In the past 50 years, running has entered the mainstream culture. For some it is a job, for others a hobby, and for too many it is a chore.
Despite the growing popularity, prevailing misconceptions about the sport may be a barrier which prevent many from trying running or sticking with it.
Here is a short list of some misconceptions related to our sport. Don’t let any of these get the better of you!
You run? Good, you’re a runner.
This myth is perhaps rooted in the image of athletes being perfect specimens of the human body. Lean and muscular. On the contrary, humans (that includes you) are the greatest endurance athletes on the planet. We can breath at any point during our running gait cycle and have sweat glands covering our entire body. You were made to run, it simply takes a bit of time and effort to bring your skills to light.
Not doing any sort of complementary work such as strength, mobility, or flexibility activities is common among amateur athletes. This could be due to time constraints or the belief that you simply have to run to become a better runner. While running should take center stage, to become a healthy athlete, attention should be paid to General Strength and Mobility work. Examples of these are Active Isolated Stretching, Coach Jay Johnson’s Core H, and Valarie Hunt’s drill videos.
Unlike golf, tennis, or swimming, most people that begin the sport of running do not take any lessons or perform any research on how to actually run. Yet, this activity is a skill like any other. Many believe that thick shoes with taller heels than toes promote a heel landing far out in front of the body. This image is only strengthened by most running magazine covers. However, there are generally accepted characteristics of healthy and economic running form, and they can be learned and taught.
Painful running stems from the videos of runners throwing up during races and collapsing upon crossing the finish line, if they even finish. For some athletes, this may be a self fulfilling prophecy. The new runner believes athletics should hard, so they make it hard! Yet the reality is most of the training that the majority of athletes do is at a fairly relaxed effort. One of the best pieces of advice to give a new runner is to slow down. That way, they do not fatigue as quickly so they can run more consistently and experience greater improvements.
What are some other myths you feel unfortunately populate the sport of running?
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