Common running training questions answered

Posted at Jan 20 2013 02:36 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2013 06:40 PM

Advice for those thinking of entering a race

If you've been running for a consistent number of weeks or months, you may think it is time to enter a race.

Whether it's a 5k, 10k, half marathon or more, running events are a great way of giving you a goal.

Here we answer a few questions about entering a race.


Q. I find I train better than I race. Why?

A: Without seeing your training schedule or observing the way you train, it is difficult to comment. Yet this is a common running training question/ So we'll try to answer this. The main reasons for your poor race performance could be that you either get too nervous in a race and do not perform to your current fitness level or you are doing too much training and have nothing left in the tank by the time your event arrives. To improve your race performance, ensure you are tapering your training by easing back on the runs so that you enter the race with fresh legs.

Q: I have been running for two months, should I enter a marathon?

A: Running a marathon is dependent on whether you are in good health. If the answer is yes, then you need to ask yourself if you are running consistently and achieving a reasonable mileage. If not, you should reconsider entering a marathon. If the answer is yes you can give it consideration and think about how competitive you want to be in the marathon. If you want to be competitive, you have to improve your number sessions, mileage and the quality of your sessions over the next few months.

Q: My daughter is a very good runner for her age but has no local competition. Should she now compete against older athletes in a race?

A: There are varying views on this subject, but clearly once you are a senior (including veteran runners) you are in that age group forever. Therefore move your daughter through the age groups in the correct sequence to enjoy success whilst she can. Moving up can be demoralizing because your daughter may go from winning consistently to trailing in last after making the step up in age group. Different age groups are sometimes combined in school and club competitions, which will mean your daughter gets the opposition she requires.

Q: I am having trouble with some of my running gear (not running shoes) rubbing and chaffing my skin on the long runs. Are there any remedies?

A: This is a common issue for runners and running gear can cause issues; especially running shoes. First, check the fabric of the gear you are using and see whether you have any kind of allergy to this material. You may have to identify what materials do not agree with you through trial and error. If the problem persists regardless of you trying a variety of materials, then before you train, cover the sensitive areas with either Vaseline or talcum powder. As an extra precaution, ensure that your clothing is made of wicking material which draws sweat away from the body and prevents any of the perspiration irritating sensitive areas.

Hopefully this has answered some of your common running training questions!