Answers to Your Fitness & Running Questions

Did you ever have running questions you were too afraid to ask? Perhaps there is something you have always wanted to ask, but just never knew who had the answer...

We have created RunPals: "Running Questions: Frequently Asked, Now Answered" section for that exact reason.

Following are a collection of questions we have received from fellow RunPals friends. Search through them and discover the hidden truth!

The best part? If you have running questions of your own, simply email us and we will track down your answer.

Running Questions Road

When Should I Replace My Running Shoes?

There is no steadfast rule for this, but look for indicators. If your shoes, especially the soles are starting to show significant wear, then it is definitely time.

Also, if you are frequently getting shin splints or knee pain, it could be because you have worn out the cushion and stability of your running shoes.

It is recommended that you replace your running shoes every 350 miles or so, depending on what type of terrain you train on, and your weight.

If your athletic shoes need to be replaced, definitely check out the in-depth reviews of the best women's athletic shoes by brand.

You'll have no problem finding a pair of shoes that are perfect for your specific foot, and for your workout needs.

What is the difference between barefoot running and running with shoes?

Post Marathon Shoes

The biggest differences the way your foot strikes the ground and your overall posture. Most running shoes have plenty of cushion, and arch support (which alters your balance, and the way your foot strikes the ground).

Running shoes also minimize the amount your foot muscles and tendons flex in motion.

When you run barefoot, you are much more in tune with your form, and tend to naturally increase your cadence. You also strike the ground with your mid-foot, rather than with your heel.

To determine the best type of running shoe for your body, see the helpful guide in our section on buying womens athletic shoes.

What are the benefits of running?

There are endless benefits to running routinely such as relieving stress, losing weight, improving heart health, and boosting your immune system.

Is running on a treadmill the same as running outdoors?

Running on a treadmill is a much more controlled and steady motion, which is good if you are recovering from an injury, or trying to improve your running posture and technique.

Running outdoors exposes you to so many different elements that make your body work harder. Running trails improves your agility, while running uphill will increase your endurance, and running downhill will teach your body how to recover quickly.

This is not to say that running on a treadmill is bad for you. It’s a great option when the weather is bad, or if it too dark outside to run alone.

What are the risks associated with running?

Running Related Risks

As with any sport, there are risks associated with running such as dehydration, runners knee, back and joint problems, and cardiovascular failure.

However, most injuries can be avoided if you listen to your body and take preventive measures. Please refer to our section on avoiding running injuries for more information.

How much water should I drink during a run?

It is different for everyone, honestly. Some people can’t run without a fully loaded hydration belt, while others feel sick if they drink lots of fluids during a run.

As a general rule of thumb, it is recommended that you drink 6-8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. For longer runs, it is recommended that you also drink an electrolyte replacement like Gatorade.

Should I drink protein shakes before or after my run?

If you drink protein shakes or smoothies, it is recommended that you wait until after your workout, ideally within 30 minutes. Whey protein contains lactose, which can be harmful to your knees if you run shortly after consumption.

Also, it is not recommended that you go running shortly after eating. Since protein shakes are very hearty, it could cause stomach problems or nausea during your run.

Instead, enjoy your protein shake post-run when you really need the nutrients to rebuild your body’s muscle tissue.

Should you stretch before or after a run?

Stretching is really based on personal preference. For some, it is a necessity, and to others it is a rarity.

If you do decide to stretch, it is best to wait until after your run. Most experts will say that stretching cold muscles is harmful, and can cause muscle strains or tears. It’s better to stretch after your muscles have had a chance to warm up.

Stretching has lots of benefits such as improving your flexibility, widening your stride, helping you run faster, and avoid any injury. For more information on stretching, be sure to click here.

How do you lose weight by running?

Marathon Pre-Race Stretch

It is no surprise, running is one of the most effective ways to burn calories. If you combine a running program with a healthy diet, and stick to it, you will have no problem losing that extra weight.

It takes dedication, strength, and most importantly, time. There is no quick-fix, 24 hour magic diet. Like most challenges, it takes time to see results, but running is by far one of the best ways to lose weight.

Will running cause my breasts to sag?

This is a common question amongst women. Sagging breasts are a result of pregnancy and genetics, and are not a consequence of running.

On the same hand, female runners should find a sports bra that will stretch laterally, opposed to vertically. Also, test out different brands to find one that is comfortably snug, but not overly tight.

How do I train to run faster?

If you want to run faster, you should incorporate speed workouts into your training. Fartlek workouts are my favorite way to do this, which is essentially running full speed for a short distance, followed by walking for a short distance. This is repeated as much as you like, but I usually allow myself 30 minutes of speed work.

Running uphill, and climbing stairs will also help improve you run faster.