There are a lot of misconceptions about long distance running, and most of them are due to people having little to no understanding of this worthwhile activity. That being said, here are five of the most common misconceptions about long distance running that you ought to know. . . and dismiss.
Misconception 1: Running is Bad for the Heart
One of the biggest misconceptions about long distance running is that it is bad for the heart. On the contrary, running, like all physical activities, can help strengthen the heart, as suggested in the Perelman School of Medicine’s study ‘Is Running Really Good for the Heart?’ The key, ultimately, is to not overdo it, as anything in excess is counterintuitive.
Misconception 2: Running Ruins Your Knees
Your lower limbs take a pounding when you run, and the more you do it, the more you put your knees at risk of being ruined. At least, that’s what many people say. But the opposite might actually be true: running might help you avoid knee problems in the future. A study published in the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that running “appears to decrease knee intra-articular pro-inflammatory cytokine concentration,.” In layman’s terms, runners had less inflammation in the knees, which is a precursor to arthritis, compared to non-runners. (To read more on this, check out our ‘Running – Good or Bad for Your Knees?’ post.)
Misconception 3: You Must Run All the Time
To run long distances you have to get used to running for long periods of time – so you need to train all the time, right? Well, not exactly. There’s a need to train, yes, but running all the time is not something long distance runners do as it can lead to injury. Instead, long distance runners train strategically and smartly. Training usually involves long runs on weekends, speed work once or twice a week, easy recovery runs, and a day or two off.
Misconception 4: Runners Need Not Build Strength
As Esquire notes in ‘Debunking The 6 Most Common Running Myths’, strength training “helps build your running potential,” particularly when leg exercises are correctly incorporated into your training. By doing these exercises, you will be able to build the muscles and joints in your lower body, and this means they will be stronger, more stable, and more able to withstand the grind of running long distances.
Misconception 5: Technology Has No Place in Running
Part of the allure of long distance running is its simplicity, and some argue that technology gets in the way of the sport’s innate unpretentiousness. But the fact is that technology has transformed nearly every type sport, helping athletes from all disciplines improve their performance. News platform Coral claims that tracking technologies are commonly used by professional teams due to the “exhaustive amounts of data” that becomes available. These same technologies, contrary to traditional beliefs, have a place in long distance running, too, as they give runners the capability to monitor and record real time information about their performance. The Lumo Run Sensor can even help you run better, as this sensor tracks all your essential running stats that you can later look over to check areas for improvement. The key here is to find the perfect balance that will allow you to make full use of technology yet enjoy the simplicity of the sport.
Guest post by: SophieMya