Please note that our answers, while based on experience and/or expert advice, are still opinions.
Q: What type of shoes should I wear?
A: You should wear shoes made specifically for running or walking, not “sports” shoes (Sketchers) or Keds-type tennis shoes. Get fitted by a professional at a running store to ensure you get the best style and fit for your needs.
Q: What type of workout clothes should I wear?
A: In warm weather, running shorts or Lycra spandex shorts and a well-fitting sports bra and workout shirt should be sufficient. In cooler weather, lightweight, breathable workout pants and a windbreaker or long-sleeved, breathable shirt will work. Avoid cotton - it holds moisture and gets heavy when you sweat. Cotton socks promote blisters and fungus when your feet sweat. Look for clothing and socks made with CoolMax, Dry-Fit or another water-wicking fabric.
Q: What should I eat before our workout?
A: Good nutrition is extremely important to help you get the most from your exercise routine. Not being properly fueled can lead to fatigue and poor performance. So if your last meal was several hours before you exercise, your training may suffer because you are too hungry to workout and do your best. Just like a car, without enough gas, the engine doesn't run. On the other hand, eating too close to a workout, or too much can also lead to poor performance. The blood that is needed to help your muscles perform is too busy helping your digestive system. This can lead to muscle cramps, stomach upset, and nausea.
Here are some tips to help with fueling well before a workout:
- Try to eat a light meal 2-3 hours before your workout. A light meal should consist of a small portion of protein, complex carbohydrates such as rice, vegetables, or salad, and plenty of water. Avoid high-fat or fried foods. Total calorie intake should not exceed 300-400 calories.
- If this doesn't work for you, try eating a small snack no more than 30 minutes before exercise. Good pre-exercise snacks include fresh fruit, sports bars, or perhaps half a bagel or bread with peanut butter. The key here is to keep the calorie intake low and the food easy to digest. Fruit sugars tend to be absorbed quickly and digested easily.
Q: What should I eat after the workout?
A: This is also an important part of your exercise/diet regime. Since the WTP ends in the evening, you may have missed dinner and by the end of the workout are pretty hungry. Also, your muscles have just worked hard and need refueling to help them get stronger. Then again, you don't necessarily want to eat a large meal right before bedtime. A good post workout meal would once again be like your pre-exercise meal. Light and easily digested. Heavy meals right before bedtime can lead to poor sleep. A small amount of protein and carbohydrates, such as a chicken breast and salad, will help refuel, repair, and build.
Q: What if I get injured during the first weeks of the program?
A: Depending on your injury, you can move down a group or two, e.g., advanced running to walking, advanced walkers to beginning walkers. Do not try to walk or run through your injury. This will only delay the healing process and further impede your training. Be sure to seek the appropriate medical professional. You can ask your coaches for referrals of a physical therapist or massage therapist if you do not know of one.
Q: Will we have practice if the weather is bad?
A: We meet every Monday indoors with a speaker for the first half hour and will follow our scheduled program to run or walk outside. If there is lightning or thunderstorms, we will not workout outside. However, we encourage everyone to come to hear the speaker regardless of the weather. There have been numerous times when it was storming before 7:00, but by the time the speaker was finished, the sun was shining and everybody was able to complete their workout.
Q: How do I know what group I should join?
The following are the guidelines to follow when selecting your group.
- Fresh Start - True beginners. Haven't run or walked for exercise.
- Walkers – all paces
- Run/Walkers – Should be able to run for a minute or more without walking
- Beginner Runners – continuously run or have an increased heartrate for ten minutes
- Advanced Beginner Runners – have run 3 miles continuously between a 9:30 and 11:00 min mile
Q: What happens if I join a group and can’t keep up?
A: Each one of the groups has multiple coaches. There will always be one coach who will stay with the back of the group to make sure no one gets left behind. If you find you are faster than the group you joined, we encourage you to stay at the pace of the group you are with and move to the appropriate group the next week. For safety reasons, we do not want any of the participants to get ahead of the front coach.
Q: What happens if I don’t know the course and get lost during the workout?
A: Each one of the groups will have a designated course they use most weeks so you will become familiar with your group’s course over the training program. Each one of the groups has multiple coaches who will run in the front of the group, at the end of the group, and points in between. Also, the courses will be clearly marked with chalk so as long as you stay in sight of a coach and follow the chalk arrows, you will not get lost.
Q: Do I have to participate in the Seize the Day Women's 5K?
A: Though we encourage everyone to participate in the Women’s 5k at the end of the program, it is not a requirement.
Q: After the eight weeks, what can I do to keep going?
A: Throughout the Women’s Training Program, you will receive information on a variety of different training options to continue on the road to fitness. All the information will be posted on the Women’s Training Program website so make sure to check it out! WTP Overview
Q: I signed up but can't come. Can I get a refund?
A: Reston Runners and the Women's Training Program have a no refunds policy.