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Northampton 1/2 Marathon – Myth Busters

Myth Busters

I need to just keep putting the miles in…….
This is a classic case of quality over quantity! Regardless of distance, the quality of your run is the most important factor.  Interval training is a really efficient way of preparing your heart and lungs for a long-distance run, whereas hill running challenges different part of muscle groups.  A varied training programme should focus on all aspects of running and not just mileage.

I will get strong just by running so I don’t need to do other training…..
When you run you are asking a serious amount from many different muscle groups. If we are weak in some muscles, then its likely other muscles will compensate and cause injury.  Just running will not strengthen the weak muscles, but only increase the compensation.  In other words, if we just run, only the strong muscles get stronger! A physiotherapist can help identify where your weaker muscles are and what you need to do to strengthen properly.

Every week we are posting a new strength exercise to help with your training programme – keep an eye out on our Facebook page.

I am training my core by doing lots of sit ups………
This is a common misconception! While sit ups do work some muscles in your abdominal area, they don’t work our deep core muscles.  A better idea is get guidance through your physiotherapist or personal trainer on how to work your core. Pilates can be a great option as it focuses on working your deep stability muscles.

Running will ruin my knees…
This is the most common myth we hear! Knees do frequently get injured due to running, but this is usually due to muscle imbalance or training programme.  If you are running with a good programme and strong muscles, there is no evidence to suggest you are damaging your knees!

The best way to recover from a run is to drink protein shakes…
There is no substitute for good sleep, good nutrition and good hydration. Protein shakes may be beneficial in some cases, but the foundations should be

– diet filled with complex carbs, protein and a variety of fruit and veg.

– Good hydration, not only when running but throughout your whole training programme.

– Sleep, which is the very best way to repair muscle tissue after a run. And it’s the thing we skip most!

I will prevent injury if I stretch before running…….
If we are talking about static stretching (holding a stretch for a certain amount of time) recent research suggests this isn’t the best way to prepare for a run. A good dynamic stretching regime (stretching with movement) is definitely more sensible as you will warm up your body, prepare the muscles for the task ahead and get the blood pumping to all the right areas!

Getting a stitch is a sign of being unfit……..
There are a number of reasons we might get a stitch while running. Surprisingly the most common reason is due to digestion.  If our body is working hard to digest a pre-run meal, it can cause pressure on your diaphragm, leading to a stitch.

Additionally, a stitch may also signal that your muscles are not getting enough oxygen, in which case you may want to look at your breathing technique

Visit our Facebook page to see our strength exercise videos –

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