It’s very easy to make assumptions and stumble upon incorrect information about running. If you know how to decipher good information from bad information, then the Internet can be a wonderful source of knowledge. However, if you don’t, it can be very easy to stumble upon incorrect information about running.
If I got paid $1 every time someone told me that running is bad for your knees, running only eats away your muscle, or that running causes heart attacks, I would probably have enough money to retire (just kidding about the retire part).
Above: Photo by IMS FotoGrafix.
In order to put an end to misinformation, I decided to share the 10 Truths About Running.
1. Running is not bad for your knees. Although some runners experience knee pain, the mere act of running is not the reason why. The real reason why some runners experience knee pain is most likely due to muscle imbalances around the hip and knee joints. A couple of months ago, I wrote an article for Canadian Running Magazine about ways to fix that.
Another reason why some runners experience knee pain is bad running form. Proper strength training will help improve muscle balance as well as learning proper running form will help prevent knee pain.
2. Running will help you lose weight. Running will help you burn calories and as long as you are not eating more calories per day than you are burning, you will lose weight.
The reason why some people who run don’t end up losing weight is because they either overestimate the amount of calories they burn while running or underestimate the amount of calories they are eating (or possibly both).
3. You will make new friends when you start running. Over the past few years, I’ve been fortunate enough to meet runners of all levels, from beginners to elite. Every single runner that I’ve met has been pretty awesome. Runners are generally very open to meeting other people who run, regardless of what level they are.
4. Running will not eat away all your muscle. In fact, it will help you get lean muscle on your legs and core, provided that you fuel yourself properly. If your body starts to burn muscle because you’re running a lot then it could be because you need to consume more calories to fuel your runs.
Additionally, you must balance running with strength training exercises for your upper and lower body for optimal performance and lean muscle building.
5. Getting started is the hardest part. Beginners find it challenging because at first it’s hard to get and stay motivated to run, especially when they can’t run as far or as fast, yet. I PROMISE this will pass.
6. Running gets easier if you stick with it. As you gain experience as a runner, your body will adapt to the activity and you WILL be able to run longer and faster.
7. Running too much, too often, too soon and too fast can contribute to injuries. This is why you need to build up your weekly mileage , intensity and duration over a longer period of time.
Many beginners get too excited at the start, thinking that they can do 12-15km runs right off the bat, or run a marathon less than 3 months after they first started running. That’s simply not the case. Give your body time to adapt and it will thank you with many enjoyable miles of running down the road (no pun intended).
8. Running is good for the heart. Running is a cardiovascular activity and that means that it will help strengthen your entire cardiovascular system, which includes the heart.
9. Running is relatively inexpensive. Although race entry fees, technologically advanced GPS watches and special shoes that cost more than $200 per pair make you believe that running is expensive, it’s really not the case. The truth is, you don’t need all the latest and the “greatest” stuff.
However, I do recommend that you invest in a good pair of shoes (which should be around $150) and your feet will thank you. Running is supposed to be simple and it’s accessible to virtually anyone who wants to do it.
10. Running actually feels good. A lot of people associate running with discomfort, pain and extremely hard work. However, running with proper form, at the right intensity feels awesome and shouldn’t hurt. It will help you decrease stress, clear your head and energize you.
There are a lot of myths out there. If you found this article informative, please share.
If you’re a runner looking to get stronger, then get your FREE copy of “Strength Training For Runners” HERE.
If you have any questions about running or ideas for upcoming articles that you would like me to post, please email me or message me on my Facebook page.