Debunking 10 Common Running Myths from Boston Qualifiers to Weight Loss and Everything in Between

How do myths get started? From common misunderstanding to old wives’ tales, it can be hard to filter truth from fiction. Today we’re setting the record straight on 10 common running myths.

running myths

For example, did you know that urine is not actually sterile? So if you are running in the woods when you scrape your knee, you can skip trying to pee on yourself and just wait to clean your wound at home.

With that one settled, let’s look at myths that are actually common in the running community.

Have you wondered if a BQ time is out of reach for you? Or if you’re “good enough” to hire a coach? Or maybe you’re still sorting out where running fits in with muscle building versus weight loss?

We have you covered. On today’s episode, Anya and I discuss the common misconceptions, set the record straight, and offer our own experience while debunking the myths. I’ve recorded several other podcasts with her, if you’d like to hear more, including a Q&A for new runners and a discussion about recreational runners.

Anya has over a decade of running experience as a triathlete, marathoner, and ultra runner. She brings an interesting perspective as a mom and working professional that I think will appeal to many of our listeners.

Running Myths that Won’t Go Away

Let’s dive right in to the myths we cover in today’s podcast.

Boston Qualifier (BQ) times are out of reach for the average runner.

To qualify for the famous Boston Marathon, a runner must run a fast marathon in another race. How fast? The Boston Athletic Associate (BAA) sets these times based on your age group. It’s certainly ambitious, but stick with me while I explain how and why I believe that any dedicated runner can achieve their BQ.

Hiring a running coach is only for the pros.

Through the Strength Running community, I have been coaching competitive and recreational runners for the last decade. This myth is most certainly not true! And while you likely won’t have access to a team of trainers and coaches as a professional runner would, the Strength Running Podcast is available to anyone wanting to gain an edge.

My body just isn’t designed for running.

This myth is, quite frankly, an excuse. Your body may not be the ideal type for setting world records, but you most certainly are designed to run. We all are.

Wearing 2 sports bras is helpful to reduce bounce.

Additional support for runners with larger breasts can help to reduce lower back pain and strain in the supporting chest ligaments. However, wearing 2 sports is a patch solution from past decades. These days, thoughtfully designed and professionally fitted bras are a great choice for runners who struggle to find proper support.

Pregnant women shouldn’t run.

This one is false and there’s no better person to speak to this than Alysia Montaño. She’s a professional runner, activist, and mother who stands up for equality within the sport and beyond.

Running is the best way to lose fat.

Running most certainly supports fat loss but it alone is unlikely to yield the results that you’re after. Check out my short clip speaking to this and explaining the #1 factor attributed to fat loss.

Running decreases muscle mass.

Running can decrease muscle mass – if your training volume is immense and you’re not nourishing your body properly. In that case, you’re likely to run into other issues beyond loss of muscle. A properly structured training plan and sensible diet approach is a sure way to keep your strength while advancing your running performance.

Fair weather runners aren’t real runners.

False! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you run, you are a runner! If you’re still dealing with imposter syndrome, take a listen to this episode where we discuss what being a “real runner” means.

Stretching is important for runners.

There is no evidence to show that static stretching is beneficial prior to starting a workout. With that said, there are plenty of other stretch-like activities that I highly recommend to all runners:

Runners aren’t strong.

Most runners don’t look like bodybuilders, but to say that they’re not strong is untrue. As with any physical movement, muscles do the work to propel our bodies. And I am a firm believer that strength training should be an integral part for any runner.

    And there you have it! Listen to the full episode for additional information and please share with a friend who can benefit from this knowledge as well.

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    Thank You InsideTracker!


    Our show is supported by our longtime sponsor InsideTracker. Today, more than ever, it’s essential that we’re making the right decisions to keep our bodies healthy. To help us be resilient, prevent over-training, and optimize our running to get the most from it.

    InsideTracker is the ultra-personalized nutrition platform that analyzes your blood and DNA biomarkers along with your lifestyle habits to help you optimize your body and reach your goals.

    InsideTracker’s patented system will transform your body’s data into knowledge, insights, and a customized action plan of science-backed recommendations. The data can help you determine whether you’re running too much, not enough, or have some other issues that could be affecting your recovery or performance. I recently had my own blood drawn and am glad to report that my results indicate that everything is in a healthy range.

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