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Q and A with Olympic runner, Liz Yelling

(47 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 02-Jun-10 12:32:39

Liz Yelling and the GirlzRun team of experts will be joining us on Mumsnet to answer your questions on all aspects of running. This can include anything from how to get started, nutrition, injuries, running while pregnant or breastfeeding or getting back into running after a baby and juggling parenting and running. Liz is also happy to answer personal questions about how she manages to combine being a mother with being an olympic athlete. She's aiming for her 3rd Olympic Games in London 2012.

angelene Wed 02-Jun-10 12:55:04

Ooh, excellent. When is this?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 02-Jun-10 13:12:07

Sorry Angelene - wasn't clear in my first post. This is a Q and A, not live webchat, so if you post your questions to this thread before next Wednesday 9th June. Liz will send over her answers during the next week and we'll link to an archive of the Qs and As.

popsycal Wed 02-Jun-10 13:13:08

ooooh oooh oooh
marks place for later

ilovemydogandMrObama Wed 02-Jun-10 14:03:16

Hi, am running the half marathon for the Wallace and Gromit Appeal in September in aid of Bristol Children's Hospital.

The only run I do at the moment is the school run blush although do the cross trainer and swim.

I have 3 months to get ready.

Any advice? smile

JJ Wed 02-Jun-10 15:27:26

Good luck on the Olympic Games!

What do you do for cross training? My core is weak (putting it mildly) and I think it would help if I had some sort of core strength. Is Pilates good? Yoga? How often would I have to do it? I'm doing a sprint tri on Saturday and have been training for months, so do bike and swim as well as run but still have a core about as strong as wet cardboard (and covered by a thick layer of fat, but let's not get into that).

The running training day looks great. I can't make it but am sure it'll be fun.

ilove - I used the Bupa training plans for a 10k and a half marathon - popsy recommended them and I think they're fab!

cocolepew Wed 02-Jun-10 17:07:58

Hi Liz, Do you think you need to spend a lot of money on trainers? What sort of thing should you be looking for in a trainer?

Good luck with the Olympics smile

Wallace Wed 02-Jun-10 17:24:51

marking my place too

Ooo exciting!

Have you or would you consider training at one of Kenya's 'High Altitude Training Camps'? If so then what are the benefits of training and running at a higher altitude?

Will it mean I can knock 5 mins off my half marathon time if I then subsequently run at sea-level? grin

<it's always shoes with Coco>

Good luck in the Olympics.

cocolepew Wed 02-Jun-10 17:31:14


MollieO Wed 02-Jun-10 18:44:13

Jogger trying to get fit and lose weight here. Is it better to run slower and further distance or faster and shorter?

DwayneDibbley Wed 02-Jun-10 20:43:50

Message withdrawn

drivingmisscrazy Wed 02-Jun-10 21:44:10

2 questions about time:

a) I am early forties and a decent(ish) runner (not in your league, but hey, there's only so much room at the top ) - but I really struggle to put together much better than about a 5 min/k pace, even when I'm clocking lots of mileage. Do I need to do speedwork? How would I begin, with my elderly joints and muscles?

b) how do you juggle kids and training (I also have f/t job, house, garden and allotment, plus various other family members draining my lifeblood away to care for)? please don't say you get up at 5am!

WilfShelf Wed 02-Jun-10 21:53:11

I'd love to be able to run. Last time I tried I was 4 stone overweight and I did walk/jog on the treadmill for 30 second intervals.

Just the one time.

4 physio sessions and a lighter purse later, I was told I had 'runner's knee'. Arf. After one go blush

I put this down to being too fat, unfit and having had wobbly ligaments after having a baby. However, I also have some hip instability and I have very flat feet over-pronate a lot <the physio gave me my money's worth in analysing my bodliy inadequacies... hmm>

I am now [only - heh heh] two stone overweight and would love to run for fitness, but be honest, there's probably no hope or point for someone as rickety as me, is there?

Should I give it a go with better shoes, strapping etc? Or just stick to walking?

deepdarkwood Thu 03-Jun-10 09:53:15

Very best of luck with the Olympics - I can imagine that competing at a home country Olympics must be pretty much as good as it gets smile

- what advice would you have to motivate an occasional, but rather fairweather runner? I suspect I need a race to train to (probably a 10k) but am too chicken to register for one!

- Any tips for running safely on winter nights - I am by and large hard to scare (except wasps smile), and live in a pretty safe area, but I do feel surprisingly vulnerable.

I know the rules are usually one qu only, so answer whichever you like!

annieapple7 Thu 03-Jun-10 10:43:00

Here's a question for Liz - when and how do you stretch to prevent injury?

gladders Thu 03-Jun-10 10:49:48

Hello - and thank you for my bottle of lucozade at mile 23 on marathon day - a highlight of my race!

I've just had a bad 10k race - was aiming for 53 minutes but blew up at 5k and trailed home feeling very dejected.

I am pretty sure my problem is my mental approach to it - any tips on how to stay strong and focused and overcome the desire to throw the towel in when things go wrong? I

cal79 Thu 03-Jun-10 13:01:00

Firstly, good luck for the Olympics and all the training up to it.

I'm slowly getting into running (half marathons and 10ks) but am a bit confused on the advice about stretching before a run. I've heard you shouldn't stretch before your muscles/joints have warmed up as you're likely to do more damage. Is this true and so should you warm up, stretch then run or only concentrate on stretching after your run?

hatwoman Thu 03-Jun-10 13:22:09

I regularly enter fell runs - which tend to be about 5 miles with something in the region of 1000 feet of climb - all on rough ground of varying sorts (peaty grass, stoney paths and rivers....). The winners of these races are just awesome - doing 6 minute miles including suicidal descents.

Should I stick to practicing on 5-mile routes that replicate the races or should I do hell repetitions? that was meant to say hill repetitions but it was too good a typo to correct...

any other training tips to up my pace?

a separate question, if I may - I am fascinted by the power of the mind when it comes to running. when I did the London marathon my legs buckled (just a bit - I didn't collapse) as I crossed the finish line. Now I am 100% certain that would have happened had the line been a mile nearer or further - it was totally my mind - not my legs. How can you/do you put this amazing power to good use?

juicychops Thu 03-Jun-10 13:26:16

Hello smile

i have been running for 6 weeks nearly and can now do 3 miles. I am adding half a mile each week.

my question is... what are your prefered pre run and post run meals/snacks?

im not quite at the point where i have to be too worried about this, but i will hopefully be there soon!!

and good luck with the 2012 olympics grin

ExpatAgain Thu 03-Jun-10 14:19:31

am 41 been running up to 5x a week, up to 40 miles per week total. Fairly pleased with halfmarathon pb of 1hr 56 but marathon blooming awful at 5 hours 3 mins.

I'd hoped for 4 1/2hrs (or even less), had put in all the training in terms of mileage (though hadn't monitored my speed on long runs, possibly over-focussed on the "slow" part of remit rather than running long distance at marathon place). I usually run much of the time off road (trails/fields/treadmill) and I really suffered running 26 miles all on road esp on my back, itb etc.

any advice for future marathon and improving my time?

thanks so much!

strandedatsea Thu 03-Jun-10 15:17:05

Hi Liz, thanks for coming on and good luck with the Olympics.
I'm interested in your views on drugs in athletics. Over the years we have seen more and more top atheletes exposed as drug cheats. Do you think it is ever going to be possible to hold a truly drug-free Olympics? Or should we just accept that there is always the possiblity that those at the very top of the game are probably using some sort of illegal substance (not you of course!).
I used to live in Jamaica and saw Usain Bolt running as a schoolboy, he was always special so I have always hoped that he is drug free. But when you see someone so far ahead of the others like this you (sadly) have to have your doubts these days.
(sorry, I realise you are a long-distance runner and these are more questions about the sprinters so feel free to ignore me if it's out of your area).

TheChewyToffeeMum Thu 03-Jun-10 21:33:15

Hi Liz - I have just had an interesting chat with a man in my local running shop about barefoot running and the vibram fivefinger type shoes he was wearing.
Have you ever considered this approach or would you consider it too risky?

JackBauer Fri 04-Jun-10 08:03:47

Hi liz, good luck at the olypmics first of all!

I only started running last year after doing the couch potato to 5k and am now running 2.5 miles a few times a week. I am finding it harder to run further though and keep hitting a wall, could it be that I don't run with a drink?
I find it awkward to carry but if it would help me carry on then I would need tips as well!

Also, (And I know this is 2 questions, sorry!) how long do you think is optimum to leave between eating and running?


nowherewoman Fri 04-Jun-10 10:26:59

Hi Liz - when I was pregnant, I had to stop running before I wanted to because I couldn't stand the feeling of the baby bouncing on my bladder while I was running! Is there any way to avoid this, like a bump support or something? How long did you manage to run for when you were pregnant?
Good luck from me too!

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