Get Running

Guests today are motivation coach Teena Gates and chartered physiotherapist Bláithín Brady

Teena Gates, Bláithín Brady Fri, Feb 28
LIVE: Get Running

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  • 12:51
    Welcome to the Get Running Q&A session. Today's guests include chartered physio Bláithín Brady, who led the volunteer physio effort at the Airtricity Dublin City Marathon last year. We're also delighted to welcome Teena Gates, the former head of news at 98fm, who transformed her life through fitness, losing 12 stone in 12 months.
  • 12:52
    Our running coach Mary Jennings is still in Japan having run the Tokyo marathon last weekend so John Collins, health + family editor here at The Irish Times will also chip in with relevant information.
  • 13:02
    Marie: I can't believe I am still here, actually feel like a runner, and boy has it been wet and cold for most runs. I am still very slow lots of others passing me out this evening, that's fine. I did the first session of week 6 today but my legs still ache towards the end, I can't see 20 mins in them, the are sore tonight. Should I invest in some serious shoes at this stage, to carry me along?
    Teena: I find running can be a bit of a head game. You're right to let the others pass on by. If you're thinking about other peoples' running you can lose focus on your own. I'm a plodder. If I keep moving, I can get there. That's what I concentrate on. I breath and I run, I breath and I run, and then I'm home. I definitely believe in spending some money on my feet. Think about it. A good pair of trainers, open the front door, walk out - and the world's at your feet. That's some freedom you're buying.....
  • 13:06

    Fán : Thanks for your response re last week's question (back to running after broken knee) you mentioned dynamic stretching - where do I find info on this? Thank you!

    Bláithín: Hi Fán, if you have a look on the Irish Society of Charted Physiotherapists website there is a section there on preparation for the marathon and in that section there is some information on Dynamic Stretching. Good luck!

  • 13:07

    Caitríona: Hi Folks, I am new to running and would like to be able to track my progress on the back roads of Donegal! I was considering purchasing a heart rate monitor (I have used one previously during spinning classes), but am wondering if I would be better with something that tracks distance and time instead? I know that there are probably decent phone apps that do the same job, but would very much appreciate your advice. Thank you

    Teena: I've got a heart rate monitor - in a box on my bookcase - and you've just inspired me to get it out and get it set up. I love the phone apps though, because I can see where I've been running, and it's especially nice if I take my running somewhere new, like up into the Wicklow Hills.   It's great to have a record of what I've achieved and the progress I've made.   When I cease to be embarrassed about my lack of speed, I might even start posting my runs online...
  • 13:09

    Eileen Regan: Hello Team. On the 3rd training day of week 6 I doubted I could do the final 20 minute jog. So I slowed down, as suggested, I broke it into segments, as suggested and I listened to my breathing. With the help of 'The Boss' Springsteen, on my IPod shuffle, 'Baby, We Were Born To Run', I did it!. Thank you!

    Teena: Isn't that the most amazing feeling?   and the best is yet to come, because you'll keep getting better. I'm still at the stage of loving my run AFTER I run it, but grumbling away before I get out there.   I'm determined that will change.   One of these mornings I will wake up with a burning desire to put my runners on.... it's going to happen!

  • 13:11

    Lonelle: After running for about 15-20 mins my feet go numb. It is very disconcerting and I find it difficult to continue running. My shoes are not tied too tightly. I have recently had sciatic pain, (which has really subsided since I started running) could this be related? Also I have trouble with cramping at the back of my leg between the calf muscle and the ankle, again sometimes making it difficult to continue. I have tried stretching the calves before and after running and sometimes even during the run, but it doesn't really help. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Bláithín: Hi Lonelle, unfortunately it sounds like you still may have some residual sciatic symptoms. Cramping in the hamstring area and pins and needles can all be brought on after a sciatic episode so I certainly would recommend that you try see a Charted Physiotherapist to get fully assessed as they could probably show you some simple exercise which should relieve some of the problems.    

  • 13:12

    Juliette: When I finish the 8 weeks, I am on week 7 this week, do I continue to do 30 min run, 3 days a week or what would you advise is the best way to go forward. I am happy to stay at 30 min run, I have no ambition to increase it at moment. I have really enjoyed the programme, thank you.

    Teena: What I will say is that whatever you do - keep doing something.   I did my C25K this time last year, went on to run 10ks, did the Womens' Mini Marathon, and even started running adventure races (great fun) and then over Christmas I let life get in the way and stopped going out.   I think I said to myself 'Oh I can run now' and then stopped running.   When I did get the urge to go running again, I was back at square one, and now I'm back on my second C25K.   So just keep running, after fighting this hard to get here, don't let that gift slip away....
  • 13:17

    Sarah: I have developed a sore right knee, back of the knee, and it's slightly swollen. Any tips? I really don't want to stop. Thanks

    Bláithín: Hi Sarah, have you iced the knee at all? If so, and the swelling is still evident, then I would try see you Charted Physiotherapist to have this assessed. If you have not iced it yet then try icing it for 10 minutes, three times a day and see if that helps.  

  • 13:19

    Róisín Loughrey: Any chance you can keep the program going to 10k? Even if you just give us the weekly training plan…? I'm really loving the support and am worried I'll fall off without the training plans!

    John: Hi Róisín, we’ve been overwhelmed to the response we’ve had to the first Get Running course. We certainly intend to keep publishing lots of useful running information in print and online. And we will also support our runners through the Facebook page ( We are looking at developing more courses to support those who’ve got this far but we aren’t quite ready to announce details yet.  

  • 13:23

    Brian: Hi. This is not really a question - but more of a warning to other runners out there. I was successfully doing the course, but by Week 5 I was tempted to do more. By week 6 my running jumped from 15 mins to 30 mins and then to 40 mins in the space of 6 days. The end result was acute tendonitis in my right foot (made worse by wearing old runners with little support!). Moral of the story is to: (i) stick to the programme and increase minutes slowly and (ii) wear appropriate runners! The Physio has told me to rest up for at least a week (and possibly longer depending on recovery )so my graduation run in a Parkrun will have to wait

    Good luck to the rest of the runners. This is really a great programme and I am amazed at the level of progress in a few short weeks. Don't overdo it! Cheers

    Teena: Ouch and sorry to hear that. Thanks also for the good advice. Don't let this put you down for good though. Take your rest and recover well, and then kick yourself back into action. Now you know you can do it, and you know the rewards and enjoyment of getting out there.   Stick a date in your diary to start running again; so that your runners don't end up collecting dust until next year....    

  • 13:28

    Aoife: The week 5 video mentions a list of apps you recommend for running. Where can we find those? Many thanks from Brussels (!)

    John: Aoife, Mary Jennings covered this off at the start of last week’s Q&A – check it out here. Personally my favourite running app is RunKeeper. Everyone’s preferences will vary though and the great thing is most of the apps have a free version that you can try out, and then invest if you become a heavy user.  

  • 13:32

    So when I started this journey I was like some 'herniated heifer' running around my estate at 7 in the morning. I have found it hard going but have kept to it.

    My question is, after next week, how should I increase the minutes thereafter or should I just keep to the 30 minutes for a while and improve my technique? I think I will be more afraid of not getting your emails after week 8 then I have been getting them and seeing the time increase!!! My aim, to be more like the 'laughing cow' around my estate from now on :)

    Thanks a million for such a great programme by the way I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever run 20 minutes in one go, without being in fear for my life!

    Teena: Dear former Herniated Heifer...   is there a local running club you could join?   It's great having company on a run, and company and support while training.   I joined my local AC as a complete beginner and they're so incredibly welcoming.   Running - and my running club - have now become a very rewarding part of my life.   There's a great social aspect too...   signed:   a fellow 'laughing cow'   ;)

  • 13:39

    Bridget: As it's nearly the end of the course, I am thinking ahead to progressing further than the 5 k. My question is how would you train for a 10k run.

    John: Hi Bridget, the great thing for runners these days is there are lots of training plans available online to help you achieve your goals, whether that’s a 10k or a marathon. Just Google “10k training plan” and you should find something to suit your needs. As mentioned to Róisín in a previous answer we will continue to run all the runners that have done the course and hope to be able to announce more information about that soon.  

  • 13:45

    Suzanne: I'm just starting week 5 , I've just finished my 11 minute runs . I'm really enjoying getting out there but my concerns are two fold , I'm very slow , the most I've run is 2.3 miles I feel I'd be quicker walking! I've signed up for the 6 miles in the great Limerick run and I'm wondering if I'll ever be able to do it. I'm not worried about time but I'd like not to be last ! The other thing is during the walk between the runs my left calf is very tight, painfully so. Any ideas ?

    Bláithín: Hi Suzanne, you calf is obviously just reacting to the increased speed with a build up of lactic acid in your muscle. Are you adequately stretching after each running session? Also, are you drinking enough water? It is unusual that it is only happening on one side but it more then likely is just because your muscle is fatiguing so you can combat this with better hydration and appropriate foam rolling and stretching.  

  • 13:49

    Colm: Just completed Week 5 ( Away skiing for 1 week ) All is going well until my wk.7 when I will be away from 06/03 until 11/03. My question is : Do I try to pack in the 3 running days on consecutive days on weeks commencing 03/03 and 10/03?

    Teena: If you're running a programme, I don't think it's a good idea to jump ahead.   Can't you run on the week when you're away?   I missed 4 of my sessions with my C25K because I was off hunting #NorthernLights in Norway - but despite ploughing through deep snow most of the time, I still managed to find flat surfaces to get my runs in.
  • 13:51

    Leanne: Running my first 10 mile tomorrow nervous help me please I've been running since only Jan as I was injured but longest run has only been 12km... Will I be fit?

    John: Hi Leanne, the race environment – other runners, supporters along the way- always lifts you so that you can run further and faster than you will when training on your own. Just be careful that you listen to your body and don’t aggravate that injury. There’s no shame to walking some of the race if you have to


  • 13:57

    Brian: The programme has been great so far, can't believe its nearly week 8 already. Registered for my first 5k on Parkruns on March 15, so looking forward to it. The trick will be to keep it up after that - any pointers?

    Teena: What a way to celebrate Paddy's Day - with your first parkrun.   You will absolutely love it. parkrun is entirely volunteer run - it's free, you get your time, you meet lots of lovely people who are so warm and welcoming.   That's your support network right there.   At this stage you may not be thinking of races or times, but at parkrun you get a chance to compete against yourself.   It's very tempting to come back the following week and see if you can do a leeeetle bit better.   This could be the start of a whole new adventure... Maybe I'll see you out there on a parkrun some day soon :)

  • 13:59
    That's it for this week. Thanks for all the great questions and sorry we couldn't answer them all. And remember the sun is shining, spring is in the air, so get out running this weekend!