Our resident running expert Mimi Sinclair joined us in studio today to help us understand those running myths.
Myth 1: Running hurts
Running hurts when you don't have the proper equipment or training. Shoes are key. Everyone has a slightly different stride. It's best to go into a good running store and have a run analysis. Wear the right clothing with breathable material that doesn't chaff or rub. Also, start small. Run 1 minute walk 2. And continue that pattern until your body feels ready to add time.
Myth 2: Barefoot Running is best
Many studies have been done on this. So far the data is inconclusive. There does not seem to be a significant decrease in injury for those that run barefoot vs those that run in shoes. I know athletes that run best in Hokas and those look like moon shoes. I think it is very individual and ultimately goes back to your running stride.
Myth 3: Running is bad for your knees
March 2011 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, the official journal of the American College of Sports Medicine looked at 28 studies that they felt were well designed and demonstrated evidence as to whether physical activity was related, positively or negatively, to cartilage damage and/or arthritis. Most surprising was their conclusion that there was an inverse relationship between cartilage defects and physical activity, meaning that more active patients had fewer cartilage defects in their knees. I would advise individuals with known cartilage damage to the knee or prior injuries or surgeries to check with their orthopedic surgeon first. I personally only run 2 days a week and cross train with spin and weight lifting.
Myth 4: I'm not fast enough to do a race
Anyone can do a race. Running races are all about the experience when you start out. Usually, marathons and half marathons have time cut offs but they are on average over a 16 minute per mile. With proper training that is completely attainable. 10K's and 5K's are designed to allow an athlete to finish even if they need to walk the entire course. An athlete's first race should be on a course they love or supporting a cause they feel is important. It will help keep the motivation up during training and on race day.