Framingham Personal Trainer

running questions: ask a runner anything

running questionsYou've got running questions? We've got answers!

I've fielded thousands of running questions, resistance training questions, and fitness program design questions throughout my career as an NSCA-CSCS (National Strength and Conditioning Association Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) fitness professional.

With that, I'd wanted to create a resource here on, where readers, like you, would be able to access answers to these questions quickly and easily.

Write your running question here.

Our true hope is that this page becomes interactive.

This will be a page where you can ask questions about running (and other physical activities) that are not listed.

It will also be a page where, should you have answers to any of the questions listed, you'll be able to share answers, as well.

Frequently Asked Running Questions

Question: Why do my knees hurt when I run?

knee jointThe anatomy of the knee.

Answer: There can be a lot of reasons that one's knees might hurt when running, before a run, or after a run.

Firstly, one would want to consult about any pain with a physician to ensure that you're cleared to engage in an exercise program. Once you do have the green light to go, there are several areas to consider.

Our top three areas of consideration are:

  • Are muscular imbalances creating dysfunctional movement patterns?
  • Is improper, or overly worn, footwear impeding one's ability to land, and/or to push off, effectively?
  • What sort of strength program is being followed? And, is it both appropriate and comprehensive in nature?

Muscular imbalances can occur for many reasons. Among those that we see most often are those related to the amount of sitting our clients do, usually as part of their occupation or commuting habits, on a daily basis.  Certain muscles may become overactive, while others become under-active, thus impacting the function of joints throughout the body. Ranges of motions around those joints may be impacted, and movement patterns are thus altered. Allow these imbalances to go unaddressed, and continued activities (like running) can lead to instances of acute and/or chronic injury.

To address these concerns of muscular imbalance, we recommend an FMS (Functional Movement Screen) Assessment with a qualified practitioner. The practitioner will be able to interpret the results of the screen, and will have the ability to provide fitness prescription that should positively impact one's movement patterns.

Suggested Reading: Hip Pain from Running

Question: I can't run for very long. Is it okay to walk?

running vs walkingWalking? Running? How about both?

Answer: We're big fans of anything that gets people off of the couch, provides them enjoyment, and leads them toward a healthy lifestyle.

Are there benefits to running? Sure, for the right person. In some cases, running may be a contra-indicated form of exercise for reasons that might include concerns about joint, bone, or cardiovascular health, among many other variables. As always, you'll want the approval from your physician to begin a fitness program. Once that approval has been established, consistency of activity will be a key element in your success.

Most of our clients, who are new to running or who are returning to a consistent program, will employ intervals of running and walking. Some will follow time-based intervals, while others do see progress in using heart-rate specific interval programming.

Where heart-rate zone programming can be of benefit to many, and where it may be difficult to enter certain zones with the intensity of walking alone, there are several methods we're able to use to provide greater challenge.

Here are some of our clients' favorite activities:

  • Walking uphill (whether on treadmill or outdoors on hill or mountain)
  • Walking with weight (otherwise known as rucking)
  • Cross training (utilizing other forms of activity on certain days within one's overall schedule)

With so many options for engaging in activity, it is very easy for one to realize significant health benefits without having to run. It may be something that does become more comfortable over time. Though, if it doesn't happen to, there are a number of activities, of which we're a fan, that you might also enjoy.

Suggested Reading: Running vs Walking | Top 5 Cross Training Tips

Question: Everyone says if I want to be a better runner, I have to do more than just run. What does that mean?

kettlebells for runnersKettlebells for runners, among other things, can be part of a comprehensive program!

Answer: Most people tend to gravitate toward the things they are either 1) good at, or 2) enjoy the most. We've found that to be true of those who qualify themselves of runners.

We've also found that runners tend to run through the pain of injury.

Sometimes, they'll take an anti-inflammatory, or they'll throw an ice pack on something that hurts. Most often, runners will try to treat pain, rather than trying to treat that which initially caused the pain in the first place.

There is a much better way!

When "everyone" says that you have to do more than just run, especially if you want to be able to continue running for the long-term, there are several items to consider adding into what would be a comprehensive, training program.

Here are the "big ticket" items on which you'll want to focus:

  • Flexibility & Mobility
  • Strength Training
  • Variety in Your Running Workouts
  • Static Stretching
  • Rest and Recovery
ask a runnerAlright, let's hear your running questions. Ask a runner using the form below!

Harmony and consistency among each of these often leads to improved sports (recreational and/or competitive) performance.

Of note, it won't prevent the incidence of injury, though when one does occur, your ability to return to activity quickly, safely, and effectively should show marked improvement.

Suggested Reading: Running Workouts

Add Your Own Running Questions or Provide a Helpful Answer! It's Easy!

Above, we've provided answers to some of the running questions that we hear most often.

Just below you'll find the easy-to-use form where you can:

  • Add your own question

  • Or, provide a helpful answer to any of the questions listed

Our goal is that this becomes one of your go-to resources for quality, running advice.

As we're always learning, we're excited to hear what's on your mind, the questions, and answers that you have.

Do you have a question you'd like to have answered? This is the best place to do it!

(Note: Have 2 questions, or more? Ask them 1 at a time in separate form submissions. It'll be easier for you, and for all of our readers!)

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"Hard work is not punishment. Hard work is the price of admission for the opportunity to reach sustained excellence."
~ Jay Bilas