Running is probably a working individual’s favorite form physical activity. It does not require special skills and if you have a good pair of running shoes you are good to go.
Running is an easy form of physical exercise that can be practiced either early morning or late evening. It does not require any equipment, either. However, a number of people have their own worries about running, especially if they are prone to health conditions like a heart disease.
So, here is a list of five myths about running that you should stop believing today.
1. Running Has Only One Perfect Form
Here’s good news for all those runners who are striving to reach that one perfect form of running! There is no one, perfect running form. Some coaches strongly believe that there is only one right form of running and encourage their students to practice this ideal running form.
However, studies have reported that there is no “ideal” mechanism or a right running form.1 The study also concluded that beginner runners develop their pace and running form naturally with time.
So, just wear your running shoes and start running the way you normally would and you will get better with time.
2. Stretches Are Necessary Before A Run
Do you follow a stretching routine before you begin your run? Do you dedicate some time to stretch your arms and your lower body well, especially your legs, before your run in the morning?
Well, then you should know that stretching, specifically static stretching, is not doing your body any good before your run. In fact, the results of a study showed how static stretching may reduce endurance performance.2 In addition, if you stretch before running, your body may require more energy than it would have if there was no stretching involved at all.
So, if you are in the habit of stretching your arms, shoulders, and hamstring muscles for too long before running, know that they are not doing any function.
3. Moderate-Intensity Running Is The Best
If you are one of those runners who believe that high-intensity and medium-intensity running is going to do you good than low-intensity running, then you are wrong.
Most people try to keep their pace moderate which means neither are they running too slow nor are they running too fast. However, studies have stated that polarized training – a combination of high-volume, high-intensity, and threshold training – has the best effect on performance than the others.3
Runners are advised to practice high-intensity running for 20 percent of their training and, the rest, on low intensity for the best results.
4. Running Is Not Good For The Knees
Most people believe that running can be too hard on your knees. But, this is not true. In fact, the results of a study showed how running can help improve the knees if you don’t have an existing knee condition.
The study showed how the participants who were asked to complete a 30-minute run had a reduced inflammation in the knees than the other participants who were asked to sit for 30 minutes with no physical activity.
Therefore, if you limit your running because of the fear that it may harm your joints, then you should set yourself free from the belief and start running to best of your body’s ability. However, if you have an existing joint issue, make sure you consult the doctor before you begin your runs.
5. Cool Downs Are As Important As Warm-Ups
Some individuals may believe that cooling down after an exercise is as important as warming up before performing one. However, this is not true.
Studies have reported that cool downs do not have any effect on the onset muscle soreness that you may feel after an exercise. In fact, the results stated that warm-ups may have a significant effect on reducing muscle soreness, but it is not true of cool downs.4
Taking some time to perform cool down exercises after your run is not wrong, but if you are running out of time, you should know that they are not a necessity.
So, if you someone’s told you that your knee pain may be due to your regular runs, you know it’s not true. Running is an effective and inexpensive way to stay active. So, for those who do run already, don’t stop and for those who don’t, get a pair of running shoes and start your runs today.
|↑1||Moore, Isabel S., Andrew M. Jones, and Sharon J. Dixon. “Mechanisms for improved running economy in beginner runners.” Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 44, no. 9 (2012): 1756-1763.|
|↑2||Wilson, Jacob M., Lyndsey M. Hornbuckle, Jeong-Su Kim, Carlos Ugrinowitsch, Sang-Rok Lee, Michael C. Zourdos, Brian Sommer, and Lynn B. Panton. “Effects of static stretching on energy cost and running endurance performance.” The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research 24, no. 9 (2010): 2274-2279.|
|↑3||Stöggl, Thomas, and Billy Sperlich. “Polarized training has greater impact on key endurance variables than threshold, high intensity, or high volume training.” Frontiers in physiology 5 (2014).|
|↑4||Law, Roberta YW, and Robert D. Herbert. “Warm-up reduces delayed-onset muscle soreness but cool-down does not: a randomised controlled trial.” Australian Journal of Physiotherapy 53, no. 2 (2007): 91-95.|