Since it’s officially March (and my birthday month, woo!), this month’s theme for the Running Coaches’ Corner is March Madness. So, I’ll be covering all topics related to running that drive you mad; as well as some thoughts around running madness!
So today, it’s all dedicated to the running myths that drive you mad.
1. You must start by running every day.
Whenever I talk about running with someone, they usually respond by saying they tried to run once, but it just took too much time. I, of course, want to learn more — and usually they end up telling me how they ran for over an hour for a few days, and then got super sore and had to quit.
No! Don’t do that. You can start by running just a few times a week, or like 10-15 minutes at a time. Gradually build it up so it becomes a part of your normal daily life rather than forcing it as something you squeeze in.
2. Not everyone can run.
Yes, when you look at the elites, they are all beanpole thin and are a good height. But, running is seriously the most basic form of exercise and everyone’s bodies are designed for it. You may not be designed for long-distance running and I may not be good at sprinting, but those are forms of running and someone is good at one of those (thanks to our slow and fast twitch muscles!).
3. Running will give you a six-pack.
I wish this was the case. Like maybe for every 200 miles you run, you get to see one piece of the pack?
Yeah, I wish.
No, running alone will not give you a six-pack. It will make your heart really strong. It will give you really strong leg muscles. But if you have some fat around your midsection (who doesn’t?), it won’t eliminate all of it on it’s own. You need to combine it with other exercises (strength training is your friend) and ultimately, a balanced diet.
4. You can eat ALL THE CALORIES because you run.
I lived by this mantra for YEARS. What? I just ran 20 miles? That means I can eat 2,000 calories! No, I’m sorry, it doesn’t work that way. I think this finally hit home when I read Meb’s book, Meb for Mortals, and he talked about how when he hit a certain age he could no longer eat a full bagel. WHAT? This man is an elite that runs 100+ miles per week in training, and he can’t even eat a full bagel? What in the world am I doing?
5. Running will ruin your knees.
This is my favorite running myth that I swear all non-runners swear by. What do you mean you just ran 20 miles? What about your KNEES?
No, running will not ruin your knees. In fact, it has been shown to protect your knee health. +1 Running.
6. Heel striking will make you get injured.
This is one of the running myths I hate SO MUCH! I am a heel striker. I have always been a heel striker, and I always will be a heel striker. I have had conversations with people about whether I am going to change my foot strike.
My body wants to foot strike, and so it will foot strike. This is what my biomechanics say.
Yes, it’s true that I could be faster if I was a mid-foot striker. But, considering I am pretty far off from the time needed to win a marathon, it really doesn’t matter. And on top of that, I am terrified by the idea of injuring myself because if you do not force yourself to run differently, it can cause some serious hurt.
7. If you run too slow, you aren’t a runner.
Of all running myths, this is the one that I hate THE MOST. Seriously. I have had so many conversations with people about running and they say, I’m not really a runner though; I mean, I run, but I’m not that fast.
Stop. Right. There. If you run, you’re a runner. Plain and simple. It doesn’t matter how far, how fast or how often. You are welcome in the awesome running community. 🙂
Do you have any running myths that drive you mad?
Any other heel strikers out there?
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