This might be a stupid question but...

Here are so FAQ's about running that many of you want answers to, but are too afraid to ask! 
September 11, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, I am starting to get back into hiking now that the weather is cooler and my feet are blistering like crazy! Any recommendations?
Jacque, there's no such thing as a stupid question!  Now that it's not 110 degrees outside, hiking is such a great thing to get into! If it's one thing here at Fleet Feet that we will hit you on top of the head with it's this: STAY AWAY FROM COTTON SOCKS. The sweat will accumulate in your foot and actually cause blistering, right then and there. What we suggest is to get a moisture-wicking sock that will prevent your feet from rubbing together or against the shoe and keep your feet dry. To be hiking specific, try a thicker sock. We recommend a wool sock. Doesn't have to be all wool- we aren't in the arctic here in AZ. But a sock with a little bit of wool in it will help with blistering and keep those toesies dry! Something else that works great for blistering and hot spots on your feet is BodyGlide. Try the balm instead of the stick on your toes and it will feel like night and day!
-Fleet Feet Sports Scottsdale

September 09, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, what are the benefits to running in a minimal drop shoe?
Jordan, there's no such thing as a stupid question. The drop in your shoe all depends on your preference. When you have a shoe that has a minimal drop, it allows you to have a more natural foot strike, running movement, and more natural body positioning. It can help you have a more natural gait cycle and help you land on more of your forefoot. Think about it, if you were to swing your leg back and forth with a 6 inch heal on, your heal would hit the ground. Now, if you were to swing your leg back and forth with a lower/ more flat heal, your foot would swing more smoothly and shouldn't hit the ground as easily. With a minimal drop shoe, your muscles, tendons, and ligaments may have to work a little harder, but is beneficial in the long run because it strengthens and stretches them out. Keep in mind, if you aren't used to a minimal shoe, your lower legs also may not be use to the extra work and could get sore. In this case, gradually work into them until your feet and legs have adapted to them. 

September 04, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, should I be doing anything special to transition from running on the treadmill to running outside?
Jill, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  There isn't really a magic formula to help get you running outside.  Our best advice is to take it slow.  You have to keep in mind that the treadmill is doing part of the work for you.  When you first get outside you can expect to run a bit slower, not quite as far and that it might feel more difficult.  That is okay!  In time your body will adjust to running outside and it will be just as easy and smooth as the treadmill.  Another consideration, is impact.  Running outside, which generally means on pavement, provides much less cushioning than a treadmill.  This means having the proper gear, aka footwear, can make a huge difference.  So get out there, have fun, and just remember to take it slow.
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale
September 02, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, what can I do to get rid of the smell in my technical running clothes?
Dean, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  Technical fabrics, although great at wicking moisture, tend to trap the bacteria that causes stinky clothes. Traditional detergents as well as natural remedies generally won't take care of the problem entirely and may not be great for your technical fabrics.  The best option is to use a detergent formulated for technical clothing; one such product on the market is Nathan Sport Wash.  Sport Wash will completely remove locked-in odors as well as restore the garment's wicking properties.  A small bottle will go a long way for removing the stink from your clothes.  For the best results we recommend using it from day one, this way the bacteria never has a chance to set into the clothes.  If you're concerned about chemicals on your clothing just know that Nathan Sport Wash is biodegradable and contains no bleach, phosphate, fabric softener or scent!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

August 28, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, what should I be doing the week preceding my half marathon race?
Elija, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  The week before a half marathon should be an EASY week!  This means you don't want to be doing any long runs or super intense runs.  Make sure you keep running just to keep the muscles from tightening up, but don't overdo it.  You might want to incorporate a little more self massage and/or foam rolling into the mix as well.  Also, make sure to keep your hydration up, sometimes it's easy to stop hydrating if you're not running as long or as hard.  Just remember, you've already done the training, trust in what you've accomplished so far.  Just go out there and have fun!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

August 26, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, is strength training beneficial to running?
Jason, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  The short answer is yes, strength training is beneficial to running.  Strength training can help increase your endurance as well as your speed.  If running is your focus the trick is figuring out how to balance your strength workouts with your running workouts.  You don't want to burn out your legs with a strength session the day before a key running workout.  We've included a link to Runner's World, they have a great article on how to balance your strength and running workouts.
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

August 21, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, what's the best shoe brand on the market?
Carol, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  Unfortunately we can't really say there is one brand out there that's better than any other brand.  Most of the top brands on the market (Brooks, Saucony, Asics) all make GREAT quality shoes.  Finding the right shoe is all about your foot shape and matching a shoe to the shape of you foot.  Here at Fleet Feet Sports we can take a look at your feet, arches and gait cycle to help you chose a shoe that fits your body.
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale
August 16, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, is there actually a head phone company that doesn't fall out while running?
Sandra, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  Here at Fleet Feet Sports we actually carry two of the most renowned headphone brands.  Yes, they do actually stay in while running, or doing any other exercise for that matter.  For a more traditional headphone, one that connects with a cord, try Yurbuds.  They can be sized to your ear canal and have a locking mechanism that keeps them from sliding or bouncing out.  If you're looking for a wireless headphone option try Red Fox Wireless, their headphones connect via Bluetooth.  We've used them in high a intensity circuit training class without any problem!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

August 12, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, should I wear my regular underwear when running, or the underwear that's built into my running shorts?
Sally, there's no such thing as a stupid question.  Choosing which underwear to wear is mostly personal preference for people.  Generally we will recommend wearing the underwear that's built into the shorts, that's what it's there for.  If you're really particular about the underwear you're wearing, and/or simply don't like the one built into your shorts, you might consider investing in running specific underwear.  We want to make sure we're always wearing synthetic materials that wick moisture away. This helps keep you dry and feeling great during your run.  Remember, "cotton is rotten!"  If you don't wear cotton socks or apparel during your run make sure you're also not wearing cotton underwear.                                                                                                                                                                             -Fleet Feet Scottsdale 


August 7, 2014
This might sound like a stupid question but, I'm having a hard time determining the distance of my runs and keeping them recorded. Any suggestions?"
Jake, there's no such thing as a stupid question! There are a handful of options to log your runs and map out routes of your workouts. Of course, most of us have those handy dandy smart phones that can track who we are, where we are, and where we're goin- fancy right? Most of them have nifty apps like Map My Run and RunKeeper that can map out your routes and tell you how long it took to complete your workout! Usually you can change it to different settings like walking, hiking, running (treadmill/outside). Get this- they're free!! Another option would be to get a GPS watch such as Garmin. The advantage to the watch is that you don't have to carry your phone; you simply slip on the watch and begin your workout! Many watches today are compatible with smart phones to track your progress. 
-Fleet Feet Sports Scottsdale

August 06,2014
"This might be a stupid question but I was wondering if my morning coffee counts as hydration?"

George, there's no such thing as a stupid question! Yes, your morning coffee counts as hydration. Studies have even shown that if you are accustomed to drinking caffeinated drinks daily, you won't suffer the diuretic effects usually associated with caffeine. After your morning cup of coffee, don't forget to continue to hydrate with water and other fluids.
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

August 05, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but I just recently increased my mileage and I've been chafing badly. What should I do?"
Dominic, there's no such thing as a stupid question! Many men (and women) suffer from chafing, on a regular basis. Once sweat builds up and you get friction between skin or clothing, that red, painful, burning sensation creeps up on you. We recommend getting some type of body or skin glide that you can apply to those troublesome areas- the inner thigh, the nipples, or right under the sports bra for many women.  Be sure to apply it BEFORE your workout, not after!  Trust me, you'll appreciate that little tid-bit.  If you don't have access to BodyGlide (although we carry it here at Fleet Feet Scottsdale!) try using Vaseline or diaper rash creme, but beware it can stain.  For all you men out there, Band-Aids work well to put over the nipples but may fall off when sweat is introduced to your workout. Consider checking out Nipple Protectors, a silicone bandage that won't fall off. It's made by Pro-tec and is a common go-to for many runners!
-Fleet  Feet Scottsdale 

August 01, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, I'm worried about getting black toenails or my toenails falling off- should I be?"
Emily, there's no such thing as a stupid question! Black toenails or toenails falling off is no joke, and it's serious business! Ask any serious runner-guaranteed that they've gone through this painful experience. Although it is a common phenomenon in the running world, it is very preventative. The most common reason as to why this happens is due to the runner wearing the incorrect shoe size. The constant jamming of the toenail into the front of the shoe causes an irritation and essentially bruising of the toenail. The bruising will often cause it to fall off or be surgically removed, hence the pain. So we recommend getting yourself into a shoe that fits properly, maybe even half a size bigger to give your toes some extra room in there!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale 

July 29, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, how can I increase my running speed?"
Tyler, there's no such thing as a stupid question! There are many different techniques out there that can help runners to increase their speed but let's face it, everyone has different techniques that work for them! Bluntly put, in order to increase your speed you are going to have to run and train faster. This will increase your heart and muscle endurance and help with a faster performance. A few techniques we recommend are to try interval training. Sprint as fast as you can for a minute, then jog for two. Do this for 30 minutes to an hour. Another technique would be to run for an hour straight, at whatever speed! This will keep your endurance up and your lungs workin'! Lastly, another speed tip we recommend is to try some hill work. Sprint up a hill in your local area (or crank up the incline on the treadmill since it's so stinkin hot here in AZ!) and jog or walk down. Once you reach the bottom of the hill turn right back around and sprint up! Repeat 12-15 times. Don't forget to give yourself a rest day- you've been working hard! Also, know that you won't become Usain Bolt overnight, this speed work will take time and a lot of practice!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

July 24, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, do I need to stretch before I run?
Christopher, there's no such thing as a stupid question! The two things I would focus on regarding stretching would be how much time to spend stretching and what muscles to actually stretch. We recommend that you start off with a light jog or brisk walk to get blood flowing to your muscles, about 5 minutes. You want to get a little sweat in to consider it a good warm-up! There are two different types of stretches- dynamic, where you are stretching your muscles with added movement. For example high knees or lunges. Pick a number (10-15) or a time (1 minute) for each stretch! The second type of stretch is a static stretch. Most people are familiar with this one- the classic put your foot up on a table, lean forward, and stretch the hammies, yep that one. Stretch the four main leg muscles- the calves, quads, hamstrings, and glutes! Of course you want to give your neck a stretch, back a twist, and arms a good stretch too! The team here at Fleet Feet suggests to use both dynamic and static stretching for about 15 minutes before you start your workout and after as well! Stretching your muscles after your workout is very important to prevent injury and sore muscles!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

July 22, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, I’m afraid I won’t be able to stick with the plan – how do I stay motivated?"
AJ, there's no such thing as a stupid question! Here are a couple of tips to help keep you motivated throughout your running journey!
  • Sign up for a race. Do it now! Having a race goal (and race fees!) on the line will be a powerful source of motivation. I guarantee it.
  • Run with a partner. And promise to get each other through the rough patches. Neither of you will want to let the other down.
  • Focus strongly on getting through the first three weeks. It takes roughly three weeks to establish a habit. If you can get past the first three weeks, your mind and body will find it much easier after that.
  • Don’t overdo it. Running too fast, too far or too often in the beginning can burn you out, make you sore or get you injured and none of those things are very motivating.
  • If you are taking up running to lose pounds, try not to focus solely on weight loss. This is because especially in the beginning of your running career you will likely gain some weight due to muscle growth – a very good thing because muscles burn fat. To get your attention away from the scale, take tape measurements and photos of your body every few weeks. You’ll be happy to see the inches dropping even if the pounds don’t initially follow suit.
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

July 17, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, how do I know which sports bra is right for me?"
Paige, there's no such thing as a stupid question! It is important for women to get fit for sports bras, especially for running and vigorous exercising! Many women do not wear the right size sports bra, about eighty percent actually, which can be damaging to the girls and will not be pleasant when running. Be sure to get fit into your right size and wear a supportive or controlled support sports bra, so your chest stays in place while running and exercising. Remember, sports bras shouldn't have a birthday! Stop into your nearest Fleet Feet and get fitted for the perfect bra for you. Hint: always latch your bra clasps on the loosest hook- that way when the bra naturally stretches after washes and many exercises, you can tighten the hook as necessary. 
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale
July 10, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, what should I be eating before, during, and after my run?"
Tim, there's no such thing as a stupid question!  Diet and nutrition is very different for each person individually.  What you eat before you run will depend a lot on the time of day you exercise and the intensity level you are exercising at.  Many people don't have the time to eat and digest food before running, especially if they're running early in the morning.  If you're going out for an easy run (an hour or less) you may be fine to go on an empty stomach.  If your run is going to be more than an hour or at a higher intensity level fueling up before will be critical.  Remember to keep things simple, before a run you want quick energy; this generally means foods lower in fat and protein and higher in carbohydrates.  Carbohydrates will boost your energy levels without upsetting your stomach.  For more specific pre-run meal ideas check out this article from Runner's World.
These days most people use sports nutrition supplements to get the energy they need during their run.  If you're not familiar with these products check them out, brands like Gu, Hammer, Honey Stinger, Huma, Cliff are all examples of sports nutrition.  Once again you'll have to figure out what works best for you, for instance you might do better with a gel compared to a bar.  Make sure to try different options during your training, but whatever you do make sure you use the same product on race day that you trained with.  
Post run will be your time to recover.  Running will deplete your muscles of nutrients and in order to get back out the door tomorrow you need to fuel for recovery.  A good guideline to follow for your post run meal is at least one food from every category.  For example, make sure you get adequate protein to help with muscle repair, a small portion of healthy fats to help keep you full longer and add great flavor to your food, and a healthy portion of carbohydrate to replenish sugars in your body.  Once again for a more detailed plan refer to this article from Runner's World.  Always remember that none of our recommendations will do you any good if you're not properly hydrated, our bodies run on water! Last but not least, keep it simple and do what works for you!  Happy eating!

July 8, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, I've always wanted to run a half marathon. What do I do next?"
James, there's no such thing as a stupid question! You're going to want to make sure you have a basic fitness level. For instance, can you run three miles, three to four times a week? If not, you should probably focus on a shorter distance race and work your way up from there. The training will basically consist of low mileage runs throughout the week with a rest days and one long run per week, typically done either Saturday or Sunday. The low mileage runs will increase in distance each week. We can take you through our Fleet Feet Half Marathon Training program- check out this link and we can shoot you some further details!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

July 3, 2014
"This might be a stupid question but, where should I go to the bathroom on race day?"
Julie, there's no such thing as a stupid question!
Most races will provide port-a-potties, keep in mind that there will often be a line so be sure to give yourself time to go and make it back to the starting line in time for the race. If you feel the need to go during your race, many will often hold it in until they find a restroom, will go off course to find a local restroom, or will pee themselves. Hint: look at the race map- oftentimes they will show local port-a-potties near the course! Don't be afraid to hydrate because you're afraid you won't find a place to go- your body needs the water! Throughout your traning, you will get to know your body and will be able to plan accordingly!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

July 1, 2014
"This might be a stupid question but, how long should my first runs be?"
Hi Sherri, there's no such thing as a stupid question!
We recommend you keep your first runs to about 3 days a week. Try by first running for one minute and walking for two. Repeat it four times! Try using alternate running days like Monday, Wednesday, Friday or Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday to prevent injury. Then on Sunday try to walk for 45 minutes to an hour to keep that stamina up and running!
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

June 26, 2014
"This might sound like a stupid question but, how should I dress for running in hot weather?"
Hi Jaqueline,
There's no such thing as a stupid question!
When running in hot weather, it is important to wear moisture wicking material. Shirts, shorts, socks, sports bras (for women)... NO cotton! Your sweat will sit in the cotton and will not dry quickly and could cause chafing. A visor or hat, sunglasses, sunscreen...even some of the clothing we sell here has SPF factor in the way it's woven; meaning that it won't wash out of the fabric when you clean it. Always make sure you have some type of hydration system, whether it be a hydration belt or hand held water bottle. Throughout the day, you should drink half your body weight in ounces. When you exercise in hot weather, you should drink 12 to 24 ounces for every hour of exercise.
-Fleet Feet Scottsdale

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