Ask A Coach: Muddy Trails And Motivation

NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training!

mud trails

NCAA runner turned high school coach Hillary Kigar has an answer for all things training! 

Q: I run on both roads and trails that aren’t particularly technical, though they do get muddy, so what kind of shoes should I wear?

It’s great that you have diversity in your training with both the roads and trails! Choose a shoe that has a medium amount of tread and structure. You won’t need the stability and deep tread of a bulky trail shoe. But a road flat will be too light and not supportive enough when you’re on the dirt (or mud). Go to your local running store and have them assist you in finding the best model for your foot. Don’t forget that the most important job of a shoe is to support your body in the best way possible no matter where you’re running.

Related: This Spring’s Top 12 Running Shoes

Q: How do I motivate myself to run again? I used to run 3 to 6 miles almost every day. Now I barely get in a 1-mile walk. I keep saying I’ll start again tomorrow…

It can be difficult to motivate yourself, especially after a long day of work and taking care of your kids and family. A great solution is joining a running group. Meeting up with others helps keep you accountable—plus running is always more fun when you are with friends. Check if your local running store has regularly scheduled group fun runs and go online to see what running clubs are in your area. There are almost always runners (and walkers) of varying abilities, so don’t feel shy! Often groups socialize and go out for lunch or coffee after the run. You may find that you meet new friends, all while getting back into the running groove!

Related: A Runner’s Thoughts When Getting Back Into It

Q: How should your eating change when training for a race?

It’s always a good idea to maintain a balanced diet to support good health. Particularly in the months during which you are training more seriously for a race, it is important to consistently refuel with the quality nutrients you need to stay strong. Your body is a machine and what you put into it greatly impacts what you get out of it. And you want to get out there and run fast!

Don’t Run On Empty

No matter how early in the morning you run, you need to eat something and drink a glass of water before you get out the door. It can be as simple as a piece of toast with nut butter, a handful of crackers or a banana—but it’s crucial that you aren’t running on empty. It may take some time to find what works best for your stomach, but with practice you will discover that you have more energy and feel stronger. Be the boss of your run, and don’t let it run you.

Have a question for Coach Kigar? Email or tweet @womensrunning with the hashtag #AsktheCoach.