Ask a Coach

If I have a cramp while I’m running, what do I do?

Since a side cramp or stitch is related to the muscles that help you breathe, slow down your pace a bit and take exaggerated, deep breaths. Purse your lips when you exhale  and stick your belly out when you inhale. Some people like to apply pressure with two fingers on the spot where it hurts to help relieve the cramp as well.

Though some mystery surrounds the phenomenon, it has been shown that refraining from drinking too much water or eating right before a run helps prevent stitches. Try taking only a couple sips at a time when hydrating.

What should I eat before I go out on a run?

A great time to eat a meal is about 2 hours before a run. It’s important to consume fats, carbohydrates, and protein. This is not the time to “carbo-load” before a workout. Avoid fatty foods which are hard to digest, as well as too much fiber to avoid gas.

Between half an hour and an hour before your run, try to have a small snack consisting primarily of easily digestible carbohydrates. Try crackers with hummus or a banana.

What stretches should I do before running?

Video Coming Soon!

Should I be running if I am sore?

A bit of soreness is normal for about 48 to 72 hours after running, especially if you are in  the early stages of your training. A light run can help flush lactic acid, which contributes to soreness, out of your muscles. However, aches such as joint pain or a pulled muscle could be made worse by running so it is best to take some time off and talk to a qualified professional to tell you what’s wrong. Icing strained muscles and stretching tight ones the day after a hard workout are usually safe strategies to speed up recovery.

What clothes should I wear?

The most important piece of equipment when running is a proper pair of shoes. You don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars, but try to find some kicks specifically designed for running. Using skateboard shoes or designer shoes could lead to injury. Socks are also suggested to avoid blisters.

From the ankles up, light and breathable clothes are ideal. Try and find a technical shirt and athletic shorts, but one of the best things about running is that you don’t need a closet full of expensive equipment! Just stay away from stuffy, rough material like denim. Last but not least, remember to layer your clothing because you will feel warmer during your run than before you started.

Should I bring water for the run or have water before?

Drinking water, or hydration, as runner call it, before a run is super important. Even hydrating the day before a run can have awesome benefits. Many runners don’t bring water bottles out with them on the trail, but on longer runs or if it’s hot outside it’s often a good idea. At least one or two people in a run group should have water or an electrolyte drink in case anyone becomes dehydrated along the route. If you do decide to bring water, remember to take small sips to avoid cramping.

What do I do if I get sweat in my eyes?

Ouch! Before you do anything, you should stop running and walk or stop at the side of the road if you can’t see clearly. Wiping your eyes with your hands will only make matters worse so try wearing an absorbent headband on your forehead to help keep you on the road. Alternatively, you can wipe a petroleum jelly based cream across the bottom of your forehead, just above your eyebrows. The jelly repels the water, diverting it down the sides of your face instead of in your eyes.

What can I do to push myself when I feel like I can’t complete the run?

That’s what the rest of Team Unbreakable is here for! Running alongside someone and talking through a tough hill or the last stretch of a race not only distracts you from your aching legs, but can help you keep a positive outlook. There are so many right answers to this question because everyone runs for different reasons.

What are some easy changes I can make to my running technique?

Check out this video about running with good form:


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