Training Information and Blogs

Frequently Asked Questions…….. ‘Dear Portia’

Ever had a running related question that you wanted an answer for but were afraid to ask?

Our resident coach, Portia, is here to help!

We have started off with some straightforward questions/answers below that will be of benefit to a lot of our runners, especially those relatively new to running

We are also looking for people to submit any other questions they may have and we will capture these on this page for everyone’s benefit
So if there is something running related you want to know then drop an email to Portia at
We will also be using the best ones in a new ‘Dear Portia’ section once a month in the weekly email


  • What should I wear when running?

    All you need to get started with running is a good pair of running shoes.
    Women need to make sure that they wear a good, supportive sports bra. The sports bra should fit you properly and not be too loose.

    Whether you’re running in cold or warm weather, you need to make sure you’re wearing the proper clothing for comfort and safety.

  • Why do I feel out of breath when running?

    When you’re running, you’re breathing harder and some huffing and puffing is expected, especially when you first get started.
    After a very easy warm-up, try to focus on breathing in through your mouth and nose and out through your mouth. Concentrate on breathing from deep down in your belly. Deep belly breathing allows you to take in more air, which can also help prevent side stitches

  • How do I know when to replace my running shoes?

    Running in old or worn-out shoes is a common cause of running injuries.
    Your running shoes lose shock absorption, cushioning and stability over time. Continuing to run in worn-out running shoes increases the stress and impact on your legs and joints, which can lead to overuse injuries.

    The easiest thing you can do to prevent those types of injuries is replace your running shoes when they’re worn-out and have lost their cushioning.
    So how do you know when shoes need to be retired?
    Don’t use the treads of your running shoes to determine whether you should replace your shoes.
    The midsole, which provides the cushioning and stability, usually breaks down before the bottom shows major signs of wear.
    If you’ve been feeling muscle fatigue, shin splints or some pain in your joints — especially your knees — you may be wearing running shoes that no longer have adequate cushioning.
    A good rule is to replace your running shoes every 300 to 400 miles, depending on your running style, body weight, and the surface on which you run. Smaller runners can get new running shoes at the upper end of the recommendation, while heavier runners should consider replacement shoes closer to the 300 mile mark.
    If you run on rough roads, you’ll need to replace your running shoes sooner than if you primarily run on a treadmill. Keep in mind that you’re also wearing down your shoes when you’re wearing them for things other than running, even just walking around in them.

  • How can I not feel self-conscious when running?

    All runners were new to the sport at some point, so they can all relate to the struggles that beginners face.
    Be proud that you’re doing something good for your physical and mental health.

  • Is it unhealthy to run every day?

    Most runners need at least one, even two, days off a week from running. Research has shown that taking at least one day off a week reduces the frequency of overuse injuries. If you take at least one day off, your body will have a chance to recover and repair itself. You’ll find that you’ll actually feel better during your runs.
    The best days for rest will depend on what type of runner you are and if you’re training for a specific event. If you tend to run a lot of miles on the weekends, then Monday might be a good rest day for you. If you’re training for a marathon and you do your long runs on Saturday, you may want to rest on Friday, so you have fresh legs for your long run.
    Beginner runners may want to start out running every other day, to give themselves sufficient recovery time while still building a running habit.

  • Is it important I stretch before run?

    The answer is No. You should always warm up before you stretch. It’s not a good idea to stretch cold muscles. If your muscles aren’t loosened up before you stretch, you’re more at risk for pulling them.

  • Why is it important for woman to wear a sports bra?

    Women’s breasts are made of specialised tissue called glandular tissue as well as fatty tissue, there is no muscle.
    Without proper support, the skin and Cooper’s ligaments (connective tissue in the breast that help maintain structural integrity) will start to break down and stretch (sagging) the damage can not be reversed.
    Sports bra’s are made to minimise moment and give you support.

  • When is a good time to eat before I run?

    The norm is to wait two hours after a meal before running depending on the size.
    If you don’t wait long enough, food will not be properly digested, raising the risk of abdominal cramps, bloating, and even vomiting.

    Here is a guide on meal size and wait time:- little snack 1 hr, small meal 2/3 hrs, large meal 3/4 hrs.
    This is all dependent on how much you’ve eaten and your digestive system.

  • in the past I have been prone to getting calf tears, particularly in my right one. Touch wood I don’t seem too bad lately, but I know if you get a bad one it can put you out for quite a long time! Is there anything I can do to help prevent these? I already do heel drops standing on a stair to stretch the calves.

    Calf pain (swelling, muscle tightness acute calf tear, could be a result from sudden overloading of the muscles, especially when you are training on speed work, hill training, long distance to soon.

    I would recommend a calf massage, performed on you by an experienced massage therapist.
    The massage will helps improve your systemic circulation, remove waste and toxins, promotes the return of venous blood to the heart and help improve blood and oxygen supply and flow.

    Campbell Noon Professional Massage is our club expert, also have a look at his website on Calf Strain.

    There are lots of PREVENTION techniques too;

    – Compression
    – Self massage
    – Roll on bouncy ball (calf)
    – Foam rolling

Online Training Aids

We have pulled together a number of online tips and information sites that you may also find useful

The Treatment Lab
Injury Advice for Runners (PDF) click here

Right Footwear
Sweatshop and Campbell Noon from Releaf have provided us with this information on the right footwear click here

Strength Training
Information benefits of strength training for runners (PDF) – thanks to Maloney Performance click here

Strength Training – Myths
The Myths of Strength training (PDF) – thanks to Malony Performance Part 1 click here Part 2 click here

Stretching – Why do it
Presentation by Campbell Noon on the benefits of Stretching (opens PDF) click here more about Campbell click here

Strength Training – part 1 – needs analysis
Information on strength training for runners and part one – needs analysis (PDF) – thanks to Maloney Performance click here

Strength Training for running part 2 – Planning the Strength and Conditioning training
Information on strength training for runners and part two (PDF) – thanks to Maloney Performance click here

Beginners Biking info
Information for beginners to biking by Trudie from Birdy Bunch click here

Yoga Poses of specific benefit to runners – 

Complimentary yoga class – The Pigeon Pose (PDF) – thanks to Sweat Studios click here