FAQ, or common challenges & Running terminology
(For Running Terminology please scroll down)
FAQ: What to do when you:
Breathing difficulties and a stitch in the side
- That usually means that your muscles are not getting enough oxygen. Slow down (but ideally don’t stop, because starting again will be that much harder), and try to breathe deeply into your belly, relaxing your stomach muscles. Try to train ‘diaphragm breathing’ at home, it’s vastly beneficial for runners
Pain in the knees, the achilles sinews or other places
- The problem here is that it can have a multitude of reasons – wrong shoes, running form, terrain… but it’s usually a sign of overexertion. Take it easy and try to narrow down the reason by method of exclusion (different shoes etc.), but never run over the pain, thinking ‘ah, it’ll go away’. It may, but then you may also be forced to stop running for weeks until it’s truly healed. Don’t take the chance.
Lack of motivation
- It hits us all! Everyone has a different trigger. Mine are competitions, challenges, badges, metrics and gamification, beating myself. For others it’s getting out into nature, weight loss, or intentional group pressure by joining a running group. Find your trigger and nurture them lovingly and with intention. If you have trouble finding your motivation trigger, start writing a running diary, write about your runs and add the pics you made. After a while you’re likely to see a pattern of what was unique to the great runs where you were motivated.
Inability to run regularly
- This is a tough one. I’ve only recently experienced it now in my second running year, where a few unfortunate (for running) circumstances came together. There are things I can’t change, like having to go on a business trip where I simply can’t run, not even on a treadmill. The best you can do then is to try to keep fit otherwise, like for example, running up and down the stairs in the hotel a couple of times – you’ll be alone, everyone else takes the lift!
But there are circumstances I can change, and that’s why I finally decided to get a really good treadmill.
Annoying weather conditions
- Treadmills – good or bad? I found them extremely boring, but there is a new breed of them now, ones that have a big screen that let you run virtually through a trail in Tibet, with a running coach running next to you. I’ll write a blog post about those soon with more info.
Of course there is always the gym or alternate sports that go well with running, like biking, swimming or elliptical. But the truth is, nothing is as good as running outside in the fresh air.
Running during ‘that’ time of the month or when you are sick
- Here again the prime rule comes into play: Listen to your body. There is no general rule. Running made a huge positive change for me and for how I used to experience my days. Before I had the monthly migrane, incapacitating me for one full day. Running made me (apparently) stronger. Not even a headache now, and indeed I run fastest during my days! Don’t ask me why, I’m not a doctor. When I have a mild headache or a slightly runny nose – even in sub-zero temps out there – I run. Afterwards my nose is free again and the headache gone! But of course, if those are stronger that doesn’t work anymore. It’s all a question of how you feel about it and no doctor can tell you that.
PS: My immune system became phenomenal through running outside as well, I don’t get sick anymore to the point where I can’t work anymore and I don’t get cold as quickly.
Keeping it up during business trips or holidays
- Holidays should be easy, depending of course on where you go, if you plan ahead – already when you are picking the hotel. Strava segments are your friend – runners use it everywhere, even at some remote Egyptian beach hotel. Running along a beach is an experience!
Business trips are a lot harder. In the morning you have to get up at 5 am or earlier, to still have time for the shower, dressing up and breakfast. In the evening the business dinners or the ‘catching up on emails’ take all the time away – even if you still would have the energy. Running on business trips is an artform, but with the right preparation it is possible! I want to write a blog post about that topic and then I’ll link it here.
Running uphill the right way
- There is a whole science to running up- or downhill and it really does help! Here is a great article that sums it up perfectly:
Watch your form – this means your whole posture and how your feet hit the ground
Drive your arms harder, left and right of your body (they shouldn’t cross your middle)
Adjust your stride – take smaller steps (this is massively important)
Don’t try to keep the same speed, it’s ok to slow down
Got a Question that isn’t covered here? Please be so kind and let me know. Thank you!
PRONATION – Explained by Runnersword.com.
VO2 Max – a numerical measurement of your body’s ability to consume oxygen. Read more here.