10 Things You Wanted to Know About Running – But Were Afraid to Ask

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

© Martinmark | Dreamstime.com

1) Why do I chafe and how can I prevent it?

Chafing is caused by friction. This can be because of clothing, gear, or just skin rubbing on skin. Common places for chafing include areas around shorts bands, sports bra bands, between the thighs, nipples (for men), and in between the butt cheeks.

It generally has no long lasting effects, but the pinnacle of pain is usually in the shower. If you know, you know. If you don’t, trust us, you don’t want to know. Use Vaseline or products such as Bodyglide liberally in potential hot spots as a preventative.

2) Why do I get the runner’s trots?

If there is a runner who has NOT been beleaguered by the sudden need to poop while running, I’d like to meet this mystical creature. Some runners are much more susceptible to this problem than others and often tweak their diets and routines without much success.

However, simple measures like avoiding high fiber foods and large meals before running can help. Some runners avoid caffeine before running in the morning, others use it as a “stimulant” pre-run. Until you discover what works (mostly) best for you, try to plan routes near facilities.

3) How do people drink water from those little cups while racing?

There are two methods. One is to wait until out of the way of the table and slow down to walk. It is far easier to walk and sip. However, method 2 is available for those looking to spare every second. Pinch the top of the cup and gulp down what you can. Try not to gag.

4) Do I have to run the entire race?

No. In fact, as long as you are under the time cutoff, you can walk all you want. It is a race, but that can mean just you versus the clock.

5) Are you supposed to wear the t-shirt they give out on race day? Where do I pin my bib?

You can totally wear the shirt on race day. Just be warned that snobby runners might label you as a newbie. Most runners wear something they have found comfortable during training. As for the bib, pin it somewhere on the lower third of the front side of your shirt.

The front side so your number can be seen to identify you for potential photographs. The lower third stems from runners being able to showcase a school, country, or sponsor name that is usually printed on the top third.

Note: trail runners and ultra runners often wear their numbers on their shorts because they frequently change top layers. Elite women pin their bins to their sports bras if they are racing without a singlet.

6) Does running ever get easier?

Yes and no. It does become more comfortable and as you build endurance, a shorter, slower run will require less effort. But once the habit is formed, a runner often wants to try to go a little faster or further. Thus, they make running a little harder.

7) Why is my hat/shirt/skin caked in white powder after I run?

Sweat contains salt. When the water evaporates, you are left with the residue. This is more noticeable in warmer temperatures as you obviously are sweating more to cool your body. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after. Salt tabs and electrolyte drinks can help you maintain a proper balance without risk of hyponatremia.

8) What if I am the last place runner in a race?

You might get an award! Some race directors have started to recognize the last runner completing their race with a trophy or plaque. If you aren’t running one of those races, don’t worry. Someone comes in first and last at every single race. The running community is pretty wonderful at celebrating all abilities.

9) Does anyone ever stop during training runs?

Yes. Bathroom breaks, street crossings, or the old I-am-going-to-retie-my-shoe-so-I-can-catch-my-breath are often not discussed widely. GPS watches and running apps typically have the ability to portray just moving time and social media users usually present the filtered version. A minute or two here and there is certainly normal.

10) Do I really need a special pair of expensive shoes?

No. But you should seek out a pair made for running by a sports brand. There is no one brand better than another. Aim for comfort rather than appearance. A local running store is the best place as they can assist you with a good fit based on your body type, gait, mileage, and preference.

You can find discontinued shoes at great prices and if you have a budget, let the sales associate know so they can steer you in right direction.

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