There’s an overload of running advices, tips and tricks, do’s and don’ts and so much more out there. It's often difficult to navigate through what is right and what is wrong. You will find a lot of opinions and subjective beliefs online, in books, magazine, on the track or at the local coffee shop, which can be challenging for a newbie or even a hard-core running-rat to comprehend.
It seems that more and more there are conflicting information about certain topics, like injuries, stretching, sports nutrition, carb loading and strength training – just to name a few.
Below, we will take a look at a couple of myths and try to give you the best insight, so you don’t go out there feeling overwhelmed or confused.
With that said, our absolute best advice is to listen to your body! It’s your body, your way of running, your tempo, your energy levels and your demands. It’s always easy to give others advice, but it’s definitely a tougher one to take a deep look at what you need.
We will divide this article into the following order:
- Strength training myths
- Energy/nutrition myths
- Stretching myths
- Workout myths
- Looking for more inspiration?
Strength Training for Runners Myths
This is one of our favorites. There is a lot of debate out there suggesting that runners don’t need to strengthen the body, as you get enough from your running. However, strength training helps build joints and muscles that are critical not only for performance enhancement also for your injury prevention.
Now don’t get us wrong, we don’t suggest you should be hitting the gym every day now. But if your strength train (according to YOUR body’s needs) twice a week, this will be a very good start for you. Don't misunderstand us. If you run 4 times a week, you don’t have to swop your running out with strength training. But you can try to incorporate some strength into your programme – without doing too much.
An effective routine doesn’t have to take a lot of your energy and time. You can hit the weights for about 20-30 min and remember your core-training. You can easily do this at home or where ever you prefer to do it. We recommend you to focus on legs, upper body and back when doing core and strength training. Runners need to have strong legs, a strong core and back to help you improve endurance. Try also to incorporate doing hill-sprints now and then. These are proven to improve speed, strength and endurance, while at the same time reducing the risk of getting injured.
Running Nutrition and Energy Myths
With so many different sports nutrition’s and drinks on the market, it seems never-ending the choices you have. On paper, it seems like a good choice – and definitely the easiest one right?
But we strongly recommend for you to eat real foods and drink milk and water instead. Especially if your workout is less than one hour, you definitely don’t need to go crazy in the fridge afterwards. This tends to be a misunderstood subject, as everyone believes they need something after a workout. Choose water after a short workout and eat healthy during the day. If you feel “flat” or in need of energy after a hard workout take a banana or apple with you, so you have it within reach. This is our best trick.
Of course, if you are running more than a 100k a week and are running twice a day, your body needs more than just water. Here, we again suggest grabbing a banana, a bowl of yogurt or a glass of milk after a tough workout. Several of our SAYSKY athletes never take supplements and only use gels on their long runs (20k +) or when doing races (half marathon or marathon).
Another myth is that runners tend to believe, or we have been told, that we need plenty of carbs before a race. Truth is that unless this race is a marathon – you don’t need to cook pasta for 10 days straight. There is no need to alter your diet before a race there is shorter than two hours. Always eat something before a race that you are familiar with and that you know your body is comfortable with. Routine is key!
You can read our tips and trick on nutrition right here.
Stretching and Running Myths
This subject is also a debated one. A lot of studies show that stretching before a run is a good idea. However, some believe that static stretching before a run can hurt your performance. Therefore, its recommended to do dynamic stretching instead, as it is a better way to warm up the body and make it ready for your run.
Dynamic stretching can be high knees, lunges, skips and leg swings. After a run, then we strongly believe that static stretching and foam rolling is the key to recovery and to help the blood flow going. A stretching routine doesn’t have to take up your whole day, you can do dynamic stretches for 5 min before you run and 5-10 min after your run. Stretching before and after running, or any other sports, has actually proven to be injury preventing.
Workout for Runners Myths
Sometimes, you are forced to take a day off. Whether you are sick, injured or are busy with other things, you can be forced to skip your planned workout. For many, this means that they believe they lose fitness immediately.
It actually won’t hurt your training or your fitness to take a day off. Of course, if you take a month off training, we can start to talk about losing fitness. But until then, you will be surprised how quickly the body will come back and how much alternative training can do for you. And you don’t have to spent hours with alternative training, you can easily keep the fitness up by doing about 20 min a day. With alternative training we mean cross training, aqua jogging, biking/spinning, rowing etc. There are plenty and endless ways of getting the pulse up, so if you are injured you should definitely use this as a tool to get back and keeping your fitness up. As long as you are not hurting when doing so. If you are sick, we recommend you stay in bed, as alternative training can stress the body even more and make the process of recovery even longer.
Another workout-myth out there is that many tend to believe that more training will get you in a better shape. Now this is one we would like to discuss. While we agree that more mileage can be good, we definitely encourage everyone to look at their own journey and not get too caught up in the more-miles-better-times loop. When you add more miles to your program, you also increase fatigue. And if you are not giving yourself recovery-time you might end up in over-training or in an injury.
Take it slow when increasing your mileage and respect the time it takes to get the joints and heart adjusted to the training. We suggest you start focusing on the quality of your training, rather than the quantity. We would also like to stress that recovery is the key to get better, so don’t overthink or overstress your running/training. This can eventually lead to injuries because you get too eager too fast.
Stick to a healthy plan, where you focus on one thing at a time. This simply means that if you want to run more miles, you shouldn’t focus on increasing your tempo while doing so. Focus on one parameter and remember to increase your mileage slowly! Stick to a healthy diet and don’t focus on what others do. This will get you there! We promise.
Looking for more inspiration?
For most of us, running is more than just a sport. But a way of living! We admire all the hard-workers, tough moms and gym-rats that just can’t get enough of the sport. On our website, you will find all you need to crush your workout – shop our clothes here.
If you at the same time want our absolute best advice or get the latest news, pro-tips and race updates, you can do so on our blog. Here, we often write about topics that is close to our hearts, interview our athletes or informing you about our latest kit-drops and collections.