10 Running Myths…Busted!

1 10 2013

Dave Sorrell pic1. You should always stretch before a run.

Yes and no. Static stretching, or holding stretches for 30 seconds or more, should be done after a run or a mile or so into a run once the muscles are warmed up.  Start your run with movement such as jumping jacks, walking or light jogging to slightly elevate your heart rate before you take off.

2. Running is bad for your knees.

Not true. Research shows that running can actually be beneficial for joints and that people who run don’t have more joint issues than those who don’t run.

3. You should always carb load before a race.

Races under 2 hours don’t necessarily need an increase in carbs. In fact, there’s no real performance benefit from carbloading the night before a 5K or 10K. For longer races such as half marathons and marathons, it’s better to increase carb intake in the days and weeks leading up to the race rather than just the night before.

4. Running in the rain or cold will make you sick.

Nope. You’re actually more likely to catch an illness or virus being indoors where there are more germs. Colder temperatures can decrease your immune system, but you still have to come in contact with a virus to become sick.

5. Taking a few days off from running will cause you to lose your fitness.

False. Taking up to week off from running will not hurt your conditioning. If you’re ill, traveling or just need a break, take it. Your body will thank you. Just be sure to ease back into it once you return to your training schedule.

6. Speedwork has to be done on a track.

Not anymore! With great tools like GPS watches and apps as well as treadmills, there are a number of ways to calculate your distance and pace instead of making laps around a track.

7. Every run should be done at your fastest pace.

Definitely not true. The majority of your running should be done at a comfortable pace to help avoid injury and burnout. Save your fast legs for speedwork days and races.

8. Running shoes last until the soles are falling apart.

False. The sole of a running shoe will begin to deteriorate after the  cushioning and shock absorption of the midsole has run its course. A good rule of thumb is to consider new shoes about every 350-400 miles.

9. Everyone hits “the wall” in the marathon.

Not true. Proper hydration and nutrition can help runners avoid hitting the wall or “bonking” in the marathon. Have a race strategy in place and make sure you’re adequately fueled.

10. There is a “right” way to run.

Yes and no. There are definitely tips for better running form, but the cool thing about running is that anyone can do it. It’s one foot in front of the other. And as far as we’re concerned, your natural gait is your best gait.


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