Icons caret-sm-white star-half circle-drag icon-checkmark-nocircle icon-envelope Left Arrow Scroll down Scroll down close Expand Scroll down quote-marks squiggle Play Play Pause Pause long squiggle squiggle 1 close filter-icon Info Information Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Check Icon
Canada Flag Canada English Change
Canada Flag Canada English Change
Running Tips

Top 3 Running Myths Debunked

Animated runners stretching
Down Arrow
Down Arrow


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.

Line drawing of legs moving

Brooks runs a dedicated research lab that works to understand the good and bad effects of running on humans.

Running helps our knees stay healthy. Our body constantly adapts to the external forces it’s subjected to as we run. Our cartilage remodels itself and gets stronger, minimizing risk of arthritis developing as you get older.”

Matt Trudeau Brooks Biomechanics specialist

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.

Line drawing of a runner stretching

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.

Line drawing of a banana

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.