Common running myths debunked

With so much fitness information available on the internet, it can be hard to decipher fact from fiction. Follow our expert advice and get your running on point.

Common running myths debunked

Running is bad for your knees

If you were to run 150 miles a week exclusively on tarmac, your body might start to feel the effects. But unless you're a professional athlete, your running routine will most likely be much lower on mileage, more varied and in turn, have less impact on your body.

Studies has shown that following a regular exercise routine is in fact good for your knees, and active people have less joint problems than their sedentary counterparts.

Running on hard surfaces can still add pressure to your joints, so to minimise any potential aches and pains mix up the terrain as much as possible. Head to the park and run on the grass, or take to the trails and embrace softer ground. Jazzing up your routine with low-impact exercises such as swimming, cycling or yoga will also give your joints some respite. 

Runners are a certain shape

Regardless of your build, if you have a pair of legs, you can run. It’s easy to let our views be shaped by the images we see in the media. Although, quite frankly, our wonderful, regular sized bodies needn’t worry about that. Don't be afraid to own the road if you don't look like Paula Radcliffe. Not very many people do either and it's what your body does, not what it looks like, that matters.

You have to run with water

Taking a water bottle on every run is a safety mechanism that we don't always need. As long as you’re sufficiently hydrated, it isn't too hot outside and you’re not about to run a marathon, for shorter runs you can leave your water bottle at home.

Hydrate properly, drink a pint of water at least one hour before heading out of the door and enjoy your run without feeling parched.

There’s a perfect running form

Wrong. As individuals, we all run in different ways; some of us heel strike and others have a quicker cadence than the average. Everyone can improve in different ways yet there isn’t one specific way to run, so embrace your individuality and get moving.

You must stretch before every run

A common running mistake is to compulsively stretch cold muscles before your run, which can actually lead to injury. Warm-up first and stretch after 10 minutes, or wait until you're finished your workout for a loosening up session. For more stretching tips, click here

Run more, get faster

Running consistently will improve your performance, but it won’t necessarily make you faster. The key to speed is to pepper your regular miles with specific training sessions, such as speed work and tempo runs. These won’t demand too much distance or time on your feet, but an increased level of effort. Try it for yourself with our 6 speedy workouts

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