by Davy Kestens in Training Tips

Questions from our readers

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Recently, we’ve asked you, our readers, if you had any questions about running. We received a lot of mails, tweets and facebook messages from readers looking for feedback.

In the upcoming weeks, we will be publishing individual articles, answering those questions. In this article, you will read our response to the first four questions that were brought to our attention. Let’s get started!

Is it possible for a body to react to excessive exercise by STORING fat, instead of losing it?

Well, that’s a very interesting question and again there is no yes-no answer here as there are many factors that come into play. First of all, let me clarify that the word “excessive” is very relative. For instance, running 4 times a week would sound excessive to a beginner but to a seasoned runner it would feel like a lazy week!

So, a rule of thumb here is that the right exercising intensity, regardless of your level, is what wouldn’t feel “excessive” to you. If it does, then you need to slow down and build up your pace slowly but surely.

Some may overcompensate excessive exercise by eating too much

And when I say that many factors come into play I mean that there are other factors that would contribute to fat storage other than exercising, including calorie intake. Some of those who engage in intense training may overcompensate for it by eating too much and gain more weight as a result. Ironically, those who “under” eat face the same problem as a result of slow metabolism.

Also it’s important to note that people who focus on exercising alone without changing their eating habits might not lose any weight and some of them could actually gain weight. This is mainly because exercising build muscles that contribute to the overall body weight.

In conclusion, any exercise whether excessive or not shouldn’t cause body fat storage if combined with the right calorie intake. Fortunately, there are many accurate techniques to help you determine your optimal diet based on your level of physical activity.

What do you think about buying running gear online?

There isn’t a straight “go for it” answer, nor there is a “big no” to this question as there are many pros and cons to shopping online in general and certainly running gears are no exception. It all depends on your own circumstances and preference. The obvious advantage of going for the online option is saving time and the possibility of stumbling upon some hot deals. However, with the avalanche of con artists and scammers out there, you need to be extra careful!

Fortunately, there are some specialized websites to help you out, namely online stores review sites. To name just one of these, allows you to compare prices from hundreds of online stores and read customers’ reviews on them. This way, you can make an informed decision.

Another common sense tip: ask your buddies about their online shopping experience and if you get any recommendation from them, probably it’s the right place to shop.

Any tips for the Central Park 6-mile loop? The hills are hard!

First of all, congrats on embarking on the hill running adventure! Only serious endurance runners would go for this extremely challenging but equally rewarding experience. And hey, you didn’t choose any hill: you went for Central Park! Make it happen and consider yourself a self-proclaimed running legend.

But before I answer your question, I want to entice you and motivate you to follow through by summing up some of the amazing benefits that hill running has to offer:

  • Enhancing your aerobic capacity which enables you to consume less oxygen at longer distances
  • Increasing your speed while developing your stabilization and control
  • Increasing your stamina which is all you need to run longer distance at a given pace
  • Developing your muscles elasticity
  • Improving your stride length and frequency
  • Developing your overall  coordination
  • Promoting your strength endurance
  • Above all, flat-surface-running will become  a piece of cake after you mastered the extreme!

Now I will offer you general hill running tips that will certainly work like charm with Central Park as well.

Uphill Running Tips

  • Begin with a 15-minute warm up on rolling hills
  • Don’t rush things. Instead, take the “slowly but surely” approach to help yourself maintain a good pace
  • You may be tempted to toggle between running and walking on long hills. Try to avoid that as it is an easy recipe for losing your momentum
  • Maintaining the right posture is essential for effective running in general and certainly hill running is no exception. Maintain an erect posture and do NOT Lean forward from the hips as this could put be strenuous to your back
  • Avoid looking at your feet. Instead, look ahead in order to free up your airway
  • Lift your knees slightly higher than you do when running on flat surfaces

Downhill Running Tips

Slow your jog on each decent

  • Don’t over-stride because running down puts a lot of stress on your quadriceps
  • Stay vertical to the ground to help yourself lean forward
  • If you want to control your speed, increase your cadence while cutting down your stride length
  • Don’t over-speed to the extent that you can’t avoid obstacles and rocks down the hill
  • Try to move in a straight line down the hill. Moving in zigzag will result in stressing your legs and increasing the distance

How often should you race in a particular category (5k or 21k) before you go to the next level?

Only you can answer this question. Once a certain race category feels too easy and is no longer challenging to you, it’s time to take things to the next level. How often this would happen is certainly a personal matter depending on your fitness level.

In fact, the time taken for you to move from race category A to B will be probably different than the time you need to advance from category B to C. So, there is no rule of thumb here.

My only recommendation in that regard is that whenever you decide to jump to the next level, just make sure you can really do it.

Do you have any other questions?

You, as a reader, are very important to us! If you have any question related to running, don’t hesitate to comment it below this article! We will answer it in the comments or include your question in one of our upcoming articles!

If it is a very personal question which you would rather not share with everybody, you can always send us a mail by using our contact form.

Happy running and thank you for visiting!

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