Wise Running

Train smart, eat well, and enjoy the run.

Ask P. Mark

I have a great respect for anyone trying to learn about running at any level.  If you have a question, then by all means ASK!!!

Rules for posting questions:

1)  No Question is silly or small.  If you are wondering, go ahead and ask it!

2)  Post a question using the comments box below.

3)  I will try to respond to all questions as soon as I possibly can.

Click on the question to see my answers.


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26 responses to “Ask P. Mark

  1. Patricia NEWBIE Hemcher August 25, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Started to learn running this year. Went to reputable running store and properly fitted with shoes to help correct walking on outside of both feet. That was 8 mos ago … now my right foot is leaning inward when walking…. how?

    • P Mark August 27, 2012 at 2:27 pm

      Your shoes are overcompensating for your suppination, so now you are pronating. You need LESS support, but you need to strengthen your lower leg muscles. I suggest some barefoot walking and eventually adding more barefoot time chasing the kids (zigging and zagging). 🙂 I will post more details on the blog…

  2. RunningTall October 9, 2012 at 10:58 am

    I have been running 5k’s, 4’s and 1/4’s for 2+ years and am ready to move on to 1/2’s. The first race I want to do is not until May, About 29 weeks away. All the training plans I have seen are 10-14 weeks, what is the best approach to a training plan with so much time before a race? I have seen suggestions such as repeat each week to stretch it out, train for an earlier date and then train again etc.

    Need some wise advice 🙂

    • P Mark October 9, 2012 at 11:13 am

      There are several directions you can go. Before I make some suggestions, however, tell me this:
      1) What do you want to accomplish in this half? Are you going to be happy to just finish or are you looking to run fast?
      2) What are your times in your most recent races or any distance?
      3) What is your average weekly mileage? How many day per week do you run?
      4) What is the longest distance you have run in the last 2 months?

  3. sgrynd October 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

    1) For this first race finishing is the goal, would like to maintain my last 1/4 race pace of 9:19, but not glued to it.
    2) 6.55 miles 1:00:56 pace
    3) Run 5 days a week, 20+ miles a week
    4) Longest distance in last 2 months – 7 miles

    Do you do custom plans this far out?

    • P Mark October 10, 2012 at 10:01 am

      Yes, I can create a training program for 29 weeks. It would be in two stages. The first stage would be primaily about building a bit more raw power. The second stage would be about endurance and build specficially for the goal race.

  4. Dmj081 December 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    I want to begin a half marathon training program to improve my time from a yr ago.. Can I do this without sacrificing my current 5k speed?? Thnx

  5. paula June 20, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    How do I treat calf pain? My right calf has been bothering me for about 3 weeks now. I cam run ok bit when I’m done it hurts to put weight on it, it feels like a cramp and is sore. Mornings getting out of bed it hurts to put weight on it. Have been icing and heat and using a stick roller. Do you think you can help?? I love running and this is getting in the way. Thanks

    • P Mark June 20, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      I am dealing with the same issue. I am also using The Stick.
      One thing to remember is to use the stick hard on your hamstring too. Sometimes a tight hamstring can pull on your calf. The other thing is that The Stick is more effective if you only roll in one direction. I always start at the top and work my way towards my feet

      The last thing I keep in mind is to run like a ninja. 🙂
      I hit the ground as softly as possible, gently accepting the ground. I warm up like that too. I practice the soft landing while I gently warm up the calf muscles. It spares me a lot of unnecessary calf pain.

      Let me know how it goes!

  6. Tracy Leber August 5, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Do you know if there is a link between gluten and asthma? I had asthma when I was little. Then seemed to grow out of it. Now I seem to have problems when I run in the heat. I’ve been back running again after being off for almost three years and I don’t want to give up! It’s not always possible for me to run in the cool morning although that is my preference. I love running with my group and I’m always the one lagging in the back because I can’t breathe. I have an inhaler but it only helps a little. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you!

    • P Mark August 6, 2013 at 3:26 pm

      Yes, gluten issues have been linked to asthma and vice versa. I suggest going gluten free to see if it alleviates your asthma symptoms. It might not, but it’s worth a try. Let me know how it goes!

  7. Cesar August 25, 2013 at 9:08 am

    Hi Mark!! What has been your expericen with watchless running and racing? I race without a watch but I want to start training without a watch, just enjoying runs and doing true fartlek runs, dont care wearing a watch during intervals, I have been obsesses with splits for so long that I want to try something different, I have tried fartlek runs without a watch in the past and I raced decent and I loved the freedorm of it!! Do you think that the training and racing suffers training watchless always ( even for hard workouts)?


  8. Cesar August 31, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Great!! Why do you think soda is bad bisides that it slow you down?

  9. lee-ann December 20, 2013 at 4:41 am

    Hi Mark,

    I am a very enthusiastic runner, I am very hooked up on it, running strengthens both my body and mind. I run 20 miles each week, but I have been unable to run for three weeks now because of an inflammation in my right ankle, due to overuse (too fast, too far I guess). I’ve had an MRI and have taken anti-inflammatory medication for 14 days.
    I’ve been on a short run a few days ago, but experienced ankle pain afterwards, and a lot of soreness in my calves, and in the inner and outer sides om my lower leg. I think my calves are way too tight, and now I’ve started doing calf raises and calf stretches. I REALLY want to run pain free again, and get back to my old training routine as fast as possible. What would you suggest that I do? When can I start running again, and how do I build up?
    I’ve got a race in 10 days, I’d love to run it, but I’m not sure if I’ll make it.

    Thanks for your advice!

    • P. Mark Taylor December 30, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Sorry it took me so long to answer the question!!

      Ankles and knees are not to be messed with! Rest the joint, but work the muscles around them without putting weight on your joints. Strong, balanced, and flexible muscles lead to happier joints. Swim, use weight machines, … anything that does not put weight on the joints. Return to running a little as the joint gets better.

  10. Cheri K Siler May 21, 2018 at 3:04 pm

    I feel tense and tight when I run. I have been running regularly for a little over a year. My shoulders bunch up around my ears, and my chest feels tight. I am trying to get faster, but don’t seem to be able to get below a 10:30/mile pace. Suggestions?

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