Earlier this week, we teamed up with Brooks Running to hold a Facebook Q&A with Brooks ID member Helen Beven, an elite runner and certified personal trainer. Our readers got exclusive access to her expertise, with the chance to ask any questions they had about running–from training tips to how to handle injuries, and more. The chat was a huge success…but that also means there were a LOT of comments to sift through on Facebook for her tips. So we did the work for you to provide a recap of Helen’s best advice (and your best questions).
An abbreviated (and organized) version of the Q&A is below; if your questions weren’t answered, don’t worry–we’re already planning our next Q&A session, and we’re working on getting answers for all the questions that Helen couldn’t get to. For now, check out the ones she did answer for some awesome summer running advice. (And don’t forget to enter our Brooks Running giveaway for a chance to win a free pair of shoes!)
What advice do you have for someone who used to run and wants to get back into running? Is there a good way to get started?
You need to start off with a good goal – maybe a 5K and stick with the program! Start off with a run/walk program and build and find a good running partner!
What’s your opinion about logging a ton of miles for marathon training. Trying to qualify for Boston. How should i prepare? What’s a good amount of miles to put in during training if the marathon i’m trying to qualify at is in January? Any suggestions?
Not sure what your weekly mileage is but you should build gradually. A lot of mileage may cause injury and it doesn’t always get you a faster time. I suggest 3 good quality runs in a week – including a long run, track workout and a tempo run. It is hard training in the summer.
How much does biology really influence running? I’m a short girl, with short little strides. Does this mean I’m doomed to forever be a slower runner?
Absolutely not, although some people do have good genes! Seriously you can improve your running by getting on the track and doing some speed work.
Is the minimalist/barefoot approach okay or safe for those who have been using stability shoes and pronate/have flat feet?
To be honest, I am not a big fan of barefoot running and I would certainly not recommend it for pronators!
What do you recommend for a 52-year-old whose knees no longer allow her to run but she needs to burn carbs like a runner and lose about 20 pounds?
You need to cross train more such as swimming. Try deep water running.
What are your tips for injury prevention for tibial tendinitis and IT band?
To prevent this kind of injury you really need to invest in a a good foam roller that you can roll onto your Tibia and also your I T Band. Stretching is also the key and icing after running.
Any tips for reoccurring shin splints? Is it a silly idea to try to get into barefoot running with shin splint issues?
Try a foam roller and ice after every run. Compression socks will also help.
Do not run barefoot with shin splints. You need to get them completely better before running without shoes! That goes with any injury!
At what point do you start looking for new shoes?
As soon as anything on my body starts to ache. I look at my shoes and figure out if I have done 300 miles. Generally that is when you need to buy a new pair and I always recommend Brooks!!
What’s the best type of shoe for heel strikers?
Try Brooks Glycerin 9. It’s an excellent shoe for heel strikers!
I’m a pronator, and always wear out one side of my shoes faster than the other. Help!
For pronators, try BROOKS Adrenaline and also I like Glycerin as I pronate badly too!
Is it odd that when I switch between my shoes (New Balance and Brooks), my arches hurt a lot more? They’re getting used to it…but it’s kind of alarming that they make them feel so different. When I buy shoes and rotate them should they only be the same brand and model?
Make sure when you buy your shoes you go to a proper running store that looks at your feet and watches you run. It is so important to have the correct shoes for your own feet!
Hi Helen, What do you recommend for pre- and post-run nutrition? What should I be eating and drinking before and after a run? Or is this not all too important unless doing a marathon?
Chocolate milk is the best for post run nutrition. I personally like a banana and wholewheat toast and peanut butter before a run. Also make sure you hydrate well before, during and after.
…Thanks to Helen and all of our readers who participated in this week’s chat. Don’t forget to enter our Brooks Running giveaway for a chance to win a free pair of running shoes!