Endurance runner Susie Chan answers your running questions

Rainbow Trust is proud to have the support of Susie Chan. As an endurance runner she has taken part in some of the toughest ultramarathons and endurance races. She also commentates at races, has appeared on television and radio interviews and is a regular contributor to fitness magazines, podcasts and websites. Here she answers some of your frequently asked running questions.

By how much should you increase your running distance each week during training?

Only a few miles at a time… It’s better for you and you reduce the risk of injury. Increase weekly mileage by making sensible increases. Make sure you build in rest days too. Good rest means you can run better!

With long runs each week, how many miles / km should runners be covering?

This depends on where you are in your training programme and how much running experience you have. Obviously if you are at the start of your marathon training programme you will be running fewer miles than towards the end. Running around 3 -5 times a week within a training programme will be about right. There are lots of great resources out there to guide you.

What’s the best thing to help with DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness)?

I have suffered from these in the past! For me the best thing are Epsom salt hot baths… If you want to be a little bit braver, ice baths work well for me! Fill the bath up with cold water so it covers your legs - empty a bag of ice - put a hoodie on- and sot in for up to 10 minutes!

What is the best way for runners to try and pick up their pace to achieve a PB?

Speed work is the best way to do this. So running 400m, 800m track sessions. This is much easier with friends, as you can chase people or be chased! I do this with my running club, as they lead the sessions. I just turn up and get told what to run. Again, for this, there will be lots of sessions available on line.

When should runners start to taper their training before a marathon?

Last 3 weeks should be shorter runs, and the week before I would do virtually no running, or a just an easy shakeout run. You should feel like you want to get going at the start line.

How often should runners replace their trainers?

Every 500 miles is recommended!

Is it ok to buy new kit for the day?

Probably best to run in kit which you’ve tested before on runs. Chafing can be very uncomfortable and distracting! Easily avoided in tried and tested kit.

Are there any benefits to not drinking alcohol in the lead up to the marathon?

You’re asking the wrong person! Ha ha! I’ve always had a glass of wine or a beer.

What is the best thing to eat the night before a marathon? Is it really best to have a pasta party?!

Carbohydrates work well for me. Pasta, pizza and garlic bread are often found on my dinner plate. However my husband who is also a runner, doesn’t eat a heavy meal the night before, as he prefers it. Breakfast is important on the day, make sure you get a good breakfast in you.