This months questions come from comments left on a couple of different blog posts during the last month and questions asked on running blogs I visited… Please send your training and running questions my way by commenting below.


Question: How to you get the perspective of you running outside from the ground? Do you use a rock to prop it up? I’ve never been able to get a good photo like that.  ~ Asked by Gina from Running Around The Boyz in a comment on one of my recent Weekly Run-Downs.

Coach Deb: When I take picture like the one you’re referring to, I lay my GoPro (affiliate link) on the ground and tilt it slightly so it isn’t pointing straight up. I use either a stick or a little rock under one side of it. I shoot in video mode and then pick my favorite still frame out of the video.


Question: I love when you coaches throw us a bone or 2 or 3! It’s my understanding that foam rolling on the ITB can make ITB tendonitis worse. True or false? ~ Asked by Wendy from Taking The Long Way Home in a comment in last month’s Ask Coach Deb.

Coach Deb: Once your IT band is inflamed, don’t foam roll it. Even with a perfectly healthy IT Band it’s somewhat painful as I roll across it, so I just keep going on up or down the leg to where I actually need to stop and do some work. It’s far more important to do exercises to keep those glutes strong to help prevent IT band problems in the first place.


Question: Are freshly stretched hammies more prone to strains? During the last mile of Saturday’s tempo run, I felt a twinge in my right hamstring. No pain though. It just likes to make its presence known every now and then while bending. I’ve taken it to the foam roller several times and wondering if I should continue with the stretches or give it a rest? ~ Asked by Teresa from Finding Fabulous At Fifty.

Coach Deb: I would suggest being careful not to overstretch your hamstring – something you might be doing while thinking you’re helping. If you’re not already, I’d suggest you ice it after your runs and perhaps consider wearing a compression sleeve while running. If it continues to bother you, you might want to take a week or longer off from running to let it heal. Hammies can be stubborn, slow to heal, and prone to reoccurring injuries so you want to nip this in the bud. I don’t think you need to stop foam rolling, just be a little more gentle during your rehab.


Question: My gait needs a lot of work. I need to figure out how to improve my form. Do any of you have any ideas? ~ Asked by Shathiso on her blog The Gaborone Runner.

Coach Deb: I think one of the best tool to use for evaluating your own running form is the video camera. Have someone record you as you run back and forth a couple of times. Try not to be self conscious and run as closely to your normal form as possible. While watching your running video, look for the following:

  • Are you running tall with a slight forward lean from the hips?
  • Is your head neutral to slightly forward?
  • Are you looking ahead about a car length and not downward?
  • Are you holding your arms at 90° and swinging them front to back, not side to side?
  • Do you have your hands slightly cupped instead of squeezing them tightly?
  • How does your foot land? Pronounced heel first indicates over-striding. If this is how you land, shorten your stride and pick up your turnover rate; however, don’t fall victim to taking too short of a stride so that you shuffle.
  • Are you taking about 160-180 steps per minute?
  • Does anything stand out that not only looks blatantly wrong, but feels wrong?

As I mention in Running Form in the Coaching tab of my blog, making major changes to your running form can result in a new set of injuries. Make smart changes because something feels wrong, rather than trying to make major changes to your gait just because you think you should.


For answers to other questions you might have missed, check out my Coaching tab for previous Ask Coach Deb installments.


  • Questions:
  • Do you take pictures while out on a run or at races?
  • How much do you stretch?
  • What questions would you like to see answered next time?


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