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 (April 2009 - June 2009)


Posted: 15 September 2009

For the week ending 29 June 2009

Hot to trot...

Cheery Salutations

  • I'm beginning to think that I must be invisible. I always try to smile and say hello when I see other people out running, but more often than not I get completely ignored. Is it just me?! Fripps
  • I always say hello to runners, cyclists and walkers and if I'm on a long run and I'm a bit bored I give a cheery wave too. If I get an equally cheery wave back it perks me up for the next few miles! Lou-Lou
  • My family live in Liverpool and whenever I run there I don't even see any other runners! In fact, I just get abuse hurled at me for being a 'weirdo', so if you’re being ignored just think – it could be worse! DebbieG
  • I live in a very rural area so there are always lots of people out. I’d say that 95% of people say "morning", "hello" or "I bet that keeps you fit!!" or give a smile and a wave. Maybe friendliness is a geographical thing? danowat

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Reasons For Running

  • I often get asked why I enjoy running, and my response to anyone who asks is that it keeps me fit and healthy, makes me better at work, makes me good looking and gives me a better sex life. That normally shuts up the people who ask me! Jokes aside, why do you enjoy running? runnerman
  • The pain? the injuries? the blisters? the sting from the sweat in the eyes? I have no idea, I must be a masochist! Shimmy shimmy
  • The process of pushing myself and doing something constructive makes me feel good. I also enjoy learning the theory behind it all, which is great for my training partner who would rather be left to just run while I plot the workouts, read the training plans, pass on tips etc. Everyone wins! Patrick Murphy 5
  • I run because I enjoy striding through the peaceful quiet of a wood at dawn. I swim because I like gliding through the water free of the weight of my body and finding a peace in the rhythm and flow of exertion. I do triathlon because I have a credit card. bos1

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Race Number Swap-Shop

  • A man and a woman have been banned from competing in the Edinburgh Marathon for life after they were caught swapping entry numbers. What do you think? Love it!
  • They probably just put the wrong numbers on - if they knew each other, and were staying at the same place, it'd be pretty easy to get mixed up. What can I say? I'm easily confused, and I enter a lot of races, and I'm blonde (a major factor here!) Vicki: Graceless Whippet
  • I can see why it would be an issue for a geezer to win a bird's category though... But it does sound like they just mixed it up. I saw money exchanging hands at the Dublin expo with people selling their race numbers to folk in the foyer. Liverbird
  • Having been involved in a race where someone died, the thought of having a collapsed runner and no idea who they are or who their next of kin are is too awful to contemplate. There are plenty of other races, so if you don't have an entry for one race, enter the next one on time! The (Original) Boy Wonder

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Irritating Injury

  • I’m a new runner but an injury has resulted in a layoff of 4-6 weeks. I’m having withdrawal symptoms and I’m so grumpy! How do you cope with being out? Shedboy
  • The key thing is to identify why and how you got injured, and take the necessary mental and physical steps to avoid it happening in the future. When you get back into running you are going to have to take it easy to rebuild your running fitness. As for "coping"… you just have to, it’s one of those things. danowat
  • Take the time to get some miles in on the bike! And if you can do 'gym' stuff then working on glutes is often overlooked by many runners, exercises such as lunges, squats and 'good mornings' are helpful. You do just have to get on with it though… Nick L
  • Use this time to work on your core strength - it's something that runners often forget but is so important. I see injury as part of the running process, a time to reassess everything so you come back stronger. It is bound to happen at some point, so use the time to work on things. Shimmy shimmy

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For the week ending 22 June 2009

Hot to trot...

Forum Nicknames

  • What made you come up with the nickname that you post under on here? Sprint Akie
  • Plod on the road. Plod on in life. Kind of like the old motto "Just keep swimming". PloddingOn
  • I like the name Seren and when I'm running a stupid song the kids sang in nursery keeps coming into my head: "Seren nos yn canu…" So I’m seren nos - night star. seren nos
  • Because my plans never come together... The B Team

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Running slow to run fast

  • I’ve just run my first marathon and I've decided to use the next three to four months for aerobic base training at a low heart rate to (hopefully!) increase my speed. If you’ve used this method, how did you find it and how did your race times improve? Beanie1
  • You can run for longer whilst keeping your heart rate at a specified level but the pace is slow...I did notice though, when out on a ten-miler that I finished it quicker than going by pace. It does work, just keep at it! Gazmanmeister
  • I do a lot more miles, but at a slightly lower HR. My marathon pace has come down from around 12 min/miles to 7 min/miles, and it’s still going down further. Short answer: it works, if you're prepared to put the time in. candy ollier
  • Have you measured your max HR properly? Are you taking a spot reading or an averaged reading over an interval? It might take between three and six weeks to see improvements so keep with it. onegoodleg

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Wrong Underwear

  • My shorts are loose and wick well, but can anyone recommend good knickers for running? nutty1976
  • You’ve got two options in my view - no pants at all (especially good if your shorts have in-built pants) or sports knickers. I wear Freya active pants sometimes – they’ve got good wicking ability. shelscrape
  • Most comfortable in my opinion? Lycra shorts and go commando!k
  • A friend uses men’s motorbike wicking boxer shorts - they don’t have any seams in the wrong places. Ph0enix

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Mental Blocks

  • I started running about two months ago, training for a 5K. I got an injury on my left leg, during which I kept running but had to walk-run. The problem is now sorted and I did the race but I still wasn't able to run the full distance. I now seem to have a complete mental block about keeping going, even though I know that I can do the distance physically. Any tips? Lianne Lambert
  • As you've identified, it's mental rather than physical. I normally get over it by deciding to run to a point I can see ahead of me. When I get to it I decide to run a bit further to another point, and so on. That breaks the run into small sections and I never have a long run stretching out ahead of me. M.ister W
  • Have you tried doing a timed run-walk schedule - eg run five minutes, walk one minute, then increasing the run length each week by one or two minutes until you are up to running the full distance? That gives you the 'permission' to walk, building up gradually. Pippi LS
  • When I’m tempted to walk I start counting from one to ten, then back down to 1 and keep repeating. Once you've done that a few times quite a bit of time has passed and it keeps the mind focused on something else rather than your temptation to walk. susiebe

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For the week ending 15 June 2009

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Runner Rivalry

  • When you spot another runner ahead of you on a run, do you get the urge to overtake them even if they’re faster than you? Schmoo74
  • I find that chaps are (generally) more competitive. I run with a man who cannot keep up with me - the other night he was so far behind he even got lost. However, when the club hoves into view he manages to summon up enough speed to ensure that he gets there before me! Wilkie
  • I don't feel the need to overtake other runners but I do feel the need to speed up if I see another runner. Then I slow down again when they're out of sight and get my breath back. Mrs Womble
  • I always feel a little embarrassed passing someone, but conversely my running partner says it gives her confidence in catching and passing someone! Patrick Murphy 5

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Regular Massage

  • I’ve just booked my first sports massage and wanted to know how often should you get one? I run five times a week and my weekly mileage is about 40-45 miles. james castellain
  • How deep are your pockets? I get one every six weeks or so for injury prevention, or every two to three weeks if I'm suffering from muscle knots or tightness. I'd rather give my money to a sports therapist before I get injured, than to a physio afterwards. Njord
  • I have them every two weeks or so before a big race and then one a week for a couple of weeks after, then once a month or so in normal training, I like them! JWrun
  • I had my first massage about four days after my marathon. My calf muscles felt a bit sore after, but everything else felt great. He found the strain I had in my upper thigh, and showed me how to feel the scar tissue! He also showed me how to self-massage this area, but I’ve not really got the hang of it yet. Going back for another soon! Beanie1

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Calorie Confusion

  • I ran 12.5 miles today which should in theory be around 1200 calories burnt. Where does your body take the calories from while you are running? Bunches77
  • It depends on how hard your run is. If your HR is low then you’ll burn fat, as it increases then you’ll start to burn glycogen (which comes from carbohydrates). I think I generally burn calories from my upper body - my thighs are still the same size as when I started running... MD6
  • There are two ways of looking at it - a slower run burns more fat calories but at the same time it still burns fewer calories. Someone walking in the fat burning zone still burns fewer fat calories – and overall calories - than someone running. Warrington Road Warrior
  • Mine go from my brain - I'm thick as mince after a long run! betty79

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New Shoes, New Blisters

  • I’ve broken in my new trainers, but I’m still suffering horribly with blisters. The advice I’ve had is to slap plasters on, keep running, and it should eventually improve. Does anyone have any alternative advice? 3yearphase
  • Even a pair of shoes with a good fit may cause discomfort for a couple of weeks, especially if they’re different from your old pair. I tried: twin-layer socks, surgical tape, using a pumice stone and moisturiser, experimenting with the laces, and padding around the blister with loo roll. Curious
  • Try taking the insole out and replacing it with the stock insole from your old shoes. It may be something as simple as the insole of the new shoe catching on your foot, or rough stitching (check the fabric inside the shoe). Or it may be that the style of shoe just doesn't work for you. footman
  • Alternating new shoes with old shoes can sometimes help, especially if you run every day. Compeed plasters are good, but as a long term solution will be expensive. I'd go back and speak to the guys in the shop once more, or go and get advice elsewhere, and make sure you're in the right shoes. Jbelly77

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For the week ending 9 June 2009

Hot to trot...

Magic Moments

  • What are your top five running moments? Mine are: finishing Comrades in under nine hours; finishing my first marathon; the first marathon I ran sub-3:30; sitting in the middle of Dartmoor watching the sun come up after running ten miles in the dark to get there; running down a mountain trail in Spain with the sea 20 miles away sparkling in the distance and the smell of pine trees all around. Dubai Dave
  • Organising my first race; captaining the winning team in the Wessex Ridgeway Relay; finishing the Stickler - the first time I ran 10 miles (what a way to start); beating all my club mates at the Sturmey Half (two on the line - sorry fellas); training on the track for the first time and having to go home sick from work that night because I was so knackered! goldbeetle
  • My first ever "run" at the age of 37, which lasted a grand total of six minutes, and took four days to recover from; the first time I ran 10K in training; overtaking several horses on a downhill section in the Man v. Horse race; coming down my first big descent in a fell race, realising that my legs were too knackered to brake, and wondering whether I would make it down to the bottom without injuring myself - I had to laugh out loud; sitting alone in my car after Shining Tor fell race, watching the sun set over Cheshire with "Shadow Of The Day" by Linkin Park playing. DazTheSlug
  • Boxing Day when I was 17 - running on the beach in Liverpool in the snow; finally breaking two minutes for 800m (even though I was second to last); going for a run at 1.30am the day after my son was born – I’d just got home from the hospital and was too excited too sleep; running along the New Jersey "boardwalk" looking at the Manhattan skyline, and then reaching the end and seeing the Statue of Liberty; counting rabbits, horses and deer on runs through the countryside. GoldenOldie

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Holiday Workouts

  • I'm off to Portugal for a fortnight and I've never been one for doing much training on holiday. Do other people stick to their schedule, amend it or simply get down to the bar and forget about it? And what about safety? Would you bother wearing an alarm? Liverbird
  • I tend to plod every day when I’m on holiday because I don't have the work/dog walking/normal life demands to contend with and it's also a great trade-off for lounging around and eating and drinking what I damn well like. BRT
  • The first week of my holiday is supposed to be the first week of my marathon training, so I started a couple of weeks in advance and am going to repeat the weeks while I'm away. I get up early and go before the other half wakes up. It doesn't spoil her holiday and if I feel tired I can always have a kip during the day. Baggieboy
  • Run frequently, easy and early. I try and go out every day at the crack of dawn and go for a short run at easy pace. I find it’s too hot to do anything like speedwork and too difficult to find a decent route to go for long runs (plus that would cut into family time). Richard_R

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Recent Tattoos

  • I had a tattoo on the top of my foot and up my ankle five days ago. Do you think it's OK to start running again now? Or will socks and trainers aggravate it? Sarah Lewis 15
  • Beware - if you pull the scab off it could take some of the ink away too. I had this happen with one of my tattoos and it left a fainter ink line than the rest of the tattoo. Wear an extra pair of socks if you’re not sure. Autumn 66
  • If it's still scabbed over definitely not - a run is not worth ruining a tattoo for! Just think that in a year, ten years and 50 years’ time you will still have the tattoo, but the run will be long forgotten about! carrot
  • I think it depends on how big and detailed it is. If it’s small, then five days may be enough - after my first one I left it a week. I left my latest for two weeks until the scab had completely cleared, then I wore clothes that wouldn't rub and took it easy for another week, then I moisturised a lot for another two weeks. Definitely better safe than sorry. MD6

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Water Worries

  • Is it possible to over-hydrate, and what are the symptoms? I usually drink about three or four pints of water first thing and go for a run around 11am. I’ve noticed however my hands feeling "tingly" and sometimes numb. I know a sign of being well hydrated is slightly swollen fingers, but I’m wondering if there’s a chance I’ve taken it too far?! Hummo
  • It is possible to over-hydrate which can lead to hyponatraemia. I would suggest you drink less and see what happens. Why do you drink that much water? And are you taking any electrolytes with the water to replace those you’re flushing out? fat buddha
  • Do you drink that much throughout the day, or are you cramming your daily intake in before your run? If it's the latter, most of that probably goes straight through you and you won’t for the rest of the day. Spread that amount out during the day – drink little and often. Juliefrazz
  • Even drinking three pints of water in the morning, you shouldn't be puffing up. The modern diet is very salty, unless you prepare everything from fresh, it’s unlikely you'd be salt deficient before you start running. Did you do anything different on the runs that ended in tingly fingers? Wotsit

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For the week ending 2 June 2009

Hot to trot...

Plodding or pumping iron?

  • I am torn between two evils. Do I run and diet, lose weight and look like a stick, or go to the gym four times a week, eat like mad (which I enjoy doing) and bulk up like a bodybuilder. I am in a running club and do ok, but all runners just seem to be obsessed with going quicker! Brad Robinson 2
  • If you want to look good then you can do better than being a runner. I run because I enjoy it. If you prefer the gym then you can gym it and run as an extra. I don't think everyone who's a runner is obsessed with times, but if it's your main hobby, there's nothing like improving! Shufflepuck Café
  • I don't agree with the ‘all runners want to get faster’ thing - I've met many who would rather go further. Ultra runners have very good physiques because they run in the fat burning zone all the time and therefore have a lower percentage of body fat than most people. PSC
  • Personally, compared to being out in the great outdoors working up a sweat, I find the gym quite boring. However, I do enjoy doing circuit class every now and then! It's whatever works for you, Brad. Shelly M

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Super sweatbands

  • Who else will admit to being a ‘sweaty betty’ who needs a sweatband atop for those LSRs? OK, we don’t look too cool but it’s functional. Without mine, the combination of descending sweat and contact lenses would bring tears to my eyes! Sign up here! The Egyptian Toe
  • I'm considering wrist sweatbands, but I’m not quite desperate enough for a John McEnroe style sweat band..! M.eldy
  • "Listen to your body" is a saying you might have come across - it's a good one. Ignore it at your peril. But don't take me as being negative - you're loving it and having a great time, just like a honeymoon! And just like a marriage, even if you find it tough in the future, there will be many joyful rewards. Jay Snizzel
  • It’s a bit too 70s for me! I sweat a lot and if it’s a really hot day a dab of vaseline across each eyebrow directs the sweat away from the eyes. muddy_runner
  • Are head/hair bands that uncool? I wear one for sport because I have a bit of a floppy fringe going on. I don't mind if I look daft! Here's another question for fellow hair band fans. Do you wear yours under or over your hair at the back... just curious! LP84

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Tea-free training

  • I usually stop drinking tea two weeks before a race. Is it better not to drink tea? What do top runners have in their diets? supersonic 16
  • I stopped for my first marathon but now I carry on as normal. I try to restrict it to just one mug on race day though, but that's more to cut down on peeing rather than any other reason. But I'm by no means a top athlete.Badly Drawn Bloke
  • Why no tea? Because of the caffeine? If you’re using caffeine for your race, you only need to stop/cut down your caffeine intake three days pre-race to optimise your susceptibility. There isn't that much caffeine in tea. I still find a big-ish dose of caffeine (100mg) feels like a rocket pack even if I don't cut down my four cups a day habit. Wotsit
  • Life without tea is just too dreadful to contemplate. But why give it up before a marathon? I did a 10K this morning in scorching heat and straight after finishing I was in a local caff for a cuppa, and I’m off downstairs now to put the kettle on for my second since getting home. Muttley

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Summer running

  • I hate to be a killjoy, but am I the only runner who prefers the weather slightly cooler? The heat we've got at the moment just saps my energy, so training suffers. While I love to be outdoors I end up running on the treadmill or just don't feel like it at all. Is it just me? Carol Price 2
  • The only advantage of slogging through the warm summer weather is that when it cools down in the autumn, running becomes much easier - just in time for my autumn marathon. Summer running has one big plus – it’s light. None of those horrible cold, wet and very dark mornings and evenings. Beetle
  • Everyone else seems to love days like this but I just feel lethargic, sticky and uncomfortable the whole time. I think I'm built for colder climates to tell the truth, I hardly feel the cold at all but I'm no good with heat - I'd much rather a sunny winter’s day. Sheddy
  • Awww, what party poopers! I love running in the sunshine with a hint of cut grass, BBQs and suncream in the air. And the prospect of an ice lolly for when I get home. Perfection. LP84

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For the week ending 25 May 2009

Hot to trot...

Impressive Injuries

  • Running and non-running injuries accepted. I’ll start: three cracked ribs from scooter vs Land Rover (with bull bars).I rode 20 miles home thinking I was winded until I removed my T-shirt and couldn’t breathe! Beach Bum
  • My worse was ITBS two weeks before FLM 2004. I ran, was in agony from Mile 2 but still ran all the way - so much pain! That and the hernia that popped out two weeks before FLM 2006 - no problems at all with the race but had the op in the October and haven't run more than five miles since… Georgia's Dad
  • I had an accident two days ago – I slipped underneath a piece of machinery at work which scraped both my shins. Quite messy and have four stitches in my left one. Wokingham Half-Marathon on Sunday is 50/50 unless I want to burst stitches for a PB. New topic - would you burst stitches for a PB? Rug 19
  • Compound fracture of right humerus that went through my shoulder and stuck in my cheek. It was 6am in an isolated area and I had to walk a couple of miles before I could get help, lost lots of blood and ended up having a shoulder joint replacement a couple of days later. Corinthian

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Quick Progression

  • I started training for a 10K two weeks ago. The thing is, I'm progressing too quickly. This week I've gone from doing 3.3 miles to 7.5 miles within a few days. I'm not injured but is this too quick? Will I hit a wall? Sarah Louise Jarvis
  • Look at the training guides on the site to see how quick your progression should be. Rest days will not have a negative effect on your running - quite the opposite. M.eldy
  • "Listen to your body" is a saying you might have come across - it's a good one. Ignore it at your peril. But don't take me as being negative - you're loving it and having a great time, just like a honeymoon! And just like a marriage, even if you find it tough in the future, there will be many joyful rewards. Chocolate Moose
  • There is a big difference between cardio fitness and muscular-skeletal strength. Good cardio fitness may make you think you can just go on and on, but the latter builds over time and if you don't respect that you might run into trouble. Nam

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Creepy Cows

  • On a nice route I ran last night, a field was full of cows. Just as we reached the field they gathered on the path. I opted to avoid them. The logical part of my brain says the there wouldn't be a footpath through a field of cows if they were dangerous, but the city side of my brain got scared. What do other runners do when faced with the threat of cows? crazydiamond
  • I went running while on holiday last year and the route I took meant I passed several fields with cows, and I swear, they would see me coming from a distance and congregate near to the field wall. As I ran past, they would follow me along. It happened every time, like something out of a Hitchcock film! Hummo
  • Cows will only be aggressive if there are newborn calves in the field. Mostly they’re just being nosy. Grouping or approaching people usually occurs in late spring. Because they’ve spent most of the winter cooped up and they’re used to being fed by the farmer, when the cows see people they assume they’re going to be fed and will approach you. Autumn66
  • Be cautious. I’ve had to walk through a herd of cows with calves grouped by the exit stile. I was quietly carping myself. If you get chased by a load - chances are they’re being nosy. If you stop, wave your arms and/or clap they will stop. Nick L

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Discourteous Racers

  • More and more people seem to be starting in the wrong place in races and ruining it for those around them. I ran the Bupa London 10,000 and must have overtaken at least 500 people. I know races often don't go as planned, but surely 500 people couldn't have had a bad day? I added at least two minutes to my time from weaving in and out of people. Chris Collinson 2
  • It tends to be a problem at the big races - there were similar issues at the Great Manchester Run where there were people from the fastest wave walking after about 2-3K. I’ve come to expect it in bigger races, so I just try to enjoy the race and atmosphere rather than worry about times. Sprint Akie
  • I'm a really slow runner - I’d hate to be in a faster pack. Also I feel great if I can actually overtake a few people as it means I won’t be last! It’s not fair on the faster runners but I do think some people just don’t understand, especially if they haven’t run in a race before. ginntonix
  • I get particularly annoyed at the large races where the walkers also take up mid-pack – and sometimes even link arms across the street blocking any overtakers. Most races have tried all of the suggestions here and usually to no avail. Just use the larger races for atmosphere. Head Gone

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For the week ending 18 May 2009

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Breakneck Breakfasts

  • I train for an hour every morning and barely have time to get to work, let alone sit down for breakfast. What can I eat on my commute? Minimal preparation would be perfect! Pengwin Rock
  • How about mixing some muesli and yoghurt in a tub the night before? Or I'm sure you can get yoghurt topped with granola in a coffee shop near work. Sydney
  • Soup (taken with you in a vacuum flask) or a freshly-squeezed fruit or vegetable juice perhaps? Parklife
  • Empty one sachet of instant porridge into a small lidded container and stir in a fruit yoghurt of your choice. Seal and stick in the fridge. Don't forget to pack a spoon for eating it later! Siance

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Difficult Decisions

  • If you had to choose between giving up beer, sex, chocolate or running, which one would it be? Chocolate for me! Jimo
  • Beer - no problem. Although I don't know what I'd drink with my curry… Wilkie
  • Chocolate for me too. If crisps were on the list though I'd be in a right dilemma. sophers
  • I think everyone should put them in order. Running would actually be last to give up for me. kittenkat

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Mind Over Matter

  • The perception of effort in training vs races has been bugging me for a while. Last night I did speedwork and towards the end of the second rep I was really struggling, but Miles 5-6 of my last 10K (exactly the same pace) didn’t feel anywhere near as tough. Why is that? danowat
  • I think the mind can trigger certain physiological changes - at least temporarily. But what triggers the mind? What aspect of the race gets us going? Is it the size of the field, or maybe how much we've been anticipating it? Chocolate Moose
  • I reckon it's also the change of scene. I get ‘running fatigue’ from doing the same routes, whereas on race day the route’s new and exciting. Plus you’ll taper before a race. Redpanda
  • On the other hand, maybe you shouldn't go that fast in training. Races and competitive events by their nature entail more effort than usual. If you maintained that level all the time you'd be on for injury. Muttley

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Runner's Nipple

  • I run on average nine miles a week and as I increase my miles the soreness and chafing on my nipples has got worse. I wear the right sports bras, have tried plasters and Vaseline, but still get painful nipples. Please help! 1of10
  • I'd guess that your bra is not fitting you properly. Have you been fitted by someone who knows what they are doing? If all else fails, my other half uses micropore tape. Wilkie
  • Cloth Elastoplast does stick well but doesn't come off easily at the end. It has the same effect as a wax… RichardB
  • Micropore tape is clear, breathable and doesn’t leave a sticky residue. I don't find it sticks as well as zinc oxide tape though. fat buddha

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For the week ending 11 May 2009

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Competitive Spirit

  • I came up behind another runner yesterday and because he was taking it easy I went past him. However, he then came back past me. I couldn't resist then so I quickened up for a couple of miles. Does anyone else find it hard not to follow other runners? Andy Benfold
  • Each time I go out, I have a particular run to do so I don’t get distracted by what others are doing. I've just joined a club and that's when I do my "keeping up with the others bit" – it pushes me sufficiently out of my comfort zone to be beneficial and make me feel "job well done" when I get home. CJBA
  • I was overtaken by a “young man” when I was out for a run the other night. On review of my GPS data I appear to have sped up for as long as I could keep his rear view in sight. I’m not complaining – it’s a great motivation! Foxy Lady
  • I get sucked in all the time, I regularly train with a club mate who runs a 33:00 10K against my 40:00 10K. The plus side is that I have broken my PB at every distance from 5K to marathon in the past 18 months - a fact I put down to being pulled along by my club mate. Dubai Dave

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The Great British Weather

  • It’s been so windy this week I’ve had to ask myself what I think of it. On a hot day with a breeze I love to run into it as it cools me down. But yesterday the wind was pushing me backwards for three miles. What do you think of nature’s elements? lisa wallis
  • I like a bit of wind in my face as it de-mists my sunglasses. Quite like rain too when running, keeps me cool. I don't like the sun when running except maybe at dusk, with that nice orange glow when you can watch your own shadow running with you. Sprint for the line
  • I'll go out and run in anything short of a hurricane. At least when it's snowing or raining, there are a lot less people about. It's like having the streets to yourself. Sprinter Wicksey
  • I just keep telling myself it’s character-building, in fact any adverse conditions are - cold, hot, rainy, windy, hilly or a combination of the above. They will make the good days feel better, and make us into ultimately better runners, so don't shy away from them. No matter how bad it seems at the time, it will end, and your next run will probably be better. danowat

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Early Race Starts

  • Isn’t it time that races started earlier on Sundays? I have been running races for 17 years and cannot understand why the majority of local races start at 10am or 11am. In the USA, they have races starting at 7am. Would you get up that early for a race? runnerman
  • No, because most races require some travelling distance for me and that would mean I’d have to get up in the middle of the night to have my pre-race brekkie. Basil Brush Mk II
  • As I have two kids under the age of four who insist on waking at 6am everyday then an early start suits me, as I can do a race and still have the whole day with the family. Back Seat Boy
  • Try bike races or triathlons for early starts - they often start between 6 and 7am... it's like getting up before you go to bed... fat buddha

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Horrible Hangovers

  • Is it worth going out running when hungover? Or should you leave it until the next day and train harder? When I do run hungover I really struggle and don’t feel I’m getting much out of it. But if you train with a drink-induced handicap will you do better in races when not hungover? crazy diamond
  • If it's a light hangover get out there go for a run - it'll be fine. If it's the hangover from hell and your hair hurts give it a miss. Double 0
  • Take a Berocca with a pint of water before you got to bed and the hangover will be milder; it works for me anyway. I wouldn't go nuts in the morning, maybe a gentle 4 or 5 miles at an easy pace. It’ll probably make you feel better than not doing anything and wallowing. Be careful about hydration though, take some fluids with you. Cymraeg Janner
  • Running with a bad hangover and dehydrated is silly. It's not about times but about health - it puts severe strain on your vital organs. If you know you're having a drink, delay your run until the afternoon or drink plenty of water the night before. David Adams 11

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For the week ending 4 May 2009

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Family Fun

  • Can anyone tell me what is a good age for my seven-year-old to start running? I’m worried that she might do too much and hurt herself. division 3 canary
  • Let her come with you, but find her a little "race" so she can train too. Above all make it FUN. Nobody wants a crying seven-year-old with shin splints. Liverbird
  • My six-year-old has just done her first "mini" marathon. The organisers laid out an 800m course and the kids did a "proper" race in age/sex groups. Fab intro and the kids loved it. They even got goody bags at the end! AdyP
  • Try to keep the running off-road. Tarmac is not a good surface and too much running on it at a young age may well give them problems. If they want to run, let them run - but also remember their pain systems are also immature and they might not recognise the niggles. seren nos

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Stature vs Speed

  • At the gym yesterday a 6ft lady was running faster than me with what appeared to be far less effort (I’m 5’1”) How much does stature affect running ability? missmel
  • Just watch Usain Bolt - at 6'5" the experts reckoned he shouldn’t be that quick as he takes a long time to get out of the blocks. Height can be important but you still fundamentally need to be able to move your legs quickly - and that comes from genes and training. fat buddha
  • The longer your legs are, the more effort it takes to move them, so it balances out. Plus taller people are heavier, so they have more weight to carry. candy ollier
  • Stop it, you're taking away my excuse for being slow! I’m 5'2" with short legs to boot! SazzaG

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To Rest Or Not To Rest?

  • I’ve heard that after a race you should take a day off for every mile you have run. Doesn't this seem excessive? Geezer66
  • That's complete rubbish in my opinion. Just run when your legs feel good again. kittenkat
  • I ran 52 miles on Saturday. Should I therefore sit around eating pies until the end of June? Listen to your body - it will tell you if you need to rest (and by rest I mean doing less, not nothing). Nick L
  • I have heard that it takes about one day per mile for your legs to fully recover. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn't train, it might take a few weeks before your legs feel 100% again. Callan

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PB Problems

  • I ran my second ever half-marathon today. I knocked 9 minutes off my PB but I'm not happy - I know I could have done better. What's wrong with me?! northern lass
  • The fact that you got a PB and didn't do it as well as you'd have liked means a) you've improved b) that there's still room for improvement, even if you were to race next week, bringing me to c) if your training continues to develop, massive improvements can still be made. Jason27
  • Have a bit of a rest then start training again with a positive mindset - take the good points out of your race and keep going! jimma
  • Think of it as a chance to learn about pacing, and a lesson to make sure that you’ve got a Plan B, or even C. It's one of the things I like about running. It's not just brute force but strategy and the delicate and respectful balance between mind and muscles required to perform to the best of ability and training make it a really challenging sport in many ways. Stickless

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For the week ending 27 April 2009

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Shopping Sprees

  • I’ve got a pair of running shoes and an HRM but can't afford to go out and spend a bomb on new kit. How I should prioritise? Rodduz
  • You've already got the most important thing: a decent pair of shoes. Just build up bit by bit. Eventually you’ll have more running stuff than normal clothes and just when you think there's nothing more to get, some helpful soul will convince you that triathlon’s a good idea and the whole process starts again. gmike
  • You don't need much - I have two pairs of shoes, two pairs of shorts, three T-shirts, plus a hat and a pair of gloves. danowat
  • I worked on the idea that I had to earn my expensive kit. I promised myself a HRM at Christmas if I was still running, then after my first half-marathon I bought a new running jacket. GS Monkey

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Motivational Mantras

  • From Mile 22 in the FLM, all I had in my head was "Get up and crawl if you have to, but just finish the damned race!" Anyone got any really great lines to see you through when it starts to hurt? Marathon Matt
  • My favourites are "Pain is temporary" and "Those who wouldn’t take no for an answer and could fight back from the setbacks would eventually get the answer they sought." (Paula Radcliffe talking about Kelly Holmes being a fighter) Kerry Wilkinson 2
  • It’s always worth watching the film Any Given Sunday the night before a race. Gavin Strachan said on the BBC blog that Al Pacino's speech is shown by a lot of football managers before big matches. Back Seat Boy
  • "A marathon runner needs to realise that the competition is not the other runners but the little voice inside your head telling you to quit." Philippa (Pip) Blick

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Back-to-back Races

  • I'm running the Canary Wharf 10K and would really like to enter the Harvel 5 the following Saturday. I've never run two races so close together before - will I have enough time to recover? neilp83
  • If you go for it in the 10K you might feel a bit flat for the five-miler, but I don't think you'll injure yourself or do any great damage. Mr Puffy
  • It depends how you race. If you treat each race as a flat-out PB assault, you'll need more time to recover from each one and you'll be at greater risk of injury. Muttley
  • Just listen to your body in between and don't train if you feel really shot. LS21

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Tempo Tantrums

  • I’ve just started doing tempo runs in preparation for a half-marathon, but I can't seem to do them right. I feel like burning my trainers and forgetting the whole thing - any advice? Charlotte Jones 6
  • What's the limiting factor - legs, lungs or mind? DazTheSlug
  • If you can't hit the time, maybe you’re going too fast. If you have a time in mind, then maybe forget it and just aim on getting round. Badly Drawn Bloke
  • How are you working out your target pace? Tempo sessions can be run at different speeds. Moraghan

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For the week ending 20 April 2009

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A Love-Hate Relationship

  • Do you like running, or do you run just to keep fit? A lot of the time I find it hard to get motivated to get out the door! gingerfurball
  • It can be hard when the weather's rubbish, when you're tired, apathetic or injured. But knowing that you possess that determination inside to want to run on top of all those things - that makes all the difference. Devoted2Distance
  • My hubby said on Saturday as I was procrastinating: "But you enjoy running, don't you?" I replied: "I enjoy having run. There's a subtle difference." Jj
  • I hate running, because my style is awful and I run like an elephant. But I love running too, because it keeps the blues at bay, I get to indulge in geeky training schedules and Excel nerdiness, it keeps me away from the fags, and I get a bath followed by a lush roast dinner after my long Sunday runs. Kerry Wilkinson 2

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Post-Marathon Goals

  • I'm excited about competing in my first FLM this year, but I'm already casting my mind forward about what to do after. How soon should I run again? Pete Longland
  • After a couple of days, try a recovery run of three to four miles. Why not enter some other races and set some PBs? You'll have the endurance to do that now! Stylish
  • Why not enter Ironman? Then you can add in some swim and bike training! JPenno
  • Take some time off, and then enter another race to keep you motivated. Go on, you know you want to! Cake

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Nervous Dreams

  • I'm a first time FLM-er and I’m starting to have mad dreams. I've dreamt that I turned up without my number and then, in another dream I got halfway round and thought "sod that" and just went home! Is it just me?! Please say no! The Beagle
  • No, it's not just you! I dreamt I turned up at the start line and forgot my running shoes. And that I started about an hour after everyone else! Darrell
  • I dreamt that I was stopped and publicly told off by a race official, saying that I hadn't trained hard enough and didn't deserve to be there. Very glad this is normal behaviour! seren2
  • I have already run it twice in my dreams - my husband has the bruises to show for it! runnersbeen

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Monthly Cycles

  • Do you find your performance changes when 'that time' comes round each month? I’m pretty sure it affects my recovery and the length of time I can run. Charlotte Jones 6
  • I find that just after my period I feel like I am running really well. I don't notice a difference during it though. I'd be interested to know if any research has been done into this. porkyplodder
  • I’m sluggish and tired when I'm due and when I’m on! Yesterday I had zero energy and ended up walking three times - annoyingly, if I hadn’t walked, it would have been my fastest time! Shortstop
  • Does anyone work their period around key races? I'm dreadful a few days before... weepy and negative, low pain threshold, worse endurance. I don't want it to interfere with my Ironman in a few months. Nam

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For the week ending 13 April 2009

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Late Starters

  • I’m reasonably fit from playing football and I've run a sub-19:00 5K before. Has anyone else started training seriously in their late twenties? I'd like to think that it's not too late for me to do well if I put my mind to it. Andy Benfold
  • If you keep slowly building the quality and quantity of your training, you should get seven to ten years of improvement. Johnny J
  • Lots of people start much later than you do and go far. You're coming to the sport fully developed and with probably less likelihood of injury, plus a more sensible head on your shoulders! If you want to be serious, get involved with a running club with other athletes to push you on. Hobbling Harrier
  • I started running at 28, and after six months of training ran 1:49 for a half-marathon. Fast forward six years and I've just run 1:24:53. I don't think age need be a limiting factor - many of the best runners local to me are in their 40s. Becky S

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Socks or no socks?

  • Do you wear socks to run or not? I don’t because I feel better in bare feet... The Hoose-Goer
  • I can't do without socks in trainers but I used to run barefoot when I lived in Finland. There’s no broken glass or anything over there, just miles and miles of clean pine forests. TurboElli
  • I'm in my 49th year of running and racing and I always get blisters without socks, or when I’m wearing shoes I've not worn in for several days. My feet have just never ever hardened up. Ultra-IronWolf
  • My husband runs sockless in his Zoot shoes, but they’re designed to be worn without socks. It doesn't take long for them to be relegated to the garage between runs though! gingerfurball

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Persistent Pounds

  • I've been running on and off for years and am now a member of a running club. However, I’m four stone overweight and haven't lost a single pound. I’m seriously thinking of switching to dieting and the gym until I lose enough weight to run faster – has anyone else done this? ploddinglady
  • Don't give up running if it's something you enjoy! If you haven't lost weight whilst running, aren't you worried that not running means you'll just put more on? By all means, go down the diet route but keep the running up too! The B Team
  • Running’s one of the best ways to lose weight! Are all your runs long and steady, or do you do short hard interval sessions? Running intervals is a sure-fire route to fast weight loss. candy ollier
  • You will get hungry from running - but remember that more muscle increases your ongoing calorie burn throughout the day. Don't give up the running, just do it alongside a diet to try to lose the weight slowly and sensibly - that way it will stay off. Good Luck! Foxy Lady

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Downhill Running

  • I had a 5K race today and got a PB. However, I noticed that although I was pulling past most runners during the uphill sections, frustratingly they were then flying past me on the downhills! Any tips for downhill running? the dude abides
  • Don't hold back when you’re running downhill - relax and run down it. If your quads are tiring, I suggest you do some squats. They’ll train the quads to work for you when you’re going downhill. Siance
  • Going up, lean back to maintain posture relative to the surface. Hold your head up and take shorter paces while maintaining a constant effort. Conversely, when going down, lean a bit forward and pick up cadence, while not overstriding - and go with the flow! It seems counter-intuitive, but see if it works for you. Muttley
  • Oh heck I'm so confused! My technique is totally the opposite - I like to really stretch my legs and stride out, landing on my heels and straightening up my torso. LP84

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For the week ending 6 April 2009

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Beer Benefits

  • I've just had a beer after my first run of over an hour - is that wrong?! Dirty Karlos
  • Rewards are what it’s all about, isn't it? Unless you’re a top athlete, you’re doing this for fun! tommygun2
  • Water and carbs - what could be better? Run the Reading Half-Marathon and you'll see a pub en route is serving it to runners! JohnFol
  • Stop talking about beer! I gave it up for Lent and there's still a week until Easter... DG

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Your First 5K

  • I’ve been inspired to run a 5K in October, but I’m not sure how realistic this is. I’m overweight and I don’t yet run or exercise. Can I be ready by October? Angek
  • You've got loads of time! Get started on a beginner’s training schedule - good luck! Siance
  • I used to be seriously overweight, but I ran my first ever race last week. Once you’ve done it, you'll be so proud of yourself, and hopefully like me you'll get the running bug. boothy 4
  • I've been training a lady from work who’s a total beginner, and after a month she's up to three miles. If you can find someone to train with, who’ll push you to improve, so much the better! GingerLoon

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Sunglasses Setback

  • Having done a couple of long runs in glasses, I am finding that they wobble and slip, and end up rubbing my nose. I've tried bending the arms so they fit better, but it doesnt seem to help - any other ideas? barking
  • Try sports sunglasses – they’ve got bigger pads around the nose and can deal with sweat better. The other solution (which I prefer) is contact lenses! Joolska
  • Perhaps get a friendly local optician to check the fit of your specs? Basil Brush Mk II
  • Mine don't move but they steam up in the cold and I can't see when it's raining... Plodding Hippo

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Red Faces

  • Why do I get a bright red face when running? I run at a comfortable pace and I’m not out of breath. Does anyone else have this problem? Big Tilly
  • Some people just go very red - I think it's a genetic thing. I go bright tomato red whether I'm going uphill, downhill, finding it easy, hard or even if I just sit in the sun for five minutes and feel a little warm! I ignore it, because there's nothing I can do about it! YorksLass
  • Going red in the face is just your body’s way of cooling you down, by pumping blood to the surface. It’s totally normal but everyone’s different! Elmodiddly
  • I call it "glowing". Yes, I may look like a beacon but it is a healthy glow. Shimmy Shimmy

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For the week ending 30 March 2009

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Fish-and-chips loading

  • A big plate of chips two days before the Reading Half-Marathon.Good or bad? Leigh Blinman
  • Good! My fuel of choice before a big run is often fish and chips – carbs and protein. Lovely. fat buddha
  • I run best on steak, a big pile of mash and vegetables - pasta just doesn't do it for me. Screamapillar
  • Doesn’t it feel heavy in your belly? And oily? My dad owns a chip shop but I never eat it as it seems so fatty. I’m debating between wholewheat and white pasta! shenz

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Medals, medals, medals

  • I’ve done four or five races a year now for the past five years and have accumulated quite a few medals, which are now lying in a drawer at home. Does anyone display them at home, and if so how? ian mcmillan
  • I put them in a tall vase. It holds loads and all the different coloured ribbons make for a nice visual effect. My marathon medals are in a little wooden display box and my marathon numbers are framed on the wall with the times underneath. Essex Eagle
  • I have my medals hanging from a rubber plant. I call it my tree of success. It does look rubbish though! Mr. Guy
  • I give them to the kids - my daughter was gutted this weekend when I got a hoodie instead of a medal. They didn't get my Ironman medal though and they probably won't get my FLM one! Not Greased Lightening (M.)

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Men in tights

  • My boyfriend is thinking about purchasing a pair of men's running tights. The question is: surely you have to wear something underneath them? Worn alone, they seem a little too 'graphic'? Bunches 77
  • Ah, the age-old dilemma for us men! The cold snap in January made me buy some tights (tight being the right word) and now I struggle to go running without them. Neuv
  • My motto has always been: if you've got it, flaunt it! mugpunter32
  • Since it turned a bit chilly I’ve seen quite a few blokes in leggings on my laps of Regent’s Park. It’s so common that I'm sure it doesn't really raise any eyebrows. wai

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Running in the rain

  • I did nine miles this lunchtime in the driving rain, sleet and hail. My legs below my shorts were stinging by the end and my hands were frozen. How do the rest of you cope with such horrible weather? Mark LRB
  • I like to run when there is a light drizzle - not too much rain though as it causes my glasses to steam up! Rickster
  • I hate starting out in rain - I often wimp out to be honest and reschedule it for the following day. sheddy
  • I don't mind it but the water makes my shoes stink! Doo Little

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For the week ending 23 March 2009

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You know you're a runner when...

  • You can sharpen an axe blade on your calves; you almost wish that a pickpocket would grab your wallet so that you could chase him down;- you know just how far a "K" is; chafing is a serious medical condition. Twixbar
  • You impress yourself with the execution of a particularly effective snot rocket. Siance
  • You have safety pins on your dresser, in your sock drawer, on your car dashboard and glove compartment, and in your purse. And you think this normal. bikermouse
  • It becomes acceptable to spend £100 on trainers - knowing they will need to be replaced in six months - yet you moan that your kids get through too many pairs of school shoes. towner

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First signs of Spring

  • What a lovely day - I went for a 5K trundle, popped to the farmers’ market, and did a spot of gardening. Hooray - how the weather can make or break my mood! JuanaH
  • I'm so glad I got my FLM place at the last minute so I didn't have to do all those nasty winter training runs. A long-ish plod in the spring sunshine with The Archers podcast was just lovely this morning. Hashette
  • I got sunburnt during my race today. In March! What?! UltraKazzaaaaah!!
  • I had an absolutely lovely run through the woods yesterday with dappled sunshine everwhere. Bring on the light evenings! Lady Pineapple

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Sunday races

  • Why are races so early, and always on Sunday? Surely having them later would make it easier for people to get to them, and having them on a Saturday would enable people to enjoy the rest of their weekend. Adrian Lowery
  • Probably because there's less traffic on Sundays? I don't mind the early start though - it means you've got the rest of the day to do things (like scoff a huge roast dinner and lie on the sofa). Wilkie
  • Early starts in the summer help people avoid overheating / getting sunburnt. YorksLass
  • I really want to enter my first race but they’re all on Sunday mornings and as my husband is a church minister, that’s a big problem. I wouldn't really want to miss church for a race - and I'd want hubby and the kids there to cheer me on anyway.Susan Wood 4

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Early starts

  • I've been running for a year now and can run about 6-10 miles. I normally run during the evening, and find I can't run during the day at all. How can I overcome this to race? Noob
  • If you're going to run first thing in the morning make sure you are well hydrated and have eaten well the night before. Pavey
  • I think it's something you just have to overcome. I'm not "naturally" a morning runner but I do it. It takes longer to warm up and on a long run I sometimes don't get "into it" until three or four miles - you'll probably find that if you push past that initial two miles it will get easier. Screamapillar
  • I think you can train your body to get used to it - at first I really struggled, but it's got easier over time. The other thing to remember is that the atmosphere and adrenalin on race day may see you through.Juliefrazz

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For the week ending 16 March 2009

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Stubbing It Out

  • I smoke around five to eight cigarettes a day and I’m trying to quit. Quitting’s obviously better for my health - whether I run or not - but has anyone here quit while training? How much of a difference it makes? gavonio
  • I stopped some time ago. After about a week I felt much better and ran better too. You may only smoke eight a day now but the nature of smoking means you will slowly increase, and as a runner it’ll hinder you more and more. Please quit. Enjoy it, and good luck with training. The Hoose-Goer
  • I stay a non-smoker by making myself run five or six miles every morning. It was a promise I made myself. When I go for a run, I get so full of clean air that I don’t want a fag. Lillian Ohanlon
  • I found that there wasn’t a huge difference on my long runs but for the faster stuff like tempo and intervals I was able to go faster for longer. And recovery’s quicker. Mr Guy

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Travelling Light

  • I need to take six energy gels with me to Rotterdam next month - am I likely to get any grief if I take them in my hand luggage? Steve G
  • 100ml is the max per container, so just make sure you stick them in a clear plastic bag and put it through the X-ray machine. I’ve taken lots of different shampoos and makeup at once - as long as they’re all under 100ml each and in a clear plastic bag, it’s never been a problem. Hummo
  • Make sure your clear zippable bag is the right size, too - 20cm x 20cm (about 8 inches) seems to be the "right" size. RebekahJane
  • It's only a restriction on hand luggage, so if you can cram all your gels into your main luggage you'll be fine. Obviously this does mean you won't be able to get a quick energy boost while on the plane though! sheddy

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Hazard Awareness

  • A couple of months into my training schedule and I'm getting more aware of what to be afraid of while running. Top of my list are aggressive dogs and speeding van drivers - what other running hazards am I likely to come across? Griffsters
  • Tourists taking pictures. My run home from work takes me past Harrods and I’m always interrupted by snap-happy tourists. Also, milling crowds at bus-stops drive me mad! Litdog1
  • Badgers. I only wanted a toilet stop in a bush and do you think that badger would let me? It frightened the life out of me! runnersbeen
  • Cyclists wearing dark clothing in the evening, with no lights or anything reflective, hurtling along a pitch-black towpath (where there's a large river alongside). And dozy numpties unable to go in a straight line because they're twiddling with a mobile phone.Muttley

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The Three-Mile Itch

  • I’ve recently taken up running and have been running a three-mile route four times a week. I want to increase this but just cannot get past three miles. Is this a psychological (read: laziness) thing? Because once I get to the end of my run I automatically switch off? pogie
  • How about varying your route? One of the best things about running is exploring new places! The other thing is to try run-walk, even if it's just to get you past the three-mile mark. Iif you run 10 mins, walk 2 mins right from the start it should enable you to go further. Slugsta
  • Maybe you’re running too fast. If you feel ready to collapse after three miles, slow down a bit on one run each week and gradually increase the distance. You need to go slower before you can go longer. Juliefrazz
  • Make a note of the time your route usually takes you. Run an extra minute before you turn around, and promise yourself you can walk after you get to your usual time. When you get to the time, see if you can run a little further. You’ll probably be able to, but if not - no problem, you're nearly home. Going further and further before you turn should break your psychological block. Heckenhocker

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