Our panel of experts answer your urgent training questions
Q If my legs are sore, should I skip a planned easy run?
A It depends on how sore you feel. A short, super-slow run may in fact help dissipate relatively mild soreness, though if it doesn’t, just call it a day. With more moderate to extreme discomfort, your best bet is to take the day off or do light cross-training like cycling, swimming, or brisk walking. The change in activity will allow your running muscles to repair and rebuild, and the movement will stimulate bloodflow that removes waste products and hastens healing.
– Kristy Campbell, online running coach (runthelongroad.com)
Q How should I change my form when I run uphill?
A Modifying your form will help you run quicker and more comfortably up any incline. Lean slightly into the hill from the hips and take short, quick, forefoot-landing steps for a more efficient stride. Exaggerate your arm swing and slightly flex your biceps on the backswing to help propel you forward. Keep your shoulders relaxed – not high and tight and not caved forward – to allow your diaphragm and lungs to fully expand and maximise oxygen consumption. Finally, visualise your hamstrings and glutes – not smaller calf muscles – as your main power source pushing you up the hill.
– Megan Lund-Lizotte, trail marathon champion and 2:41 marathoner (hgrunning.com)
Q Is there anything I can do to not get so hot when I’m running on the treadmill?
A First, and to the extent you can, make use of fans in the gym or on the treadmill dash. You can even get a small handheld fan, stick it in the cup holder, and aim it at your face. If you’re running at home, position fans in front of you. You can also try wearing a neck cooler, which is an ice bandanna you stow in the freezer. Finally, drink plenty of fluids both before and during treadmill runs to facilitate sweating and maintain your body’s natural cooling system.
– John Noce, running coach and personal trainer (ashevillerunningcoach.com)