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September 17, 2020

Debunking common running myths

…plus, what you should do instead

Fitness Running

Content sponsored by IBC - Native (195x33)

Woman running in park original photo Thom Carroll/for PhillyVoice

Contrary to what you may read on some running blogs, eating a carb-loaded meal right before a 10K is not a good idea. While it’s true you should increase your carbohydrate intake during the week leading up to a race that lasts longer than two hours, it’s not necessary to eat a big pasta dinner the night before a race.

There are many other running myths floating around out there. Avoid falling for them. Here are some things you should do instead.

1. Do a warm-up before a run; don’t static stretch

Stretching is super important for anyone performing physical activity. But save the static stretching for after your run. Instead, try warming up with leg swings, lunges, or high knees. This type of warm-up can help you get your blood pumping and your heart rate up, while still stretching your limbs.

2. Do drink water; don’t drink a sports drink

Sports drinks are a great and tasty option during long runs because they replace the electrolytes and calories you lose and help you keep going. But during short runs – less than an hour – water is a better thirst-quencher.

3. Do cross-train; don’t run every day

If you’re an avid runner, it may be tempting to run every day. But too much running could lead to over-training and injury. Instead, try cross-training by mixing in other activities, like kickboxing, swimming, or even hopping on an elliptical machine. It helps balance your muscle groups and prevents you from getting bored. Plus, it’s a good idea to take a least one day off a week because it allows time for your body to heal.

4. Do strength train; don’t avoid the weights

Many runners believe they don’t need to do anything but run to prepare for a big race. But strength training actually improves your ability to run because it makes you stronger and faster and helps to prevent injury. And strength training is more than lifting weights — in fact, you don’t even need weights. You can incorporate planks, squats, and lunges in between any run.

5. Do switch up your mileage; don’t run the same miles everyday

If you’re someone who wakes up at the same time, eats the same breakfast, gets ready in the same order, and runs the same five-mile route every day, a routine is probably important to you. But running the same miles, at the same pace every day doesn’t help you if you’re trying to improve your running performance. Try adding short and long runs to your weekly routine, throw in some hills, and speed up/slow down your pace and you may experience a boosted performance in your next race.

This article was originally published on IBX Insights.

About Ashley Weyler

I’m a writer and a film, music, and TV buff who loves Philadelphia sports. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, which means I’m always on-the-go. I try to make healthy decisions that fit with my lifestyle; whether it’s choosing healthy food while eating at a restaurant, finding exercises I enjoy doing so I stay motivated, or achieving a good work-life balance.

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