ask a runner: live!

ask a runner: live!

This month we hosted ‘ask a runner: live!’ on Facebook. Robson Street ambassador Linda Wong momentarily set aside her running shoes to answer some of your burning run questions online. With over 100 road and trail races and a Boston Marathon under her belt, Linda has a lot to say when it comes to her favourite way to sweat.

Q: How long is your longest run before do a full/half marathon?
A: The longest run I typically do before a half marathon is 17 miles and I usually run 23 miles before a full.

Q: Do you recommend running on a treadmill or outside? I've heard running on a treadmill is not nearly as beneficial as outside?
A: Running on a treadmill is great as an alternative to running outside but nothing prepares you better for running outside than running outside. Your body needs to get used to the impact of the outdoors and you don't want to shock it.

Q: What is the best way to get rid of rib and shoulder cramping during long runs?
A:  It sounds like you may be running a bit tense. My suggestion is to make sure you remind yourself to relax your runs and perhaps run slightly slower. Practice deep breathing on your run. And from time to time, drop your arms and shake your hands out.

Q: Do I need socks designed especially for running? I noticed blisters on both feet after running on a warm morning yesterday. Will better socks help with this? If so, which are the best?
A: Socks that have wicking power will help with your problem since they won't retain moisture, which can cause blisters. There are a number of running socks out there that are fantastic - I love my lululemon run socks. Another thing you can try is to use an anti-chafing agent such as Body Glide on your feet.

Q: What is your opinion of coconut water in place of Gatorade, for electrolytes before and during a long run? Also any suggestions on whole food substitutes for Gu? I've tried honey with coconut oil pre-run but haven't found a good way to package it so I can take it with me on the road.
A: I've never tried coconut water but have heard great things about it. If it works for you, go for it. As for whole food suggestions, I know some people eat all natural bars and they use things like a Fuel Belt to carry their food. If you're using honey with coconut oil, try using a gel flask to carry it.

Q: I'm running my first marathon in November in Philadelphia. What type of apparel do you recommend for that time of the year?
A: Philly in November! Congratulations on your first marathon! Everyone is slightly different - I tend to overheat so I usually wear less, but some people require more. I would test out your apparel between now and race day. Layering would be my best suggestion. Good luck!

We’re running full speed ahead into race season and leaving no questions behind. While the event has come and gone, the information lives on. Check out the ‘ask a runner: live!’ Facebook event for more great running Q&A.

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Great answers. I can speak for coconut water – it’s amazing. It has way more potassium than a banana so it can really help with cramping problems. It is also great for hydrating, and doesn’t have as much sugar as gatorade. If you can’t stand the taste, start with the chocolate flavor, it’s like having a milkshake!

Comment by Lindsay — August 30, 2011 @ 1:55 pm

i just started running… what is your best #1 thing I should keep in mind … to build up my distance?

Comment by leah — August 30, 2011 @ 3:17 pm

Those are cute arm warmers for running! Where did you buy them?

Comment by Michelle — August 31, 2011 @ 5:16 am

HI! Like Leah, I just started running too. I am trying to get out twice a week to start. Would you suggest more frequent and shorter runs, or sticking to building endurance by fewer runs, but trying to push a few miles. What is the best way to build up stamina when a newbie?
any suggestions to keeping the run inspired? thanks!

Comment by katherine — September 1, 2011 @ 4:46 am

I have never heard of Coconut Water…can I only get it in health food store?
I get really bad leg cramps…REALLY bad mostly at night. Do you think that would help?

Comment by Julie — September 1, 2011 @ 6:26 am

@leah @katherine unfortunately we couldn’t keep Linda here long enough to answer all your questions (as much as we’d like too)But save ‘em for the next installment of ask a runner or check out the ask a runner archives to see if someone has asked a similar question!

@julie coconut water can be found at pretty much all of your local grocery stores — I see it everywhere in Vancouver!

Comment by Allessia — September 1, 2011 @ 8:38 am

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