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Running is a relatively easy activity. Put on a pair of jogging shoes, and then step out. But as you scratch the surface, you’ll discover a lot of myths and false beliefs about the activity. As a new runner, you might face several challenges in finding out what is essential in running. Regrettably, the amount of online content is on the rise without anyone checking how true it is.
With so much online content at our disposal, it may be quite challenging to distinguish between information supported by evidence and information that is just old wives’ tales. It’s common for old myths to persist for centuries before factual evidence becomes widely accepted. Let us examine the most prevalent myths regarding running.
Running will ruin the knees
Everyone in your life who doesn’t run tells you this, including your mother, colleagues, neighbors, and friends. Although running indeed increases your risk of injury, you won’t get hurt just for running.
Running won’t damage your knees any more than any other activity. You can sustain a variety of injuries, and they can develop over time. Your risk of serious injury will be reduced if you do strength training and engage in other types of exercise.
Hiring a running coach is only for the pros
Who said you couldn’t hire a coach even if you are not running for a medal? Running can be fun, and hiring a coach can help you learn the best way to run. Nowadays, people run not to win an award but to remain fit. So, if you feel you have the resources, hire a professional coach, even if you are an amateur.
Running is the best way to lose fat
It is not entirely true that running is the best way to lose fat. On the other hand, running is one of the finest ways to get rid of belly fat, and there are even a few simple changes you can make to your usual running routine that can help you burn more fat for longer.
You should stretch before you run
In the past, people believed stretching and warming up muscles before running was necessary since runners are infamously stiff. Static stretching isn’t the greatest technique to begin your run, even though scientists have debated this question.
Warm up your muscles and circulate blood with active stretches instead. Muscle lengthening and increased range of motion are two of the many benefits you get from doing these exercises. What do you think of when you hear the word “high-knee”?
Before running, dynamic stretching is suggested because it gets your body ready for mobility and the activities you’ll be doing. If your body is conditioned for exercise, you’ll benefit more from running and workouts.
You’re not a runner unless you race
Running implies that you are preparing for a race. Otherwise, why would you always tie your shoes? The fact is that not all runners enjoy competing in races. Yes, some people appreciate working for a specific objective and the glamor that goes with it. Others, however, simply savor the run’s bare simplicity.
Running is for everyone
People believe they cannot master the art of running, and in order to justify this, they practice the art of making excuses! Anyone, obese, short, elderly, young, or bald, can run but not in a competitive way.
True, we’re not denying that when you start running, you’re on your way to the Olympics (just 0.0001% of the world’s population has done so), but running isn’t always competitive; it can also be freeing. As a result, it is never too late to begin!
Taking a few days off will hurt your fitness
Do you immediately believe that all the kilometers you’ve recorded have been for nothing if you have to spend a few days off from running, whether it be due to illness, an accident, or other life circumstances?
Are you concerned that your cardiovascular fitness will decline? According to studies, trained athletes’ VO2 max barely decreases during the first ten days of inactivity. Take a rest day if you require one. When you are ill or hurt, give yourself time to recover. The world will not end as a result of your resting.
Running on empty stomach burns fat
It’s a fallacy that running while fast increases fat burning. Basically, the idea is that if you don’t give your body any nourishment before you go for a run, it will immediately revert to fat storage for energy. As a result, you won’t burn much fat because you have to sprint at a lower incline (research bears this out)
Runners can eat whatever they want
Sorry, but you can’t go completely nuts with your food unless you’re an expert runner clocking 100 kilometers per week. Unbelievably, many people who train for a marathon put on weight. There are several reasons why additional weight is common.
This explains why runners frequently overestimate the number of calories they expend while clocking up miles. We believe that because running is demanding, we burn many calories, but this is untrue. Running for an hour only burns about 600 calories, which you might easily consume with a cheeseburger as a cheat meal.
Walking and running burn the same number of calories
Miles are miles. Contrary to widespread assumption, however, walking does not burn quite so many calories as running an equivalent distance would. Because running is more intense than walking, it causes you to burn more calories after your workout.
Research in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that this post-burn effect can result in a 25% higher caloric metabolism during and after a run than a similar distance walk. You’ll burn even more if you include some speed work, like sprints.
Barefoot running reduces injuries
Because of Christopher McDougall’s book Born to Run, the contemporary trend of running barefoot is more popular than ever. However, let elite-level coaches dispel this misconception about this trend: Although jogging as organically as possible sounds like a great concept, most adults don’t run correctly and require shoe assistance to avoid injury. For most people, the physical and joint strain is simply too much. It might be worthwhile to buy those jogging shoes after all.
More expensive running shoes are better
Running footwear is made for various foot types, strides, and running styles. What might be the “ideal” shoe for one person might be entirely the worst choice for you. It is not about how expensive the shoes are but the pace you run and the strategy employed.
Most runners don’t need the elaborate features featured in luxury shoe designs. The right shoe for you ultimately depends on your foot type and running style. Look for a shoe that feels comfortable right out of the box and matches your amount of pronation.
Older people shouldn’t run anymore
You know the law of diminishing returns. As you age, your speed decreases. Not exactly. Your running fitness is more influenced by when you began running than by your actual age. You’ll get slower if you start running at a younger age.
Nevertheless, perhaps around age 40, you still have space for development if you start jogging later in life. Additionally, compared to 40, you could run faster at 45.
Runners should pay attention to flexibility
Yoga has grown in popularity in the running world in recent years. In addition, while yoga has numerous advantages for runners, including increased strength and stability, flexibility does not have to be a training priority.
Running requires sturdy joints and powerful muscles to keep everything in place. Consider performing yoga on weekends to relax and strengthen your core, but don’t allow it to take over your training plan.
Cold weather running is risky
This myth about running is probably the oldest one, but it is also the most straightforward: running in the cold won’t make you sick. There is no explanation why you might become sick while running in cold weather.
You won’t feel cold if you dress adequately for the temperature and ensure your hands and head are always warm. In fact, remaining at home and avoiding the run will likely increase your probability of getting sick, as access to germs is what causes illness. You don’t have to use the cold weather as an excuse.
Changing of running style can improve your speed
This is another myth most runners tend to hold during their beginning stage. Well, changing your style doesn’t improve your speed. However, if you stay loose, focus on a full motion range, lean forward slightly, and run tall, you can increase your running speed.
Runners don’t need to strength train
You should only concentrate on running if you need to improve. Wrong. Strength training is actually essential for improving performance and avoiding injuries. Strength training will correct muscle imbalances that could cause injuries and increase your muscle power, giving you a better finishing kick.
It is obvious that there are still a lot of urban superstitions that runners hold to be true. Most people tend to adhere to the pre-race customs and theories they have always held to be true. Distinguishing myth from fact can significantly affect your improvement because not all running information is grounded in reality.