Running Interview Questions & Answers

  1. Question 1. I’ve Heard That Stretching Prior To A Race Can Rob You From Needed Strength During The Race… So On Race Day, What Would Be Your Suggestions For A Pre-race Warm-up That Doesn’t Rub Your Performance?

    Answer :

    Light stretching should not rob your performance on race day. You can do simple calf, hamstring and quad stretch along with some simple butt kicks to get your legs warmed up a bit.

  2. Question 2. I Have Achilles Tendonitis And I Just Started Training. Should I Stop Training? It Only Bothers Me When I Stop Running?

    Answer :

    While I can’t speak specifically to your condition, I recommend you speak with your physician before doing any additional hard training. Achilles tendinitis typically heals by limiting running, resting it, and doing specific stretching/strengthening exercises. You can do cross training such as swimming, rowing, and weight training to maintain your fitness.

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  4. Question 3. What Is Your Recommendation For Preventing Stitches In The Side While Training?

    Answer :

    To prevent side cramps, I recommend focusing on your breathing and hydration. Getting into a regular breathing rhythm that matches your running stride, taking periodic deep, “cleansing breaths” as you run, and maintaining a regular hydration regiment before, during, and after your run can be very effective. I also recommend to NOT eating a large meal 1-2 hours before going for a run and avoiding sugary training snacks. Core stretches can also help prevent side stitches.

  5. Question 4. I Have Large Varicose Veins And I’ve Never Used The Compression Socks. I Picked Up A Pair Yesterday To See If It Would Help With Leg Fatigue While Running. They Made My Legs Feel Twice As Tired And I Had A Bad Ache In My Tibialis Anterior Muscle. Is That Normal For The First Time Using Them, And Should I Build Up To Using Them?

    Answer :

    I’ve not heard of many runners using compression socks during their runs. Since the goal of compression socks is to decrease fluid accumulation in the legs, wearing them during runs may actually decrease blood flow. You may want to consult with your physician. Some runners will use compression socks after runs for increased recovery and a decrease in muscle soreness.

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  7. Question 5. What Are The Best Ways To Work On Speed Work?

    Answer :

    The answer to this question depends on what level of a runner you are. Beginners should avoid increasing pace too quickly or they may injure themselves. For more experienced runners, interval training is a great way to improve your pace. Add some higher intensity bursts into the middle of your runs to get your legs used to running at a faster pace.

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  9. Question 6. If We Are Following A Running Training Plan, Is It Okay To Add Other Types Of Exercise Or Even Fitness Classes On Top Of The Running Training?

    Answer :

    Absolutely! Cross training can help to improve your flexibility, endurance, and leg strength. Activities such as swimming, cycling, and rowing can help you increase your endurance and therefore, help your overall performance.

  10. Question 7. What Is The Number One Rule To Follow If You Are A Heavy-set Person Using A Running Routine To Lose Weight?

    Answer :

    The key to weight loss is to burn more calories than you consume. The more you burn while you exercise, the faster you will be able to take off the pounds. Make sure you are doing a variety of exercises to help with weight loss e.g. running, swimming, weightlifting etc.

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  12. Question 8. What Are The Best Types Of Socks For Walkers And/or Runners?

    Answer :

    I don’t think a particular type of sock is better than another – they should be comfortable and the correct size. Having said that, Dry-fit or Cool-Max socks typically are good at wicking away moisture so that your feet don’t blister.

  13. Question 9. What Is The Best Way To Train For The July 4th Heat, Especially During These Cool Weeks In The Morning, Prior To The Race?

    Answer :

    As I mentioned during the chat, my biggest advice to anyone training for a big run in the heat is to stay hydrated. Remember to drink electrolytes and not just water, and make sure to drink lots of fluids after your run. I also recommend wearing appropriate clothing, such as dri-fit clothing and a top that wicks the heat away. Before the race, try to do some training runs early in the morning or evening when it’s cooler to help face the heat the day of. Do not forget to pace yourself; slow and steady is the way to go.

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  15. Question 10. Can You Describe What Is Involved In A Pre-warm Up, And Post-warm Up?

    Answer :

    To warm up for a run, it is not recommended to stretch extensively. Over Stretching cold muscles can lead to injury. Instead maybe do 5 – 10 minutes of light aerobic exercise to loosen muscles, and then do some light stretching. You can jog slowly, cycle on a bike, walk briskly, or go up and down on some stairs.

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  17. Question 11. I Have Heard That Running On Pavement Is Not The Best For Your Knees. Is This True? If So, What Surfaces Are Best To Train On And How Often Should We Run On Pavement?

    Answer :

    Runners can get injured on all running surfaces. The harder the surface, the more ground reaction forces get transmitted to your knees, but the softer the surface, the higher the risk for an ankle injury. If you can, mix up the running surface to improve your overall fitness and strengthen the legs. Switch up your route as well. This will help your legs stay balanced.

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  19. Question 12. Any Suggestions For Increasing Time And Endurance From The 5k To Peachtree In The Seven Weeks Left?

    Answer :

    General Principal: increase your distance, and then increase your pace. Add about a half-mile to your runs each week. You do not need to run 6.2 miles before the actual event. Once you’ve gotten to 5 miles you can start trying to decrease your time by 1-2 mins each run. The excitement of the day will get you to the finish line in a great time.

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  21. Question 13. I Have Read To Improve How Far We Run, To Gradually Increase Mileage… But, How Can We Train Ourselves To Run Faster, In A Safe Manner? Any Guidelines?

    Answer :

    I would start out increasing your distance – about 1/2 mile a week. Once you get to 5 miles you can start increasing your pace – attempting to decrease your run time by 1-2 mins each run. You can also increase your pace whenever running up a hill.

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  23. Question 14. How To Run Safely To Prevent Injury, If You’ve Never Run Before This Training?

    Answer :

    Gradually increase your endurance and pace during training. Most injuries come from starting with too much too soon. Increase your mileage about 1/2 a mile each week over the next 7 weeks. Once you get to 5 miles comfortably and you want to run faster, try adding some short sprints to the middle of your workout.

  24. Question 15. I Have Pain In My Heel. What Could This Be?

    Answer :

    There are a number of conditions that could be causing your heel pain. Without seeing you in person, I can’t make an accurate diagnosis. Plantar Fasciitis is the most common cause of heel pain in runners – but this could also be a stress fracture. You should see a sports medicine physician and get appropriate treatment. We recently wrote a blog about Plantar Fasciitis.

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  26. Question 16. As A Runner, What Percentage Of My Daily Caloric Intake Should Come From Carbs, Protein, And Fat?

    Answer :

    Runners need a good balance of carbs, protein, and fat to fuel their training. Carbs and protein make the bulk of the calories. The typical guideline for a low-intensity runner is 1.4 to 2.3 grams of carbs per pound of body weight and about .64 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

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  28. Question 17. How Do I Train My Mind? I’m Having Difficulties In That My Mind Tells Me I Can’t Do What I’ve Already Done! Tips On Remaining Positive Would Be Helpful?

    Answer :

    It is always an accomplishment and such a feeling of pride when you cross the finish line at a running race. At the Peachtree, there are tons of people around to cheer for you, and it feels amazing. Make running a social thing and meet up with a friend for a run; the miles click by faster and you will enjoy it more!

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  30. Question 18. Should I Practice A Day Before A Race?

    Answer :

    This depends on the level of runner you are. If you are a beginner, I recommend taking a rest day before a race. If you are a more experienced runner, you can take the day off or go for a short, easy jog the day before a race to loosen the muscles and relieve some of the nervousness.

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  32. Question 19. What Are Some Ways To Prevent Achilles Tendinitis?

    Answer :

    Typically, Achilles tendinitis occurs when runners increase mileage or speed too quickly. If you are a runner who has tight calves or pronate excessively, you can develop Achilles tendinitis. Increase you’re running pace and mileage on a gradual basis. Once you get up to 5 miles on a run and feel comfortable, you can then begin working on your speed. Stretch and strengthen your calves after every run.

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  34. Question 20. I Have Problems With My Achilles Being Very Tight. It’s Painful To Stand Up In The Morning Until I’ve Completed Stretching. Running Aggravates The Issue. Any Suggestions?

    Answer :

    You should really see a Sports Medicine Physician to address this issue because my suggestions would be determined by what the diagnosis is. In general, Achilles injuries need time off from running and specific regiments of stretching and strengthening in order to heal. You can maintain your endurance by cross-training activities, such as swimming, rowing, cycling, and using the elliptical machine. This will help you maintain some of your fitness.

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  36. Question 21. While Running, What Should I Be “listening” To In Regards To My Body To Best Avoid Injury Or Pushing Myself Too Hard?

    Answer :

    Before you start running, get a physical examination by your primary care physician to be sure it is medically safe for you to be running. Some discomfort (usually after your run) is normal when you are starting a running routine, but this should resolve in a few days to a week, and it should never increase in intensity. If you feel dizzy, lightheaded, if your heart starts racing or skipping beats, or if you are not sweating on a hot day – see a physician right away, as these may be signs of something serious. If your knees and/or joints start to severely hurt you, you should see a Sports Medicine Physician.

  37. Question 22. I Am 52 Years Old And No Distance Running And Nursing Hamstring Strain Since Feb. What Can I Do To Prep For This 10k?

    Answer :

    First, make sure that the hamstring has gotten appropriate treatment and is strong enough for training. Next, build yourself up to walk/run the 10K distance. Start out at about 2 miles every other day, but one day a week, it should be a long run, and you should increase this run by 1 mile each week thereafter. After 4 weeks, you should be at a 6-mile long run and be ready for the Peachtree distance – don’t think you will have enough time to do much with your pace.

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  39. Question 23. Can You Discuss Hip Bursitis Causes, Prevention, And Treatment?

    Answer :

    Bursae are a soft, fluid-filled sac that serves as a cushion between bone and soft tissue structures, such as tendon and skin. The hip bursae sac helps reduce friction between the IT band and the greater trochanter (bony bump on the upper outer thigh). Bursitis occurs when the bursa becomes inflamed. The bursae can become inflamed with increased training or long periods of exercise that involves repetitive leg motion.

    Treatment for bursitis often includes avoiding activities that worsen your pain and using anti-inflammatory medications. You can also use ice on your hip to help with the pain. Sometimes, a corticosteroid injection may be used. Visit your physician to get the most appropriate treatment for your specific condition.

  40. Question 24. What Advice Can You Give To An Advanced Runner Running In A Large Race Such As The Ajc Peachtree Road Race For The First Time When It Comes To Preventing Injury?

    Answer :

    As an advanced runner, you should already have a training program. In general, I recommend increasing your mileage and pacing gradually. Follow a plan that has worked for you in the past.

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  42. Question 25. How Do You Feel About The Newer Minimal Shoes Reducing Joint Impact? Is There Science To Support That Or Just Good Marketing?

    Answer :

    Minimalist shoes CAN NOT reduce joint impact – only decreasing your body weight can do that. What the shoes have been shown to do is change a person’s foot strike pattern from a heel strike pattern to more of a mid-foot strike, and this change can sometimes be helpful in alleviating conditions like plantar fasciitis and Achilles tendonitis.

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  44. Question 26. Any Suggestions About Runners With Asthma? I Am Taking It Slow…and Not Expecting Too Much Too Soon.

    Answer :

    You should make sure that you have been evaluated by an allergist to get the cause of asthma addressed. Once your asthma is under control, a normal training regiment can be followed. Here is a resource for information for runners with asthma.

  45. Question 27. I Currently Have A Stress Fracture. What Can I Do In The Meantime That Will Help Slow The Loss Of Fitness?

    Answer :

    There are a few cross-training exercises that you can do to maintain fitness while not running. Swimming, core work, cycling, rowing, weight lifting, and using an ALTER – G (an anti-gravity treadmill) are usually good choices.

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  47. Question 28. If You Are Experiencing Patellar Tendonitis And Problems With The Knees In General, How Often And How Many Miles Should You Run A Week To Be Ready For A 10k? I Am Cross-training Some As Well Through Swimming And Core Exercises?

    Answer :

    If you are having “problems” with your knees while or after running, you should seek the advice of a Sports Medicine physician – running should NOT hurt! The total weekly mileage depends on where you are in your training. Generally, my rule of thumb is to run every other day starting at 1-2 miles each run. You can increase the mileage for each run by ½ to ¾ mile a week till you get to 3 miles. After 3 miles, only increase one of your runs by 1 mile a week while the rest of your runs should stay at the same base distance. So in the beginning you will be running 6 – 8 miles a week, but by the end you are running 12 – 15 miles.

  48. Question 29. Please Explain What Is Runners Knee And How Is It Relieved And Treated?

    Answer :

    Runner’s knee is a common layperson term used to describe a variety of running-related disorders that can impact the knee such as Patellar Tendonitis, Patellofemoral pain, Chondromalacia. The term is vague so I don’t use the term too often because it doesn’t give a runner a true idea of what they have and how to treat it. Treatment for all the conditions referenced earlier is different, so if you are having severe knee pain, I recommend you schedule an appointment with your Sports Medicine physician.

  49. Question 30. What Is Your Opinion On Calf Compression Sleeves During Long Distance Training/long Distance Racing? I Recently Purchased A Pair And Have Found That I Have Much Less Calf Soreness Post-run. Are There Any Disadvantages To Using Them?

    Answer :

    I haven’t seen much research on the advantages/disadvantages of using compression socks. The goal of compression socks is to decrease blood pooling in your legs. I recommend runners to use serial compression devices after runs to decrease recovery time and muscle soreness. Using a compression sock during a run may actually decrease blood flow in the legs, which is not a desired effect.

  50. Question 31. What About The Need To Maintain A Suitable Age-related Heart-rate? Please Give Some General Guidelines And Brackets To Work Within?

    Answer :

    Before starting any exercise routine, make sure that you consult your Primary Care Physician to make sure that it is safe for you to do vigorous exercise. You can estimate your maximum heart rate with a simple formula. For men, it is 220 – age. For women, it is 226 – age. If you are a beginner training for Peachtree, you should not be hitting your maximum heart rate. Instead, you should consider training at 65% to 90% of your maximum heart rate.

  51. Question 32. Any Injury Free Running Tips For Heavy Set People?

    Answer :

    Before starting any exercise routine, make sure that you consult your Primary Care Physician to make sure it is safe for you to do vigorous exercise.

    As with any beginner, you should start slow and be patient with your progress. Start out with a walk-to-run program, breaking your exercise time up into 5-minute intervals. For example, start out walking, and then add a minute of power-walking/jogging/running to each segment every two weeks. As your fitness improves, you will progress from a 5:0 walk run ratio to a 0:5 walk run ratio (4:1 then 3:2 then 2:3 etc.). This will enable you to give yourself a goal to keep going. I would also invest in good shoes – go to a specialty running store and have them analyze your gait to make sure you are wearing the right shoes for your body and running style. Finally, run every other day or 3 – 4 times per week as to not overwork your body.

  52. Question 33. What Should I Wear On My Run?

    Answer :

    Comfort is key when deciding what to wear on a run. Materials like Dri Fit, Therma Max and CoolMax or polypropylene wick away sweat whereas cotton gets wet and stays wet. Loose, light colored clothes are ideal for the summer, and in winter add 15-20 degrees F to the outside temperature to determine how much you should wear to stay warm.

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  54. Question 34. Can I Run In My Sneakers Or Town Shoes?

    Answer :

    No. Running shoes are specially designed to absorb shock and help your foot strike the ground properly. Casual shoes don’t necessarily address those needs. Head to the store and give yourself an excuse to buy a proper pair of running shoes.

  55. Question 35. How Do I Find The Best Running Shoe For Me?

    Answer :

    Finding the right running shoe is a personalised process, and one that friend recommendations can’t always answer.

  56. Question 36. Is It True That You Need Two To Three Different Pairs Of Shoes As A Runner?

    Answer :

    If you run frequently, a couple different models of shoes will help prevent overuse injuries because your biomechanics adapt slightly to every pair of shoe. Also, midsole foam requires 24 hours before it’s fully recovered from a run. Switching shoes regularly will help give you support and provide a little change of pace.

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  58. Question 37. Does The Weight Of A Running Shoe Affect Performance?

    Answer :

    Researchers have found that lighter shoes impact performance minimally. The difference of a few ounces doesn’t impact the overall weight you need to propel forward in order to run much, but research has shown that you use less oxygen when wearing lighter shoes. Also, it takes less energy to runner to run in lightweight shoes. Put simply, you might run a little faster.

  59. Question 38. What’s The Deal With The Five Finger Shoes?

    Answer :

    Shoes like the Vibram Five Fingers are made to fit like a glove and bring runners back to their natural, almost barefoot running state and build small foot muscles that regular shoes supposedly weaken. The world of science is divided on this though, and you should consider both sides of the debate before making a final decision.

  60. Question 39. I’ve Heard You Should Buy Running Shoes That Are A Half Size Larger Than Your Street Shoes? Is This True?

    Answer :

    Yes, this is true. Running shoes should have about a quarter inch of additional room between your toes and the end of the shoe. In other words, you should have about a thumbnail’s space between the tip of the shoe and your longest toe. This gives you room for your foot to flex and your toes to move forward with each stride.

  61. Question 40. Is It True That You Need To Tie Your Shoes Tightly For Optimal Running Shoe Performance?

    Answer :

    Yes, you should make sure your shoelaces are relatively tight but they should not create any tingling or discomfort. Ideally, a properly laced shoelace will wrap your arch, giving you solid support and stability.

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  63. Question 41. Why Aren’t There More Width Options For Running Shoes?

    Answer :

    The lack of available widths is a matter of economics. For every width a shoe manufacturer offers they must build an entirely different midsole and outsole mold. This cuts into profits. Some shoes such as the New Balance 1225 and Nike Air Pegasus have width options though, and specialty running shops can order what you need.

  64. Question 42. One Of My Feet Is Slightly Bigger Than The Other. What Should I Do?

    Answer :

    Studies show that 80% of runners buy shoes that are too small for them, partly because they shop for their smaller foot. When buying shoes, go with the pair that fit your bigger foot the best. You can also consult a podiatrist for other solutions.

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  66. Question 43. As A Female Runner, My Heels Slip Out Of Every Shoe I Buy And My Female Running Partners Experience The Same Problem. How Can We Fix This?

    Answer :

    Unfortunately, many women’s running shoes are just male shoes with different color ways. Gender specific designs are becoming more common though. For a quick fix, experiment with different lacing methods and try adding a flat insole to create a narrower fit.

  67. Question 44. I Over Protect On One Side But Not The Other. How Do I Make A Compromise And Buy The Right Shoe?

    Answer :

    Body asymmetry is actually very typical. Start by purchasing a shoe that addresses the foot that gives you the most grief. In your case, you should try motion control or stability shoes to provide you with ample support. If this doesn’t solve the problem, consider custom orthotics.

  68. Question 45. I Have High Arches But The Tendency To Over Protect. What Shoe Should I Get?

    Answer :

    In most cases high arches prevent the ankle from moving inward too much. If your foot is flexible though, you have a high risk for overpronation when your arch collapses on longer runs. Many shoes address this high arch overpronation combination, but stability or motion control shoes, as well as over the counter supportive insoles can often provide a fix as well.

  69. Question 46. I’m A Heavy Framed Runner But I Want To Try A Lightweight Shoe. Is This Going To Hurt Me?

    Answer :

    You should stick with motion control shoes for longer runs when your bio-mechanics are likely to break down. On shorter runs though, you can try a pair of stability shoes with a rigid aftermarket orthotic. This combination lets you move to a lighter shoe that prevents inward rolling of your foot and provides adequate stability. When it comes to short races and speed work, feel free to wear a light racing shoe. You’ll be fine in short bursts.

  70. Question 47. I Get A Rash On My Feet Every Time I Run. What Can I Do?

    Answer :

    Your socks are likely the culprit here. The Lycra in socks irritates a lot of people’s skin. Try using foot powder or Blister Shield on your feet prior to running. If it still bothers you, get a very thin pair of silk socks and wear them under your regular running socks.

  71. Question 48. My Heels Are Killing Me. Is There A Shoe That Can Help?

    Answer :

    You may have plantar fasciitis. Heel stretches can help, as does anything that works the smaller muscles of the foot. Additional shoe support can also help realign your foot and prevent overpronation, a common cause of plantar fasciitis.

  72. Question 49. I Have Shin Splints. Can You Recommend A Shoe To Help Ease The Pain?

    Answer :

    Shin splints are common to new runners. Soft, stable shoes will help absorb some of the shock you’re experiencing and keep you from pronating, reducing some of the stress on your shins.

  73. Question 50. How Do I Know When To Retire An Old Pair Of Running Shoes?

    Answer :

    Running shoes are pretty much shot after 300 to 500 miles. If you land on your heels when you stride than you’re going to need new shoes more quickly than a more efficient runner, but generally it’s time to turn you old shoes in when you don’t feel like your shoes are providing you with the protection you need anymore.

  74. Question 51. The Heels Of My Shoes Wear Much Faster Than The Rest Of My Shoe. Is There Something I Can Do To Extend The Life Of My Shoe?

    Answer :

    It sounds like you’re a heavy heel striker, something that can often be the result of over striding. Shoe goo can provide a quick fix but when you make your next purchase take your heel wear into account. Shoes with more outsole rubber in the landing zone and fewer deep flex grooves in the heel will provide added durability. Look into the Asics Gel-Kayano 16 and the Saucony Progrid.

  75. Question 52. Should I Wear New Running Shoes For A Marathon?

    Answer :

    Put about 40 to 50 miles on your racing shoes. Go on a long run to make sure they feel good, and then wear a different pair of shoes the day before the race so your soles have time to decompress. The lace them up and enjoy your marathon.

  76. Question 53. Does Where You Run Affect How Your Shoes Break Down?

    Answer :

    Running on the road results in faster wear than trail running, but how you run is even more crucial to how quickly your shoes break down. When the midsole material is visible through your outsole, or when the sole under your feet loses its grooves, your shoes need to be replaced.