Google’s top 20 running questions answered

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Last week, our friends over at the Guardian Running Blog published the top 20 training questions posed to Google by wannabe runners since the start of 2016. To save you hours surfing the net we've pulled together articles by our crack team of experts to answer your burning questions.

How to start running?

The best way to start running is one step at a time. The simplest form of exercise you can engage in, placing one foot in front of the other can still be overwhelming for total beginners so take your time. Read our advice on how to start running from scratch and join the revolution!

How to run faster?

The first step to increasing your speed is to increase your training and stick to a routine. If you’re not sure where to start, try our tips on interval training, mix up your speeds during runs and get your head around the main types of speedwork. Still struggling to up the ante? These reasons might be why.

What to eat before a run?

What you consume before, during and after a run can be the difference between a pleasant jog round the park and a wash out. Everybody is different, but try sticking to a small to moderate-sized meal before you head out while you figure out what works for you and what doesn't. Also, be wary of these GI issues and the culprits behind them.

Is running good for you?

In short, yes. For a multitude of mental, physical and spiritual reasons, we believe running is extremely good for you. Still not convinced? Here are 9 reasons running benefits you from head to toe.

How long does it take to run a mile?

The first precisely measured running tracks were built in 1850, but it wasn’t until 1954 that GB’s very own Roger Bannister broke the four-minute mile. The record for the world's fastest mile currently stands at 3:43.13 set by Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco in 1999 and the women's record is 4:12.56 set by Svetlana Masterkova of Russia in 1996. The average amateur runner takes ten minutes to run a mile, but this time can vary depending on weight, age, build and how far you intend to run. To find out how long it takes you to run a mile, invest in a running watch or divide the time you were out running by number of miles covered to work out your average pace per mile.

How to breathe when running?

The best way to breathe when running is in and out! But if you're struggling for breath and need a little fine tuning, run gently at a pace where you can hold a conversation and try our exercises to help you breathe your way to better running.

How many calories does running burn?

To work out how many calories you burn try our interactive calorie counter, but not all calories are created equally. To ensure you get the ratio right, read this.

How to run properly?

If you’ve ever watched an elite marathoner speeding towards the finish line, you will know that from Paula Radcliffe’s head bob to Priscah Jeptoo’s funky knee everyone is different and contrary to popular opinion there is no perfect way to run. All you need is a pair of trainers and a sense of direction. However, if you want to ensure you’re practising good form to prevent injury and ensure efficiency, there are a few things you can do to improve your form.

How long does it take to run 5K?

The time it takes to run 5K entirely depends on the individual. To work out your 5K time, use our race time predictor. Also, parkrun holds free weekly timed 5K events in parks all over the country, so head along and put your speed to the test.

How long after eating can I run?

Nutrition is down to the individual so it's best to experiment and find out what works for you, but to start with try and leave at least 30 minutes before exercising to avoid indigestion. Our 5 perfect pre-run breakfasts should get you started, or try one of our tasty flapjack recipes.

What to eat after a run?

If you've just run a marathon or further then the technical answer to that question is whatever you fancy! Alternatively, for a more sensible approach, try our post-run nutrition tips.

How many times a week should I run?

The ideal number of weekly runs depends entirely on the individual, so it's best to go by how you feel. If you're brand new to running then ease yourself in with two to three runs a week with rest days in between until you start to feel comfortable. If you're following a training plan that recommends a certain number of runs per week, try sticking to that - but if you're injured, ill or feel fatigued, listen to your body and rest. If you're training for a specific event, this may help.

Is running bad for you?

Nope! Running is good for you. But to ensure you stay in tip top shape, listen to your body and brush up on how to avoid injury

How to warm up for a run?

A full body workout is always a bonus, but when it comes to warming up for a run a brisk walk and some dynamic stretching should do the trick. Keep walking until you feel ready to break into a run and take it from there. It's best to stretch muscles once they're warm, so save the stretching until halfway or after your run.

What is a tempo run?

Tempo running is all about finding the middle ground between an easy run and all-out effort. Read this and before long you'll be perfectly in tune with your abilities.

Is running bad for your knees?

Contrary to popular opinion, running is in fact good for your knees. Remove anyone who tells you otherwise from your Christmas card list and move on. You can make new friends. Ones who like running.

Will I lose weight by running?

Running will make you fit and healthy, but it won't necessarily make you lose weight. Muscle is denser than fat and everyone responds to exercise in different ways. Follow our advice to ensure you lose weight in a healthy way or, alternatively, try these tips to shed the pounds without dieting.

What to wear for running?

The best answer to this question is whatever feels comfortable. Most sportswear brands and high street shops now stock technical running kit that wicks moisture away from your skin so you don't get too sweaty during your run. Hit the high street and investigate. Once your running improves, investing in fancy new kit is also an excellent motivator to keep on training.

What causes a stitch when running?

The reason runners sometimes get the dreaded stitch is still undecided but most scientists believe the pain stems from a reduction in blood supply to the diaphragm, causing it to cramp. Here's how you can help ditch the stitch.

How to run a half-marathon?

The best way to tackle your first long distance race is to follow a training plan. Read this to find your perfect training plan, or go all out and add half marathon speed training into the mix.

Still got a burning question about running? Drop us a line Facebook.com/RunnersWorldUK or Tweet us @RunnersWorldUK and join the running revolution!