Our experts answer your running-related questions.
Q Should I wear lighter shoes when I run on a treadmill?
A If you have them, yes. Your joints and limbs require less cushioning as a treadmill absorbs shock far better than the road. Some shoe companies offer models specifically designed for ‘mill use, with less internal cushioning (especially at the forefoot and toes) and more external ventilation (to counter the heat-producing friction of TM belts). Or just switch out your heavyweight kicks for lightweight runners, minimalist shoes or racing flats.
– CHRIS POULOS is a running coach
Q Why do my arms get fatigued when I run fast?
A Blame tension in your neck, shoulders, upper arms and upper-back muscles. Your body is a kinetic chain – when you push your limits, you put stress on the chain and your muscles tense in a domino-like response. Immediately before your run, stretch your upper body to relieve any residual tightness. Do single-arm, overhead raises, lateral arm raises and arm circles. When you run fast, focus on keeping your neck and shoulders loose, and keep your arm swing close to your body. Periodically shake your arms out. Finally, make push-ups and pull-ups part of your routine to strengthen upper-body muscles so they last longer before becoming fatigued.
– STEPHANIE WEIGEL is a coach and personal trainer
Q I’m sore from yesterday’s run. Should I take today off?
A You can either take the day off or go for a short, very slow run. Micro-tears in your muscle tissue from a hard or long run are the likely culprit of your soreness. Backing off for two or three days helps the tissue heal and rebuild even stronger. Spend this time running easy, doing light cross-training, taking a day off, or doing some combination of the three. Light exercise is best – it stimulates more blood flow to your muscles, which will hasten the removal of waste products and help speed recovery.
– MICHELE ALLEN is a running coach and store manager