10 Running Myths That Are Slowing You Down
Avoid These Mistakes and Run Strong
I keep reading that “running makes you fatter” and “strength training is in and cardio is out” and "running more is better for weight loss". I need to dispell a few myths about running because running is so much more than cardio and the benefits go so far beyond weight loss. Running can help prevent type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, some cancers, and a host of other unpleasant conditions. It can help you shed fat fast but you must understand how to train right or else you will end up like 80% if runners, inflammed and injured....or worse, gaining weight!!!!
Today I want to share 10 myths about running that are slowing you down and sabotaging all your efforts. If you want to learn how to run STRONG, shed fat and set PR's without breaking yourself down, join the RunningMoms Membership Community HERE (pssst.....it's on sale for a very limited time, check it out!!!).
When you start to run, it usually means you want to start to take better care of yourself so you start to eat better and you naturally start to feel better (and lose weight). What’s more, scientists have shown that running also vastly improves the quality of your emotional and mental life and even helps you live longer. When training properly, running CAN help you lose weight.
In addition, when you have little kids, running is freedom and possibly the only exercise you can fit into your hectic life. Personally, as a mom of two young kids, a busy career and no time to myself, running is my sanity. Is is the only thing holding me together as I make my way through these years of craziness. It has gotten me through some pretty hard relationship times and kept me fit and strong throughout it all. I am actually fitter and stronger than ever before kids and I never hit the gym, do long cardio sessions or lift heavy…keep reading though.
To get you running right, let me bust through 10 running myths so you don’t go getting any crazy ideas and go quitting your running program or signing up for the next marathon:
Myth 1: I run so I can eat whatever I want.
WRONG. When you run it is even more important you eat right to fuel your moving body. You should be taking the time to focus on balanced and healthy meals that will fuel your runs as well as help you recover quickly. Some good basic tips are to eat every 2-4 hours, never going more than 4 hours without eating as this can cause blood sugar imbalances and lead to food cravings, mood swings, energy crashed and binge eating. At every meal you should be eating 1 palm of protein, 1 fist of vegetables, 1 cupped hand of carbohydrates and 1 thumb of fat. Keep it simple but eat real food.
Myth 2: To Become a better runner you need to run more. Mileage is all that matters.
Many runners live by their mileage and think it is the true measure of a runner. However, running long, steady paces every day is not necessary and can be harmful leading to overtraining, burnout and injury. What you should to be doing to get faster, stronger, stay injury free and boost your metabolism is incorporating interval training, HIIT or hill workouts a couple of times per week. Varying the intensity and the mileage during your workouts will help you make greater performance gains than running at the same pace and distance every day. Running is all about the quality of your training and not just the quantity, as tempting as that may be as a runner!
Myth #3: I need to run without rests to be a runner.
WRONG. Intervals are GOOD and I recommend all my runners learn to run using interval progressions. As you are starting to run, you need to start with the 1 minute run/2 minute walk and progress the run portion and decrease the walk process slowly and progressively up until 12 minute run/1 minute walk intervals. You are still a runner, and actually a smarter runner because intervals allow you to run with good form when you are running and rest your body and mind with a short recovery break. Intervals allow you break up the stress of a long, steady run into smaller, better quality shorter interval runs. They give you a break to reset your posture, rest any muscles starting to fatigue and decrease your risk of injury. So take the breaks and enjoy them, you are still a runner! I have been running for a long, long time and I still look forward to each and every break at that 12 minute mark. Not sure I could run without them!
Myth 4: Peeing when you run or when you run fast is just the new norm since having a baby.
WRONG. This is common but not normal. It is a sign of a weak pelvic floor, diastasic rect or any combo of the two post partum. If this is you, please book an appointment with a Physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic health (DO NOT see your local sports physiotherapist). To get back to running post baby takes time and patience. You need to connect to your core, do the right kinds of strength training and progress your distances and intervals slowly and patiently. Listenn to your body and work with a good coach to help you adjust your training as needed.
Myth 5: Runners need to stretch more to prevent injury.
There is no research to support this. Stretching a strained muscle does not help. Stretching a tight hamstring or hip flexor and weak glute does not help when we are sitting on our butts most of the day. What you need to do is get strong. You need to add dynamic warm ups into your training. You need to get up from the desk more often and move more throughout the day, every day. You need to be consistent in your training week after week, month after month. You need a good, progressive training plan. Get strong, move more often, focus on your form, train smart, set appropriate goals - that will prevent injury.
Myth 6: When you get injured the answer is to replace your shoes.
WRONG. You cannot blame shoes for your injuries!!! It is almost always you, how you are moving, an aggressive training plan, overtraining, what you are doing and what you are not doing. We think its the shoes because this is what we have been told. In reality it is poor form, poor core strength and weakness in our legs that is the problem. In our sedentary lives, we are not very strong, we get tired easily and then our bodies break down. Replace your shoes if you need and add some strength training workouts to your weekly schedule.
Myth 7: Runners will bulk up or get hurt strength training.
Wrong. This is not true when you do the right kind of strength training that moves you in a way that allows to become a better runner. Runner specific strength training does not mean lifting heavy weight in the gym. It means learning how to connect to your core, how to do a push up and how to make squats, lunges and side stepping exercises a regular part of your training program. These can all be done at home without any equipment in less than 30 minutes and still make you stronger with bulking you up. If you aren’t going to get stronger, running is going to be hard and you are going to struggle achieving your goals - weight goals and distance/time goals. GET STRONG
Myth 8: You will not lose weight running.
WRONG. I dislike focusing on a weight goal but I know it is the reality out there. It is the sole reason most people even start to exercise in the first place so I am going to address it. You can lose the weight you desire with running but there are a few things you need to do to get there. First, you need to be consistent and exercise at least 4 days per week, week after week and month after month. You cannot try it for a few weeks and say it doesn’t work. It is not the running, it is you. Second, you must strength train as you are starting out. This will build a base of fitness to keep you injury free and it will build lean muscle mass in addition to building endurance. This will allow to run stronger, longer and boost your metabolism. Once you have established a regular routine and built some base fitness, you have to change up your running workouts alternating between hard days (tempo runs, hill work and speed work) and easier, steady state paces. Lastly you must be eating well. This means little sugar, restricted processed foods and balanced meals based on solid macro nutrition every 2 - 4 hours to prevent food cravings, mood swings, energy crashes and binge eating. You cannot run off a bad diet!
Myth 9: I need to train for a marathon ASAP.
Wrong. You need to be active at least 4 days per week for 2 - 3 months straight before any training starts. You need to work on strength before you ramp up mileage. You need to get to 5k and 10k first and you need to be getting there strong before you go for the half or full marathon. Why? So you don’t get injured and have to quit again. As a busy mom it is even more important you choose your training distance appropriately. You wan to enjoy your training and you want it to fit into your life so you do not feel it is just another thing on your to do list. I love half marathon training and just ran my first full marathon 6.5 years after my first baby but it took time and patience as I got strong to take those distances on and remain injury free. When I had small kids, at best I had 20 - 30 minutes to run most days of the week. I trained for fast 5k and 10k events and worked hard in the short times I had. Choose a goal that tis realistic of the time you have available. Any distance can be challenging if you have the right program that includes hills, intervals, tempos and strength work. And it is fun!
Myth 10: Running Destroys Your Knees
WRONG: Running with poor form, not taking the time to get strong and run well aligned and obesity destroy your knees.
Running is about so much more than simply cardio and miles. You can run to lose weight and get fit but you need to get strong, focus on nutrition, tune into your body, set challenging but realistic training goals and get a good training plan. Above all else you need to run to boost your mood, give you energy and set goals that you can achieve and feel amazing about.
To run STRONG takes a helathy, smart approach that involves more than just running and runnign and running. It takes physical training, nutrition, hormone balancing and working on creating the right mindset based on some key habits high performance to get results that feel amazing. Approach your training intelligently and holistically and running will reward you for years and years to come. Do you want to join RunningMoms and learn exactly how to get fit, run fast and set yoru body up to burn fat, get strong and become injury proof???!!! Do you want to crush all your pace, body change and fitness goals in 2019? RunningMoms is the #1 essential resource for all the training, advice and support every female runner needs to train like a pro and transform her health, her body and her running performance in a way that feels amazing and it is all in one convenient place. DETAILS HERE.
Ditch the bad habits, and train with us inside RunnignMoms and get results that will look and feel amazing even as you are juggling everything between yoru career, life and the chaos of motherhood. I cannot wait to welcome you over on the inside!!!
XO - Carey