Top 3 Running Myths Debunked
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The content in this post is intended for informational or general educational purposes only and it is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment before making any adjustments to your running, nutrition, fitness, or healthcare routines.
We want every runner to get the most out of every run — whether you’re just starting out or are a long way down your running path. We’ve called on our running specialists at Brooks Run Signature team to debunk the three most common running myths so you can have all the facts you need to run happy.
Learn more about Brooks Run Signature
Will running ruin your knees?
Myth! Running is actually good for your knees.
Brooks runs a dedicated research lab that works to understand the good and bad effects of running on humans.
However, this doesn’t mean that running makes your body injury-proof. “Too much loading on your body can be harmful, so it’s important to ramp up your running gradually,” notes Trudeau.
To maximize the whole-body benefits of running, run in shoes that support your body’s unique natural motion path. From addressing knee pain to high arches, you can use our Shoe Finder to find the right support and fit for your runs.
Should you stretch before you run?
Myth! You should warm up, but not with traditional stretches.
There are two different types of stretching: static and dynamic. Static stretching is what people traditionally think of when they imagine a stretch, like bending to touch your toes and holding the pose to get that sweet, sweet hamstring stretch. However, static stretching is not as useful to runners who need to warm up before a run.
Runners are advised to try dynamic stretches before their run instead. Dynamic stretches reduce risk of injury and boost blood flow to your muscles and joints. Think leg swings, air squats, high knees, and butt kicks.
Try out these 5 dynamic stretches for runners from pro-running coach Tywon Thompson.
Do bananas help prevent cramps while running?
Myth! Bananas are nutritious but won't relieve exercise-induced cramping.
Bananas are great exercise snacks, full of easily digestible sugars and electrolytes.
Typically, muscle cramps during exercise are caused by dehydration or an electrolyte imbalance. So, if bananas are full of electrolytes, they must be great at preventing cramps, right?
Not quite. A 2012 study from the North Dakota State University’s Department of Heatlh, Nutrition, and Exercise found that bananas, despite being electrolyte-rich, are unlikely to relieve exercise-induced cramps.
Don’t go bananas quite yet — there’s still a whole lot of nutrition under that peel. Bananas are easy-to-carry snacks and can be great fuel for any exercise.
What should you eat to relieve cramps?
Research indicates that vinegary foods can help ease cramps. Vinegar sends a message to your brain to relax the nervous system, which decreases motor neuron activity in the cramping muscle. Consider pickle juice or a bit of apple cider vinegar before your next run as a preventative muscle cramp aid.
Want more science? Check out our Run Signature team to learn more.