Answers to 100 Common Running FAQs



General FAQ's

Training shoes are typically very supportive to allow you to move in different directions easily.

High Intensity Interval Training is a form of training where you alternate between periods of high and low intensity exercise.

Interval training alternates the level of intensity you work at during a training session. This might include running at different speeds or varying the incline over the course of your workout.

Cramp can be caused by a variety of different factors including dehydration, over use, and even a build-up of lactic acid during a workout.

Joint pain can be made worse by running. Knees injuries can be aggravated during a run which might mean that you have to stop training for longer. It's better to rest up and recover than risk making pain worse.

It's not a good idea to start wearing a new pair of shoes on race day. Make sure that you run a few times in any new shoes to get used to the change in cushioning and support before the big day.

Goals are important when training, so putting together a training plan to help you increase distance or speed can help. Some people who just run a steady distance for fitness don't keep a plan though.

Some race events are specially for children, with lower distances.

Gait Analysis looks at how you run including how your feet hit the ground in order to determine the best type of shoe to make running comfortable for you.

Pronation is the way your foot rolls inwards as it hits the ground. This absorbs the shock and helps to transfer movement forwards. Excessive pronation can cause problems with your body's alignment and cause pain.

Supination refers to weight being placed on the outside edge of your feet when running.

A personal trainer can be helpful in helping you make a training plan or to address specific goals, but most people don't need someone with them all the time.

It's not a good idea to run on icy surfaces, but you can still run on cold days - just make sure that you wear sufficient layers.

You shouldn't need to take on extra nutrition during a 5KM race, so gels usually aren't necessary.

A good balanced shoe that offers support and is flexible to help you adopt a running style that is comfortable for you.

There are many online race calendars which list events across the country and allow you to enter online. Park Runs take place in most UK towns and offer a weekly 5KM challenge to participants that is free to enter.

Speed training can help you perform better, and as it raises your heart rate can also benefit your general fitness levels.

You can start training at any age, although if you're coming from a background of limited activity, then it is a good idea to speak to your doctor and get a full check-up before you start.

Elite sprinters often have very specific physiologies that help them compete at the top level, but they still need to train hard for years to reach their peak.

Taking short cuts with training isn't a good idea. To avoid injury and prepare properly for a race, give yourself plenty of time to work up to your distance and speed goals.

Eating before a race isn't a good idea. A heavy meal can make you feel sluggish and cause cramp. It's better to eat a couple of hours before you train.

Under pronation is where your foot doesn't roll enough during your stride and can cause a lack of alignment or pain in your lower back during a run.

Running on a treadmill can be a little less forgiving than roads or grass, so you might want a more cushioned sole to keep you comfortable during your training session.



Running FAQ's

Running can help weight loss when combined with a calorie-controlled diet.

Running is one of the best ways of improving your cardiac fitness. It is important to build to a level that you are comfortable at.

Running a few times each week will help with your fitness. Ensuring that you include rest days gives your body time to recover.

If you've run previously as part of your fitness regime, you can still run during pregnancy, although you might need to take it easier, and you will need to be more careful on rough surfaces as your centre of gravity will change.

If you feel up to running, you can run with a mild cold, although you might need to lower the intensity that you work at and have a shorter session.

Finding someone to train with is a good way of staying motivated as a new runner. But for most people, simply leaving their couch and making a start along the road is the best way of getting started.

Comfortable, supportive running shoes are the most important part of your kit. You don't need a GPS watch, heart rate monitor, or anything else to enjoy running.

Running is good exercise, providing benefits to your heart health, muscle density, and bone strength.

There's no right time to run - you should go at a time that is comfortable and convenient for you - some people prefer to run in the morning to help them wake up, others prefer the evening to de-stress after a long day.

A running calendar is a training plan that details your running workouts over a period of time. A running calendar is particularly useful when planning a long race such as a marathon where you need to build stamina through increasingly long runs.

While running has high impact on your legs, you shouldn't pick up new injuries unless you trip or strain during a run. Wearing supportive cushioned shoes can reduce joint impact and protect you.

Running is excellent for cardio fitness.

Sprinters and long-distance runners all adopt different styles, and most people will have their own unique gait or way of moving. This can affect the choice of shoe that works best for you.

It's not a good idea to start wearing a new pair of shoes on race day. Make sure that you run a few times in any new shoes to get used to the change in cushioning and support before the big day.

There are many different training plans for runners including interval training, pure speed training and long runs to build stamina. Most training plans will include a variety of different sessions to address different performance areas.

Some people prefer to run alone - others find that having some company on a long run is helpful in keeping them motivated.

Rest is important during a run as it can help you to recover if the intensity is becoming too much of a strain. You can do this by slowing your pace down or stopping altogether to restore your breathing.

You will normally need to wait about 6-8 weeks after giving birth before you run again to give your ligaments time to return to normal. If you have had a C-Section, then a longer wait - up to 12 weeks is recommended.

Many people find that listening to music during a run keeps them motivated. It is important to make sure that you can hear ambient noise though in case you are running near traffic.

Wear lightweight breathable clothes that wick moisture away from your body to remain more comfortable during a run.

As a rule of thumb, if you're running below 8-minute mile pace, you should take on about 100-150ml of water every 20 minutes. If you're running at or above 8-minute mile pace, you will need to take on more water to stay hydrated - from 150-200ml every 20 minutes.

Taking a rest day is important as part of your training as it helps muscles to recover.

Running should be pleasurable. It's a great way to release positive endorphins, exercise outdoors and get fresh air.

If you feel tired, or sore, it's a good idea to take a break.

Some people run marathons in their 90s, so there's no need to stop running because you've hit a particular age. If you're starting to run after 70, it's a good idea to speak to your doctor before beginning a training plan.

Running is great exercise and can help with joint strength and cardio health as well as helping to increase your stamina.

Running raises your body temperature and sweating is how your body cools down, so you will sweat during a run.

Some people prefer to run at a specific intensity during their training and can benefit from a heart rate monitor to track their performance against their goals.

A running diary allows you to keep track of your activity. You can log routes, distances, and times to measure how your performance improves over time.

Most towns will have a running club. In many cases, they will have a Facebook group or website where you can find out more information and join.

Some people run marathons in their 90s, so there's no need to stop running because you've hit a particular age. If you're starting to run after 70, it's a good idea to speak to your doctor before beginning a training plan.

On dark evenings and mornings, or when running near roads, it's important to be as visible as possible. Reflective clothing will help drivers see you from a greater distance and keep you safe.

Running once a week will help with your fitness if you're also taking part in other activity.

Some muscle pain is normal after a long run, but joint pain isn't. If you're regularly suffering pain after a run, take a break and visit your GP to get advice.

You should always warm up before a run with light exercise and stretches. This helps your muscles prepare for the exertion and reduces the risk of injury.

After a run, don’t just stop. Spend a little time stretching out and walking. This will reduce pain and allow you to recover quicker.

If you're running a longer distance, some gel and water is useful to keep you going. If you're off the beaten track, keeping your phone to hand is also a good idea in case you get into trouble.

Sharp pain is never good and is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. If you feel pain when running, stop and give yourself time to recover.

Twisted ankles and jarred knees are some of the most common injuries that directly affect runners, but there are also conditions that can develop over time such as plantar fasciitis and tendonitis that are worsened by persistent training.

As a rule of thumb, if you're running below 8-minute mile pace, you should take on about 100-150ml of water every 20 minutes. If you're running at or above 8-minute mile pace, you will need to take on more water to stay hydrated - from 150-200ml every 20 minutes.

Running is safe provided that you stretch properly and stick to safe tracks and avoid running in areas where there isn't good visibility on the road.



Running Shoes FAQ's

Running shoes are specially designed to have a higher heel and sole which flex in one direction to mirror your running style.

The lifespan of a running shoe is dependent on a variety of factors including your running style, weight, and the types of surface you are running on. A good rule of thumb is to replace your shoes every 300-500 miles.

Some parts of your running shoes can be recycled, but they need to be separated.

Your movement during aerobics tends to be different to running and running shoes may not offer the level of lateral support that you need for side to side movements and quick direction changes.

Your movement during badminton tends to be different to running and running shoes may not offer the level of lateral support that you need for side to side movements and quick direction changes.

Your movement during basketball tends to be different to running and running shoes may not offer the level of lateral support that you need for side to side movements and quick direction changes.

Cricket Shoes offer protection in different areas to running shoes and have a different profile. Running shoes are not as well suited to cricket.

Your movement during cross training tends to be different to running and running shoes may not offer the level of lateral support that you need for side to side movements and quick direction changes.

In a gym workout, you are often better off with a flat soled shoe to allow for more controlled movement. A running shoe is not usually suitable.

Running shoes don't offer as much cushioning as walking shoes, so they may not be as comfortable as a proper walking shoe - particularly on rougher terrain.

Your movement during tennis tends to be different to running and running shoes may not offer the level of lateral support that you need for side to side movements and quick direction changes.

Your movement during volleyball tends to be different to running and running shoes may not offer the level of lateral support that you need for side to side movements and quick direction changes.

Running shoes don't offer as much cushioning as walking shoes, so they may not be as comfortable as a proper walking shoe - particularly on rougher terrain.

In a gym workout, you are often better off with a flat soled shoe to allow for more controlled movement. A running shoe is not usually suitable.

Your movement during a Zumba workout tends to be different to running and running shoes may not offer the level of lateral support that you need for side to side movements and quick direction changes.

Football boots are designed to protect your feet when kicking the ball and offer support for side to side movement as you change direction. Running shoes don't have this, so wearing them to play football could increase your chances of injury.

Running shoes don't offer as much cushioning as walking shoes, so they may not be as comfortable as a proper walking shoe - particularly on rougher terrain.

Your shoes will stretch slightly when you wear them - this is normal and helps them to fit your feet better. Wear them around the house for a couple of days before running to get used to them.

Good running shoes can help you maintain a better level of comfort during a run that allows you to perform at your best for longer, but they may not necessarily help with your raw speed.

Running shoes should be comfortable to wear. A poor fit can lead to blisters forming.

If you have more than one pair of shoes, you can switch between them over time to reduce wear and keep them fresher. You should still replace them when they start to lose their cushioning and get less comfortable.

Trail running shoes are designed to offer more comfort and support when running on uneven tracks. They're often slightly heavier than regular running shoes and have a thicker tread to help with grip.

Most running shoes will see a little water during their lifetime. Rain won't ruin them, although you should dry them properly after getting wet.

You can fit different insoles to your shoes to make them more comfortable for your needs. Make sure that you fit them correctly.

When you try on different shoes, you will find some that are more comfortable. Running shoes do have a higher heel than toe and offer some additional arch support over other training shoes.

Proper cycling shoes have a very stiff sole that helps transmit the power of your legs through your pedals. The flexibility of running shoes means that more power is lost, so they aren't recommended.



Marathon FAQ's

A full marathon is 26.2 miles or 42.2KM.

A Half marathon is 13.1 miles or 21.1KM

Ultra-Marathons are endurance races that are longer than a regular marathon. There is no fixed distance for ultramarathons, but popular distances include 50KM, 50 miles, 100KM and even 100 miles. Some races take place in a single stage, others are run over several days.

With proper training, most people can take part in a marathon, although if you are starting to run, it's a good idea to visit a doctor before you start training and set aside plenty of time to build up to the full distance.

If you're running a marathon, a shoe that is comfortable, well fitted, and supportive is essential.

Marathon training depends on your existing fitness levels. Most people need at least 3 months to get their body ready for the rigours of a marathon.

For some people, just finishing a marathon is enough. The average pace for men is about 10 minutes per mile, while for women it is closer to 11. Setting a target time for your marathon is a good idea and as you train and work on your pace, you'll have a reasonable ability to predict a finishing time.

Some marathons have a requirement that you have already competed in a similar distance before, others allow entrants with less experience.

If you're already in good shape and regularly running long distances, getting ready for a marathon in a month isn't impossible, however you shouldn't start from scratch in such a limited amount of time.

Running a marathon can be very hard - it's a massive achievement to finish, however with proper training, you can do it!