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Hot to trot...

Winter wonderland

  • It’s cold, wet, foggy, I'm constantly tired, my toes and fingers are frozen and I can't see any of the scenery because of the darkness... I forgot what I love about winter – please remind me?! TurboElli
  • The weather can be crisp, clear and invigorating - and think how much you'll enjoy your spring and summer runs if you clock up those winter miles! Mr. Puffy
  • Ah, winter long runs. My alarm goes at half past six, and I wonder why the hell I’m doing this? I’m delayed by one last look at my warm duvet cover, but what the hell - I'll kip on the sofa later. One last look back at end of the drive, then there’s the peace and quiet, the open road, the feel of freedom - and no one around but you and a few choice tunes. Steve Mobley 2
  • I love being up and out early on those really cold, crisp mornings when you’re all toasty in winter thermals... then rewarding myself with a nice hot shower and something hot to eat and afterwards! lerm

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Reasons to run

  • I’d love to know how everyone got into running. I did a lot of cross country at school but stopped when I left. I’ve always wanted to do a marathon, but you know what it's like – I always seemed to be saying I'll do it next year. At the start of last year we watched Run Fat Boy Run… and something clicked! I’ve been running since then. toby3
  • I went to support my girlfriend’s brother doing three marathons in three days. I thought it was amazing that anyone could do things like that and it inspired me to get off my lazy backside and give it a go. I started with an eight week plan to get up to running for 30 minutes. I felt really happy about completing that, and I just carried on going! Alfie B
  • It started with a 'significant' birthday… In the run up to his, my boss gave up alcohol, meat, smoking etc in a bid to get his weight back to what it had been ten years previously. I decided there had to be an easier way and started to run! Impish37
  • A work colleague asked if I fancied running a 10K - when I stopped laughing I pointed out that I couldn't run for five minutes never mind a 10K - then I began to wonder why not. That was in July, I’ve done a couple of 10Ks since then and have a half-marathon coming up. Gribb0

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Hot or cold?

  • I’ve heard so many people recommend ice baths after a run, but others say I should have a hot bath. Which is best? My calfs and shins ache all the time, and it’s getting me down! running-mad-dan
  • I’ve never tried an ice bath and don't really have any desire to! But I do love a hot bath filled with muscle soak bubble bath. Whenever my muscles are sore or tight I have a bath, soak in it for as long as I want and gently massage the sore areas. The next morning I feel sooo much better. Is it the muscle on the shin (tibias anterior?) or could it be shin splints? K8greene
  • A hot bath is not a good idea straight after a run - it can increase inflammation. An ice bath is not as bad as it sounds (not quite, anyway!), you just have to remember to put yourself in the bath first, then the water, than the ice. I save it for after really long runs only – I don’t enjoy it that much! Lisa K
  • I had very bad calf pain after my track session, had a cold bath today and now the pain has gone! I grab a woolly hat, get a cup of tea and quickly get in. It's shocking at first but after a couple of minutes the torture isn't too bad. The secret is to sit perfectly still - if you move around, the water will touch bits of skin that are still warm and it’ll result in the air turning blue - again! Blimpy

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Catastrophic chafing

  • Does anyone else chafe in odd places (and no, I’m not referring to my naughty bits)? I can’t seem to keep the skin on my collar bones. No amount of body glide helps. I’ve done two half-marathons recently and came away looking like I’ve been attacked by a vampire with a bad aim. Help! Lisa K
  • Simple answer - put tape along the length of your collar bones, micropore or similar. Siance
  • I find this can be a problem with some tops too. If you find the sweat means the tape 'slips off' I suggest getting a compression top – they’re so tight and stretchy that they don't rub, but mould around you instead. gemma carter 2
  • If you want to use tape, get some Strapal tape – it seems to be the stickiest tape out there and even under heavy sweat it’ll stay put. If you use it on your nipples, chaps, it will stay put but is also likely to give you a chest wax when you take it off - it does stick that well! fat buddha

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For the week ending 7 December 2009

Hot to trot...

Still in shorts?

  • I run in shorts all year round because my legs never seem to feel the cold, but on my last couple of runs I haven't seen anyone else with their legs out. Are there any more hardy (or foolish!) like-minded souls out there? BEERBELLY
  • I wore proper, old-school short running shorts and a t-shirt last night to do 400m repeats at the track. The temperature was below freezing. Colonel Bah Bloody Humbug
  • Legs out all the way for me. The look that people give you on a sharp winter morning is priceless. Brad Robinson 2
  • What's with the "I'm so tough because I wear shorts all year round" bravado? Your joints work better if they're warm, so the sensible option is to wear tracksters or leggings when it's cold. M.ister W

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Tip top 10Ks

  • I’m 19 and I’ve got the running bug after running my first 10K a few weeks ago in 40.38. I’d love to know how your times have improved over your running years, from your first to your current PB, just to give myself realistic goals I suppose. Jay F
  • Your first 10K time is pretty impressive. I started running about 18 months ago, initially to lose weight. I did my first 10K in September 08 in 55.32. I had a race today and finished in a PB of 43.31 - a full 12 minutes off my time in 13 months. If you join a club and stick with it you could improve it dramatically over the next few years. last place
  • Hope you can take some inspiration from my progression, since I started at a similar pace – but at the age of 34. In three years, I’ve gone from 40:15 to my current PB of 33:25. You can look forward to a good few years of progression, but be patient, train sensibly and consistently and the improvements will come. Enjoy! PhilPub
  • Interesting posts. I’m not a huge fan of speedwork – in fact, I’ve noticed that all of my PBs have come at times when my weekly mileage has been quite high. That also seems true to a lot of other people who have posted on this subject. Good luck, Jay, all with your running ambitions. Brad Robinson 2

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Expensive events

  • I’m planning my triathlons for next year, and I’m shocked by how expensive most races are. Maybe I just don't understand the costs, but compared to other sports triathlons are in a different league! Can anyone suggest any reasonably-priced races in the south east? Phillip Henwood
  • When I marshalled at the Vitruvian I found out just how much organisation goes into a tri. Once you tot all the costs up, with all the extras needed for a tri but fewer participants than a running race, I couldn’t quite work out how they make a profit. Stille Nam Heilige Nam
  • IM entry fees are mahoosive! But I could really see where the money had been spent - motorcycle escorts for last riders (like me), lots of safety kayaks, top notch goodie bags, plenty of feed stations, road closures etc. They still make a bit, but it’s easier to swallow when you can see that they've also spent a bit! DTB, Ultra Cake Pim.p
  • When I entered my first tri I was shocked how much more expensive it was compared to a 'normal' run. But then I marshalled at Henley-on-Thames Tri and it really opened my eyes. Now I’m happy to pay more, knowing the amount of organisation involved in a tri. Schmunkee

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Lonely at the top

  • I won my category in a race yesterday! However, I was the only one in the LV40 category… Vicky Probyn
  • Enjoy the win. Just because the others stayed in bed doesn't mean you’re not worth it. I'm Welsh veteran triathlon champion at middle distance. There were only two of us there, but I'm well chuffed with my trophy. seren nos yn canu
  • So you were last in your category then! Kryten
  • If it makes you feel any better, I won a prize for being "best dressed female gorilla" at this year's Great Gorilla Run. You won a prize for being a good runner, whereas I’ve only won a prize for being a hairy ape like creature! Suerunner

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For the week ending 24 November 2009

Hot to trot...

Highs and lows of 2009

  • Let’s take a moment to reflect on what we've achieved in 2009 and look forward to 2010. I'll start... The good stuff: joining a running group, finally getting my boyfriend out on a run after 18 months of trying. The bad: having a fight with a bin bag and twisting my ankle just before a race, still smoking, still haven’t quit my job. 2010: get boyfriend out on his second run. One step at a time! LP84
  • LP84, what got your boyfriend out on a run at last?! I'd love mine to come running, but he's not interested... The good stuff: taking up running again and feeling amazing for it. The bad: getting hopelessly lost and running past a sewage works twice - ick. 2010: running first marathon in under 4 hours?! Harriet_B
  • What was hot: PB's for 5K, 4 miles, 10K and 10 miles. What was not: Being injured for months… 2010: run my first marathon in sub 3:30, and try to stay injury free! Colonel Bah Bloody Humbug
  • The good stuff: 10K PB, getting married (after biking to the loch to meet the minister and my friend, just the two of us!). The not so good stuff: Losing my mojo for a few months. 2010: two marathons in five weeks (Lochaber and Edinburgh) and hopefully a sub-4. And stay happy! Clag

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Unattached vs club runners

  • Looking at the entrants list of most races I’ve done recently, most runners are unattached. The clubs are missing out on revenue, and runners are missing out on saving money on entry fees. Why don’t some runners join clubs? runnerman
  • 1. My only local club meets on an evening I can’t do (family commitment). 2. If you’re unaffiliated you don't have to wear their vest. 3. So I'm not a committed runner – funny that this year I've done one 52.4M ultra, three marathons, one 20M race, two half-marathons, a 5M race and tomorrow I’m doing a 10M one. a lard arse
  • If you have ever run a race organised by a club, all the helpers are volunteers and are putting something back into running by helping. So if you’re unaffiliated but you run in small club races and don’t help out, you are being selfish in expecting others to do organise races for you. Mak’s friend
  • I wanted to join a running club, both for the social side and to get some much needed advice. The problem is that the only club near me meets at 6:15, and there’s no way I would make it in time. Do most runners not have jobs? Or have you been doing it long enough to figure out how to fit it all in? TNHo ho ho

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Virus recovery

  • How do you know it is OK to run after a virus? I’ve had what might have been swine flu and I’m feeling better but still a bit chesty. I want to start my training again but the last couple of attempts led to a coughing fit. Should I just keep trying again? The Hoose-Goer
  • I think running after anything that knocks your body is personal - you have to listen to your body and you have to know your body. If you’re worried that you aren't ready, you probably aren't. Relax - there is always time to run. PloddingOn
  • I'd echo what others have said about really listening to your body and not getting back into it before you feel ready. Take it easy, Hoose, rest up, and if you feel motivated to get out there running again, take it very, very steady. Good luck with it. Lady Pineapple
  • We had the worst month of the year, each member of the family one after the other have been ill with the same virus every week. My youngest is just recovering now... I started off cross training indoors, before I felt well enough to run outside again. Silburbas

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Mementos vs medals

  • I’ve got nine years of medals hanging on my study wall. They don't take up much space, some have fantastic designs and they all have memories. So why does every race I now enter give me with a memento? I don't want numerous plastic water bottles, gym bags or mugs – and they take up a lot more space than the medals on my wall. Pooh Bear
  • Of all the races I've done over the past year, I've only received two medals. Sometimes I'll get a mug or a t-shirt, but in most races I'm lucky to get a cup of tea and a biscuit! I do like medals, but if it means I have to enter races with thousands of runners then I'll pass, thanks very much! Colonel Bah Bloody Humbug
  • Partly because of my bet with Muttley Jnr (to get 100 medals by a certain date) but partly also because I already have too much clutter, I’d rather have medals. I don't have space for more mugs, T-shirts, water bottles etc but medals are easily stored. Muttley
  • I got a cracking medal at the Town Moor yesterday. I've got most of my medals in a picture frame in my hall - they look good and take up no space at all. I'm up to 52 technical tees now, not even counting the cotton ones. I should really have a cull... Vicki: Graceless Whippet

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For the week ending 9 November 2009

Hot to trot...

Totally addicted to running

  • I told my wife about my plans to get the bus to another town and run home, and she told me I need help! But I don’t want to just run around the block, I want to do something different! Has anyone else got a bus or train somewhere and then ran back – and am I addicted to running?! Steve Mobley 2
  • Yup! I got the tram in Sheffield to the end of the line, went for a 12 mile run and then caught the tram back - brilliant. Though what the other people waiting for the tram thought of the half naked runner is another issue… PJAZ
  • Not quite, but I have driven around my LSR route planting water or energy drinks strategically before actually doing the run. That's an extra half-hour of prep, and then I might have to go pick up the bottles afterwards. Ratzer
  • The weirdest look I ever got from friends was when I appeared from inside my tent at a festival in all my running gear… In my defence, it was the very first evening we'd arrived, and I did spend the rest of the weekend getting completely tw*tted. PhilPub

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Coeliac-friendly carbs

  • After doctors telling me I’m fine for five years, I've recently been to a nutritionist who told me to cut out dairy, wheat, coffee and pork from my diet. How can I carb load before a race? I’m hoping to do a half next year but I don’t know what I can eat! Any ideas? Sarah George 2
  • Can you afford to see the nutritionist again? She should be able to help you. I'd go with rice, quinoa, and maize or vegetable pasta. Cutting out all those things at once must be quite restrictive for you. Is it a permanent change, or just for a short period of time to see what you react to? Vixx76
  • I don't bother with wheat-free pasta as it is (mainly) disgusting - I prefer rice. If you have to avoid wheat, but not gluten, then you can eat oats - which is not quite so restricting. You could always contact the Coeliac Disease Society, who provide guides on what coeliacs can/can't eat. CJBA
  • What kind of tests did the nutritionist do? I’m a little concerned - cutting out all wheat and dairy is quite restrictive and will have dietary implications. And how are you meant to know if you're sensitive to one particular food if you've cut out dozens? sarah the bookworm

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The fast and the furious

  • At my last 10K I was lapped by the leader. As he flew past I gave him a little clap and said "well done". I got no response whatsoever, nor from the second and third people. I know they were serious runners but it seems to me that the faster you get, the more miserable you become! Yaffles
  • I don't think it's anything to do with speed, just basic manners! I've seen rude slow runners and polite, encouraging fast runners. I did a race a while ago and the winner waited at the finish until everyone had come in, congratulating each runner as he/she passed the line. CJBA
  • Sometimes you’re so focused on running that you block everything else out – and this applies to ‘fun’ runners too. I was recently working hard at the end of a 10K and was apparently so focused that I failed to hear my two-and-a-half-year-old boy screaming "That's my Daddy!" Seagull Daz
  • If you only say “well done” to get a “thank you” back, its a bit like only giving a present to get one back… I say well done to other runners because I think they deserve it. I don't expect anything in return! seren nos – dyn haearn

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Wet kit woes

  • When I wash my running gear and hang it on a clothes dryer in the house it can take two days to dry - and then it smells mouldy and needs washing again. Anyone else got this problem and found a solution? Parklife
  • Could you get a tumble drier or a de-humidifier? Although that might cost just as much in electricity as putting the heating on! If your kit is made of technical fabric it should be more or less dry when it comes out of the machine – mine takes an hour or two at most. Misfit.
  • When I wash my kit on the quick or delicates cycle, it’s still dripping wet when it comes out of the machine. In winter I give the load an extra high-speed spin and then pop it onto a clothes horse by the radiator. I know what you mean about the smell, though. Muttley
  • Are you washing your kit hot enough? It’s not very green but I do mine at 60 degrees to kill the bacteria, and it smells nice and fresh. I dry mine on an airer upstairs (heat rises) or in the airing cupboard. Siance

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For the week ending 2 November 2009

Hot to trot...

Racing recovery

  • On Sunday I ran my first ever marathon. It didn’t go entirely according to plan, but I finished! I’m worried because my marathon recovery (so far!) has been relatively easy and short runs feel absolutely fine. Given that I'm new to marathon running, I expected to struggle more. Am I in for a nasty shock? Kimba
  • Regardless of what happened on the day, your training means you’re in pretty good shape and so your recovery won't be too bad! Looking back to my first marathon, I made the mistake of not training consistently and thinking I could get away with it on the day. Nope - it doesn't work! ladyfe
  • You've trained properly, done the business and that's why you’re not hurting loads. Enjoy it - and relax before planning the next one! Most of the folks who hurt a lot after a marathon get that way because they haven't done enough training for whatever reason, or picked up an injury. Cake
  • I did a hilly 30 mile race during the summer, and followed the highly scientific ‘Dads’ recovery plan’ which involved going to a BBQ that evening… Go with how you feel. Don't try to break any records too soon, enjoy running for a while… then enter another marathon! Dave Goodfellow

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Runner’s best friend

  • I have a one year old dog which I take for two walks a day, and I’m finding it hard to head back out of the door for a third time to go running. I’m thinking of killing two birds with one stone and turning one of his walks into a jog. Does anyone else run with their dog? Did you ease them in gradually or just go out as normal? Clare Taylor 4
  • Labradors are generally fine as long as most of their running is off-road -they've got fantastic stamina. I started running with my dog for 20 minutes or so at first, and as my distance went up so did his. Now he comes with me for long runs of two hours plus! Chocolate Moose
  • I ran with my Mum's lovely dog once. It was a disaster - the daft thing got far too excited because of the running and it broke her road sense, she scampered in front of a tractor and I nearly died of fright. I had to give up on the run and walk her home, in grumpy silence… AllNewTB
  • My dog has piled on a few pounds since I started running - the long walks she used to get have stopped because I’m busy running or recovering. I still take her out twice a day but it’s not enough. I'm going to take her running tomorrow and see how she gets on - with any luck she’ll help me slow my long run pace down a bit too. Everybody wins! Patrick Murphy 5

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Last but not least

  • My first 10K is in five months’ time, and looking at the times for last year I’d definitely come last. I know that someone has to be last, but I'm not sure I'm ready for it to be me. Has anyone here come last? Any tips? Or should I withdraw? LindsD
  • I was joint last (with my friend) in one of my early 10Ks. We got lots of cheering and clapping (and not just because the marshals wanted to go home..!) It really doesn't hurt, and good for you for entering! Wilkie
  • I was just as worried when I entered my first race. I downloaded a training schedule, worked hard and came 30th out of 55 on the day. The fact that you’ve entered shows that you believe you can do it – and it doesn’t matter if you do come last as long as you do yourself justice. Good luck! Muppley
  • I came last in the marathon I did on Sunday. It was hot (abroad) and I had a terrible race but I couldn't have given a toss - my five-year old son ran across the line with me and said, "Well done mummy - you did it." I've almost come last in other races, and I actually think being last is better. Slow and old

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Dark days

  • After months of running in the sunlight, I’ve just done my first proper after-dark run. I had a headtorch and hi-vis on, but you just can't escape that oppressive feeling of running through the darkness. I was even toying with the idea of hitting the dreadmill, it was that bad! danowat
  • I find I get used to the change light to dark and vice versa quite quickly. I wasn't too keen when I started having to run in the dark again a few weeks ago, but last spring when the days started getting longer I didn't like having to run in daylight again. After a few days you just get used to it. Omar Little
  • I do most of my running in a town so it's always well-lit, which is good because it was already getting dark when I headed out at 4.30 yesterday afternoon! I quite like running at this time of year - my cup of tea when I get home is just that bit nicer when it's dark and chilly outside. Becca87
  • I'm another in the minority that enjoys running in the dark. The only things I don't really like are going off-road in the dark and getting dazzled by headlights. Actually I enjoy running in all conditions - dark, crisp, warm, sunny, even driving wind and rain - getting out in all weathers makes me really appreciate the changing seasons. exiled claret

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For the week ending 26 October 2009

Hot to trot...

Rewarding refuelling

  • I tend to do my long run early on a Saturday morning after a banana and some Lucozade. I’m starving all day, and with reduced willpower after a few drinks I usually end up eating far too much on Saturdays. I know before a run I should eat carbs. But what about after? Running Kev
  • Restock your glycogen stores with carbs and protein in a 4:1 ratio, within 40 minutes after a long run. Many people don’t like eating straight after a long run - try recovery drinks to give you the nutrition and fluid you need. Or eat chicken sandwiches, tuna wraps etc - it’s your call, as long as you stick roughly to that 4:1 ratio. fat buddha
  • I love Sunday mornings before my long run - I sit and read while I have tea and porridge with banana and honey. When I get back I have water and fruit juice, then something relatively light (I have the usual Sunday roast later on). I don't tend to eat anything specific after a run, just whatever I fancy having at the time. Becca87
  • I eat porridge for breakfast then have my post-run banana. I crave carbs even after five mile runs though, and I have to try hard not to eat as many calories as I’ve just burned…. My craving for chips after a 10K is legendary – I say, refuel and reward yourself! Debbie Fleming 2

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Slicker knickers

  • I’ve been watching the elite women in the Great South Run, and wondering why some elite women run in knickers when others run in shorts? The knickers are teeny! And I can't imagine that they even make much of a difference to their performance? ploddinglady
  • Gym knickers were responsible for my hatred of exercise for years! I can never work out how the professionals' knickers don't work their way up… They just stay neatly in place the whole time! Chocolate Chicken
  • I had to race in yellow gym knickers once. I didn't want to wear them, and one of my teammates actually refused and insisted on wearing the men's shorts. I wouldn't be in a hurry to wear them again. I don't think they have any effect on performance - or all of the men would be wearing them too! distancerunner
  • It's down to heat and a little bit of aerodynamics. I don't overheat nearly as much running in crop top and knickers, and I like to think there's less wind resistance too. For the elite athletes every little helps, so it's probably worth it. And no, the knickers don’t ride up! Vicki: Graceless Whippet

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Teenage kicks

  • For a long time I’ve thought my 16 year old son could be a good middle-distance runner, so last weekend we ran a 10K. He did no training whatsoever and still managed a time of 39 minutes – a great time given his age and lack of training. How can I motivate him to keep running? wiz1
  • If your son is like most 16 year old boys, I expect you’re already on his back about homework, schoolwork and the state of his room. Please don't add running to the list! Why don't you pick your battles, concentrate on the 'important' things and allow him to enjoy his running? Slugsta
  • Don't go on about it to him. Just mention that he did really well, and that if he runs he could get fit, get a great body and that he might meet some hot girls/boys at a running club. Then leave it - if he still isn't interested after that, he just isn't interested. Accept it! nom
  • If the race inspires him, he’ll be coming to you for information – you’ve just got to leave it to him. I know one 14 year old who runs 16 minute 5Ks, but isn’t in a club – he doesn’t fancy high pressure coaching. If he’s not interested right now, remember the great thing about running is that you can come to it at any age. seren nos – dyn haearn

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Facing racing

  • Does anyone else have a problem with the word ‘race’? Every week I go out with my club and enjoy running ever-increasing distances. But as soon as I enter a race the nerves start with endless trips to the loo – it’s a wonder I get to the start line at all! Is it just me? Yaffles
  • I get a teensy bit nervous when I'm racing for my club, because other people are depending on you. Especially my debut steeplechase - I was drafted in at short notice and had never even seen a water jump up close! Terrifying! PhilPub
  • I’m the opposite - the word ‘race’ brings out all my competitive instincts and makes me run harder than I thought possible. I don’t lie awake worrying about it or run to the loo before the start - everything is focused on finishing as fast as possible. Dubai Dave
  • I used to get so nervous I built races up into something horrible for days or weeks beforehand, and then felt very sick on the day. What worked for me was telling myself the race didn’t matter, until I was actually warming up on the start line. There will always be other races. One disastrous race is not the end of the world. distancerunner

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For the week ending 12 October 2009

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Favourite distances

  • My ultimate dream is to do ultras - I love distance-running and feel strong going long. What's your favourite distance and your reason? TurboElli
  • I do the longer distances because they are more of a test, it’s better from a weight-control and overall fitness perspective and they are easier to get involved with. That said, if I look back to school days I was a pretty tidy sprinter! Leeds Rob
  • I didn't mean to be a long distance runner - I married one and got sucked in! I like marathons because most people can't do them and I like that look of "my god you're mental" in their eyes. Liverbird
  • Since the first week of September I've done three marathons, a 100m, a 400m and a mile. I’ve a half-marathon tomorrow and marathons the two following weeks, then a 10k and 10 mile to finish. I s'pose that sort of tips me towards being a long-distance runner (or waddler as it more realistically is at the mo)! ultra kazzaaaaah!!

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Autumn Running

  • I like the crispness and the colours - what do you like about autumn running? The Hoose-Goer
  • The satisfying scrunch of leaves underfoot! sarah the bookworm
  • The mist over the playing fields this morning, gradually burning off as the sun’s strength grew. Grandad6
  • The dark evenings mean my fellow club runners can't see my fat arse wobbling anymore... Camlo
  • I like being able to wear gloves - something to blow your nose on and wipe sweat off face with (not same hands obviously). GymAddict

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Off-Road Risks

  • I always try and run off-road as it's one of the main things I like about running. However, I have so many people telling me not to run alone - should I stop running alone to avoid the 'slight' risk of something happening? Ploddinglady
  • In ten years of running on my own in the woods I have never felt even slightly threatened, and enjoy the peace and quiet, the birdsong, the sound of the wind in the trees. To miss out on all that for some vague perceived threat would be a complete shame. Wilkie
  • Don't be too predictable on your runs/routes/times. Alter the times of your runs and routes frequently. Autumn66
  • It's all a matter of confidence and being aware of your surroundings. Everyone seems to have a scare story but have you noticed it's nearly always a friend of a friend? You could live your life in fear, or you can live you life how you want it to be. For me that means taking reasonable precautions - no MP3, taking a phone and saying roughly where I'm going and how long I'll be. Ultra-Cas

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Rip-off Race Fees

  • I know I don't have to run them (I don't), but some races are a rip off. Are we being charged on the basis of how far we run and thus how many marshals are used? Are we running for goody bags or for the sport itself? Can't we get back to proper races that charge a sensible fee without having to give to charity - enter a charity race if you want to give - and pay for a stuff we don't want ? robin_hood
  • Road closures, police, insurance, advertising, admin fees, printing race numbers, signs, medals, hiring of timing equipment, hiring venue, refreshments... I'm sure I've forgotton some costs. Shimmy shimmy
  • We all run for different reasons, and there seems to be race types to satisfy us all, from the over-expensive, over-hyped to the very cheap (or even free). I resent paying more than £15 for a race, but I still generally do it if I think that any profits are going to a worthy cause. RunningCommentary
  • Quite apart from having to pay for all the things mentioned above, clubs need goodwill from the local councils, police, community groups etc and being able to give a hefty wedge to a local charity will go a long way to maintaining a positive attitude from those with the power to say yes or no to putting on a race that involves no small inconvenience to many people who aren't runners. Mr Puffy
  • The high profile events encourage new runners to take part who then find the smaller local races. Most newcomers will NOT enter a local race for fear of coming last, in a large field of entrants they are more likely to have people of similar abilities and unlikely to come last. JPenno

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For the week ending 5 October 2009

Hot to trot...

The kindness of runners

  • Walking home, I overtook a man who commented on how fast I was walking. I told him that I was a runner, so walking fast is easy! It turned out he was as well, and we had a lovely conversation about running. We parted saying “Happy running", and it's left me thinking how great the camaraderie can be between fellow runners. Jenni B
  • I've worked in my current job for seven years, and I've occasionally passed a bloke in the corridor but never said more than 'good morning’. On Monday lunchtime I saw him running on the canal towpath. Needless to say we’re now firm buddies, and spend ages chatting in that same corridor. Running is just like that. AmyO
  • One of my routes goes past a row of bungalows. One day I noticed a little elderly lady in one of the houses who cheerfully waved at me as went by, so I waved back. I often add do that route now and we exchange waves. I hope it cheers her up as much as it does me. Maybe I'll adopt her as my nan... Siance
  • We were doing a club interval session in the summer when an elderly lady came to watch us by her gate. Each time a runner went by she cheered and clapped. It was lovely! It began to rain really heavily and she went inside. Soon she was back at her gate with her umbrella, cheering just as heartily! small

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Kitted out

  • I’ve been researching what to wear over the winter, and I’d appreciate your thoughts before I part with my hard-earned cash. I was planning running gloves, a jacket, a high-viz vest, tracksters and a hat. Would ski thermals be ok on top and under my tracksters? Am I getting carried away or is this a normal thing to do? Groundrush
  • Depends on how fast you run and how hot you get! The gear itself looks fine, I just don't think you'll need all of it at once. The general rule of thumb is to feel a little chilly when you set off, then you'll be just right after a mile or two. exiled claret
  • I tend to start off wrapped up like I'm about to go skiing and end up with most of it wrapped around my waist… PinguPongu
  • Keep running in what you're currently wearing until you feel like you need more. Then add a bit at a time, rather than buying a load of stuff at once. Having said that, if you find something you really like, buy several – sod’s law means they probably won’t have any more if you go back later! Wilkie

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No thanks...

Missing motivation

  • I’ve had a big year – getting married, moving house, etc and my running’s tailed off. I’ve signed up to two marathons and one’s in mid-December… I know this sounds mad but I’ve got no motivation and I’m almost scared to run. Has any else felt like this? I feel so unfit and fed up - and I’m gaining so much weight! shenz
  • Either go out running or don't. Simple! You seem to have so many excuses not to run - can you even remember why you used to do it? If it was because you enjoyed it, then that’s all the reason you need to get yourself out there. Get a grip, stop whining and just do it - or don't! Tigerlily
  • You may be slower but at least you know where you once were and that with a little application you can get back there- and probably a lot quicker than you think. Put your kit on, get out the door and run. Just give it a go – it must be worth a try! PaulS4
  • Motivation ultimately comes from within. If you need to keep turning to outside sources for motivation, then you need to look inside yourself and ask why. Generally, if you can't motivate yourself, you won't stay motivated for very long. danowat

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Marathon mass

  • Has anyone else put on weight after taking up running, or is it just me? I originally took up running because I wanted to get healthy, and to drop a bit of weight. I did the Berlin Marathon in 2007, and now I'm back in training for the VLM. I’m enjoying it, but I keep putting on weight instead of 'the fat just melting off' like I hear it should! Nara
  • Running can't make you fatter, only eating too much or not burning enough calories. How many miles are you running at the moment? Another idea is to start a food diary - you may be surprised… danowat
  • I stayed the same weight during marathon training because I was over-compensating for the additional fuel requirements by snacking all over the place. Through trial and error (and not calorie counting) I've worked out how much I need to eat to feel full and train effectively. PhilPub
  • Sticking to the government guidelines does the job. But you have to find out what works for you through trial and error, and if there's one thing you cannot live without, have a little bit. I’ve found having a KitKat at lunchtime satisfies my chocolate cravings and stops me having too much later in the evening. Good luck! Tazi

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For the week ending 28 September 2009

Hot to trot...

Got ID?

  • I’m wondering whether I need ID when I go running. At the moment, I run with water and a set of keys, but if I was found unconscious no-one would know who I was, or who to contact. I guess a keyfob with my name and a contact number would be best - any other suggestions? Hamish Williams
  • I've had two accidents whilst out running on my own, so I now have a little tag tied to my shoe with "In case of emergency please call..." etc Lady Wot Jogs
  • I wear a stainless steel dog tag - on a chain long enough to tuck down my sports bra and stop it jangling. We’ve got his ‘n’ hers tags with name, ICE info and the fact that I’m an organ donor. They only cost a couple of quid on ebay. Siance
  • Excellent - now I know what to buy my other half for his birthday! seren nos – dyn haearn

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Lapping it up

  • I always get lapped in races, sometimes when I feel like I've only just started… If you lap slower runners, what do you think about them? Do you think 'good for you' or do you feel sorry for them? Is there a sense of achievement in catching the back runners, or are you just wrapped up in your own race? ploddinglady
  • I'm by no means a front runner but I usually finish in the top quarter. I always think 'good for you' – in fact, I'm often in two minds about whether to say anything encouraging as I pass. But I worry that it might seem patronising, so I usually I just tootle on. LS21
  • I’ve got a lot of respect for both ends of the running spectrum - I appreciate the ability it takes to run a marathon in just over two hours as well as the effort, courage and strength it takes to finish one in six hours. Xan.
  • I think all runners deserve the same amount of respect – I hurt just as much as the fast guys but unfortunately have to keep going for longer! I suppose there are some who just jog round, especially in bigger events, but in most races everyone will be working as hard as they can. GymAddict

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No thanks...

Fundraising faff

  • I recently challenged myself to my first marathon. Lots of my family and friends were really surprised that I wasn’t running for charity. Is it normal to run purely for your own sense of achievement or do people expect you to raise money every time? Thera
  • I raised money for a friend's charity when I ran my first marathon, but haven't done so since. I'm not comfortable with pestering people for money. I've always thought if I ever get into the London Marathon through the ballot that I would run for a charity though. www.the1000milechallenge.com
  • When I ran a marathon, everyone seemed indignant that I wasn’t raising money for charity. I don't ask people what charity people are playing Sunday League footie or going fishing for! Why should my hobby be any different? Artie Fufkin, Polymer Records
  • On the one occasion I’ve run a marathon for charity, I found collecting the sponsorship money harder than doing the damn event! Dave the Ex-Spartan

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Mechanical faults

  • Just got back from seeing the physio - apparently I am not 'mechanically built for running'. I've only been running since May, but I love it. Now I've been told that if I keep running I'm likely to need my knees replaced at some point. I was even planning on a half-marathon next month… I want to cry. sarah the bookworm
  • Poor you, I’m so sorry. On the bright side, cycling and swimming are also brilliant – and not weight-bearing - and there are lots of events to get involved with and loads of swish kit to collect. All is not lost! Gyraffe
  • I can't rave enough about stretching. I didn’t do it for years, and surprise, surprise – I’ve ended up with a list of injuries. I'm now seeing an osteo, who has givem me a ticking off and a series of exercises stretches to do twice a day. The difference is phenomenal! Hashette
  • Not "biomechanically suited to running"? Only elites really are – it’s not a reason not to run. However, if you’ve already got degenerative changes in your knees, I'd be more careful and maybe consider non-weight bearing exercise like swimming or cycling. Basil Brush Mk II

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For the week ending 21 September 2009

Hot to trot...

Fit families

  • When I was talking to my Mum this weekend, I said I’d started running. After years of my Dad running marathons, Mum sent commiserations to my partner and blamed my father for the ‘bad genes’! Do you think being sporty is genetic? Kiwihelen
  • My family comes in two sorts – tall and fit or short and ‘comfortably rounded’. There’s no way on earth I’ll ever beat my little brother unless I tie his shoelaces together. After a year’s training, I did a 10K in 66 mins. He went out running four times and finished in 45 minutes. Yes - I hate him too! Helen liz
  • My entire family are inactive. When the subject of running comes up, I receive a reaction best described as a mixture of bewildered awe and the pity one lavishes on a simple child. Artie Fufkin, Polymer Records
  • My dad has always run for fitness, but that's it. The whole family’s muscular with a layer of chub over the top to round it off nicely! Like some of the other posters I feel like I’ve got the right mindset but the wrong body type. C'est la vie. GymAddict

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Mastering marathons

  • I ran my first marathon this year and I’ve caught the bug and signed up for the same race again next year. I'd like to do another marathon next year too, and I was wondering how long I should leave it between the races? What’s the ideal amount of time to leave between marathons? Becca87
  • Lots of people do two a year - one in spring and one in autumn. This should give you time to recover properly, train well and taper. I have done three so far this year with more to come, but I’ll only race two of them - the rest are just for fun. Mr Guy
  • I think a lot depends if you want to try and 'race' both of them. You could do the second one no problem if you just enjoy the day and don't go chasing a PB. I personally couldn’t race two marathons within a few months – but you might be able to manage it. LS21
  • Leave a 5-6 month gap, and you’ll be able to give it your all in both races. If you’re keen to keep running way into the future, it’d be useful to train in difference seasons to see which you prefer. You might find it harder to do long runs when it's warm, or prefer the longer evenings. PhilPub

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No thanks...

Loathsome laundry

  • I'm fed up with my washing machine going constantly - I'm sure I'm causing an environmental disaster! Me, my husband and our sons all play sport and it creates so much washing, even before factoring in the usual school uniform/clothes/sheets/towels. How do people cope with constantly washing kit? seren nos – dyn haearn
  • Shall I be the first minger to admit to wearing kit twice..? Gyraffe
  • What works for me is a quick rinse and spin with a bit of liquid after each run, and then a ‘proper’ wash at the weekends. danowat
  • All my runs are 10M+ at the mo, six times a week, producing soaking wet kit. Our house is full of kit drying all the time. The good thing about running kit, climbing and walking gear though is that it doesn't need ironing! jason d

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Let’s go outside

  • I’ve been running for two years and can comfortably do 10k in just under an hour. Now I’m going back to uni and will be living in a new area, and with less time to run during the day. I dread going back to the treadmill full-time – has anyone got any suggestions? Aphrodite
  • TIn winter I normally stick to routes that go along main roads so that there are always streetlights and plenty of people around. I think you just need to go and explore the area a little. Carry your phone and a personal alarm, or find someone to run with. TurboElli
  • I’m going back to uni soon, and I’m planning to explore on my bike to check out routes. I’ll probably go round the block during the week, and for longer runs at weekends. I'm also planning on joining a running club for company on evening runs. Good luck! Tazi
  • Every club I've known has welcomed runners of all standards, so don’t worry about that. Any club that calls themselves Joggers/Harriers/Runners will almost certainly be welcoming. They’re also a good place to meet running buddies to run on other days of the week. exiled claret