introducing… ask a runner!

Do you run? If no, have you ever thought about running? Wherever you are on your path to being a great runner, you likely have a question that needs an expert answer. We are excited to introduce you to Ainslie, our first featured lululemon ambassador in our Ask a Runner series! Check back on April 30 for Ainslie's responses!

stretching before a run

running tips: ask a runner

what is 'ask a runner'?

Ask a Runner will be a recurring feature on featuring great runners from communities all over the world. They’ll be sharing their knowledge, education, and years of experience to answer all of your run-related questions.

meet our first runner: ainslie!

running with your dog
Ainslie and Hudson running on the North Shore.

  • I am a personal trainer on the North Shore, owner and head trainer of t3 training
  • Along with being a certified strength & conditioning specialist (CSCS, NSCA), I am also a certified Level 1 CrossFit Coach as well as a CrossFit athlete
  • I've competed in running races ranging from 5km to 50km, both on the trail and on the road
  • I'm a three-time Ironman competitor
  • My favourite place to run: Baden Powell trail in North Vancouver with Hudson the Husky
  • My favourite post-run fuel: americano and a bag of salt & vinegar chips

how to ask ainslie a question

Share your run-related question for Ainslie as a comment below and she'll answer a handful of questions a few weeks from now. No question is too big or small, so ask away and and stay tuned!

View running gear:

read more related posts:


I find that I have a hard time running longer than 2-3 min at a time. My chest starts to get tight and my throat hurts when I breath (or more like gasp for breath). Do you have any suggestions to help overcome this difficulty?

Comment by Teri — April 8, 2010 @ 8:48 am

I have a painful pulling sensation on the back of my right leg from my ankle to the back of my knee. I know this has to do with stretching, but I just don’t seem to be able to calm it down with stretches. What are some recommened stretches for this area? My runs are not fun anymore because I am in so much pain afterwards.

Comment by Katie Brantley — April 8, 2010 @ 8:51 am

I am just getting into running, well jogging. After not exercising for 5 years I thought its about time.
I just have a problem, I cant find good shoes. I have tried on about a dozen pairs and none feel just right.
Could you point me in the right direction and tell me some good pairs.
Thank you so much for answering these questions, its great for us beginers!


Comment by Dee Ann — April 8, 2010 @ 8:52 am

About 30-40 minutes into a run my feet begin to cramp and then one will proceed to go numb. The only promising thing I see about this is that it’s beginning to take longer to get to the point of numbness – it used to happen at about 15 minutes and how it’s happening at about 40 minutes. Any ideas?

Thanks so much!

Comment by Kristen — April 8, 2010 @ 8:54 am

Hi! I just got back in to running after a nearly 10 year hiatus. I am training for a 5k…and I just can’t believe how much my knees hurt! Any suggestions?

Comment by Dominique — April 8, 2010 @ 8:55 am

I am 28 years old and about 20 lbs over weight and have never, ever been a strong runner. I have a dream to experience a runner’s high. Really, I dream about running when I sleep and even though that feeling is only an assumption of what it might actually be like I would love to bring something like it to my ‘awake’ life, and have an activity that could drop and keep off those 20 lbs. How do I get started and what are realistic steps to progress? I would be happy to run on pavement, but living in Banff offers me so many great trails that I am keen to experience at a whole new speed. Thanks for any insight you might be able to offer me. Also, I think your bio is incredible! Such great achievements so fan and I am sure you have many more to come.

Comment by Sara K — April 8, 2010 @ 8:58 am

ive been running for about 2 years and im pretty fast, but i have to get faster for track season.
A lot of the times i get cramps, like a lot..
also, i tend to get shin splints a lot,
and this started happening about 2 weeks ago,
i can still feel is :S
im 16 by the way,
any tips?
one more thing is do you know good foods to eat before a race?
thanks :)

Comment by Kristy — April 8, 2010 @ 8:59 am

Before taking a few months off from running during the holidays, I used to run three miles consistently. Now that I’m building up my endurance again, I find that running two miles is really tough. I worry about pushing my body beyond its limits – how do you distinguish when you need to just push yourself harder or when your body has simply had enough?

Comment by Bethany — April 8, 2010 @ 8:59 am

I’m a recently new runner (started in earnest within the past two or so years) and have been mostly injury-free, but every so often I get twinges in my knee(s) that concern me–not debilitating pain, but a stiffness or slight soreness that I worry could turn into more. What’s your advice for situations like that? How do you know when it’s OK to keep training vs. taking a rest?

Comment by Anne — April 8, 2010 @ 9:12 am

Do you have any tips/advice for getting back into running after an ankle injury?

Comment by Maria — April 8, 2010 @ 9:20 am

Great feature!

I would love to know more about how to stretch out and avoid injury of my achilles! I am currently training for my 2nd half but my left achilles has been bothering me for several months now. I have a foam roller and I find that great for the rest of my body, but I am not sure what to do about my ankle\achilles.

Any suggestions?

Comment by Katerina — April 8, 2010 @ 9:24 am

Good morning

I have been running for a few years now average of 20-25 miles per week….i notice that a few times a year, my big toe hurts after running, i am not sure if is like a cramp or a muscle pulling, I don’t know how to explain it….it justs appears usually after speed runs, lingers a few days and then..puff gone for a few months!

do you have any idea what it is?

Comment by Lilly Palacios — April 8, 2010 @ 9:25 am

I am definitely considering overweight to obese, but I know that running can be one of the best cardiovascular workouts there is. Any advice for the extreme novice who’s overweight and utterly intimidated by a running club filled with uber-athletic types? Also – I have diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis (since age 3) so maybe interval training. Treadmill or pavement? Shoes? I’m completely lost and most resources I’ve found are for people that are already fairly fit.

Comment by Kristine — April 8, 2010 @ 9:33 am

Hi Ainslie!

First of all I think this is a great feature on the website!

Q: I have just started to get into running a bit. I ran my first 10k last week and experienced really bad knee pain afterwards for days. I was wondering if you have any advice for me about moving from a comfortable 5k run to a comfortable 10k run. I am going to be running a 10 mile race in July and I am really looking forward to it. What do you recommend I increase the distance of my runs by each week?

Thanks for your time,

Comment by Erin Vanasse — April 8, 2010 @ 9:37 am

Hi! Is it possible that my body completely rejects running?! I’m a terrible runner but I think I need it since it has been the best way for me to lose body fat! I want to get back into running but I hate it because I’m terrible at it! Haha any suggestions?

Comment by Nicole — April 8, 2010 @ 9:49 am

I am training for a half-marathon and I hate running with belts, straps, backpacks, etc., so I don’t carry a water bottle or fuel/sugar sources on my long runs. Do you have any tips for ways I can keep my performance strong without having bits and pieces hanging off me?


Comment by Laura Krohn — April 8, 2010 @ 10:00 am

I have been running for myself for 2 years now. I would like to help increase my endurance. I have recently moved back to Cranbrook BC which has much higher elevation and it had stunted my distance. I am kind of stubborn and usually once I go for a certain amount of time I feel like I always have to go for that long. Currently my route is 45 minutes long but its a hard hill run and I have had to walk for short bouts which is unlike me. Is it beneficial to have shorter run days? Flat runs some days vs hill runs ?(I love hill runs and feel bad not conquering at least 2 in a run)What will help me in the long run?(pun unintended :P) I like to run or be active at least 5 days a week and mix it up with yoga. I want to train for a ten k run in August so would really like to increase my endurance or learn how to in an effective way. Thanks!
Amy xo

Comment by Amy — April 8, 2010 @ 10:00 am

Hi! I am so happy that Lulu has provided this for all of us to utilize! My question pertains to injuries, go figure! I was wondering if you had an suggests for curing ITBS? I have been plagued with it for almost 8 months now, haven’t been able to run and I have tried everything!! I am hoping you might be able to share some unique stretches, strength training, etc. (above and beyond what are the common ones, already doing those) I know a lot of runners are dealing with this and it is such a debbie downer! I JUST WANT TO RUN!

Any help would be great!

Comment by Jonathan Miers — April 8, 2010 @ 10:29 am

I am training for my first marathon and as my miles have increased, I have been having painful chafing in the bikini area. Is there a product or clothing that would help aleviate this problem?

Comment by Kelly Davenport — April 8, 2010 @ 10:32 am

You’ve competed in ironman competitions, and from a beginner’s perspective that’s an amazing task and your body must take allot of abuse. How much does nutrition play in your training regiment? What are some secret foods that you eat to stay in top physical shape?

Comment by Trevor — April 8, 2010 @ 10:37 am

I am 63, and I started running about a year ago. I am committed to running a half marathon in December 2010. I can run 3 miles, no problem. At the end of 3 miles I am physically ready to stop. How do I stretch myself to run further and build my distance?

Comment by Karen — April 8, 2010 @ 10:45 am

My knees have been bothering me when I run…. what all do you suggest I try so I don’t have to give up my favorite cardio?

Comment by Katie Magby — April 8, 2010 @ 10:53 am

The longest run I’ve done is a 10K. I’m out of shape right now and can really only comfortably run about 2 miles. How long should I give myself to train for a marathon?

Also, any blister tips? I never used to get them… but since last year I get them ALL THE TIME, no matter what shoes or socks I wear. :(

Comment by Elaine — April 8, 2010 @ 11:00 am

Do you use the pose running method when you run? Judging by the few pictures on the site it does not appear so. If you do, how long did it take you to be able to continuously hold the pose?

Comment by Victoria — April 8, 2010 @ 12:07 pm

How do you stay motivated to run? I can run on a consistent basis for about 2 weeks and then it seems like “life” gets in the way and I don’t have the time. Thanks!

Comment by Kelly — April 8, 2010 @ 1:37 pm

I am an ex dancer and lordotic. i naturally run on the ball of my feet – I irritate my SI joint if I try heel/toe. have you any advice for running this way? I need to do a 10k with a client in july.


Comment by Zoe — April 8, 2010 @ 2:29 pm


What is your best advise for keeping up my motivation for running. It seems like I am always starting, run for a few weeks and then I stop.

Any help would be great,

Thanks :)

Comment by Carolyn — April 8, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

I run all the time but I always find that I can never run more than 2-3 minutes without feeling like I’m ready to die. My legs are jiggly, and so are my calves, despite the fact that I try to run every other day. How often should I run, and for how long, in order to build definition in my legs? Is there something wrong with me if I can’t run for more than 2 minutes?

Comment by Tiffanie — April 8, 2010 @ 3:57 pm

Hi Ainslie! I have two questions – hope you can answer at least one!

First: I started running two and a half years ago. I usually run four times a week, between three and five miles per run. I am still a fairly slow runner. I’d like to increase both my speed and my distance. Should I focus on just one, or both, and how gradually should I add challenge to my training?

Second: in addition to running, I lift weights and practice yoga, and I’m interested in trying other types of workouts. What activities do you recommend for runners – either to improve performance when running, or to improve fitness in areas that might not be addressed just by running?

Comment by Katie — April 8, 2010 @ 4:23 pm

Hi Ainslie, a training partner of mine get shin splints. I have never had them so am unsure what to tell her. Any advice… I thought maybe more stretching or new shoes??

Comment by Kaitlin — April 8, 2010 @ 6:03 pm

I circuit train a couple of times a week, have recently started practicing yoga and go spinning fairly regularly. I run about 15 miles a week and try to incorporate some sprint training into these runs. Right now I run about an 8.5 minute mile over a 10k (improved from about a 10.5 minute mile when I was 50lbs heavier). What’s the best way to increase my speed even further? I feel like I haven’t improved much lately. I’m almost 23 if that helps at all.

Thanks :)

Comment by Nicole — April 8, 2010 @ 8:21 pm

Help! I am in the Army, and unable to keep up with the 9 minute mile standard for 4 miles. I can pass the Army’s Physical Fitness Test. I ran the 2-mile run in 18:20. However when I run in formation, I can only stay with the group until I get to about the 2.5 mile point. Then, I fall behind. What are some things that I can do to stop falling behind the pack? I feel like I’m failing my battle buddies by not keeping up. I need all the advice you can give me.

Comment by Kiana — April 9, 2010 @ 5:09 am

Hi! I run for fun but have recently decided to enter a half marathon race (also for fun, just longer distance fun!). I have three months to train. Any suggestions on how to get to a half marathon from my current 20/25 miles a week?

Comment by Jenny — April 9, 2010 @ 10:12 am

Hi Ainsli!
I’m a runner and recently also starting taking some yoga classes. My instructor mentioned that running and yoga don’t go well together because one is focused on lengthening muscles and the other shortens them. She said she had to give up running when she got serious about yoga.
What is your experience with this? At what point would you need to choose one over another, if ever? I’d appreciate any advice you can provide.

Comment by Kelly — April 9, 2010 @ 11:07 am

I’m actually curious about running your dog. How often should you hydrate your pup, when can they start running with you, what kind of training do they need to be able to run?

Comment by Becca — April 9, 2010 @ 11:42 am

Hi! I used to run consistently for many years and recently took a break when I felt shin splints. I started to run again but now the arch of my feet hurts and so do my knees. I purchased over-pronator shoes but the problem keeps on going. What would you recommend for this type of problem? I really love to run and wouldn’t want to stop.

Comment by Beatrice — April 9, 2010 @ 12:27 pm

I am just wondering if you have any nutrition tips for runners? I am training for a 5km race and I would love to know what I should be eating at breakfast, lunch and dinner to help me improve my performance! I am also interested in finding out the answer to how you stay motivated and keep running?

Comment by Christine — April 9, 2010 @ 12:29 pm

I am training for a 1/2 marathon and have 2 – 3 cross training days built into my weekly training schedule. Do you have any advice for what type of cross training/weights I should be doing that will assist with my running? Thank you!

Comment by Shannon — April 9, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

My sister and I are both rowers but are looking into a triathlon in the fall (the Mermaid Tri in Santa Cruz). Any tips on triathlons for people who haven’t done one before? The race is in September so we’ve got lots of time to prep. :)

Comment by Libby — April 9, 2010 @ 2:09 pm

I am training for a half marathon and lately I’ve been getting lightheaded about 20 minutes into my runs. I am good about staying hydrated and eating some easy to digest carbs before I head out so am a little stumped by this new development. Any thoughts? Thanks!

Comment by logan — April 9, 2010 @ 5:26 pm

I have the same problem as Kristen – usually, about 3 miles into a run, my left calf tightens up and my foot goes numb (even with stretching), and sometimes the tingling numb sensation goes all the way up my leg. I have no idea why this happens, and usually if I try to push through it eventually goes away after two or so miles, but it would be ideal if this didnt happen at all! any idea what this is caused by?

allison :)

Comment by Allison — April 9, 2010 @ 8:26 pm

Any suggestions for avoiding shin splints? I seem to get them no matter what I do. I warm up my shins before I run by doing toe taps and that helps a little. I have good running shoes that I change out every 3 months. Also, I run only on a tred mill for the most part (boring I know) because I heard that they will help prevent shin splints since they offer more cushion. I don’t know if changing my stride will help? I want to be able to run, especially outside and on trails. In the past I’ve gotten a shin splint and had to stop running for one, maybe two weeks to let it heal and then I was right back to running. However, recently I have had a seriously painful shin and I haven’t been able to run for 2 months and it still hurts. I’ve been icing it and it definitely hurts less but I still can’t run or it starts to hurt again. Help, I don’t want to give up running for good!

Comment by Emmy — April 10, 2010 @ 5:35 am

I have trouble getting over the initial pain. Makes it hard to get motivated to stick with it. Just turned 40. Do not exercise regularly now. Weight is not a problem. I’m more interested in fitness – and just want to prove to myself I can do it. I had asthma as a kid and have a mental self-image of not being athletic. Want to change that and empower myself. I want to learn to enjoy exercise.

Comment by Erica — April 10, 2010 @ 10:23 am

Does running burn muscle? I have been strength training for about 6 months with light cardio and have gained muscle and have lost a little weight and gained better muscle tone. Is there a way to incorporate running into my routing without losing the muscle I’ve worked so hard to build?

Comment by Tyler — April 10, 2010 @ 10:40 am

Hello, im 17 and im trying to start jogging/ running. After 2 min my throat gets So sore from breathing heavily that i have to stop. My legs don’t feel tired though.. Do i need to build up my cardiovascular endurance or something? if so how… i am also right now walking an hour a day, but i want to run for longer! thanks chan

Comment by chan — April 10, 2010 @ 11:22 am

i just started running, but find it hard to get pass the 4 mile mark. how do you train to go longer distance. I just seem to get really tired by that point. also, started developing shin splints. how do you get rid of them?

Comment by melissa — April 10, 2010 @ 2:15 pm

I can only run for 5 km – and was running every second night. I would like to run in the AM, but when I run in the AM after I drop my kids off at school, I am crazy tired for the rest of the day – is this because I am still not in great shape or is it my diet? Thanks for your help.

Comment by Marion — April 10, 2010 @ 4:57 pm

Okay so i am a freshman in highschool and we are about three weeks or so into track. I do the 800. ( half a mile) We have had a couple meets already . The 800 is supposed to be a fast paced run, but i cant seem to keep at the pace the rest of the pack runs at. My coaches say that i will be really good once they build up my endurance. I go for runs with the team and do their workouts also. My endurance is slowly increasing but do you have any tips or trick or any excersises to help !!

Comment by Faithey — April 10, 2010 @ 5:58 pm

what are the best shoes to wear during running?

Comment by Wendy — April 10, 2010 @ 7:53 pm

For awhile I was having trouble with shin splints while running. Recently, I got the perfect pair of shoes that corrected the problem but now my lower back keeps cramping up. What could be causing this and how do I fix it?

Comment by Pacey — April 10, 2010 @ 9:11 pm

I am a jogger, but I want to be a runner. When I try to break the barrier between the two I find it incredibly difficult. What are the steps that I can take to move from being able to jog 5 km to being able to run 5 km. Help!

Comment by Meagan — April 10, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

I was wondering how these questions were being answered. There are a lot of topics here that could help out many people. I would be a waste of Ainslie’s time and knowledge if each person was getting an individual answer via email. A set up where everyone could access the Q’s and A’s would be much logical. This is a great idea by lululemon, and I’d like for everyone to be able to maximize it.

Comment by Lucie — April 11, 2010 @ 7:49 am

Any advice on running downhill on trails? I’m new to trail running and find downhills difficult on the knees.

Comment by Dana — April 11, 2010 @ 11:01 am

Dear Ainslie,
First of all, I love your name! I am training for my first half marathon that is coming up in 20 days!! I am so excited! But, I have a few questions regarding food. I usually wake up at 7:30 to be out the door by 8 for my morning runs, and I usually do not eat anything before I run. I have heard that this is fine before shorter runs (4 or 5 miles), but maybe not longer ones (6, 7, 8 miles). Do you eat before your short and long runs? And what do you eat? And how long do you wait after eating to start running? Also, is there something specific I should eat before my half marathon? And what about the night before for dinner?? Sorry for the question overload!! If you can help me out, I would really appreciate it!

Thank you,

Comment by Taylor — April 11, 2010 @ 3:33 pm

Hello Ainslie,

I have a question that has plagued me for years,Why is it so much more difficult to transtion from pavement/cement to the trail?? Even when I was in the best shape of my life I found it incredibly difficult to get a rythym going. Any advice on how to combat this for future trail running?

Comment by Han — April 11, 2010 @ 7:52 pm

I see this has come up a few times, but I’m also wondering about shin splints! How to prevent them, treat after, etc. I seem to get them on concrete, but recently did on a track, and they always discourage me from running :(

Comment by Larissa — April 11, 2010 @ 11:04 pm

Hi Ainslie, I want to start running. I have not done so since high school and I am now almost 42. I had knee reconstruction surgery four years ago and have had no problems. I have started walking daily with my dog. I am just wondering are there any special concerns regarding my knee.


Comment by Jenn — April 12, 2010 @ 8:37 am

Somebody mentioned uncomfortable shoes in an earlier comment, and I’m having the same issue. I can’t seem to find a comfortable pair. I know everybody’s feet are different. But after several pairs I still haven’t found a good shoe for me. I’m 40, 5’7″, 118lbs. Currently, I get numbness in the toes of one foot. The bottom’s of my feet feel bruised after workout. All the running shoes I have feel too wide in the toe box and often too loose in the heel area. After a long workout, my knees hurt behind my kneecaps. Can you recommend good brands of running shoes to correct any of these issues? Thanks for your advice!

Comment by Elizabeth — April 12, 2010 @ 10:24 am

I’m a very athletic person now and I’ve always ran, but I’m having a hard time right now to get the motivation to run for longer than 5km. What do you suggest?

Comment by Jenn — April 12, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

I have a question for you.

So, say you had never run a marathon before,

But you trained for it diligently, at sea level.

Say, you had run a half marathon,
at sea level. (8:40 pace)

Say, you went to a cross-country camp,
at high altitude, and then (5th day up there)
did a 10 mile mountain run, and was able to move up
to group 3/4 from group 7.

Say, you had a history of a great lung capacity,
seeing as you were on swim-team as a child,
and a runner for 3 years.

Saying all that, would it be smart for this person,
to go run a marathon at 5000 feet, up to 7280 ft,
for their first time, after staying the night before,
in that high altitude.

Also, say that this is their only chance to do a
marathon, because everything else is too far
away, or not at the right time.

Oh, and I guess, say that this person had a seizure when they were VERY young

Also, this person could only be up there the day before, because they had school.

Would it be o.k.?
What would “so and so” do to prepare for the high altitude?

You don’t have to answer this, but I thought that you would be very knowledgeable on the subject matter, and I would be appreciative if you did.

Thank you.

Comment by carissa — April 12, 2010 @ 10:33 pm

Hi Ainslie,

I have a question that’s been bothering me for years. I’ve recently started running (recent = the last two years) but I have a problem with running consecutively.

I’ve done a few 5k and 10k runs now and I can’t seem to run the entire race. It’s always a run/walk method. I get cramps (even though I’ve eaten properly with a bagel and lots of water…with 2 hours to digest before running).

Any advice? Is it just my body? Is it my pace? I’ve been trying to keep a slow and steady pace.

Many thanks,


Comment by Aleksandra S — April 13, 2010 @ 10:14 am


I have been running for 4 yrs now and I am starting to struggle with my sports bra chafing. I have never had a problem in the past but when I do a longer run I a chafing underneath. What kind of running bras do you recommend and how is the best way to care for them?
Thanks, Jill

Comment by Jill Filipiak — April 13, 2010 @ 10:43 am

For new runners, what are some nutrition and when to eat tips revolving around your running session and to support a running body? And big question, what is the best thing to eat after a run?


Comment by Annie — April 13, 2010 @ 2:39 pm

How can you eliminate stomach cramps while running?

Comment by Danielle — April 13, 2010 @ 2:43 pm

I’ve been running for about 6 months now. Can you recommend some good stretches to do post-run? Also, can you recommend some strength training exercises for runners? I tend to focus on just the running. I’ve heard that strength training can help you improve your running.

Comment by Caterina — April 13, 2010 @ 5:09 pm

I second the questions by Bethany and Ann. How do you know when too much is enough and can you run while you are slightly injured still (I know it sounds like a silly question, but I am really curious.)

Comment by Sara — April 13, 2010 @ 8:55 pm

This is such a great feature to have on the Lululemon website! My question for you is, I have a deep passion for running,but my problem is I have recently been getting sharp pains up my right leg from the middle of my knee to the bottom of my calf. I have tried stretches before and after my run focusing on my calf muscle,but nothing is improving. If you have an additional stretches I could do, please let me know.
Also, what is a good meal to have prior to running a half-marathon?

Thank you!

Comment by Pauline — April 14, 2010 @ 1:46 am

What do you recommend for someone like me who is athletic, and seemingly capable of running (in theory), but has issues with mental toughness. I’m sure everyone’s chest starts to tighten up, and their quads start to throb, but unlike everyone else that causes me to just stop. But I’m pretty sure the only way to overcome pain and out-of-shape issues is to keep going. What can you suggest for someone like me whose main problem is probably mental?


Comment by Allison — April 14, 2010 @ 8:47 am

I’ve just started running again, and every-time I run, about 20 min into it, I get awful cramps. I’ll walk for a few min, but as soon as I start running again they come back. Why is this, and what can I do to stop it?

Comment by Shanna — April 14, 2010 @ 8:49 am

I used to run a lot (I’ve run a handful of half marathons), but lately I can’t seem to run more than a couple miles (read: 2) before my IT band starts bothering me (pain in my hip, just under the joint, that extends down my leg), and the pain hangs around for days! Even after taking a multiple-month break from running! I am still very active, and I teach a cardio kickboxing class and spin… but nothing except running ever bothers my IT band! What can I do?

Comment by Lisa — April 14, 2010 @ 8:55 am

I am in the middle of my training program (5 weeks to go) for my second half marathon. Unfortunately I have pulled or strained my hip flexor. I have taken the last 2 days off to rest and have been applying ice packs for 15-20 minutes at a time, taking ibuprofen and stretching the surrounding muscles (back, hamstrings, calfs) to keep the stress off the injury. Even with that, I am still walking slowly with a limp. I am willing to take the time off running to let this heal, but is it OK to do some swimming and upper body conditioning? If I can get back running in at least 2 weeks and do swimming in the meantime I think my endurance will still enable to finish the 21k race – is this a reasonable expectation? Also, do you have other exercises to help heal and strengthen the muscles so I can prevent this from reoccurring?

Comment by Gail — April 14, 2010 @ 8:55 am

I was in the process of training for a marathon (Vancouver, BC actually), but about a month and a half into training my right foot started hurting. The bottom outside of the foot and base of the heel. Some people have said it’s plantar fasciitis, though I’m not 100% sure this is the case. I’ve gone to a PT, though she hasn’t been very helpful. Also, I’ve gone through about 5 shoes during my training, which might have caused the foot pain. I run normally in stability or neutral shoes.

The pain has lessened, though I tried running the other day after taking a month off and I could feel a slight irritation to the outside of my foot and the base of my heel (start of the arch).

Any ideas on remedies? Shoe recommendations? Stretches?

Thanks so much!

Comment by Kristin Hata — April 14, 2010 @ 9:17 am

Can you recommend a good running sneaker?

Comment by LuluLuver — April 14, 2010 @ 9:24 am

This has been mentioned a few times now, but I have the same issue: how do you prevent side cramps? It’s the one thing that gets in the way of building up my endurance!

Comment by Katie — April 14, 2010 @ 9:25 am

Can you help me with running nutrition? I’d like to know what to eat before a run and how long prior to running should I eat also what best to eat after a run and how long after the run to eat it.


Comment by Lauren — April 14, 2010 @ 10:26 am

I have worked out ALL my life. You name it, I’ve tried it. I’m still stuck to my StairMaster and have always wanted to run but running seems to be, by far, the most difficult for me. Why is that? I always wanted to work up to a level where you stop feeling like you’re running and just zone out. How long (realistically) would it take to get there? I am willing to try again!

Comment by Annie — April 14, 2010 @ 10:44 am

What is the best or most comfortable attire from LULU that you recommend in terms of shorts or running pants for the summer? I’m looking for something that will hold me in place as I run…. for instance I prefer to wear bicycle type shorts under my shorts.

Comment by Sara Lynne — April 14, 2010 @ 10:56 am

I enjoy running, however I do have asthma that is under control. I find that when I start running longer than 3-4 min my chest is tight, breathing gets rough and I have to start walking. What can I do to get past this point, to run for 10 min!?!

Comment by Sadie — April 14, 2010 @ 11:37 am

Hi there, I have tried to get into running for years off and on and can never seem to stick woth it. I am really active, however I want to run as I love being outside and travel a lot so it would be great to be able to go running when there is no gym around. Can you give some tips on how to get started? My calfs and ankles seem to tighten up 20-30 minutes into my run and even though I’m not tired or winded I need to stop. Any help would be great! Cheers

Comment by meagan — April 14, 2010 @ 11:47 am

Hi ……….question about the Chicago Marathon!! How can I get in???? It is full and I’m desperate to enter. I would wear full on Lululemon in the race if you could help me find a loop hole!
Dana Slagle

Comment by Dana Slagle — April 14, 2010 @ 12:06 pm

I’ve been looking for a running sports bra that actually does what it’s supposed to do! Any faves?

Comment by Anais — April 14, 2010 @ 12:47 pm

Hi Ainslie,

Thanks for taking our questions. I did a short “Learn to Start Running” Program last year and worked up to 6K. I’m looking to get back into running this year but want to take it more seriously: be more efficient in my technique, avoid injury, so I can build up steadily to a good distance without overwhelming myself or losing steam.

Any tips on how to start running properly?

Thank you!

Comment by Ayesha — April 14, 2010 @ 1:16 pm

What are the best running shoes to wear?

Comment by Kim Hausler — April 14, 2010 @ 3:22 pm


I am just wondering do you have any recommendations for shin splints? Whenever I run I get them really badly.

Thanks for your help!

Comment by Sam — April 14, 2010 @ 3:48 pm

When I was 14 I started running, I found it fun and exciting. I ran 4 days a week after school for 2 years straight but then after I realized that I liked the way my body looked, I stopped and haven’t ran for about a year now. I have started to realize that I am gaining a little bit of weight because I was so used to eating whatever I wanted cause I knew I would work it off, but now that I don’t work it off the pounds keep slowly adding up. For 5 months now I’ve been starting to try and run again but now I find it borning so I end up giving up. I’ve tried many things to make running more fun but after each run I end up bored and discouraged. Any ideas to keep me motived and to make runnning seem more fun?

Comment by Megan — April 14, 2010 @ 3:51 pm

Just going to start off saying the Ironman competition is intense and thats awesome you do that! woah props for you!! :D
Now I will bother you with some questions! :)
I am training for my first half and i was wondering if the high compression socks actually help and if i should get some because my leg muscles tend to ache when I do my long runs?
Do you have any tips about training for a half marathon?
Should I bring my own energy gels? and how many should I take if I’m planning on finishing around 2h:30m?

Comment by Nadia — April 14, 2010 @ 4:50 pm


I over-did my half marathon training last year and that caused a flare up in my arthritis in my neck (god, makes me feel old). So, easing back into it now, but I could do with some tips on trying to maintain a “relaxed neck and shoulders” style. Would love to get close to my 96min PB! Any pointers?

Comment by Nigel Smith — April 15, 2010 @ 12:53 am

Any suggestions for achy knees? Or achy shins? I have a little pain there that doesn’t stop me from running but I don’t want to do anything to screw up my body because I want to be a runner for life!!!

Comment by Jessica — April 15, 2010 @ 5:20 am

I weight train and do yoga, but would like to start running to challenge myself with something new. Any suggestions on how to start? My endurance for running is low and I can usually do ok if I alternate with power walking. Any tips would be great – I need the motivation, and to be told I can totally do it! :)

Comment by Ann — April 15, 2010 @ 10:33 am

I am a new runner and am training for my first 10k. I bought a treadmill at Christmas and have been using it thus far. How much of a difference is there between a treadmill and running outside? For example, if I can easily run 3 miles on a treadmill, will running 3 miles outdoors be a lot more difficult?

Comment by Tiffany Martinka — April 15, 2010 @ 5:40 pm

I am very fit but was never a runner until the last year or two. I have discovered a “love of running” and now run frequently. I want to increase the intensity of my runs, but I am not sure whether to speed up or to run a longer distance, or both. I want to be careful because I do not want to get hurt. Thanks!

Comment by Rebecca — April 16, 2010 @ 7:29 am

Hi. I’ve just started to run, about two months ago. Since this time I’ve been training for a 5k run. After about 30-40 minutes I begin to feel a discomfort in my ankles. Any advice for warming up/ stretching or any vitamins I should be taking, like glucosamine? From this point on I hope that I will become stronger, and be able to run longer distances… Thanx

Comment by Caroline — April 16, 2010 @ 9:38 am

Hi there. Is there anything that can help me overcome a minor bout of plantar facietus. I’ve used multiple different shoe inserts with moderate success and multiple different shoe models with the same moderate success. Any little tricks you know?

Comment by Johann — April 16, 2010 @ 10:52 am

heyyyy im going to some hockey rep tryouts wondering if you have any ideas on how to prepare for it?

Comment by Colleen — April 17, 2010 @ 3:27 pm

Hi, I was wondering if it’s okay to run the day before I need my fitness to be it’s best and would I improve more if I don’t rest the day before? For example, would it be easier to run 2 miles if I ran it everyday for 4 days, then a rest day. Or would it improve more if I ran 5 days? I would think that running the 5th day would improve it a little more.

Comment by Vanessa — April 17, 2010 @ 8:47 pm

Hi Ainslie,
I am wondering if there is a preference would one type of yoga over another? I want to improve my half marathon time and also complete my first marathon this year and have read that yoga helps.

Thanks Sussan

Comment by Sussan — April 18, 2010 @ 6:02 am

Hi there. I was a runner, I loved running. Makes me feel free. however i got really bad chin splints. I haven’t been able to run for more than five minutes since without tears streaming down my face. I would love to get back into running. But i am nit sure how to get rid of the chin splints. Any suggestions?

Comment by Caitlin — April 18, 2010 @ 8:54 am

I’ve just starting running again recently, in preparation for a 10k next month at the Ottawa Race weekend. I have an odd issue when I run. When i practice the “breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth” method, inside my nostrils (like, under the bridge of my nose) gets this really uncomfortable tingling sensation, and it’s hard to keep that breathing going rather than just mouth breathing. Have you heard of anyone having this kind of issue before? Would you have any suggestions to alleviate the discomfort?

Comment by callah — April 19, 2010 @ 4:13 pm

I never did any type of running until last year and ran in a 5K. I’ll be 60 in December. I don’t know why it took me so long; any ideas for kness that feel “tight” ?

Comment by Kathie — April 20, 2010 @ 12:35 pm

i’m a pretty fit person, and can bike, swim or elliptical all day…but everytime i try running i get terribly out of breath after just a few minutes! i feels like i just cant get enough air in to my lungs an every time my foot hits the ground it feels like its knocking the wind out of me. help!

Comment by steff (steffsays) — April 20, 2010 @ 1:49 pm

I love running, but the problem is…I’m trying to actually gain weight. I’m 19 years old and 135 lbs. (& 5′ 10.5″ in height). I would like to gain more upper body muscle (weight) as well as even out the lower body. I don’t run as often anymore because of the weight-burning effect of running. I used to run 10k runs as well as biathlons and 3k swims (still able to complete).
-How am I able to add/define muscles (upper/lower body) while doing something I still love but have a hard time getting over the fact that I am achieving the opposite results.

Comment by Kala`e — April 22, 2010 @ 4:17 am

There are many views on jogging, some people say that it is actually bad for your joints, what’s your take on it? What would be the best running shoe to use for jogging?

Comment by Kat — April 23, 2010 @ 8:36 am

I was training for a 10 mile run but life got in the way and my training fell to the wayside. Then recently i suffered a knee injury which further prevented me from training. I have run several 5k races and one 8k. My knee is completely healed and I still want to run the 10 mile race. The only thing is it’s in 1 week. Would it be crazy to do? Should I rethink my plans?

Comment by Rcahel — April 24, 2010 @ 9:19 am

I just recently took up a learn to run class, I have really fell in love with running and have actually been getting good at it, which I never would have thought would be a possibility for me when I was 56 pounds heavier. But lately I have got the worst shin slint? on my right leg, I had then a little on my left leg which I was able to run through and get past, but my right leg just seems to be getting worse. I broke my right ankle 3 years ago along with a really nasty sprain that is actually still bruised! I am just wondering if this is ever going to get better and if running is for me?
Thank, Heather.

Comment by Heather — April 26, 2010 @ 11:17 am

Thank you everyone for all the amazing questions. We have chosen the questions for Ainslie to answer and will be posting her first response on April 30!

Comment by Facebook User — April 26, 2010 @ 11:29 am

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