Breaking down 5 myths of running
27 February 2023
What’s the best way to prepare for the Kunanyi Mountain Run? Do I stretch? Do I run every day? How do I stay hydrated?
As a runner and a Exercise Physiologist, I have heard many myths and misconceptions about how to get the most out of your runs. Read below as I break down some common running myths.
Myth 1: I should replace every drop of sweat I lose
There are a number of myths and misconceptions around the best way to hydrate during a run. One of the main myths is that you need to drink to replace every litre lost so that you weigh the same after a run as you did beforehand. If you try to do this, you’re going to be very full at the end of your run (Or lose what you tried to drink out the way it came in!) My recommendation is to drink an electrolyte based drink and adjust the amount of fluids based on the heat but don’t be afraid of losing a little weight during the race.
Myth 2: Cramping is always due to poor hydration
Whilst not replacing your electrolytes according to how much you lose is a sure-fire way to increase the risk of cramping, studies are now showing that participating in strength training 2-3 x weekly is a better predictor of whether or not you will cramp on race day, particularly in running distances up to or longer than a marathon. The more muscle tissue you have, the more breakdown required before a cramp comes on.
Myth 3: I need to stretch to prevent injury
This one is probably the most common myth I see as an Exercise Physiologist! Studies have shown that stretching will only reduce your injury rate by about 1%, which means that it is not the best use of your time.
Myth 4: You don’t need to be strong to run
If you want to run without injury, this one is a myth. Studies have shown that strength training can reduce your risk of overuse injuries by about 50%. So, if you want to spend more time running and less time recovering from injuries, it is important to incorporate strength training into your weekly routine.
Myth 5: I need to run every day
As much as I love running, this one is actually a myth. Your recovery is equally as important as your training. Aim to run 3-4 times per week as only elite athletes need to train more than that.