It’s the last Monday of the month. You know that that means. It’s time for Monday Runday: Your Running Questions Answered! Remember, if you have a question that you would like to have answered on Monday Runday, please leave it in the comments.
5 Running Questions Answered
I am a fairly new runner and recently started to increase my mileage. Unfortunately, I notice that I frequently seem to rub myself raw during a long run, especially at the top of my thighs and my upper arms. What can I do to prevent this?
A. Chafing can definitely be annoying (and painful too!). The best thing to try is an anti-chafing lubricant like Body Glide. Rub it on before your run and it can help prevent chafing.
As I have increased my mileage, I feel like I should eat something beforehand, but I find that it upsets my stomach. Any tips?
A. Depending upon the length of your run, you may want to try a light meal before you head out. What works varies from person to person, so you may need a little experimentation to find what works best for you. Some of the things I would recommend are a banana, a bowl of oatmeal, a slice of toast with a little peanut butter, or your favorite protein bar.
How important is stretching? Should it be done before or after my run?
A. There are many differing opinions on stretching, but I still recommend that you spend some time doing it after your run. Focus on the muscles and joints that are involved in your running stride: Calves, hamstrings, quadriceps, hips, and hip flexors. Here is a stretching routine for runners.
I just started running and I find that I start itching within a mile of starting. Am I allergic to running?
A. This is a problem that one of my grandsons has too, and it is probably is because he (and you) are not in shape yet. When you are in shape, the millions of capillaries and arteries expand and stay open to allow the blood to flow through freely. When you are untrained, these capillaries and arteries tend to collapse and allow only minimal blood passage. The expansion of the blood capillaries sends impulses to the brain, which interprets this as itching. This sounds complicated but the solution is simple: Continue running and you will get in shape. Note: If the itching is accompanied by a rash, this could be an entirely different issue, such as Exercise Induced Anaphylaxis, a more serious condition, which should be diagnosed and treated by your doctor.
I’m sick. Should I run?
A. It is a tough decision to make when you are following a training plan and suddenly you come down with a cold. I find the above/below the neck rule the easiest way to decide whether to run or not. If your illness involves a sore throat, running nose, or sneezing, yes, go ahead and run. But if your lungs are congested, if you have bouts of intense coughing, or have diarrhea or vomiting, it is best to skip your workout. Even if you decide to run, it is a good idea to complete a light workout, and stop if you start to feel worse, have any dizziness or nausea.
Need a little help getting started? I am an RRCA Certified Running Coach and I can create a personalized running program just for you. Check here for more information.
The Week in Running
In a nutshell, I did get all my planned running in. Alan and I ran three miles with the dogs on Tuesday. I followed that up with a 2.5 mile tempo run on Wednesday. I’m actually pretty pleased that I was able to sustain about an 8:45 pace, especially since this is only my second speed workout in months.
Saturday, we took to the trails with the dogs again, but I did run my planned 5 miles. Sunday was the only semi-fail. I was scheduled for eight, but I just didn’t feel I was ready. I actually didn’t feel like running at all, so getting seven miles in felt like a success.
My two strength classes were the only weight workouts that I managed. And my stretch class was the closest I got to yoga. With the Turkey Trot only a few days away, any spare time I have is spent helping Alan get ready. I plan to get back to the gym and my yoga mat during the first week of December (please don’t remind me of all the other times I have said that).
Cross Country Banquet
Well, cross country season is truly over now. We had our awards banquet on Friday. We had 100% turnout (even though our twin lead runners arrived just as the party was breaking up) for the first time ever.
Another first: We have an award that we call the Shining Star which is given to a promising freshman each year. This year we handed out three Shining Stars to member of our girls’ varsity team! We’re looking forward to the next few years as they become even better runners.
And Finally: A Cute Pup Picture
So, we took Coco to get groomed for the first time since her rescue. We found out that, even though we brushed her, we weren’t doing it right for her coat, so that she was matted underneath. That meant they needed to basically shave off her coat so that she could start from scratch. She still looks adorable, and we learned a good lesson. We need to use a comb and work on her undercoat when we brush her.
So that was my week. I’d love to hear about yours. And remember I would love your running questions. Go ahead, challenge me!