What You’re Missing On The Forum

Forum Highlights, August 30

A recurring theme in runners’ discussions seems to be what to do when you know you need to keep running, but an evil little voice in your head keeps telling you to stop. A new thread, Overcoming the mind games, is throwing up some interesting solutions – a large number of which seem to be mathematically related, for some reason.

Cross-training, too, is a popular issue – particularly as triathlon increases in popularity. Cycling, swimming, walking, weight-training; a few intrepid souls even try trampolining. But this week an interesting discussion has been sparked by someone asking about the difference between Yoga and Pilates. Some people don’t know the difference, some advocate one, some the other, and yes – there’s a few that will be doing both.

Oooooh – some of you do like numbers! Maximum heart rate, resting heart rate, working heart rate, and percentages of all three – they’re always somewhere to be found in the forums. The latest of these seems to be simply a list of different people’s numbers, in What is your resting heart rate?

What are your local runners like? Aloof? Condescending? Jolly – or just plain friendly? Many people feel quite affronted if their cheery greeting isn’t echoed, and can get quite grumpy. So if you’re usually lost in your own lost world when you run, it might be worth reading Too serious to smile, just for a few pointers.

Spitting, hawking, gobbing, snot rockets and a nice meaty flob. Runners are a lovely bunch. The most genteel of society’s matrons and businessmen turn our highways and byways into veritable spittoons, it seems, when the mood is upon them (or a fly is within them). Let us know your views on the delicate issue of Spitting.

In fact, if you can think of a more picturesque subject to discuss (please), then feel free to start your own thread…

Forum Highlights, August 10

Beep beep chugger chugger big red car (wiggle). So what’s the worst/silliest/most embarrassing thing you get up to when you’re all alone out there in the elements? Take a look at Running confessions to see who’s beeping and chugging, and the other weird and wonderful things runners get up to to see them through the miles.

As we’ve grown here at RW, so has our internal triathlon community. But because so many of our triathletes tend to be drawn towards – or cajoled into – Ironman distance races, some of those coming to the site from outside seem to think that we’re exclusively Ironmen, or exclusively Pirates. Where are all the triathletes? has proved a popular thread, because it dispels those myths and invites everyone with an interest in multisport to join in.

Some of the hottest threads have nothing to do with running at all. Imagine a list that includes tea cards, cigarette cards, Pocketeers, beer mats... lice? What did you collect as a kid? has elicited some nostalgic, and sometimes worrying, revelations about the past.

In a different way, so has Why did you hate running at school? It’s surprising how far some of our forumites have come.

For those who need to justify their visits to the forums with a dose of hard scientific running fact, Cooper’s 12 minute track test has enough to boggle the most athletic of minds, while First 5k tomorrow shows the sort of supportive, encouraging warmth that makes our forums so special. Aaah.

Forum Spotlight, July 23

This week's forum spotlight was on the huge forum team at Ironman Germany.

Forum Highlights, July 14

Do you use a training plan, and record your progress – or otherwise – in a log? Firestar started the Training Plan Survey thread because she reckons she’s nosey, but we think she’s being very hard on herself. This is a Serious Running Website, after all.

Anyone that’s put in months of hard training before a major race will understand taper madness. That twitchy, bored ‘I need to do something and that pie’s got my name on it’ feeling as the mind and body start to miss the habits and the endorphins… our long distance triathletes apparently suffer it more than most, as Ironman Germany approaches. Befriending the Tapir. Warning: mild peril; bodily functions.

When you’re having a bad day, or just fancy being a grumpy old runner, it sometimes helps to know you’re not alone. Who's on your list of people you'd like to see run through with a rusty bayonet? asks Lucky13. Some of the responses so far are quite…sensible.

A couple of years ago we had a very busy thread on how much pocket money children should receive. My how quickly they grow! Teenagers and rent - how much do you charge yours? is throwing up some interesting points of view.

And from teenagers to sloth. Every runner has an attack of the lost mojo at some point, and at the moment several are gathering on Motivation gone – can I borrow some, please?

The forums are the hip hop happening place to be. Join in or start your own.

Forum Highlights, July 7

Where do you run? Do you prefer leafy wooded trails or glutinous mud to Tarmac? Or are you really ‘ard and like to take on the challenge of shin-shattering pavements? Sharing the road with the traffic takes some nerve, too, and it’s an issue that throws up all sorts of opinions – you can see just some of them in Is Road Running Dangerous?.

The Toxic Ten – or, if you’re not one of the faster runners, the Toxic Twenty. Many runners are nodding sagely (and many more saying ‘Phew – not just me then!’) when they read: How Long do you Struggle Before your run is Comfortable?.

The science of calorie-burning is always likely to get the scientists – and runners at both ends of the weight spectrum – whipping out their calculators and ripping up the textbooks. Let’s see how a new thread, Does running in hot weather burn more calories? shapes up.

Recurring injury is a recurring theme, and some threads just run and run. Forumite Trinity has gathered quite a group of people together for mutual support and advice in Has anyone been injured and felt that they’d never run again? Keep up with those exercise, and good luck!

And it’s always a place for learning, the forums. Where else would you be able to join in a random discussion about our native fauna? For the answers to all the questions that have been vexing you for years about Thunderbugs, pop in and see what you can find. In fact, come and see us anyway.

Forum Spotlight, June 23

In Older, fatter and back to beginning……again!, Mij tells us: ‘At 43 and 15st I ran the Lake Vrynwy Half in 1:52. I enjoyed it, having run a negative split, but somehow it left me flat (probably because I compare it to when I was 27, 14st and did 1:35), and as I said I haven't run since.

‘I'm now 45 and 17st 10lbs, I've got a Guinness in front of me (and several inside), my gut is lying in my lap and I know in the morning my back will be stiff and painful. And yet I can't get off my fat ass. I'm also scared .... I think that's the right word for it.

‘I'm going to walk with the odd jog thrown in 5 times this coming week. No commitment on time distance or speed. But I am going to get out........ Before I become a heart attack statistic.’

Within hours, others joined in with similar tales – but rather than become a pity party, the forum magic started to work as regulars and new visitors alike told their stories and encouraged Mij and each other to keep at it, because if you do that, then things get better.

Cabletow’s been there too. He says: ‘it can be done; I am the most ardent cynic and I did it, so can you. We are all here for you; keep it up and remember this running lark is a marathon not a race, so pace yourself. It will happen, but if you push it injury will hold you back.’

Johnny J’s advice is, as always, sympathetic but blunt: ‘Afraid there's not much you can do that's different from the rest of us. Cut the guince to a couple a week as a treat and get off your @rse and run. There's no easy routes or short cuts. My first 3.4 mile walk/run took over an hour in my mid-50s. Now in my mid-60s and can run a 1:43 half.’

And Mij saying he’s too heavy to race brings short shrift from much-loved forum queen Plodding Hippo: ‘being heavy doesn’t stop me, Mij. Stop making excuses.’ Even the mysterious Mister X was tempted from a Dark corner somewhere to say: ‘Keep it up Mij, stick with it, you know that it does get easier. Oh yeah, and welcome back, don’t leave again.’

Do you have a similar tale, or some advice to pass on? Join in with the thread, or start your own"...

Highlights from June 15

One thing you’ll always find in the Runner’s World forums is understanding and support. Ever feel you’re lurching from one injury to the next? You’re not alone, as you can see in P***d off and in Pain. And are you sneezing fit to bust, unable to enjoy running in the spring? You’ll find all sorts of advice in The Drugs Don’t Work.

How bored can you get when you’re injured? Several-time forum Ironman triathlete Candy Ollier was clearly so fed up that he went completely barking and came up with this idea: RW 24-hour Race - a quite worrying number of people seem to be signing up. For something more straightforward, try the Events forum for threads like Derwentwater Trail Race, or the less arduous Waddesdon Manor 5K.

Sexism? Controversy? At Runner’s World? With OUR reputation? Race for Life is a taster of the gentle humour that characterises so many of our threads. Enter at your peril. Or you might prefer to pass over such scurrilous conversation and enter the more tender world of the cat-lover, in this thread

But do visit, we’d love to see you.

Highlights from June 8

Try the Health and Injury forum for “All Goes Wrong at 40!!” – if you're approaching a Big Birthday and have a less than helpful GP. Just as well we have our own much-loved forumite medics, too, as you can see if you have blood pressure issues. Lots of advice and reassurance in “High Blood Pressure

There's nowhere better than the Beginners forum if that's what you are, because there's help and advice from sympathetic fellow beginners and seasoned elites. Try “My longest run so far” to see what we mean. And if you want a peep into the world of those 50-plus miles a week whippets, there's the daily training thread at “Thursday 8th June

Ever been bitten by the bug and wondered how quickly you can get ready for a race? It happens in Triathlon Land, too. Just look at the desperation in “10 Day Training Plan! - Sprint Tri Newbie!!"” and how gently it's handled...

The Gear section is never complete without a new thread about sports bras, and today it's sizing that's the issue in “Sports Bras - sizing” , and as this is a running gear forum, we have to ask who could run without their “iPod Nano"” ?

Pop in, and join in.

Did you know that there are more than a quarter of a million runners registered with www.runnersworld.co.uk now? Sometimes the forums are so busy it seems everyone’s there at once – but while some of the chat threads can move along at a dizzying pace and bewilder all but the stoutest of minds, there are some little gems in there that can inform, challenge or simply amuse. Here are some recent highlights:

Highlights from May 31

Try the Training forum for “Marathon Training - Help!!” – empathy and advice if you’re feeling a bit flat after your last marathon. Or you can join Fi at the Running Inn in her quest to crack 3:15 in “Elite woman by April 2006

But it’s not all about marathons. In “Who likes running in the rain?” you can share the joys of confirming to the world that you’re a bit odd. Or confound Stevie G in his sneaky pot-hunting by beating him to “Slowest Winning Times for Races

We have a thriving triathlon community too, and you can usually spot them in their bright yellow pirate gear. The next big one is “Bala Middle Distance Tri"” if you want to learn more about – well, stealing competitors’ bike shoes, and waterproof spectating, and the best way to feed 30 triathletes in a single tent.

And there’s always controversy and intrigue. Did Runner’s World magazine really plant a deliberately provoking letter in the new issue about slower runners? “Raging bull letter - speed snobbery

It’s a thriving little world, the Runner’s World forums. Jump in and be swept along by the current.