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You Asked: Three Running Questions

You're asking and I'm answering . . .

In the past week I have received three questions from folks returning to running. It is great that Sugar users are getting turned on to running, and I thought I would tackle all three questions at once. Here goes . . .

Dear Fit,
I have patched things up with my relationship with running, and am back at it. I've noticed that now that I'm running longer distances, I am getting some chafing from my arm rubbing against my tank top. How can I prevent chafing during long distance runs? Because ouch, it hurts!
— Chafed and Unhappy About It

Chafing can be an annoying problem, especially as you increase your mileage. The best advice is to lubricate the areas that are rubbing with Vaseline or a runner-specific product like Body Glide, which contains no petroleum products. If you do get sores from chafing, use an antibiotic cream to treat the area. Be sure to wear a tight-fitting shirt that is smooth and wicks, too.

Dear FitSugar,
What should I eat for breakfast before my next 5k? My first race I ate my normal breakfast, which was way too much and I got sick.
— Granola With Skim Milk and OJ

To see some thoughts on pre-race meals, just

The pre-race meal can be tricky, and my best advice to you is to experiment because every runner is so different. For me, if the start time is late enough, I have an espresso with a splash of milk, instant oatmeal, and a banana. For you, my pre-race meal would probably be too much. You should eat a little bit of something easily digestible. A good rule of thumb is: the softer the food, the easier it is to digest. Also, I think it's prudent to avoid acidic drinks like OJ. Bananas are a popular pre-race food, as is peanut butter toast, or a protein bar. Avid racer TeamSugar likes the low-sugar protein bar by Detour. It is best to eat at least two hours before the race as well. Eat slowly and chew your food well. Good luck!

Hey Fit,
I am starting running again after a long time off, but the outside of my hips end up very sore and stiff following a run. Do you know of any stretch or anything else I can do to reduce that?
— Hurtin' Hips

It sounds like your hip flexors are tight. I think you should walk for part of your cool down, since this gives a nice active stretch for the hip flexors and can work out the kinks. Check out these three hip flexor stretches and do them after you run. Think about running from your pelvis, too. This will make the backs of your legs work more and even out the workout load.

Have any more suggestions for these three issues? Leave them in the comments section below.


Join The Conversation
True-Song True-Song 8 years
I have to get up super early to have breakfast before a race. I like a half bagel with peanut butter, and I drink some gatorade. Also gatorade the night before! Keeps me from getting side stiches (which, for me, never go away ever, no matter how many times a week I run).
shepptacular shepptacular 8 years
I enjoy a banana and yogurt for breakfast pre-long runs. A short distance doesn't really factor into my breakfast decisions. I just got back into running outdoors vs. treadmills this fall and have already down two half marathons! Those were my longest distances ever and I'm hoping to start training to do the ING NY marathon next year.
tlsgirl tlsgirl 8 years
I always eat the same thing before a run, usually an hour early - a piece of wheat toast with peanut butter, honey, and some banana slices. It gives me a lot of energy, but I don't get the sick feeling that I used to when I would eat too much, or the wrong things.
javsmav javsmav 8 years
I have a hard time eating in the morning, especially before a race but you really don't need that much for a 5K--even a bag of sports beans or shot blocs with a glass of water should be sufficient. Or maybe an energy bar. Eat a big (but healthy) meal the night before--that's more important than what you eat for breakfast, imo. And yes, Body Glide is the best invention since sliced bread!
MarinerMandy MarinerMandy 8 years
I get stiffness and soreness on the outside of my hip too and I'm pretty flexible in my hamstrings and hip flexors. I've found that IT Band stretches help make it go away. According to my high school sports med teacher, tight IT Bands most commonly show up on the knee, but it can also affect your hip since it runs down the side of your leg.
CitizenSugar CitizenSugar 8 years
For quick races like a 5k I swear by half a PB&J with lots of "J" and coffee with soy--but here's the trick--I take the sandwich with me to the starting line. That way I can eat it right before the race and it doesn't have time to start digesting. That feels icky to me. For longer races (half marathons) I love instant oatmeal with protein powder mixed in. It burns super slowly and doesn't feel too heavy. And don't feel like you have to get all your food before a long race--I love a 9-mile break for Clif Bar... Boy. I could clearly talk about food all day! ;)
Fitness Fitness 8 years
katarina - good point. It is important to stretch all the front and the back of the legs. The roller is the best! I find rolling out my ITB helps my knees more than my hips, but that could help too. Here's a video of rolling out the ITB.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
Body Glide. The solution to all life's problems ;)
katrina1020 katrina1020 8 years
I am having those same hip problems. My trainer tells me it is from my tight hamstrings. (I have very tight hamstrings, but flexible hip flexors.) Stretching out both my hamstrings and hip flexors after a work out helps so much. I also use a foam roller on my hips and it makes the initial pain feel much better.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I'm hoping to get back into running sometime in the next couple months when my ankles heal so this is good advice! I always have stiff hips too, I LOVE stretching them, it's like the best feeling in the world! haha
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