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Top Marathon Runner Questions Answered by Experts in Fitness, Nutrition, and Stretching

We asked fans of the Wichita Prairie Fire Marathon Facebook page to post their biggest running questions. We received several great questions as these runners prepare for their half and full marathons on October 14. We have collected the best questions and better yet, gathered the best answers from our team of experts, which include Mary Hartley, RD for nutrition, Holly Perkins for fitness, Dr. Josh Umbehr for fitness and nutrition, and Jill Lawson for stretching.

These runner questions were so great and so common that any runner could benefit from hearing these expert answers.

Digestion issues, sore muscles, stretching inquiries, and diet conundrums were just a few of the topics we were able to cover. If you’ve ever had a running question, chances are it’s answered by clicking below.

View Marathon Runner Top Questions Slideshow



Beginner’s Guide to Foam Rolling

The first time I heard the term ‘foam rolling,’ I thought it was some kind of tantric act practiced in far-off Eastern cultures. Come to find out, it’s a deep stretching method used by frequent runners. Hmm, guess I was way off. 

To channel my inner running addict and discover everything I need to know about this foam rolling practice, I’ve summoned the help of one of the fitness industry’s foremost running experts: ExerciseTV celebrity trainer and New Balance Fitness Ambassador, Holly Perkins.
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How to Stretch Your Glutes and Hamstrings for Fitter Summer Traveling

Are you traveling during summer vacation? Probably so.

Do you stretch on these trips? You can guess the answer to this is usually NO!!

Personally, I travel at least twice a month and I use these two following stretches all of the time to open my tight hips and lengthen my hamstrings after hours of sitting.

It’s important to remember excessive amounts of sitting may cause lower back pain from shortened hip flexors that can pull the pelvis forward resulting in discomfort. Also, sitting will place increased amount of pressure on the spine compared to standing or lying down.

Here’s a simple solution that will keep you feeling good as you take on all of the adventures and activity in your vacation itinerary.

Hamstring Stretch


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Paul Grilley’s Yin Yoga Supports Joint Health

Vigorous exercise has the potential to add unnecessary wear and tear on the joints of the body. While weight bearing exercises are a must to keep bones strong and healthy, sometimes our knees, hips, and spine can take a beating if we don’t find balance with some gentle activity.

Ancient Taoists refer to certain types of exercises or super-active behaviors as Yang, known as the energetic life force that facilitates change, growth, and get-up-and-go for the mind and the body. Yang exercises include running, high-impact aerobics, weightlifting, and even certain styles of yoga such as Ashtanga or power vinyasa.

It is surprising that yoga is referred to as a Yang activity, but many styles require a high level of vim and vigor to practice. Sometimes, as a result of pushing, striving, and working too hard in yoga, injuries can incur and joints can be compromised. Even a yoga class must be balanced out with some slower moving and deeply relaxing activity.
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Yoga Helps to Relieve Aches and Pains from Gardening

If you have ever tried to grow your own food, you know how much work is involved. From building beds to pulling weeds, gardening is a task that requires a lot of strength and stamina, not to mention flexibility. There is no greater feeling than the satisfaction of knowing where your food comes from, but some days an achy back, neck or knees can trump your homegrown glory faster than a growing sprout on a warm spring day.

To prevent fatigue and energize your body, it is important to take periodic stretch breaks. The following yoga inspired stretches will help relieve bodily discomfort brought on by spending hours in the garden. Plus, you may even get a second wind and get more done.

Half Forward Bend

Your knees may begin to feel stiff and tired after squatting or kneeling over your sprigs of future bounty. To refresh your body, stand up and straighten both legs. Next, fold forward until your spine is parallel to the dirt. Place both hands on your shins just below your knees. Keep your back and legs straight. Hold for 20 seconds and then come up. Repeat as often as necessary.
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