What’s Your Running IQ?

Print page

Running well is about running smart – that strain of quick thinking we’re calling your ‘running quotient’. Stretch your mental muscle with the RW RQ test, then ramp up your running intelligence and watch those PBs crumble.

To find your RQ, start with a score of 100: 

  • Add five points for every correct answer
  • Subtract three points for every incorrect answer. 

Answers on the next page.

1) What is the most important thing you should do immediately before training or racing?
a) Take on lots of fluid to hydrate
b) Static stretching
c) Deep sports massage
d) Dynamic mobility work

2) In terms of posture, you’re most economical when you run…
a) Upright and tall
b) Leaning slightly forwards
c) Slightly back, relaxed
d) However you’re made

3) What percentage of your maximum heart rate should you aim for on a threshold or tempo run?
a) 60–70%
b) 70–80%
c) 80–90%
d) 90–100%

4) When running intervals of six lots of 3 minutes at race pace with 1 minute recovery, how long is each interval?
a) 3 minutes
b) 4 minutes
c) 1 minute
d) 6 minutes

5) Which is the smarter pacing for a marathon – a negative split or an even pace?
a) Neither. It’s best to start fast to bank some time
b) Even pace
c) Negative split
d) Both

6) At what effort should your recovery runs be paced?
a) Slow enough for a good chinwag on the hoof
b) Just below 10K pace
c) Slow enough that you can get a few words out
d) Whatever pace feels most comfortable

7) Which fruit is best eaten in the evening?
a) Watermelon
b) Banana
c) Orange
d) Blackberries

8) What and when should you eat and drink after a hard session?
a) Water soon after, then a high-carb meal within one hour
b) Nothing until at least an hour after training
c) A protein/carb drink within 20 minutes of finishing, followed by a proper meal with carbohydrates and protein within the hour
d) Some fruit when you finish, followed by a protein drink within the next hour

9) What is the anaerobic portion of a 10K race?
a) 5%
b) 10%
c) 15%
d) 30%

10) When recovering from training or racing, what are the two most important issues?
a) Nutrition
b) Compression
c) Ice baths
d) Rest

11) How can you run hilly races quicker – and with less post-race soreness?
a) Increase the pace on the uphill sprints in your hill training
b) Limit your in-breaths to mimic altitude training
c) Concentrate more on the downhill portions of your training hill reps
d) Limit your hill work pre-race so your muscles are fresh

12) Why do Paula Radcliffe and other elites count to 300 during races?
a) To focus the mind
b) As intervals to vary their pace
c) As a step-counting guide
d) 300 is regarded as a lucky number among athletes

To find your RQ, start with a score of 100, then award yourself five points for every correct answer and subtract three points for every incorrect answer. 

Click Here For The Answers >>
Avatar of Runners World

About Runners World

Online Editor for Runner's World magazine

3 Responses to What’s Your Running IQ?

  1. Craig Pheiffer March 2, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    128! Good thing they didn’t ask me about foam rolling techniques – must get me one of those things.

  2. Charlotte Burger May 17, 2013 at 11:15 am #

    126 whoop whoop!!

  3. Michel Siquijor May 6, 2014 at 12:34 am #

    101… I gain 1 point!! Yehey! For a beginner I think its good..:)))

Leave a Reply