Express Train

Chris Carmichael answers your training questions

Q: WHAT SHOULD I BE EATING BEFORE I RUN?

A: If your last meal hasn't traveled far enough through your system, you're going to feel it. Heavy proteins like meats and cheese digest slowly, so stick to light foods like whole-grain breads and fruit. My top running coach eats a peanut-butter-and-banana sandwich 45 minutes before heading out the door.

Q: DO I REALLY NEED DIFFERENT SHOES FOR RUNNING ON TRAILS?

A: Casual runners who train on suburban gravel trails should find a road shoe with solid support. If you're running on loose, rocky terrain, you want a bulkier, water-proof trail shoe with a rubber toe cap for protection against sharp objects and mud. But keep in mind that, while road shoes can handle light trail use, trail shoes are clumsy on the road.

Q: IS A HEART-RATE MONITOR STILL THE BEST TRAINING TOOL?

A: Heart-rate monitors that incorporate GPS are the new frontier in running tech. With GPS, you can prevent yourself from getting lazy on hills and you can know exactly when you've finished, say, two consecutive six-minute miles without lagging. GPS eliminates the guesswork.

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