Running myths (part 2 of 2)

Second part on some common running myths and the truth about them
This week you will find the second part of the running myths. If you missed last week, you can click here to read the first part.
Remember that running is easy, there is no need to over think it.

Omar Martinez
Here is the second part of the list about running myths. As a coach I've been surprised by how strong some of these are. If you hold any of these beliefs as true, just ask yourself why this is true three times and see how far down the rabbit hole you can go.

If you still have doubts around this, remember that you can google it, just pay attention of who is saying and the sources they have used.
Some common Running Myths
Train hard, rest easy
People understand this as going hard every training session. The reality is that recovery is what really differentiates high performers from the middle of the pack. No one posts their numbers for a long-easy ride or a recovery swim, though, so people think that everyone is working hard all the time. If you want to get the best results possible, make sure to incorporate easy sessions and respect your recovery times and food as well. Also, if you're racing easy you're doing it wrong. Make sure you leave it all on the field. Look at the Brownlees every time they've won gold. That's when you abuse your body, not before.
Resting will cause loss of fitness.
Connected to the last point. Some athletes are reluctant to taking easy days, rest days, and stopping training due to injury or illness. The first thing you must know is that rest as part of a planned training program will allow for your body to adapt and be ready for more of the same or even bigger efforts.
But what happens if you stop due to an emergency or commitment for more than 3 days? The truth is that adaptations are not lost so fast unless other factors such as alcohol and smoke are added to the mix. Cardiovascular fitness can drop after 2 weeks of inactivity to a certain percentage, but it is quickly regained. Muscular strength is also affected by less than 5% over a full month of inactivity.
Treadmills are not good for training.
A lot of runners and coaches will say that treadmills are like cheating because "they do the running for you". This is only true if you don't know how to run and if this is the case you're moving towards an injury anyways and this should be fixed. When used correctly, a treadmill will help an athlete stay at a pace where they are uncomfortable for a specific time, increase the leg turnover and train muscle speed, help with climbing technique, reduce impact on the joints, and offer steady conditions for training and testing.

Runners have a specific body and yours is not made for it.
This is true only if your goal is to be a world champion, Olympic medalist, or record holder. Most human beings should be able to sun a marathon in 4hr or less through proper conditioning and in their own time, but it's more a matter of dedication. This is difficult to explain sometimes, and people always seem to find a medical diagnosis or family engagement to keep them from putting the time and work in. Take this from a guys who was told not to run because he had no arches and not to cycle because of faulty knees when he was a kid. Now one of my favorite hobbies includes running and cycling for hours and the only injuries I've had are because of irresponsible decisions, not training or the sport.
Runners love running.
This is a huge myth (in a way). The idea of getting off the couch and going for a run is something an athlete will look forward maybe 1% or less of the time. The fact is that training is hard, and running can be horrible sometimes (but not all the time). Putting in the hours and dedication implies sacrificing time with friends, sore muscles, and wanting to nap every hour. But we do it. Why? Because the reward and sense of accomplishment are incomparable. Because carrying a body which feels powerful is amazing. And because endurance and high level training will help you understand yourself better than any therapist or inspirational speaker ever will. We are lucky to be surrounded by true legends here in Dubai. Next time you see one ask him or her how much they enjoy their training, I am pretty sure most will say they love it when it's over
You need to be fit and lean to be a runner.
Same as point 4. This is not true. If you're a beginner, I'm sure you've been overtaken at some point by someone who doesn't really look like they should be running as fast as they are. This is because there may be something else going on with their diet and habits. The type of strength coming from endurance is very particular, and all you need to do is put the right hours in to see results. If you do it right, though, you will become a fitter and leaner version of yourself.

You are too old to start running.
A hard lie. It is never too late. And the sooner you start, the better. Risk of dementia, cardiovascular disease, and other organ failures will be reduced drastically. Your bone density will go up if training is done properly. Aging will slow down and in some occasions it can even be reversed a little. There is no downside to starting proper training of any kind at any age. You should read this post from "Wait But Why" and try to plan out how you want your remaining days to look like.
You need to drink a lot of water during a race/training session.
No, you just need enough. There is an old misconception that if you drink when you are thirsty it is too late, drinking to thirst is actually fine. you are not in danger of dehydrating unless you are very competitive and are not paying attention in a race over 3 hours and in difficult conditions. Of the registered marathon deaths you can find, none are due to dehydration and at least six are caused by hyponatremia or electrolyte imbalance. Both of these last two conditions are often a result of drinking too much water.
What is important is to have good hydration habits throughout your days before the race and in life in general.
So this is the last of the list, but there are still many ideas people have around running and training which come from the right place but are completely misinformed. If you have a question about something you've heard, feel free to reach out and ask. I'm always happy to discuss these subjects, teach, and learn.

Have a great week and enjoy some healthy miles!

The 85 Year-Old Marathon Runner Beating Competition Half His Age
An interesting Vice video taking a look at an 80-year old marathoner. Funny he has the same views as any other accomplished runner about training and running.
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