Running Myths – Part 2

Running Myths

Photo By: City Running Tours Chicago

This post is part of a series of “running myths” posts that I have been doing. You can find more in this series by clicking here.

When talking with friends and reading running posts online you come across a lot of information that may not necessarily be true. The running myths may be popular conversation pieces when people talk about running, but it is good to know why some of these statements are false (especially ones that are just excuses!)

Running Myth #6: You Don’t Have Enough Time to Run / 15 Minute Runs Are Not Even Worth It

Which one is greater than the other — 0 or 5?

I am amazingly intelligent when it comes to mathematics so I will tell you that 5 is greater than 0.

So let’s pose another questions – which one is greater — not running or running for 5 minutes?

I know a lot of people who decide not to workout or run or exercise because they think by the time they get ready to exercise they only have 5-10 minutes to actually do it. So then they bail and watch TV or go on Facebook instead.

Although a half hour of running is better than 15 minutes — 15 minutes is DEFINITELY better than not running at all.

And if you really think you do not have time to run, what else are you doing that is taking up that time? Important things seem to find a way to fit into our busy schedules.

Are you really that busy, or are you just making excuses?

Running Myth #7: Running in the Cold Will Make You Sick

Although there have been studies that have shown that colder temperature may hinder your immune system response to viruses, running in the cold does not necessarily make you sick.

In the winter, people have a lot going against them in terms of the “getting sick” department.

First, they are more than likely not as active as they are in the summer. Second, it is cold. Third, they are cooped up indoors more often.

These factors will cause people to get the sniffles now and then.

But running? Since exercising can actually boost your immune system, you are outside in the fresh air, and you are not cooped up next to other people – I think running may actually make you LESS sick while it is cold!

Don’t like the cold? Buy some running clothing that can warm you up!

Running Myth #8: You Can Never Have Enough Water

Water is wonderful and definitely makes the world go round.

But recently, we are beginning to learn about a more common occurrence in athletes who drink only water while performing long and extensive exercise/run/workout sessions.

Hyponatremia, or water intoxication, is basically drinking too much water and lowering the concentration of sodium in your bloodstream. Its effects? Nausea, muscle cramps, disorientation, slurred speech, and confusion.

Worse case scenario? Seizure, coma and even death.

Not something you want to mess around with.

There is a pretty easy solution though. Only drink water when you are thirsty and try to drink some type of enhanced water/sports drink when exercising for a long period of time. The enhanced water/sports drinks will help replenish your sodium and electrolyte levels, unlike plain water.

To be even more prepared, find out how much water you should be drinking per day and during your exercises.

Running Myth #9: I Shouldn’t Take Too Long of Breaks, It Will Hinder My Training

I know for me, breaks can be both very helpful for my fitness and disastrous for my motivation. I have a tendency to turn a few days of rest into a few weeks because I lost my consistency. It happens to a lot of folks.

However, it has been proven that resting anywhere from five days to two weeks(!) will NOT hinder your performance and may actually help your body heal from any small injuries that you may not be aware of (yet!)

Although, for me, motivation seems to decrease when breaks are long. To combat this I try to keep my mind on running by reading running books, magazines or blogs!

Running Myth #10: Etiquette Says I Should Stick With My Buddy During A Race

This myth can go either way, I have to admit. It all depends on why you are choosing to run with your buddy.

Reasons to stick with your running buddy during a race includes:

  • Using your buddy as a way to pace yourself
  • Using your buddy as motivation (and vice versa)
  • Medical problems and safety

However, if you are just running with your buddy because you signed up together, are driving together, leaving together – I do not think it is necessary to stay with them throughout the entire race.

This is all up to you and your buddy. You should discuss before the race that if one would like to speed up or slow down, they just have to say so during the race and the other can do as they please.

Communication is the key!

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