Vlad Shatrov, Running Coach, Marathon Runner, Founder of RunLab and Blackmores Sydney Running Festival Expert busts the most common myths he hears about running.
1. Running will ruin your joints and, in particular, your knees!
I hear this one all the time. It’s usually from the more mature runners (or people that used to run). Have you ever heard the saying, “I used to run but it ruined my knees?" The impact of running actually strengthens and stimulates joints and bones to increase strength and density overtime. The stimulus, provided its gradual is actually required to maintain bone health particularly as we get older.
I think the problem lies more in the way you may have run in the past and what you did to add to or support your running. Good running form, the use of good running-specific shoes and a strength program, are the three most important things that will help ensure your running is good for you, not detrimental. Shoes have improved considerably in recent years, and if fitted well, will support a better running form and reduce hard surface impact. Strength training allows form to be improved and strengthens the supportive muscles and ligaments. Get these things right and the myth is busted!
2. Running is a cheap hobby/interest
Running can be a cost-effective way of getting fit and staying in shape, but like most things, if you want to do it well and for the longer term, decent equipment is almost mandatory. That starts with shoes. Further down the track, technical gadgets and gear will further support and drive you. Whilst true that there are many easily accessible cheap activities possible as a runner, it depends on how far you take it. Running marathons around the world can get expensive but they provide a lifetime of memories. Blackmores and the Special Olympics want to demonstrate that there are no barriers preventing Australians from exercising and sharing in the joy of running.
3. There is NO WAY I can run that quick or ever do a marathon
Don’t give up before you start. Almost everyone will improve dramatically with 3-6 months of consistent training. Improve gradually and quickly in a very limited time and watch the amazing transformation physically and mentally. Almost everyone that wants to can run a marathon. If you need a break you can always walk before resuming. Whilst running a sub-2:30 marathon will require a natural body type able to take on the training, most people can run a very respectable marathon or more if some hard work is put in.
4. The best way to improve as a runner is just to keep increasing your weekly distance, simple!
Umm no. Over-training can lead to injury and keep you from even making it to the start line. To support your running, and build yourself up, it’s important to mix up your training to enable your body to respond when you need to dig deep. It’s important to focus on recovery and improving your overall strength. Take time to stretch and vary your recovery techniques (including massages and ice baths), look to supplement your diet to help maintain muscle health and spend some time on strength and conditioning. These things need to complement your running journey to help prevent injury and allow you to reach your potential.
The Blackmores Sydney Running Festival is taking place on Sunday, 16 September 2018. Find out more here.
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