As with many things in the digital age, there are many misconceptions about running that you might have heard. But what’s the truth? Let’s debunk 10 common myths about running.
Myth #1 – Carb-load for extra energy
A lot of athletes think that they should eat a carb-heavy meal before a big race or workout. Although increasing your carb intake gradually during training can be beneficial, loading up on carbs just before exercising can upset your stomach and cause cramp, affecting your overall performance.
Myth #2 – Stretch before running
Static stretching can actually reduce performance in running activities and sprints. Instead, include dynamic stretching in your warm up. Dynamic stretching is essentially a lower intensity version of your workout, so this might include things like walking lunges, high knees, leg swings, and butt kicks.
Myth #3 – Sports drinks are better for hydration
If your workout is shorter than an hour, stick to water for hydration. Sports drinks are only useful for replenishing electrolytes and calories after a long training session, as opposed to rehydrating you.
Myth #4 – You’re not a proper runner unless you run outside
Where you run does not affect your performance or validity as a runner! There is a wide range of manual, non-retractable, and folding motorised treadmills out there for you to choose from. So, if you prefer to run inside, just ensure that you have the right equipment to meet your needs.
Myth #5 – Running can damage your knees
In reality, a lot of scientific studies have found that running is actually beneficial for your knees. Running has been proven to reduce the risk of osteoarthritis, strengthen the knees, and prompt knees to heal after bone or cartilage damage. However, poor form whilst running can put additional stress on your joints, so make sure you are using the right technique.
Myth #6 – You don’t need to strength train your upper body
In general, strength training can help your muscles to provide more power to your running output. Whilst you might run with your legs, it is still important to strength train your upper body to improve posture, ensure good arm movements, and improve your overall form to reduce the risk of injury.
Myth #7 – All runners have to race in competitions
Not all runners do so competitively! Focus on your own personal goals, and what you personally find most fun.
Myth #8 – Runners must have a specific body type
Absolutely everyone can enjoy running, no matter what age, shape, size, and gender you are. Don’t be discouraged – just have fun!
Myth #9 – You cannot take any time off
In fact, it is encouraged to take a break from exercise 1 or 2 times a week to give your muscles time to recover. If you ever feel sick or tired, always take a break to reduce your risk of injury.
Myth #10 – Walking is NOT allowed
Walking is one of the best ways to warm up and cool down after a run. It is also an essential aspect of high impact interval training (HIIT), which combines short sprints followed by walking rest intervals.
Now that you know what is true and what is false, you will be able to ensure that you don’t fall for any common misconceptions about running, and further your running journey and performance.
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