Get Running

Our experts will help answer your running queries

Mary Jennings Mon, Jan 13
LIVE: Get Running

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  • This event has now ended
  • 20:48
    Stay tuned. We'll be going live around 9pm to answer all your running related queries.
  • 20:51
    If you'd still like to submit a question, simply post a comment here on the blog or fill out the form here
  • 21:07
    Here's our first question:

    Delighted that I finally got out the door tonight for my first ever run! Thank you.. as a mum of 3 smallies it's easy to find an excuse but determined to stick with you! I found the run fine (amazed at how easy I found it really, not sure what I was expecting!:-) but feeling quite stiff around the shoulder area, I guess I'm too stiff/hunched when running - any tips on how to loosen up the shoulders while running, not sure if I am holding my elbows too high? Any tips on how/where to hold the arms? - Jenny

  • 21:09
    Well done on getting out the door. Bet you feel great now, full of energy for the evening. With regard to your tight shoulders, in a few weeks time we'll cover arm technique in detail, but for now one simple tip. If you're shoulders feel tight when running, shake out the arms, so you fell like a rag doll, and you will notice the shoulders relax. You could even do this during your walking minutes if you find it easier. Try it out on your next run. Mary
  • 21:10
    What would you consider upward age limit for programme? - Dorothy
  • 21:11
    What would you consider upward age limit for programme? - Dorothy.
  • 21:14
    More important than age is your current health and fitness levels. At a minimum you should be comfortable brisk walking for 30 minutes before commencing the programme. If you are unsure you should consult your GP and get their advice. We have people registered in their 70s and my recommendation to everyone is start gradually, go at your own pace, and listen to your body.
  • 21:15
    Hi mary, i started today and i found that on my minute walk i spent the whole minute trying to catch my breath. Any tips on controlling my breathing or will it just get easier? - Emily 
  • 21:18
    Well done Emily on getting started. Many people will feel the same as you this evening. For your next run try and go slower. You may feel like you are not going very fast but it's important to run at a pace where you are not feeling breathless. Take a longer walk break between runs so that you have recovered your breath before you start running again. The body will adapt in time.
  • 21:20
    Hi there, is it better to do the run flat terrain? Only reason I ask is because I live at the top of a massive hill in Cork! And also, is it better to exercise on an empty stomach, ie before breakfast? Obviously we need fuel for our bodies, but would you suggest something light? I'm planning on doing the exercise in the morning before work. Great plan by the way, videos are very informative, helpful and concise! Cheers Mairead
  • 21:24
    Hi Mairead. Delighted you found the videos helpful. As you saw in the warmup video we recommend you walk for 5 minutes either side of the run/walk session. This should get you off your hill and onto flatter ground! For starting out it's best to avoid hills as they require more effort. 
    In terms of eating before running in general, many people find they need about two hours between eating and running. This won't be practical for you in the morning time so what I do myself is eat a banana or drink a glass of juice when I get up to give me fuel for the run. Some people are fine without this. The best thing is to experiment and see what works for you. Mary
  • 21:26
    Hi Mary, I'm wondering how you stay motivated to keep getting out there? I'm good from time to time but then will do nothing for weeks on end...Cormac
  • 21:31
    Hi Cormac. Motivation is hard for everyone whether you are a new runner or have been running for years. For me, I use the following tricks to help me get out there on the nights when I'd rather be watching telly:
    1. Arrange to meet somebody else in advance. That way you'll have to go whether you want to or not 
    2. Set a goal. With this programme you will have a goal to get to 30 minutes in 8 weeks. We will be online each week to support you and there will also be tips and advice in the paper every week. Your email each Sunday is your reminder to plan your runs in advance and will have motivating videos to ensure you stay on track
    3. Be accountable. Tell your friends and family you have started and asked them to prod you out the door on the days you're not feeling inspired.
    Once you get out the door you'll feel great. 
  • 21:35
    Hi, Is running on the road hard on your knees or is this just a myth? Niamh
  • 21:37
    It's certainly that footpaths and the road are harder on the body than softer surfaces such as grass or trails. In the coming weeks we will look at techniques to reduce the impact of running on the body. In the meantime, if you can vary the surface you run on, it will reduce the impact.
  • 21:39
    Just in d door from first run! Found it v hard to keep the pace slow. Every time I got out of breath was the only reminder I had to slow down. Any tips. Fiona
  • 21:40
    Well done on getting out the door and for taking my advice on the breathing. Just be patient. I promise you it will get easier but for now it's important to listen to your body and don't be afraid to go slower if you need to. Best of luck with the rest of the week. Mary
  • 21:40
    Any idea where to buy a cheap stop watch tried sport shops no luck. Phone is too cumbersome . First day done !! Anne
  • 21:42
    If your phone is too awkward to carry there are a few options. You could buy a sports stopwatch like the ones coaches use. I see them on Argos's website for about €13. Alternatively a cheap digital watch with a large screen display should cost about the same and are widely available. Mary
  • 21:44
    R u aware of an App or facility on the IPhone that would alert me of the minutes as they pass, so when set would beep after 5, then after 2 an so on. Tnx. Marie Therese
  • 21:46
    There are plenty of options if you have smartphone - either Android or iPhone. As standard on the iPhone if you go to Clock, you will see the stopwatch option. This is the one which you see on this week's video. Another option would be to download an Interval Timer app. There are lots out there and they all do the same job - it will beep after a set number of minutes. This can be good as it stops you clock watching.
  • 21:47
    What brand of running shoes would you recommend to someone with slightly flat feet? Treasa
  • 21:51
    Lots of people are looking for advice on their footware tonight. First and foremost its important that your running shoes are comfortable. If they are comfortable and supportive continue using them until the end of the eight weeks. At that point you should go to a specialist running store who will help you find the right shoes for you. If your runners or uncomfortable or very old you should look to buy a new pair sooner. Ask any runners you might know in your area as to which shops they would recommend.
  • 21:53
    I started tonight! Took it very slowly and enjoyed it but only managed 25 mins in total owing to commitments. Is this enough 5 times a week? Helen
  • 21:55
    The most important thing is getting out the door so well done on that. We are all so busy it would be easy not to have gone at all. Don't worry about having been a few minutes short. Continue the programme as planned by doing 2 more sessions this week. You don't need to do an extra session for missing those few minutes. Mary
  • 21:55
    Hi, I went tonight 3hrs after my dinner.Feel great brought my 11 yr old son along for company.Is this ok or should I try and go before dinner. Shane
  • 21:56
    Go for it Shane. Whatever works for you. You will both sleep great tonight
  • 21:58
    Lots of questions coming in tonight on old injuries. We will have a physio here in the coming weeks to address those questions. In the meantime our advice is not to run through pain. Seek professional advice and you can always repeat this weeks "homework" next week.
  • 22:00

    Hi, what sports bra would you recommend? I don't have a big chest but find running uncomfortable. also will running cause breast tissue to sag? Emer

  • 22:02
    Thanks for the question Emer. A few people have been asking about sports bras. I believe a sports bra is one of the most important items of clothing for any woman regardless of the size of their chest. A supportive sports bra will support the breast tissue and if you have a large chest it will take pressure off your back. It is important to wear a sports bra that fits comfortably and snugly but does not restrict your breathing. There are plenty of brands on the market, make sure you choose one that's for high impact exercise
  • 22:04
    That's it for tonight. Well done to everyone who has got out already. If not you still have time so best of luck for the rest of the week. We'll be back next week to answer more of your questions.