Ultra-runner Carla Molinaro ran from Land’s End to John O’Groats last July, covering 70 miles per day, answers some commonly asked questions about running.

How long will it take me to go from being able to run a 5K to running a 10K?

To get race fit for your 10K you will need eight weeks of consistent training. This will be enough time to make sure that you progress steadily and reduce your risk of injury or burnout. Only increase your weekly training volume by ten per cent and have a rest in the middle of the week.

What your views are on minimalist and barefoot shoes? Have you ever tried them?

I have never tried minimalist shoes because I wear orthotics so they wouldn’t work for me. However, there is some great research about how they can improve running efficiency. If you want to try minimalist shoes, wean yourself into using them very gradually to give your body time to adapt. Don’t wear them all the time at first.

Carla Molinaro

Carla Molinaro during her Lands End to John O’Groats Challenge last year

I sometimes get bored doing long runs. What can I do to distract myself?

 Adding intervals into a long run is a great way to mix things up a bit and distract yourself. If you are going out for an hour, add in 3 x 10-minute efforts at your race pace somewhere in your run. This will get you used to running at the pace you want to achieve in your half marathon and counting down the 10 minutes will get you through your run. You could also listen to a podcast. I love The Tough Girl Podcast where some really inspiring ladies are interviewed.

Work out when you need to eat and drink throughout your long run. I find that looking forward to eating every 30 minutes gives me something to look forward to and distracts my mind.

I only seem to run at one pace. Is it true that I need to run faster to get fitter or can I just run further?

If you want to get faster you have to run faster! When you run at a steady pace your body becomes very efficient at using energy and keeping you going longer but this won’t make you faster. Adding intervals into your training will make you stronger and faster and this will carry over to your 5km, 10km or half marathon. Try 10 mins warm-up, 10 x 400m with 1-minute rest, 10 mins cool down or 10 mins warm-up, 10 x 100m hill reps, jog back recovery, 10 mins cool down. For the best results try and incorporate an interval session into your training once a week.

Should I eat before a run in the morning?

If you run in the morning make sure you eat something before you head out the door (ideally 150 calories, with a mix of carbs, fats and protein) – it will help you have a better run and recover quicker. A great pre-run snack is peanut butter on toast.

More information

You can find more information on Carla by visiting her website.