into the efficient running style you're looking for. M.ister W
  • When I'm feeling tired during a run I think about leaning forward more, picking my heels up and keeping my elbows behind me. It always seems to help. Ferdy

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Cold Comforts

  • My training keeps getting interrupted by colds. As soon as I feel I'm getting somewhere, I come down with yet another cold. How can I keep colds at bay? Howlsy
  • Take vitamins, especially Vitamin C. Eat fruit, especially kiwis. You might also need more sleep. I have been through this - just hang on in there. Good luck! Welsh Alex
  • I had a run of colds over Christmas, and since then I’ve been extra careful to wash my hands properly in anti-bacterial soap and hot water. I didn't run during my colds but believe a good rule is that if it’s above the neck, you can run. If the cold goes to your chest, stay at home. sophers
  • The common cold is caused by a virus, not bacteria so anti-bacterial stuff will not stop colds. The best defence is to wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face and mouth, and avoid people who have a cold (so no going to work for six months...!) sciencegeek

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Long-run Loopiness
  • Last Sunday, about ten miles into my long run, I began thinking that I must be a better runner than Haile Gebrselassie. He only runs at marathon pace for two hours and I run at marathon pace for four hours. Anyone else find their logic goes completely to pot on long runs? Short'n'round
  • I lose the ability to do simple maths after about six miles. Calculating how far I have left to go is impossible - I just cannot do it. There’s a lot to be said for iPods, they definitely stop you thinking too much. But we won’t go there... Shimmy shimmy
  • "This hurts, this hurts; I want to stop, I want to stop... oh look, there’s another runner, pretend you’re enjoying yourself... 'Morning!' ... This hurts, this hurts, I want to stop!" Mr Guy
  • I try to memorise the people I pass and car number plates in case they later turn out to have been involved in a crime and I am a witness. This has never yet happened. Puffin1

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For the week ending 20 January 2009

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Runner's High

  • I've just got back on the road and got this amazing rush at about 50 mins into my last run. It was incredible – I felt like I could run and run! This could become quite addictive... what a feeling! ninja jane
  • For me, any run - no matter how long or how hard - is well worth the effort if I manage to get that runner's high, even for 10 seconds!TurboElli
  • Those endorphins have a lot to answer for! Bizarrely I've experienced it running outside, but never in the gym. I think it's a combination of playing motivational tunes and being alone in the environment. Siance
  • I'm always really smiley after a run too. I've been trekking round the supermarket wondering why little old ladies are smiling at me - not realising I've got a manic grin on my face for no obvious reason! chickin

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Finish-line Tales

  • What happened when you finally crossed the finish line of your first (or subsequent) marathon? All tales welcome here, funny or tragic! Fizziofinn
  • A very good friend paced me round my only marathon. I asked him to get me round in about four hours, and he did it perfectly – 3:58. I expressed my gratitude to him by yelling, "If you don't shut up, I'm going to find an effing knife and I'm going to effing stab you!" Given that I'm a practising Buddhist, it wasn't my finest moment! Gizzard Puke
  • I threw up violently during the last 100m of my first marathon. Then, in the last 100m of my second marathon Ihad to be ordered to cross the line, after deciding that I'd had enough and wanted to stop. Maybe that time brings out the worst in people. MadameO
  • I ran my first marathon in 1978 - my coach wanted me to "know what marathon running was all about". I was stuffed at Mile 8, vomited everywhere and said "never again". Never mind, I'm still running them. NZChristine

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The Shelf-life of Sports Bras

  • How long do people reckon the lifespan of a running bra is? Can you tell when they are "running out"? Any thoughts on the subject, ladies? FoxyLady
  • I've had the same ones for years. I would guess it's time for a new one when the elastic bits are feeling less supportive? If yours are all the same brand, you could compare them for wear and tear. Siance
  • I never used to give it a thought. Then I saw my boobs in a mirror at the gym whilst plodding, and bought new ones immediately! They do have a shelf life - I would do the 'bouncing up and down test'’ in the mirror to work out when they're ready for the bin. Liverbird
  • I do the bouncing up and down test and the 'Can I get my fingers under the strap at the back?' test. I also alternate between two so seem to get more mileage out of them than you would think. Maddy

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Counting Calories
  • Since I've started marathon training I'm constantly hungry, and I need to know how much I should be eating. I don't want to lose weight but I don't want to gain it either. I end up feeling guilty every day because I think I've eaten too much, so I push myself to do a bit extra the next day's running. b7
  • You're eating a lot of 'diet' foods. The normal alternatives aren't evil – if you want a biscuit, just have one. You're burning an awful lot of calories, there's no need to deny yourself. And just make sure you keep eating the healthy wholegrain stuff too.barongreenback
  • Fat and protein have a high satiety factor and will take away your hunger. As a runner you need more protein anyway for repair. Ditch the diet foods and enjoy food made with real ingredients - everything you eat should ideally be giving you some nutrition, otherwise you will remain hungry. Non-runner
  • Protein powder is very handy - those who know me will know I have drums of it in my kitchen - but your list seemed to contain almost no vegetables. Why don’t you add some green leafy stuff? MikeFrog

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For the week ending 13 January 2009

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Sleep stories

  • I started running to lose baby weight - and got hooked. All I have ever known is running on little or no sleep - and I'm a bit worried after reading how important sleep is. Do you get enough? Do you make it a priority to sleep enough for your training or are you just lucky, and if not - is it just not important to you? Redwine
  • I’ve had really bad jet lag, and my solution is to get up way too early for a couple of days. It will be difficult at first and you'll feel rubbish all day but when the night draws in you’ll nod right off. It is hard but the key is to get up when your alarm goes off, regardless of what your body’s screaming at you! Tom Tom T. Barrow
  • I’ve been running for more than 10 years and also have insommnia. In that time I’ve done 10 marathons, and run PBs on a couple of hours’ sleep. I think it’s something you just cope with if you have to - I try to run early in the morning because I’m usually exhausted by the evening. caterpillar girl
  • I work as a long-haul cabin crew member so I’m no stranger to jetlag. I find that running actually helps me sleep - in fact, that’s the main reason I started running. Set that alarm and ban the snooze button. That aside though listen to your body, if you need to sleep, sleep! Detox

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Beanie Babes

  • Blokes on the treadmill with beanie hats on - what's that about?! Don't their heads get smelly? Aquamarina
  • I run in one outside to keep my ears warm - it's freezing at the moment! But as we all know, whether they’re wearing a woolly hat or not, treadmills and gyms are for prancing nonces. Get outside and run! jason-X
  • I wear a beanie on the treadmill! The reason why is simple - I have a lovely smooth cranium and I'm a sweaty lad so it’s there to stop nasty sweat dripping into my eyes, down my nose and generally getting on my nerves. Muttley
  • The beanie people tend to spend more time on the weights in my gym. As long as they don't wear them in the pool I don't really care! Lwi

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Baby blues

  • I had my first baby in March, and two months later started training for a half-marathon. I’ve done halfs before, but this one took me three hours. I really found it hard, even though my training had been fine. I haven’t run since, because I felt so ashamed of myself. Should I just give up? If not, how on earth do I get back out there? Muppet
  • Don’t feel ashamed or disappointed. You were running, which is far more than can be said for 80% of the population. I can only suggest what I would do, which would be to ignore my watch, throw away the schedules and just go out, enjoy it and remember why you started running it the first place. Hope you find your mojo again soon. marcusuno
  • Your whole life has changed – I doubt you get as much rest. Just keep running and enjoy what you’re doing. Accept that for now your priorities have changed and use the running for some 'me time'!Grendel3
  • Be proud – you’ve just set a post-baby PB. People tend to ‘reset’ their PBs as time goes by, so why not do it post-baby? Ease back gently into running, then when you feel ready, enter another half and smash your post-baby PB. In time, you'll be beating your pre-baby PB too! Cougie

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Incredible Injuries
  • Recently I got out of the car, bent over to get my daughter's coat off the back seat and heard a loud crack. It left me with a very painful right knee, and nearly three weeks later there’s no chance of getting out running! Anyone else found any ridiculous ways to pick up an injury? eghamR
  • I managed to sustain a relatively impressive injury in my sleep. I went to bed (alone) a relatively healthy, if slightly drunk, person. And woke up hobbling. I’d torn my cartilage…oxymoron
  • I've accidentally set fire to myself. Twice. Farnie
  • I tore my knee cartilage kneeling on the floor doing a jigsaw... Heckenhocker

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For the week ending 5 January 2009

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New Year Resolutions

  • What are your New Year resolutions? Mine are: to take the dogs out every day, get back into running, not let people walk all over me and to have fun! MaryMoo
  • To read 50 books, completely alter my personality, stay injury-free, run a sub-3:30 marathon, eat more fresh fruit, and go public with my roller-blades. the yule abides
  • Do more races. I also need to getback into my routine wheneverit's disrupted due to illness/injury/holiday instead of losing motivation and not restarting... Green Duck
  • Be happy, be healthy and have fun! PloddingOn

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Race Magic

  • Recently in training I did a flat-ish 10K in 42:34. It was hard, but I hadn’t gone all out. I have a flat-ish 10K race tomorrow and my mates think I should target sub-40:00, but I’m worried I'll bomb. Just how good is "race magic"? number42
  • I rarely achieve my race pace in tempo runs on my own. There's just something about running with others - I suppose that's the "race magic". Two and a half minutes is quite an amount to shave off a 10K time but have a go! If it doesn't work, there are worse things in life than bombing in a 10K! Good Luck! Muttley
  • Don’t let people get away from you. If I see a gap opening up I'll always try to close it because I run faster in a "pack". I'm a big fan of negative splits, but 10K is short enough to hang on for a mile if you really do overdo it at the start. Go for it! Mr. Puffy
  • If you don't try you'll never know! marshallini

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Excuses, Excuses

  • Anyone heard any daft ones? My friend said she didn’t know how anyone could run as it makes your face sag?! My worst excuse for not turning up to a half-marathon was dropping a drinks coaster on my toe. It did happen but I think I could have run... chickin
  • The dog ate my Garmin. Johnny Blaze
  • A friend said he couldn’t race because his wife had broken her foot – I explained that it wasn't a three-legged race, which annoyed him a bit. I can't stand excuses if you don't want to do it, just say so! Slimline chips
  • I particularly like it when non-runners say they'd love to run but "I've got this knee". This is usually followed by a wince and rubbing of said knee, just in case anyone's not sure which bit of the anatomy they're talking about! Hashette
  • The absolute worst I've heard (about exercise in general) was "Well, there's no point - he's not going to leave me now, is he?" Put those fluffy slippers away and do it for yourself! Liverbird

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Chapped Chops
  • After running in the cold, my face feels dry and pinched. So, should I trowel on the man moisturiser or are there specific outdoors products around? Dodge
  • Get a ski mask - designed to keep the chops warm on freezing days. You will freak the locals out when you run panting up behind them looking like a madman – but at least your face'll be warm! fat face
  • Try baby-bum cream – anything that works on nappy rash should be able to handle your skin! Lots of people swear by Vaseline - it’s cheap and comes in dinky tins you can take out running. CJBA
  • Real men don't use moisturiser and other girlie lotions and potions. Be like me - just revel in the weatherbeaten, craggy "man of the world" look.Muttley

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For the week ending 14 December 2008

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Festive Cheer

  • After the wave of apathy I was met with by my household the other day after going to the trouble of getting a real tree instead of using a fake one. Is your christmas tree real or fake? jason X
  • Fake, 5 foot, and absolutely covered in tinsel! We have no taste! jinglefurballs
  • 7ft, fake, lots of decorations collected since we've been married, and some made by the children. Does anyone else with children have to write down who put the angel/star on the top so there's no arguments next year about whose turn it is? kwilter...waddling less
  • The idea of a real tree is lovely but in reality they are messy, wonky and far too big around the base. We had a 5ft one last year and it was as much as we could do to fit it in the room! Screamapillar

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Beating Boredom

  • I read somewhere that Paula Radcliffe counts when running to take away the boredom. I have now perfected that everytime I count to 250, I've run 1K. Anyone else do anything similar or have any tips? eghamR
  • If I don't have music I count. I find myself doing it automatically, and sometimes don't realised I've even been counting until I reach 100. I've done all sorts to stop getting bored - counting rabbits, trying to keep a tally of different coloured cars, trying to memorise all the people I pass in case I see someone on Crimewatch…crazydiamond
  • I don't ever remember getting bored on a run and I've got no idea what I think about. I'm a member of the "running is a form of meditation" school of thought. Nadolig llawen gan Pizza Man
  • I like to admire the scenery and people-watch when I'm running along the canal. I still can’t fathom out why there were so many twitchers about the other day on the canal when it was quite foggy...Caz-mas Soul

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Slipping Standards

  • I know the whole subject of declining standards in UK (men's) athletics is well worn, but one statistic strikes me as being quite remarkable. In 2008, eight British men broke 2:20 in the marathon. However, the number of British men who did that in 1983 was 102! What has changed? David Jones 39
  • The first reason is that there were a lot more people running. The second is that people were prepared to run as many miles as were necessary to reach the upper echelons. Frequently that meant doing things like running to work, running home then going training. Finally, the competition within clubs to win things was much greater. Johnny J
  • They're all on the Internet, chatting on here instead of plodding? My perception is that there are many more people out running these days, but maybe that's because I was too busy with my roller boots in 1983 to notice! Deck the halls with boughs of LB!
  • Fewer kids are getting out and doing stuff. There’s are greater number of distractions, which I think means that there are less opportunities to catch kids at a young age and get them involved in athletics. NickL
  • Here in the west we encourage mediocrity in the 21st century, excellence is no longer considered necessary in most circles. Why are East Africans so good? Because it’s an escape from poverty, and the affluent west no longer has the drive and desire to be that good. Dubai Dave

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Cumbersome Costumes
  • I've promised to run a marathon with a friend next year (September) and I wanted to give myself a bigger challenge. My idea is to run it dressed as a Norman knight: chainmail armour, padded gambeson, sword and shield (maybe helmet). The three big problems I can see are: weight, heat and hydration. If anyone can offer advice, I would really appreciate it. Bert Brown Bear
  • Make it as lightweight as possible and try it out before the day to see if it chafes. I've run as Supergirl, Mother Christmas and a sunflower. I don't recommend anything on your head if possible either - it gets too much in the way! Santa Cinders
  • Try a few short runs in the costume before hand and I'd recommend running at least once a week with a weighted backpack etc (but build up slowly to race weight) in your normal training to get used to the weight. Richard 123
  • You could get your granny to knit you some chain-mail - it'll weigh less (and use nylon yarn, not wool). Wilkie Bells Wilkie Bells
  • My idea for making a marathon harder was running with a pod of bricks. For every £50 i raised for charity, I'd stick another brick in... Warrington Road Warrior

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For the week ending 7 December 2008

Hot to trot...

Running on Christmas Day

  • Who’s going to run on Christmas Day? And when will you go - before or after the slap-up turkey dinner? I can't decide a) if I'll manage it and b) whether I’ll look like a poser! Ho Ho Ho! Rach L.
  • I've got a running date with Speedy Goth on Christmas morning. Last year there was no-one about at 8am - just us two wearing Santa hats! I got home, woke up my hubby, opened the pressies and then the usual - visiting relatives and scoffing copious amounts of scran. vicki: graceless whippet
  • It's a present to myself. I get up and go out with hubby and dog for a few miles before the madness of the day kicks in. Love it.Little M.iss Happy
  • I do five miles. Keep to the schedule – there’s no better way to develop that feeling of martyrdom... Lungs

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Timing the carbs right

  • Recently I've been running out of power on my runs. Last night I barely managed my run and had zero energy for my weights routine. I have a big bowl of muesli before I go, but my legs get heavy after about 15 minutes and I get stitches. Something’s got to change! Lickers
  • It depends how far I'm planning to go. For three to five miles just a banana's fine. For a long run, I have porridge first, let it settle, and then take Jelly Babies out with me. Just try a few things and see what works for you! Christmas pud with custard
  • What you eat all week is just as important as the food just before you train. You need a healthy diet with the right amount of carbs, protein and all the other good stuff! Don’t overload just before you run. M.ister W
  • If you're only running four miles, then the food you eat just before you run won’t have much bearing on your performance. You’ve already got enough glycogen stored in your legs to get you four times that far! Richard Bullivant

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Grumpy Old Men

  • I must be getting old - I just can’t stand these fads and gadgets! GPS watches - how on earth can you even walk with that monstrosity weighing you down? I don’t need an elastic band wrapped round my chest to tell me I’m knackered. And turn off your iPod and say hello! Marky T
  • What a rant! No-one's stopping you from getting out there and running wherever and however you like - not that that's ever stopped a forum rant before! Slugsta Claus
  • Good show, sir! I've just had a chip and dripping buttie for breakfast, slipped on my baggies and a string vest, and tied up my Dunlop Green Flashes. 'Tis a bit nippy so I think I'll also wear my bobble hat and slap some whale fat on me legs and chest to keep warm. Muttley
  • If it takes shiny new kit and gadgets to encourage people to go running then so be it. Running is for everyone, not just those who can run a marathon in under three hours, have less body fat than a prawn or those who feel superior because they 'were doing it before it was popular'. Laura Fleming 2

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Prices per mile
  • If I stopped to work out how much I've spent on running in the past year I'd probably jack it in and hide inside with a box of doughnuts - I'm sure it's cheaper. Where does your money go?! bikermouse
  • Two pairs of shoes a year, plus shorts, tights, technical top, socks... Plus race entries, which seem to go up all the time! Throw in petrol and call it £500 for a year's sport - on 1,000 miles a year that’s a grand total of 50p per mile. Mr. Puffy
  • What about the sports doctor, private MRI scans, sports massage, physio?! (and even after all that, my bum still hurts...) runner-bean
  • I'm still wearing leggings I bought 10 years ago – I don’t see the point in looking swish when all anyone sees is my bright red face! I started running over 20 years ago, and most modern ‘essentials’ hadn’t even been invented then. Sunluvva

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For the week ending 1 December 2008

Hot to trot...

Reasons to run

  • What makes you run? I love being fit and healthy, but mostly I’m scared of becoming morbidly obese... max jones 3
  • So I can eat cake. And biscuits. kwilter... waddling less
  • I love getting out in the fresh air, and that awesome feeling of achievement when I finish my runs. Merry Meglet
  • I started running because I hated having to play netball instead of football at school! But now it’s because I love food and drink. Running keeps my weight stable and makes me feel better about myself. Life's Too Short

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Mileage Matters

  • I’ve noticed that if I put in higher mileage for a while, my race times always improve significantly. If I have a low mileage month, my performances are rubbish. This seems to go against the grain, but surely there’s nothing like high mileage for improving times? Orion Runner Bean
  • Here’s some good advice from Italian cycling pro Fausto Coppi: he said if you want to improve on the bike then "Ride a bike, ride a bike, ride a bike!" The same applies to running! Paul Gammo
  • Fausto Coppi was around 50 years ago – and we've learned a bit since then. We now know that a combination of endurance training (long slow runs) and speed/strength training is likely to be more successful. The Kenyans, for example, do lots of steady miles but also speed training. Johnny J
  • Every mile probably does improve your overall level of running fitness but it also exponentially increases your chance of injury. MarkF

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Jeers or jokes?

  • I’m recovering from injury and went out for a run-walk tonight. A teenage girl decided it would be funny to trot alongside me like a horse. Her pals were howling with laughter, and it made me so angry. Then during a (sensible!) walk break another runner passed me and yelled, "You won't get anywhere like that. You need to start running again!" Where’s the support we need from other runners? Ruth22
  • Don't let them get you down - they aren’t worth a second of your time. I usually use jokes to defuse things. Why not try "Come on then guys, keep up" or "Looking good, are you going to do the next 10 miles with me?" M.ister W
  • Kids who give runners lip are basically harmless - they're just trying to impress their mates. But if you approach them looking fearful or uptight, you're going to get a reaction in kind. Just relax. Muttley
  • Once I got instant karma - shuffling past some kids, one of them started running backwards facing me, yelling at me to hurry up. Before I could think of a comeback, he started to run forwards again and went slap bang into a lamp post. He didn't say much after that! Nam

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Blister Bother
  • I keep getting blisters on the inside of my big toe and a sore hot spot underneath my big toe. I’ve tried all the usual tricks – moisturiser, surgical spirit, new socks, new trainers - everything except wedging something between the blasted toes! runnersbeen
  • I just wrap the offending toes up in fabric plasters. It does the trick for me. EMD
  • The best bit of advice I was ever given was at my first ultra race: "Sudocreme. Plaster your feet in it." I have done this on every long run since and have never had another blister. TriTart
  • Have you been to see a podiatrist? They may be able to help. Find one that’s used to runners though! Farnie

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For the week ending 24 November 2008

Hot to trot...

Canine Companions

  • I took my dog for a run last night and she loved it! Having company was lovely, and I felt a lot safer running in the dark (despite her being about as hard as jelly!) She's seven – is that too old to start running? She’s so enthusiastic but I don't want to exhaust her! YorksLass
  • My little one did 16 miles quite comfortably when I was training for FLM, but I built up his training along with mine. Your dog should be capable of that too, but be aware of how she’s feeling and don't push too hard. Rio!!
  • It depends on the breed - you need to wait until the bones have stopped developing. You could check with your vet, but not all of them know - a better source would be a local agility class or even your breeder. RebekahJane
  • My dog tells me when I'm pushing the pace by finding "really interesting" stuff to sniff. She loves it though, and sulks if I go out without her! Stig-OT-Dump

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Shipshape Shoes

  • I've had a pair of trainers for some time now and some of my runs have been pretty muddy so as you can imagine, they’re getting a bit manky. This might seem obvious, but what is the correct way to clean them? T1Cybernetic
  • I have a hosepipe outside my back door - I use that to get rid of all the mud. I do waterproof all my shoes though as it stops the stitching rotting. Or you could try a good old fashioned toothbrush. Buney
  • Outdoor tap - give them a drenching then leave them to dry. My trainers are really skanky, I'm afraid - it's the sign of a good runner. JohnnyBlaze
  • Just don't put them in the washing machine! I did this with two pairs last week and broke the washing machine in the process... Muddy Trainers

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Missing Mojo

  • I apologise if this sounds a bit whiny but I just cannot believe that it’s been whole weeks since I last ran. Now I'm scared of starting out again in case I fail miserably. Anyone else feeling like this? Ladyfe
  • Maybe you need something to aim for - find a race. Or plan your 2009 schedule (January is only six weeks away), and treat yourself to some snazzy new gear for Christmas. Buney
  • Join a club – there’s nothing like the sarky comments I get when I miss a week to keep me motivated! Richard R
  • That sounds so familiar! I spent nearly two years injured but now I’m back and raring to go. I decided to run three times a week, no matter what, and to race once a month. The first three weeks I had to be shoved out of the house, but by the fourth week I saw improvements, and the two races haven't been nearly as slow as I feared! Monique

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Shambles on the scales
  • I’ve just come back from the gym, confused and depressed. At my weigh-in the instructor (not my usual one) told me I’ve lost 5lbs and 1% body fat. He said that’s 10lbs of fat. But when I told my usual instructor he said 1% fat loss is 1lb of fat! Who’s right? I used to run daily but he has reduced that dramatically and got me doing a lot of weights and cross-training instead. Mad as a hatter
  • If 1% of fat = 10lbs, then you'd have to have 1,000lbs of fat - which seems unlikely. And if 1% = 1lb, then you must have 100lbs of fat, which also seems unlikely. Stop worrying about percentages. If your clothes are looser and you feel better then it's working! Wilkie
  • Go with your gut instinct. If you want to run, then run. Have a chat with your instructor, give them a second chance if you like, but tell them what YOU want from the sessions. If they don't give you that, then don't waste your money. vixx76
  • Why are you using a trainer? if you can run 30-40mpw off your own back, and you want to run long distance, just do it! Lardarse

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For the week ending 17 November 2008

Hot to trot...

Storm-chasers

  • During the summer I ran in the rain, and even with my lightweight waterproof, there was no danger of getting too cold. Now it’s winter - and it seems like a really wet one - I don’t want to get pneumonia from running outdoors! When would you give up on a training session? Clairey S
  • I’d never give up! If the weather is seriously bad, though then I will retreat indoors to the dreaded treadmill. The Russians have a saying: "There’s no such thing as bad weather, just inappropriate clothing." Pammie*
  • I've run in the hills with a few flashes of lightning. I’ve been caught out a few times and I always think, "You daft fool!" Images of a fried runner and his four-legged friend start flashing through my mind… Scotmoose
  • Rain, snow, hail, it's all fine! The only time I wouldn't go out is when it's properly icy - I'm injury-prone enough without 'assistance' from the weather. Nam
  • You never know – you might be faced with terrible weather conditions in a race. It’s probably best to get used to it. Scott S

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Slow Runners' Social

  • Having come last in a race yesterday I felt the lack of a place for slow runners to chat. All you need is to have come last in at least one race (gory details optional). Pull up a chair, grab a cuppa and a biscuit and off we go… Raring to Go
  • I'll be first with the biscuits - I came last in a race last year. I was pregnant at the time, but even without that I’d probably still have been last. It was a nice reason to be at the back though! Cinders
  • I came last in the dreaded school 1500m when I was 11. I ended up being watched - and heckled - by the whole school on the last straight many, many minutes after the other entrants had passed. I didn't run again until I was well into my thirties.... Runningtams
  • I reckon the best thing about being last in a duathlon is that it's easy to find your bike - it's the only one left! callycat

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Swimming Setbacks

  • I swam for 20 minutes the other day and then promptly felt as if I'd been run over. I can swim fairly well (about 30 seconds/16 strokes per length) but afterwards I am just absolutely exhausted for the rest of the day. Anyone else find swimming a trial? MrSnell
  • Are you trying to swim too fast? It’s exactly the same as running - if you go off too fast you only end up getting knackered! Maybe you should take it easy for a while, or get someone to take a look at your technique – you might be thrashing about inefficiently! Buney
  • Maybe you are holding your breath? People seem to panic about their breathing underwater, and worry about running out of breath. It’s actually usually the case that people aren’t exhaling enough. You might have too much C02, rather than not enough O2! Team Hurtmore
  • It’s like doing speed work in running - it should tire you out! Remember the difference between speed work and a long easy paced run. seren nos

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Frozen Fingers
  • Does anyone else suffer from cold hands? It’s so painful it’s knocking my motivation, especially on longer runs. Turbo Elli
  • Mittens are warmer than gloves. Or there's always running holding hands with someone?! The best advice I can offer is to wear lots of pairs of gloves – air will be trapped between the layers and keep your hands warmer. LadyBee
  • What are you wearing on the rest of your body? If you’re not keeping your core warm enough, heat will be drawn there from your legs and arms, and then your hands and feet as well. It could be that you need warmer running kit rather than better gloves. If that's not the problem, I have seen bikers sporting battery-powered heated gloves! James Joy
  • I haven't tried this other than at Tough Guy, but how about latex surgical gloves under normal running gloves? It works for a while, even in Tough Guy conditions! NeverTooLate

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For the week ending 10 November 2008

Hot to trot...

Weight-loss tips

  • Anything you'd recommend to another runner wanting to shed the pounds that really does the trick? Matt Barbour
  • Six smaller meals a day as opposed to three square meals; weights and circuit training as well as running; never skip breakfast; lots of green, leafy veg; as little alcohol as possible. Worked for me! Jimo
  • See food as fuel and that it’s there to make your body run smoothly.  Learn about food, what foods are and what foods provide what benefits. Don't ban foods but fill up on stuff that is healthy and nutritional first. PinguPongu
  • Drink plenty of water. I have a bottle with me at all times and am always sipping, especially when I'm craving food -it helps beat off the cravings. Himji
  • Don't graze. Sit at the table, eat a meal, stop eating when you're no longer hungry but not stuffed, walk away, and don't eat again until the next mealtime. There's no need to snack all day long. Velociraptor
  • Cook from fresh and real ingredients instead of microwaving a ready-made meal. You can rustle up a perfectly good meal for four within half an hour from fresh. If I, a single bloke, can do that then anyone can. Muttley

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Zero to marathon hero

  • How long had you been running before doing a marathon, or starting to train for one? redwine
  • I have only been running properly since February this year but am running the Hastings Marathon in six weeks. That's 10 Months since I started running to full marathon distance. Tommygun2
  • I had no running experience whatsoever before my first marathon! I trained from scratch over five months to finish the New York Marathon in a very slow six hours.  It was meant to be a "once only" challenge but I got the bug and never looked back. Soup Dragon
  • For me, it was one year. I went out for a run the day after watching the 2005 FLM on TV, and ran the 2006 race in 3:58. Now I'm training for my 5th - FLM 2009. Madame O
  • Eight years. You don't want to rush into things like that, you know! Wilkie

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Early starts

  • I love morning runs but due to my work hours I can't really do them during the week unless I get up 4am! What do you prefer and why? Is there any other reason apart from what fits in your routine? TurboElli
  • Morning runs make you feel good for the rest of the day, and it's not hanging over you as 'something that must be done' for the rest of the day, either. Mick W
  • Evening runs for me. I did my first run in the dark last week and it was the most enjoyable run I have ever had - it was cold, dark and perfect. Osanago
  • I've never been an early morning runner - or an early morning anything I'm afraid!  I much prefer running in the evenings between 6pm and 7.30pm. Tigerlily
  • I'm a morning runner but I do find it hard in during the winter months when it's dark and cold – the whole motivation factor just becomes another challenge to overcome! Luca Brasioody-Som

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Countdown to Christmas
  • I was out on a training run last night and lo and behold, there it was - a six-foot-plus artificial tree in the window of a house. Baubles, lights, the Full Monty! It's only the 6th of November! Anyone else seen one yet? Dara Byham
  • There have been Christmas trees in some of the Eastbourne hotels for a couple of weeks – the Christmas theme weekends have already started! fat buddha
  • Doggetts - where we have our London Socials - have had theirs up since September! Scotty
  • I've not seen a tree yet, but I was very distressed to see the Christmas lights were up and on over the bridge that connects me with the town! Clag
  • Santa arrived in our local shopping mall yesterday.... gingerfurball
  • I work for a chain of well known high-street stores that sells all sorts of tat. We've been getting Christmas stuff in since August and people were buying it as soon as it went out on the shelves. Lou-Lou

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For the week ending 31 October 2008

An A-Z of Marathons

  • Someone recently mentioned that he's just finished running a marathon that begins with each letter of his name and some of us may want to copy him.  It's hard to come up with marathons with some letters.  Can anyone help? A few starters for 10: Abingdon, Amsterdam, Beachy Head, Berlin…Artful Hen
  • How about the Marathon at the end of the earth (Marathon Fin del Mundo) in Ushuaia, Argentina? Umbongo du Congo
  • Oooh this is fun! I’ve just added Bratislava, Malta and Steyning Stinger, all  of which I am considering for the next couple of years. Somebody take me away from this thread… Tutu Much
  • It’s much easier to find them than to run them. Who has run the most different marathons? Grumpy Dirtbag
  • When are you going to do them all? I reckon one a month would complete the alphabet in just over two years. Smokin' Chi Monk

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Perfect Porridge

  • How do you make your porridge? And what do you have on it for a treat? I have microwave it with half water, half milk, a sprinkle of seeds and a sweetener. But on a treat day I have a chocolate bar melted in! stephen hole
  • Bowl of water, microwave for 1:20, add porridge oats, stir until sloppy, add a sprinkle of cinnamon and half a measure of strawberry whey protein powder, mix again, add a handful of bran flakes. Eat and enjoy. marshallini
  • I've never enjoyed water-only porridge - it needs to have a least a bit of milk in there for me. But each to their own, it just goes to show how versatile those little oats are... JulieFrazz
  • If you stir good yoghurt into it, it can be very creamy. I bought some Co-op "Healthy Eating" porridge because it was on offer. On the label it said "sweetened with apple juice" - I checked the label and it was 3% whipping cream!  “Healthy eating"indeed! Buney
  • At Christmas, I add Jameson's! Siance

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OMM Media Frenzy

  • 300 runners are stranded in the Lake District for the OMM. Most should be OK, but it's the racing snakes at the front and the first timers most at risk I'd have thought. Having been caught out on Bowfell as a Scout I know that no matter how experienced you are in reading the weather it can still get a bit hairy in bad conditions. D74
  • I've done this event a lot of times - sometimes in terrible weather. I've woken on the Saturday night to 6" of water around the tent with water flooding in through the door and a sea of water as far as the eye can see. Everyone is expected to be properly equipped and fingers crossed they will all be fine. MuddlingAbout
  • Competitors had to spend the night in tents?  Of course they did, they were carrying them with the very intention of spending the night in them! Richard123
  • We texted two blokes from our running club who were there - they were perfectly happy with how everything had been handled. lex lurker
  • It's typical of our media to only take an interest in something as nfamiliar as fell running when there's the possibility of disaster. Invisible Man

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Cursing the Cellulite
  • Does running help reduce cellulite? I guess you don’t really see a lot of runners with cellulite, right? Raks
  • I think running helps the appearance of cellulite (due to the development of the underlying muscle underneath).  Sports massage helps too -  I had a lot of deep tissue massage during an injury and it was a welcome side effect. Nam
  • My legs have become more shapely since I took up running a couple of years ago but the cellulite just loves me too much to disappear. It’s now become my friend and companion - until death do us part! Dual Heritage
  • Don't you read Heat magazine? Even skinny supermodel types suffer from the dreaded orange peel thighs, and you can bet your bottom dollar they will have had the money and means to try every possible treatment going. Redpanda
  • I've seen cellulite on some of the elite women Yay! There is a god. Siance

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For the week ending 20 October 2008

Hot to trot...

Tumbling Race Times

  • I have just run my first ever half-marathon, and want to hear from other runners about how far they have gone since they first started. I think it might give me hope! My time was 2:36 which I know is slow, but I am happy! MaryMoo
  • If you've only been running since July then I reckon you should be able to get under two hours over the next two years. Difficult to say though because people are different. Also, don't get disheartened if you have the odd plateau. I've put in months of hard work for little reward, but then made big breakthroughs when I'm not expecting it. Shelf Side
  • You should be pleased you got that under your belt in such a short time after beginning running. You will be amazed how much you improve over the coming year. Cabarfeidh
  • For my first half-marathon, I ran 1:55 at age 58/59. My best was 1:43 at age 65 and I did 1:44 this year at the age of 68. Keep training consistently and the times will fall rapidly. Johnny J

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Hearty Breakfasts

  • It’s race day tomorrow: what can I have for breakfast other than porridge? Icclesuez
  • I always have porridge on race day and add a bit of oat bran to it to make doubly sure! You can't beat porridge. It's the law to have porridge on race day. I think you get disqualified if you don't. Liverbird
  • Peanut butter and banana on toast, I always have that before a run. Kirrie Plodder
  • Porridge and honey for me this morning, I would be too scared to try anything else now before a race! *Tara*
  • Sometimes, for a 10K, I don't bother at all. I just drink 500ml of Lucozade in the hour leading up to the start (I usually have a heaving great meal the night before, mind...) Paul Farquharson

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Footpath Frustration

  • Is it legal to run (as opposed to walk) on public footpaths? A farmer told me that public footpaths were 'just for walkers' - can anyone shed any light on this?  James Eltringham
  • According to DEFRA, footpaths are only for people on foot - no bikes or horses. It says nothing about what speed they can go at! Wilkie
  • If you come across a blocked footpath - overgrown with vegetation, home to a nasty dog snapping or any other obstruction - then you should contact your local County Council Rights of Way Officer. Karen Dare 2
  • Just to redress the balance from a farmer's point of view, it’s fine to run on a public footpath. It's also fine to shut gates after you, take your litter home, keep your dog under control and use stiles that are provided (as opposed to climbing over walls and wandering all over my pasture...) Fell Running

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Marathon Mishaps
  • I've done two marathons and a 20-mile race recently and each time I've crashed at about the half-marathon point. Am I destined to be a marathon failure? Porl
  • Truthfully, there is a lot you need to analyse in order to discover the reasons for this - attitude, nutrition, tapering etc. But first ask yourself what both your marathons had in common and whether your aspirations match your abilities. GTC
  • It's often not the physical side of things so much as the psychological aspect. There's far more involved in a marathon than a half - Mile 21 is where it begins. mick'n'phil
  • In the last few miles, it probably won't hurt any less if you slow right down - the hurting will just go on for longer. Get your head down, grit your teeth, remember how you felt in training and think how great it'll be once it all stops! Jumping Jen
  • I don't agree that the marathon is "nasty and unpredictable" - if your training and race strategy are meticulous then you shoud be able to predict your time fairly closely. BIRCH

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For the week ending 13 October 2008

Hot to trot...

Competitive Characters

  • I’ve been running for a couple of years and have participated in many local races. But my position in the race is immaterial to me - how many of you treat races as competing against others rather than your own previous times? Graham L
  • In most races I aimto get the quickest time I can on the day and like you, I'm not to bothered about my finishing position. However, I have done races together with my brother and my best mate and there's definitely been an extra element of competition - I want to finish ahead of them. maxpower(north)
  • I certainly enjoy "racing" other runners - I don't like to be overtaken, and I am pleased when I pass others. But then I'm lucky to place in the top third of most of the races that I enter. Mr Puffy
  • Unless you're aiming to finish in the top 10 of a mass participation races, then 'racing' is pretty inconsequential other than in terms of bragging rights between friends. Having said that, racing other people can give you a thrill and a new sense of confidence. JDN21

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More Golden Than Olden

  • Would I be mad to go for my first marathon aged 54? I failed to get a place in the Flora London Marathon via the ballot but am contemplating going for a charity place. Drys
  • Absolutely bonkers mate, enjoy every moment and good luck! keep on trying
  • Go for it! Follow a sensible training schedule and there's no reason why you shouldn't have a ball. 50 is the new 30 you know! Tigerlily
  • I ran my first marathon at 60 having started running at 55. My fastest marathon so far was 3:53 at age 65. Just get out there and do it. Johnny J
  • Age is no barrier to anything. Ultra-Ironwolf

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Suffering For Our Craft

  • What's the most revolting injury you have ever had? My trainer turned pink after a marathon last week due to burst blisters. Then, during the week, all the skin and with it, the nail, came off my little toe. I'm a relative novice at this - thers will surely have suffered more for their craft! Nick Brooks 8
  • A few years ago I collided with the pavement. I cracked my ribs and it hurt to even walk, let alone run. I even had to be signed off work for a few weeks. Pammie*
  • I was running along the crest of a steep ravine with my dog when my dog stopped suddenly. I didn't and went tumbling down the ravine. I woke up with a stick poking into my cheek. Except it wasn't a stick it was my upper arm bone. I lost a couple of pints of claret and later had a shoulder replacement. It was three months before I could hold a pint glass... Corinthian
  • Breaking a metatarsal at Mile 10 of the 2006 FLM courtesy of of Mr Puffy's discarded waterbottle. I still finished the race, but once the shoe was prised off, I never knew a foot could swell so much! I had the full rainbow spectrum of colors as well. Tigerlilly

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Astonishing Accidents
  • Has anyone had any "near misses" while out running? Last winter, a car mounted the pavement just in front of me - I'm ashamed to say that it was only five minutes into my run and I didn't want to stop so I just looked at him and ran around his car! eghamR
  • One forumite got knocked of his bike by a goose, but that wasn't a near miss: it was a direct hit. Wilkie
  • I was chased by a herd of stampeding cows once. I nearly wet myself with fear! I dived in behind a stationary car and the cows stampeded on... gingerfurball
  • I'm more of a danger to myself really - I'm sporting a black and blue shoulder at the moment from running into a road sign! Hope

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For the week ending 6 October 2008

Hot to trot...

Bonkers or brave?

  • I read an interview with Ron Hill and the man is nuts - he's run at least a mile every day for the past 40-odd years, even with serious injuries and illness.There must be hundreds of bonkers runners out there so let's compile a shortlist. Your suggestions, please...  Wild Card Dave
  • A lot of dedicated runners would be considered slightly mad by the general population. I spent the first four months of this year getting up at 3am every third weekend to do a 50-mile run. Does that make me mad or conscientious? Nick L
  • Ranulph Fiennes would get my vote having done seven marathons in seven continents in seven days just four months after a double heart bypass. Le Gav
  • When my dad turned 65 he decided to run 65 races the following year. Less than a month after completing the challenge he collapsed while out running - his running fitness undoubtedly saved his life. He might have been barking mad to run 65 races in a year, but I reckon it saved his life. Caramel Macchiato

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FLM Fever

  • Wow, I can’t believe it! I just got my magazine through and I have an acceptance form. I’m so happy! London 2009 here I come... ChrisM78
  • I'm in too. It’s my first try at getting in, and I put down to finish in 3:50. I’m on top of the world! Sorry to those who missed out this year. PAUL - G1PDC
  • I'm in for the second year in a row, but I do feel rather guilty about it. The sensible part of me thinks I should defer to next year but the part of me that remembers the race and not the training can't wait! Wotsit
  • It's my fourth time running the FLM. I'm in tears, it’s unbelievable! Well done to all of you that have got through and to those that haven’t, there are the charities needing you. raring2go

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No thanks...

Feeling Frosty

  • What do people wear now that its getting colder? If its layers, where do you put them when you get warm? MaryMoo
  • I wear tights instead of shorts, long-sleeved tops instead of vests (or a nice base-layer if it's really parky) and a windproof hi-vis gilet on top. Velociraptor
  • I always find that my legs stay warm when I wear tights but my bum gets icy cold. Does anyone wear thermal knickers? Porkyplodder
  • I don't wear a waterproof jacket unless I'm out on the hills but I do have an extemely lightweight smock made from Pertex. Pertex is a highly breathable, showerproof material that cuts the wind out completely - it's the windchill that makes you cold. Tigerlilly

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Protesting Partners
  • My partner - much as I love her - doesn't give me positive feedback when it comes to races, training, buying gear or eating the right food. Sometimes I wonder if she was to experience the jubilation of crossing the finishline, she would realise why I love running - surely I'm not alone? 7 minute miler
  • Been there, done that. But even when your partner does run, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll be supportive of your running. Nam
  • This just makes me realise how lucky I am to have a supportive wife and kids.  They usually come away with me whenever I race. I think as long as they get a weekend away or a holiday abroad out of it then everyone's happy. Flying Ant
  • I would have to dump anyone that was actively hostile (as opposed to just disinterested) towards something that I love doing. Wanoah

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For the week ending 29 September 2008

Hot to trot...

Event Etiquette

  • I have just done my first two 10K races, and have been wondering about race etiquette. Is it OK to overtake every now and then, or would that be seen as pretentious? Is it impolite to start chatting to another person, or impolite not to?  clottedcream
  • Run your own race and if you happen to overtake people, then great - even if they do overtake you a minute later! Chat if you fancy it, but don’t be offended if people don’t chat back, some people have to put more effort in than others. Mr Guy
  • Don't forget to thank the marshals if you can, and don't start near the front unless you really are one of the fastest people there. If you're running with friends, don't run side by side making a barricade that other people can’t get past. MikeFrog
  • When you've finished a drink - whether it be a cup or bottle - please try and drop it just by the edge of the road. Don't throw it in amongst all the brambles and stinging nettles! small

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Safety First

  • With the nights starting to draw in, I've been thinking about my evening running route. I use my local park but there's little lighting. Has anyone else got experience of running in un-lit areas? Mr Injury
  • I would never run in the dark in an isolated area, but if it's early evening and there are a lot of other people around I think you'd be OK. Beanie1
  • Personally I would think the risks are minimal, but acknowledge that there are risks and act accordingly. If it feels unsafe don't just plough on, trust your instincts. Gargamel
  • I would run in the dark on my own in the early morning or evening, but not after about 8pm.  I'm not scared of being attacked, but the later it gets you're less likely to get help if you fell and injured yourself. vicki: graceless whippet

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No thanks...

Combatting Colds

  • Is it safe to keep on running with a cold?  I read somewhere that it is safe to run has long has you kept your heart rate below 130 and run at a slow, easy pace. Anyone have any other advice? Andy Money
  • Unless it is a severe cold you should be fine to run. Just take it easy, drink plenty beforehand and obviously stop if you're feeling grim. JDN21
  • The usual rule is: symptoms above the neck, run easily; below the neck, don't even think about exercise.. Please take this seriously - people have died after running when they shouldn't. Ultra-Ironwolf
  • I collapsed at the weekend after running 19 miles with a chest infection. I became seriously dehydrated and ended up with heat exhaustion, even though my heart rate was OK. I am learning the hard way that your health is more important. Liverbird

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Counting the Calories
  • What is a typical's day diet for you? Training or not training.. Snowdonia Snail
  • I love diet coke and chocolate buttons. Nice dinners too with meat, spuds and vegetables – yum. Steak and more steak, I have a thing for red meat. When I'm training hard I eat more cake and meat but not at the same time! Double 0
  • I eat whatever I like. Food is something that I enjoy and I don't think I could cope with having a restricted diet that was just there to sustain me. RoadIslandRed
  • I don't bother counting calories – I had enough of that in my teens! I generally know if I haven't eaten enough when training because I feel exhausted.  You'll know if you need to eat more or less, trust me! the next great milestone
  • Everything in moderation...unfortunately for me, it doesn't seem to work like that.  I know it should be easy, but I seem to be an "all or nothing" type of person. I must try and balance things a bit better! Redpanda

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For the week ending 22 September 2008

Hot to trot...

Sport vs Pastime

  • Considerable debate ensues on a regular basis in our canteen as to whether running is a sport or a pastime. Anyone care to add their thoughts? Spartan Runner
  • In my opinion, if you get sweaty doing it, or need to wear specialist clothing, it's a sport. kwilter... waddling less
  • A sport must contain a competitive element, otherwise doing press-ups would be a sport. SoVeryTired
  • Running is both a sport and a pastime, depending on the attitude of the person doing it. If I do a bit of running to maintain some fitness, I'd think of it as a pastime, but as I'm running in races most weeks, I think of it a sport. Cookie!
  • I think the term "sport" definitely has more credibility and suspect that people who like chess will be the ones most likely to argue that it is a sport, while people who don't, will dismiss it as a game. candy ollier

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Mind Games

  • Does anyone else find their mind plays games on them if they run without music? Sometimes I'll get songs coming into my head and other times I'll start thinking of something that's happened recently. the next great milestone
  • I start on one train of thought, and then my mind just wanders. Making bizarre lists and counting for no apparent reason seem to be typical. JulieFrazz
  • I usually find my mind reacts to the sounds of my feet and breathing especially after a particularly long and tiring run. Then I hear little phrases which repeat themselves over and over. Small
  • I do things like counting backwards from 300 in sevens. Or spotting the inconsistencies in plot of films or TV programmes I've seen. Wilkie

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No thanks...

Horrendous Hills

  • The Buxton Half-Marathon; miles two to four up Axe Edge. There’s no respite and you can't even enjoy the spectacular Peak District scenery as your eyes are glued firmly to the next yard of tarmac. Swittle
  • The hardest hill I've ever encountered in a race is at the end of the Windermere Marathon, which comes just after you've squeezed the last drop of juice out of your uphill-running apparatus. Velociraptor
  • The other North Yorkshire killer that springs to mind is in the Guy Fawkes 10. It leads up out of Birstwith, past the chapel towards Menwith Hill.  I've seen grown men sobbing quietly in the ditch going up that one. NorthernExile
  • Dartmoor Discovery is a running roller-coaster. Three really vicious ups at miles 6 and 13 and (long slow drag) through the marathon distance. bo-bo
  • The Marlow Half-Marathon would take some beating in the South; in Wales the Rhayader Round the Lakes 20 is quite a challenge – the first seven miles are all up a steep hill. AB

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Missing Manners
  • I'm fairly new to running but I would've thought that a shared love of running might lead people to at least acknowledge other runners. Is that asking too much? WDW2009
  • I usually find that women runners ignore me or look the other way. I've yet to work out if this is due to rudeness or safety issues. Paul Farquharson
  • It seems to depend on where I am running. If I am off the beaten track then people say hello, but if I am going round the local park the majority of people ignore me. Mr. Guy
  • I generally smile and wave – most folks do the same. Cyclists do it too. I even had a cyclist smile at me while I was driving with my bike on the back – see, we are all in the same mad exercise club and we all know it! GymAddict
  • I've only found that runners ignore me when I run in cities. Round here, everyone acknowledges you – runners, cyclists, riders, walkers, tractor drivers. Mountain bikers can sometimes only manage a grunt - but that's fine too. Johnny again

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For the week ending 15 September 2008

Hot to trot...

Multi-sport Training

  • I'm starting to feel like I need to do something completely different to running to mix things up - what does everyone else do? the next great milestone
  • A pile of ironing is good upper body work. Seriously though, I do a combination of cycling/resistance work and good quick fast walking. It is surprising how much benefit can be had from a good brisk walk. Autumn66
  • I went to a belly dancing class once but just felt a bit daft.  I would love to do some yoga but there just isn't enough time in the week.  I struggle to fit in circuits and running - I wish I worked part-time!  PinguPongu
  • If I had the time, I'd like to try some sort of ballroom dancing. Women would be falling over themselves to get to me.  I could handle that. Coops10
  • Some pro footballers do ballet training for strength, coordination and balance. Ultra-Ironwolf
  • Ballet? Only if I can find a tutu my legs look good in! Jimo

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Green Living

  • Considering we're all about saving the planet these days, why do we still live in a world where toothpaste comes in two lots of packaging and we wrap fruit in plastic?  It's wrapped already! Garr
  • Pillow factories should think about using an obvious untapped human by-product: belly button fluff. Gone Zo
  • At work 80% of our rubbish is recyclable. The council will not take any of it, except as rubbish. Pizza Man
  • I leave as much of the unnecessary packaging on the checkout as possible which causes all sorts of problems. I'm sure it won't be long before they try and ban me for upsetting the staff. BigRedToe
  • How come it's cheaper to buy products that are loaded with chemicals than eco-friendly stuff? Why does being green have to cost the earth? Hope

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Goody Bag Grumbles

  • Reading the event reviews there seems to be a lot of gripe about goody bags - surely the reason you enter a race is for the race itself, not the bag at the end? Meglet
  • If people pay £25 for 10K and then find at the end there's not even a medal T-shirt, then I can see why they would be peeved. Nam
  • Try the Stockport Harriers 10-mile race.  One of the big things about this race is the random things in the goody bag. Last year someone got a toilet seat. Farnie
  • I’ve done over 150 races and some do great mementos. I don’t do them for that, but I have had sweatshirts, whisky glasses and so on. Technical T-shirts are always a lovely bonus too, but like you say, it’s about the race. Plodding Hippo
  • You'd do well to beat the Marathon du Medoc goody bag – not only is it a top bag in it's own right, it’s also got wine in it. But then I didn't choose the race for the bag - I chose it for the wine on the way round... James Valentine

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Mindless Motorists
  • You know how it is - you've just survived another cycle to work and want to scream at someone. Personally, I think we should always report collisions and accidents to the police, then there's a chance one day, drivers will learn to be a bit more careful. Womble
  • Argh, don't get me started! I've got so much pent-up anger about the lack of awareness and courtesy shown to cyclists that I can't even rant coherently about it anymore. It's always the cyclists’ fault though. Gah! sheddy
  • There are loads of inconsiderate cyclists out there but I have just as many stories about pedestrians and car drivers being useless. Falling into a tribalistic "them and us" mindset is always a bad thing. We rarely remember the drivers who let us out, or the cyclists who pull in on the hill to let cars by. Tom Tom T. Barrow
  • It's the drivers who genuinely don't see cyclists that scare me the most. They're the ones who don't realise they're in charge of a potentially dangerous machine and that they need to be alert 100% of the time. M.ister W

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For the week ending 8 September 2008 as chosen by Delvis lives

Hot to trot... Post-race Provisions

  • When you finish a race or a long run, what do you fancy eating? I am helping to organise one of the post-race receptions for a charity, and wanted to know what food to stock up on for when our runners finish and fancy something to eat. ataylor75
  • If the organisers have laid on a burger bar I'll have the largest cheeseburger going with a large sugary tea. Scotty
  • Tea for me. A handful of salted peanuts, then a couple of slices of wholemeal toast with lashings of butter and honey.  Autumn66
  • They don't do them anymore but the post-FLM cheese and tomato sandwiches were the best! Any other day they'd be horrible but straight after 26.2 miles, bliss! Moe
  • A special recovery solution of sugar and ethanol, with vegetable extracts and aerated with CO2 for faster absorption, and a big doner kebab. MikeFrog

Running in the Rain

  • I’ve only recently started running and as autumn creeps up on us, I’m worried about how to motivate myself to get out when it’s cold, damp and dark. Any suggestions? sarah kirby
  • I love running in the rain. I wear very little and love the feeling of being soaked to the skin and enjoy it as a thoroughly wet experience. Mrs Pig
  • One of the most refreshing aspects of running is to be able to feel free like a bird and go out and run in the rain – it will make you feel good, both physically and psychologically. micknphil-marathonlads.com
  • I find it easier to run in the rain than the sun as it keeps you so cool. The harder you run and the harder the conditions are the better you'll feel afterwards! chocolate squirrel
  • Forget wearing waterproof anything - it just makes you hot and sweaty. I used to overdress with sweat tops, leggings, gloves and then gradually I shed all of it –  when you run you get warm, simple. There’s nothing better than getting soaked to the skin. martin ring 2

No thanks...

Training Fatigue

  • I have always enjoyed my running but at the beginning of last week I started feeling mentally and physically fatigued. I ploughed on training regardless but now I can't face running at all. Do I just take it that this has happened, have a week’s rest and come back refreshed? And how do I avoid this in the future? danowat
  • Take a week off - you'll feel worse if you force yourself to go out and absolutely hate it. It does pass - you'll just feel like pulling on your shoes and going out for a run, however short. littlelawyer
  • We all need to have a break from running a couple of times a year. It really will help. I bet before the week is up you'll be desperate to get out for a run again! small

  • I've also noticed this past week that I can feel the autumn approaching - different pollens, air conditions. These things can affect people in very subtle ways - I know it affects me.  Bearlegs
  • Is it possible that you are getting ill? When I have to stop training or can't get myself motivated, it typically transpires that I am in the early stages of a cold or flu. Either way, to take a break is the answer. ejc

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Jogger vs Athlete

  • Do you applaud or object to being called an athlete, or does it make your blood boil to be called a jogger? Let's have a quick vote. You're an athlete if you've got athlete's foot. So that's me, then. Blisters
  • My teacher at school always said I’d never be an athlete but here I am, a member of a running club, and I've just come second in the club’s summer handicap. I still feel a bit like I shouldn't be here though! I don't object to being called a jogger as usually most of my non-running friends wouldn't know the difference. Batmouse
  • If someone from your running club said "I saw you out jogging the other night" then you might be a bit peeved if you were doing your speed work. Buney
  • I regard elite level runners as athletes. I'm pretty average and I think 'athlete' is way too strong a word for someone of my standard. I see myself more as a participant. Nam


For the week ending 28 August 2008

Hot to trot...

Reflective Gear

  • What do people find effective and comfortable to wear on dark evening runs? I noticed when running this week that it is starting to get dark when I am out so I need to invest in something to be seen and stay safe. Any suggestions gladly taken. mouser12
  • JJB do a fluorescent gillet and its only £7.49. I've also got a strip of reflective material that I got off eBay and have attached to various items of clothing. Lou-Lou
  • You can get hi-viz reflective tabards cheaply and when its dark I just throw that on over whatever kit I am running in. It gives you more options clothes wise.cougie
  • White is by far and away the best non-reflective colour to wear, beats fluorescent in the dark hands down. Richard 123
  • In addition to the reflective vest that I picked up in a local running shop a couple of years back, last year I found some bands in Aldi that are a battery sown into a reflective strip with  LEDs on the outside and some Velcro on the ends. I saw lots of people wearing them round here and they are really effective. I've also been known to clip a small cycle lamp to my bottle belt. CumbriAndy
  • Karrimor do really good high-viz wear –  I've got a sleeveless 'shell' which is really breathable and light – those cheap shops like Sports Soccer usually have a cheap Karrimor section which is wear I get most of my gear. The next great milestone

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British Cycling

  • After just watching the highlights of the track cycling, I am in awe of our team of cyclists (road and track). As a purely leisure cyclist, I am dumbstruck by the power and commitment they maintain, year after year.  I'm in awe of the other sportsmen and women that have also done us proud, but as a team, the cyclists have just blown everyone else away. Can we take their mental attitude and training commitment and apply it to all other sports please? Maybe then our so called national sports may actually start winning something – footballers and cricketers especially. Well done. LozF
  • Hopefully this will be a platform for one of our cyclists to go on to win the Tour of France. Autumn66
  • There’s too many 'jobs for the boys' in athletics, too much bureaucracy and politics spread between this and that body. Well done British Cycling! Farnie
  • Some of our other sportsmen seem to think that talent and arrogance is enough – it isn't. You don't get anything without bloody hard work, sacrifices and total commitment. My hat is raised in a dandy, yet respectful salute. Let's hope they cyclists get the recognition they deserve...and maybe we could see a bit of it on the telly please? LozF
  • British Cycling set a 10 year plan in place back in 2002 and aimed to be the number one ranked nation on the track in 2012 and ranked in the top 12 in road cycling. The guffaws and sniggers from us club cyclists could be heard from far and wide but now we're already there, four years ahead of schedule. If you think athletics can turn things around in less than 48 months then think again, British Cycling started their 2012 programmes six years ago and I've no doubt that their 2016 plans are already well set up. Matchstick Man
  • I wonder if the Olympic success will lead to a greater public interest in cycling as a sport. Dodge
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No thanks...

Energy Gels

  • I've decided that as much as I love long runs I can’t stand gels. I’ve been trying SIS Go gels - I have tried others and for a while these worked for me but on the last few big runs I have almost been physically sick when I have tried to take the gel - so that's it, I am not doing it anymore. Does anyone have any ideas as to why the gels have suddenly become something I can't stomach? And what's the ideal solid – the smallest, most carb-dense thing you can take? GTC
  • I tried gels quite recently and they made me feel queasy for the rest of the run Jelly beans and jelly babies are the way forward for me. Etive Girl
  • About 13 miles of jelly babies is all I can take without feeling a bit icky. After that I need something more substantial, especially since, as slower runner, it will mean I have been out for about 2:20 at that point. Seeds of Change cereal bars are my snack of choice. Quite sweet, small, not too chewy, fairly substantial. I like the pork pie idea though but I would need to find a way of carrying Branston pickle too though.Screamapillar
  • Why do you need gels/snacks on a long run? Isn't it all about training your body to use what you have more efficiently, and to cope with the transition between using glycogen and burning fat? Lardarse
  • At the finish of the La Rochelle marathon, you get given a basket of oysters.  During the marathon du Medoc you get wine, cheese, beef, oysters, ham, and near the finish –  an ice cream. In addition to the fresh and dried fruit and cake that is available during all French races.  They know how to do things over there.Wilkie
  • Has anyone tried the new SIS Smart 1 gel? I bought some recently in Edinburgh and found them quite palatable. A little like cough medicine but not as strong tasting. They go down quite easy and they are isotonic.Westley

British Middle-distance Runners

  • How bad is our middle distance running at the moment? Brendon Foster basically slaughtered the people in charge of our middle distance runners today, and I totally agree with him. We definitely have the talent so why aren't we bringing the athletes forward? Kelly Holmes’ achievements in Athens covered up the demise in British middle distance running. In the 70s and 80s we regularly had two or three people in each event with a real chance of medalling. I'd be interested in peoples’ opinions. Feel The Pain
  • I think even if we were still good at the distance we would struggle to get a medal because half the African nations are very much into the sport and they are setting the standards. Cake
  • I’m not sure if it's the way the team is managed. I think a lot of the potential pool of talent gets pulled towards other sports, or towards the sprinting following the success of Linford Christie. We had a glut of reasonable sprinters after Barcelona although many of hose are now retired or getting to the end of their careers.  A lot of the ones who show potential never seem to develop it.  I can't say I've heard much of decent prospects in the middle distance events - Mo Farah and Andy Baddeley would be the best we have and they're not startlingly good.  Some potentially good girls coming through though. The One and Only XFR Bear
  • Is it too easy to get funding in another sport? I see that the this year’s AAA steeple chase champion Adam Bowden, who missed the Olympic qualifying time by a second, is to give up athletics and take up triathlon where there’s more chance of funding, better management, no UK Athletics involvement and better access to coaching.Pizza Man
  • It's not just middle distance running that looks bad, but track and field as a whole isn't it? We are sadly lacking in depth in sprinting, middle distance running and long distance running at both sexes, and where are our field athletes?There are a whole host of reasons why we are underperforming in all areas, but UK Athletics is facing a harsh reality check now and sailing, swimming, cycling, to name a few, are showing the way things should be done. Matchstick Man

For the week ending 19 August 2008

Hot to trot...

What speed to train at?

  • I'm having a little trouble. I know there are severe differences of opinion about what pace most of your training is done at, but I'm interested to find out what most of you are actually doing? Apart from any speed/tempo training I've been doing, I've been doing most of my running at 2 minutes per mile slower than 5k race pace - i.e. my 5k race pace is about 6 minutes per mile and I've been doing most of my running at 8 minutes per mile. Having read around a bit here I'm thinking now that I should probably increase this to 7 - 7.30mm as 2 minutes per mile slower is just too slow. Andy Benfold
  • I mainly train to heart rate, try that as a better guide to how you are doing and how hard you should be running. Lee-sterine
  • I think what you're doing sounds just fine Andy. My personal mantra is 'miles make champions', and in my experience it's much easier to run significant mileage if your legs aren't shredded after every run. For comparison, my 5K pace is about 5"20 per mile and my usual plodding speed is about 7:45 minutes per mile. I'll go faster if I'm doing a specific session, and slower if I need more of a recovery run. AreThoseMyFeet?
  • A 'steady pace' is exactly that, steady! The pace you run at is a by-product of running steady, it is not something you should increase just because you feel you should be running faster. If your steady pace is 8 minutes per mile, and you decide to run at 7 minutes per mile you are not achieving the purpose of the session. feel the pain! You sound as if you're no novice. You'll get conflicting advice from forumites on this thread because there is no single solution. Find what is best for you and stick to it. Rule of thumb: target race distance is X; so do sessions slower for runs longer than X, and faster if less. Treadmill
  • The key is knowing what you want to achieve from each session. Running every single training run at 7:30 minutes per mile pace means you'll become an expert at running this pace. You need to make sure you look at incorporating tempo sessions and speedwork into your training week, and not being afraid to run slower when you are tired (I frequently run my recovery runs between 8:30 and 9 minutes per mile pace). Rach E

Members with tattoos

  • I just had my second tattoo done just a few days ago. I had one done on my lower back about five years ago. I felt I was getting older and it was one of the things I wanted to get done. On Tuesday I had a tattoo done on the inside of the wrist. It’s of a pair of angel wings with Dad in the middle of them. I have wanted this done since my Dad passed away 18 months ago but have waited till now just in case I changed my mind! Have any of you got any tattoos and if so, what do they mean? MaryMoo
  • My next one will (hopefully) be an M dot (the Ironman symbol). Not sure whether to have it somewhere discreet or in full view with laurel leafs and a big pointy arrow. Lee-sterine
  • Lee, we got back from Nice last, the next day I popped out to Sainsbury’s and came back an hour later with my M dot tattoo! Ironically – in lots of ways – it still hasn't healed, seriously! I have three other tattoos, all as important as time in my life....but the IM refuses to do the biz. Kittenkat
  • My friend had a tattoo the other day. For some reason she wanted 'Once upon a time' written on her foot. The tattooist spelt it wrong and wrote 'Ounce upon a time'. To make matters worse, to cover it up, the tattooist drew a dragonfly over the 'U'. So now it says 'O (dragonfly) nce upon a time'. The moral of the story- make sure whoever is drawing something on your body permanently can spell! Lou-Lou
  • A lot of people have used the 'think about what they'll look like when you're old' argument - but as far as I'm concerned, if I'm wrinkled anyway, I won't care about a few tattoos. I'll just tell people the strawberry I’ve got is a raisin! MadameO

No thanks...

“To medal”

  • I was just curious to know if anyone else has become annoyed by the term "to medal" I'm not 100 per cent sure of the correct use of the English language. But as I see it, a medal is a piece of metal awarded as a prize. "To medal" doesn't make sense.  "To meddle" exists and means something completely different.  Doesn't it? Chase Runner
  • Just meddling with a perfectly adequate language if you ask me –what’s wrong with "to win a medal"? Buney
  • The way I've heard it used is during the BBC coverage of the Olympics, both on TV and Radio 5Live.  Some competitors and commentators (not all though) describe the athletes as "Coming to BeijinJust encountered "to medal" for the first time. What a cretinous expression. Don't get me started. Living on the other side of the Pond, I get to hear a lot of these. The one that stands out in my memory is to golf (as in to play golf. Examples of usage include "we're going golfing this afternoon" or "do you like to golf")AreThoseMyFeet?
  • And while I'm at it, is anyone else annoyed by "Team GB"? When did this idiocy replace “The British Team” or simply “Great Britain”?Muttley

  • Join the thread

Morning running

  • I love the idea of going for a morning run - it’s quiet and cool out and you feel healthy for the rest of the day. But whenever I do it I struggle to keep going for as long as I usually can. I have no energy, feel dehydrated and my legs just don’t seem to want to co-operate. Added to this I'm one of those annoying types that gets a stitch if I eat or drink two hours before a run. Will it get easier if I just keep at it? Can anyone suggest anything to give my energy a boost so I can enjoy a morning run? Hellabella
  • I can't get away with early morning running, I feel weak, and sleepy, and just rubbish really! I am ok on a weekend if I have had a lie in and some light food. Redpanda
  • I think in all the years that I've run, I've only ever run in the morning about 2 or 3 times - totally agree that you just feel so weak and sleepy still. Going to have to overcome it though since Wolverhampton's only weeks away and the race starts at 9:30. At least it'll take me anything from 3-4 hours though so I guess that's a sufficient time frame to wake up in. The next great milestone
  • I am struggling with running in the morning and always have over the years and I very rarely do it. It probably has to do with the food intake although I believe that first thing in the morning can be the same interval as having your dinner at 12 and  run  at 8 pm. Personally , if I don’t feel awake, I don’t feel that my body is giving its maximum and I struggle. I have seen some good tips though so I will try it. Road Runner 2
  • I did it for a while and there are obviously 2 major problems associated with morning running. 1) Eating before you go could give you a stitch. 2) Not eating can leave you feeling weak and with no energy. I used to take 1 slice of granary bread out with me and eat it gradually during the first mile, and I found this way I didn't feel totally empty but I didn't get a stitch either. Eventually I switched to evenings because I hate dragging myself out of bed before absolutely necessary, but that's a separate issue! Andy Benfold

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