10 Running Myths That Are Slowing You Down
Avoid These Mistakes & Build a Runners Body That You Love
Running is the best exercise in my mind for overall health, wellness and emotional well being. I love that people of all ages and fitness levels are getting up and running. I love the communities that running brings together. However, without fail, 80% of runners get injured every year. If you are a runner who has struggled for years to lose weight and get fit and toned, then I’m here to tell you that you’ve probably been listening to the wrong advice. There is also so much more to running than just running when you want to get fit, run fast and create an injury proof healthy body that you can feel strong, confident and powerful in.
So today I want to share 10 myths about running that could be slowing you down, setting you up for injury and holding you back from building your best body.
Myth 1: You run so you can eat whatever you 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 macro balanced and healthy meals that will fuel your runs, facilitate recovery and deeply nourish your body. Running puts massive stress on your body and that means you need even more nourishment from food than the average person.
Myth 2: To Become a better runner you need to run more. Mileage is all that matters.
WRONG. 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: You 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 recti or any combo of the two postpartum. 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. Listen to your body and work with a good female running coach (who is also a mom and gets it) to help you adjust your training as needed.
Myth 5: Runners need to stretch more to prevent injury.
WRONG. While there is no harm in stretching, there is also 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 regular mobility flow sessions and yoga is great for runners. 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, do yoga, 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, to aggressive a training plan for your current level of fitness, overtraining, a lack of sleep, poor nutrition or weakness, . 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. Of course you want good shoes but to really get strong and reduce injuries, dial in a comprehensive training program that includes strength, core, recovery and nutrition Meet yoru body where it is at, tune into it and push from there.
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 working 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: To lose weight you need to run more.
WRONG. Now, let’s be clear. When I say “lose weight” I really mean “burn fat” because that’s the ultimate goal. Weight loss isn’t a good indicator of health, but it’s common terminology, so just know that when I say weight loss here, I'm really talking fat loss. You can’t simply ramp up mileage and run mile after steady mile for hours and expect to continue to see weight loss results that last. While you will see some initial weight loss with steady state distance running, you will be losing some very important calorie burning muscle with that weight - slowing down your metabolism in the long run. Running is awesome BUT long distance running alone will not help you reach your overall goals of fat burning (which is what you need if you want to get fit, lean and toned). To lose weight and set your body up to burn fat you need to combine effective workouts that compliment your miles and you must dial in both your nutrition and your recovery.
Myth 9: To be a real runner you need to run a marathon.
WRONG. This is a touchy one I know but so many runners come to me after training for a marathon broken down and gaining weight frustrated. See Myth # 8. While a marathon is great dream goal and an amazing accomplishment, it may not be the best goal right now for you if you truly want to buid a killer fit, lean and toned body. Get clear on what you want and how you want to feel before you sign up for the marathon. If your goals are to get fit, toned, run fast and set your body up to burn fat, master the 5 and 10k distances, think short and fast. Meet your body where it truly is at, get killer strong and fit and then ramp it up. 5k and 10k runners are amazing runners too. In fact, they are often fit, faster and leaner runners with time to spare. Build that body and the healthy habits to maintain it and then build up to the marathon. If you just want miles now, run a marathon but don't be disappointed that you aren't losing weight, burning fat or builing a lean and toned body along the way. Remember, you are not defined as a person by your mileage. Sometimes, we need to get really honest with ourseves, dig into our emotions and check our egos at the door.
Myth 10: Running will destroy your knees
WRONG: Running with poor form, running beyond yoru physical capabilities, not taking the time to get strong, running with poor form and obesity destroy your knees.
I want my followers staying injury free and truly creating strong, healthy, fit, injury proof bodies that they seriously LOVE.
Running is about so much more than simply running and running and running. If you want to get fit, run fast and unapologetically build a strong, powerful, fat burning body that you can feel comfortable, confident and amazing in, join The RunningMoms Online Training Club. Hundreds of female runners are already inside working on dialling in their training, their nutrition and transforming their beliefs about what is possible for them as they work week by week with me towards building a body that they truly love.
XO - Carey
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