ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

5 Misunderstood Running Myths: Don't Let These Stop You

Updated on May 9, 2020
cammyrp93 profile image

Cammy is a freelance writer, nature and animal lover, Spanish bilingual, and an artist.

Source

One day, you went to the grocery store and saw a strange comment or two in a magazine article about running. You're reminded about why the internet is such a wonderful tool: It has so much information and it's what we use to fact-check. It means we have an array of sources to choose from and no longer have to rely on print.

However, myths exist on the internet, too. There are some myths about running out there that are neither true or false. Those of you who enjoy running want to make it a boon to your health, rather than the opposite. You wouldn't want to miss out on running on the off-chance that a certain practice is harmful, right? Read on to debunk 5 common running myths and find out what exactly the truth is, backed by medical research.

Myth #1: Runners Get Bad Knees

This is the most misunderstood, because it makes the most sense: Your knees take the impact of pounding on the pavement, increasing your risk of arthritis. Well, not only is it not true, but runners actually have half the risk of developing arthritis than walkers. A study in 2013 showed that the health benefit is not from running itself, but from having a lower BMI. Believe it or not, the largest risk factor for knee osteoarthritis is obesity.

Myth #2: Stretching Is Necessary

We think we need to stretch to reduce our soreness afterwards. However, it doesn't do much. Movement matters more, because too much flexibility can increase risk of injury if you exercise right afterwards. The point of getting limber is to be moving at the same time; static stretches might be bad for those who sprint. Better yet, have a warm-up jog.


Myth #3: Running Barefoot Reduces Injuries

The minimalist movement, inspired by the Tarahumara natives in Mexico, has spread the belief that running barefoot is better because you gain endurance, and feeling the ground reduces your risk of getting hurt. Especially if you run almost tip-toe. But it's not true, according to a study in 2009. Sports scientist Dr. Irene Davis thinks that the Tarahumara running in sandals or barefoot makes them run differently from the rest of us, since over-supportive running shoes prevent full muscle movement. What you can take away from this is the importance of a varied terrain to avoid repetitive use injury rather than what's on your feet or not. Also, strength training helps your endurance by maintaining proper form.

Myth #4: You Shouldn't Run More Than 5 Miles A Day, Or You'll Die

A slight variation on this myth is that you shouldn't run more than 20 miles a week. Both result from a misinterpretation of editorials, opinion pieces, a conference abstract, and a heart study. People who interpreted them negatively did not account for existing cardiac issues and habits, such as smoking. Running simply isn't to blame.


Myth #5: Sports Drink Are Ideal

Back in my day, Gatorade was the sports drink. Its original 70s formula was a blend of electrolytes, fruit juices (usually lemon, lime, and pineapple), and water. There were even bits of fruit. Over time, however, the formula changed, and more sugars and artificial flavors and sweeteners were added. It followed much the same way for other sports drinks that came later on.

Ultimately, the most important aspect about what you drink is about the amount of carbohydrates it has, not that it must be a sports drink. A natural beverage with high carbohydrates, calories and electrolytes will give you enough energy and hydration for any exercise over an hour; less than an hour and water is fine.

There are other myths, but the takeaway is to listen to your body over peer pressure. An appeal to popularity isn't a very good way of knowing how well something actually works. Also, if it only pertains to running and not other forms of exercise, it's probably a myth. Like the old saying goes,"If it ain't broke, don't fix it."

References

Miller, RH, et al. (2014, March) Why don't most runners get knee osteoarthritis? A case per-unit-distance loads. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24042311

Williams, PT. (2013, July) Effects of running and walking on osteoarthritis and hip replacement risk. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23377837

Herbert, RD, et al. (2011, July 6) Stretching to Prevent Or Reduce Muscle Soreness After Exercise. Retrieved from http://www.cochrane.org/CD004577/MUSKINJ_stretching-to-prevent-or-reduce-muscle-soreness-after-exercise

MemeScythe. (2010, June 4) The Tarahumara: A Hidden Tribe of Superathletes Born to Run. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnwIKZhrdt4

Hall, C. (2014, March 30) Are Cardiovascular Risk Factors Responsible for the U-Shaped Relationship Between Running and Longevity? Retrieved from http://www.abstractsonline.com/pp8/#!/3392/presentation/27801

© 2018 Cammy Cañizal

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia Zirkwitz 

      2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      Good points here that many folks who run might appreciate seeing as not the bugaboos they thought they were. Tweeting this!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://maven.io/company/pages/privacy

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)