Do's and don'ts of running, the common misconceptions
How hard can running really be? You’ve stretched out, trained your core and finally ready to put your fancy kit on with your ultimate running shoes and hit the road, voila! However has all your training leading up to your run really made a huge difference on your performance?
Stretching and flexibility We’ve all seen that one runner stretching out those tight biltong strips we call hamstrings but how much does that really help. Initially stretching was seen as a performance enhancer however, recent research shows that it may just hinder it. This all has to do with neuromuscular factors nevertheless, this also depends on the types of stretches performed, static or dynamic. (Have a read through our blog discussing these two). This goes hand in hand with flexibility. The more flexible you are the lower your running economy, due to negative impacts on the stretch shortening cycle.
Distance running strengthens your legs Actually this isn’t the case. In general, running will either decrease your absolute strength or just keep it, there have been no noted increases as of yet. Lactate causes fatigue Lactic acid is produced when the muscles break down glucose during strenuous muscular activity. It is commonly seen as a waste product. Although lactate may correspond with fatigue, it is not the cause and is actually present to delay the onset of fatigue and provide your body with a source of energy. How important is core strength for running? It’s good to have a strong core to help with general stability and decrease back pain, however its effects on running performance haven’t really hit the research books, as many runners haven’t really noticed major differences. You shouldn’t be crashing on the floor after a race? Nope this one ain’t correct either. So instead of standing around with your hands on your head, like you’ve been advised to, to try ‘recuperate and gather your energy,’ listen to your tired body and give into those jelly legs. Your body needs a break and is battling to pump blood against gravity. With all of the above stated, it’s up to you and how your body feels. If you’re keen on sticking to your routine or happy to change it up, that’s completely up to you. The main focus is to improve your economy and overall training performance for a great healthy running stride.