As runners we all come across various myths and suggestions from people about diet, techniques, strategy etc. Some of these advices from experts are indeed true. However, there are some common myths associated with running that needs to be cleared to make an informed decision. We’ll try to bust few of them:
MYTH 1: Before you begin your run stretch your muscles
According to researches, static stretching before run doesn’t provide any benefits. Instead it might be detrimental for your performance. However, you can focus on exercises that can provide oxygen to your muscles and warm them up.
MYTH 2: Eat carbs before a race
Carbs can increase your muscle’s store of glycogen only to a certain point. Anything above that is stored as fat. Conversely, if you’re preparing for a marathon, increase your intake by 300-400 calories per day. Other than that, a run with a healthy balanced diet is sufficient.
MYTH 3: If you’re running, no need of strength training
Well there’s nothing like runners need no bodyweight training. Instead, strength training would elevate your performance levels making you less prone to injuries. It helps in building a proportionate body with a light and leaner profile. So don’t hesitate to lift weights.
MYTH 4: Barefooted running reduces the risks of injuries
Milind Soman told the world with storm by promoting barefooted running. The actual realisation is that there is a particular form of running barefooted but mostly people don’t crack it right and instead suffer from more injuries. While grass surface can reduce the impact of running on our legs, the concrete is very harmful stressing your joints.
MYTH 5: The more, the better
Heard your mum saying, excess of everything is bad. Turns out, she is right. Now you think by increasing your training volume, you are doing good, that’s not true. Quality matters more than quantity. So prevent the cumulative fatigue and run in intervals, try working smarter than harder.
MYTH 6: Granny’s book of knowledge, running is bad for your knees
Well this myth should be truly combated now. All non-runners believe that running is bad for your knees. So next time someone says that to you, do clear their concepts.
MYTH 7: Dehydration and electrolyte loss leads to muscle cramps
Though staying hydrated is important to maintain your sodium and potassium levels; muscle cramping is not a result of their depletion. It is caused by increased running speed. So practice moderate running to burn more calories and to last long in a run.
MYTH 8: Change in running styles improves your running stats
There are so many exercises and tactics available on internet that you get tempted to try them. Well who wouldn’t will all those shocking advantages it offers. Until and unless your regime is injuring you, changing your running style, elements, shoes etc is not necessary. Because your body cares about the quality of it and such things won’t effect your performance.
MYTH 9: Whether you run on a treadmill or outside, serves the different purpose
You must have heard runners detailing the advantages running outside have. Well in terms of scenery and stimulation of your brain, they might be true. But considering the mechanics of running, there is no such difference. Whether you run on a treadmill or outside, your performance will be determined by the amount of calories you burned.
MYTH 10: There is no day offs from running
Until and unless you enjoy doing something, you won’t want to do it frequently. So if you think of taking some days off, you can, because it won’t affect your fitness. However, not listing recovery days might reduce your performance. Recovery is important for improvements. So do take days off and relax a bit.
MYTH 11: The benefits of running can only be enjoyed by the young generation
People of all age groups can be equally benefited from running. Until and unless there is any medical condition attached with you, you don’t have to sit on your couch thinking running is a waste for you. Even if you’re overweight then also you can start training from today itself. It’s high time you should stop making excuses and hit the ground.
Runner or not; knowing what’s right and what’s not is important. Also remember it’s never too late to learn something new and enjoy its fruits. So get those dusted running shoes clean and go and run a mile.