Debunking 5 Common Running Myths and Tips For Beginners to Get Started
Running is one of the most straightforward and accessible forms of exercise out there. It's a great way to get your heart pumping, build endurance, and stay healthy. Unfortunately, many myths and misconceptions surrounding running can discourage beginners from taking up the sport. Understanding truths about running can help you decide whether to take up the sport for yourself. We educate our runners at EW Motion Therapy on caring for their bodies and minds so they can continue in their sport for a lifetime. Even if you decide our services do not fit your needs, you can still read on as we debunk some of the most common running myths and offer beginners tips on getting started.
Five common running myths
Myth #1: Running is bad for your knees
One of the most persistent myths about running: is that it's terrible for your knees. Research shows that running is good for your joints. Studies have found that runners are less prone to osteoarthritis than non-runners. Of course, if you have knee problems, you should consult a doctor before starting a running routine. But for most people, running is a safe and effective exercise.
Myth #2: You need expensive gear to run
Another common misconception is that you must invest in expensive running shoes, clothes, and accessories to be a "real" runner. While it's true that having good shoes can help prevent injuries, you don't need to break the bank. A pair of comfortable sneakers and some workout clothes are all you need to begin running. As you progress, you can invest in specialized gear if you choose to.
Myth #3: Running is only for fit people
Many people believe that running is only for fit, athletic types. But the truth is that anyone can run. You don't have to be in great shape to start running, and you don't have to run long distances to get the benefits. Even a short, slow jog can be a great workout. And if you're worried about keeping up with others, remember that running is a personal sport. You can go at your own pace and set your own goals.
Myth #4: Every run has to be hard
Every run does not have to be intense. In fact, it's essential to have a mix of easy, moderate, and challenging runs in your training routine. Easy runs are essential for recovery and building endurance, while hard runs can help you improve your speed and push your limits. It's all about finding the right balance and listening to your body. As a beginner, starting with primarily easy runs and gradually incorporating more strenuous workouts as you build your fitness level and confidence is a good idea. Remember, running should be enjoyable and sustainable in the long term, so don't feel like every run needs to be a grueling workout.
Myth #5: I’m too slow to join a running group
There is a running group out there for everyone! Every running group will have runners of all levels and abilities. This means they will have different pace groups that can accommodate everyone. Joining a running group can change your entire outlook on running. It will provide you with the accountability you need to stay consistent, which is the key to running. You will be surrounded by other runners that have been precisely where you are. They will be there to give you constant encouragement and advice along the way, but they may also become your closest friends. Most running groups will also have a coach there to guide you and help you reach your goals. Every runner has to start somewhere, no matter how "slow.” The most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the journey!
Tips for beginners
If you're new to running, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Start slowly: Begin with short, easy runs and gradually increase your distance and intensity.
- Set realistic goals: Don't try to run a marathon on your first day. Set small, achievable goals and build on them as you progress.
- Find a running buddy: Running with a friend can be fun and motivating.
- Warm up and cool down: Perform a light, dynamic warm-up before running. After your run, take some time to cool down and stretch.
- Rest and recover: Rest days are just as important as workout days. Give your body time to recover and avoid overtraining.
Running is an excellent form of exercise that anyone can do. Don't let myths and misconceptions hold you back from enjoying the benefits of this simple, accessible sport. With patience, dedication, and the right mindset, you can become a consistent runner and achieve your fitness goals. Our running experts at EW Motion Therapy, many of whom are licensed physical therapists, can watch you run and identify areas of improvement to help you reach your next PR. If you are a beginner and have more questions about running, click the button below to download our answers to 20 frequently-asked running questions.