What is your problem???


One of the things I love about running (other than, y’know, the running) is the sense of community. Whatever you’re faced with, there’s a good chance that a fellow runner has been there before* and will be willing to share the lessons learned along the way.  What shoes are right for me? How should I prepare for a race? What’s this niggling pain in my knee? Is it ever acceptable to high-five a fellow runner in the groin?

I’ve got a bit of spare space on the blog since we knocked through from the kitchen, so I thought I’d set aside an area where you can send me your running problems, and I’ll answer them in the most unhelpful and nonsensical way possible. You’re welcome.

So first out of the postbag** is this letter from Douglas Anorak of Dunstable…

Dear Born to Plod,

I love running, especially outdoors. However, after a few years of the same old routes I’ve found myself getting a bit bored. Do you have any tips for finding new and exciting places to run?

Yours sincerely,


Hi Douglas, and thank you so much for your letter, which is definitely real and not just made up by me. Finding new places to run is important, especially when those pesky magistrates impose strict bail conditions. Have you ever tried plotting a route that is 100% guaranteed not to bring you within 60ft of a mallard? It’s a bloody nightmare.
Anyway, I digress.
One way of finding new routes is to study the public rights of way in your area, and this information is readily available from your local library or council planning office. However, making sense of all the squiggly little lines can be a bit too much like hard work, so I’ve come up with an alternative.
1)      You know those green “public footpath” signs? Get as many of those as you can lay your hands on. You might need a hacksaw.
2)      Sneak around in the dead of night, strategically placing the aforementioned signs in interesting places.
3)      You are now legally entitled*** to run wherever those signs take you. My current favourite route takes me through the lingerie department of Debenhams, along nine miles of the M6 and across Brian Blessed’s front lawn.
Hope this helps.

I’d like to make this a regular(ish) feature, so if you’ve got a running-related problem and aren’t particularly bothered about whether it gets solved or not, then drop me a line at problems@borntoplod.com.

* Unless your name is Mimi Anderson
 ** You might be thinking to yourself “how has someone sent in a problem already, when Jay’s only just announced he’s doing this feature?”
Shut up, that’s how.
*** Are you honestly going to take legal advice from a man who once thought that cheese was a vegetable. 

2 thoughts on “What is your problem???

  1. OK Jay, here’s a question for you. And I really do need help with this one… I found out today I won a place in Nike’s Run to the Beat half marathon (yay!) but it’s in 4 weeks from this Sunday! (nay!)

    I’m currently plodding around 10k atm, so not starting from nothing, but I’m very aware that this is not enough time to sensibly train for a half, so am shitting it a little, to say the least.

    Any amazing last-minute training tips/plans? You’re not allowed to just call me stupid!

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