Running is an accessible form of exercise that offers so many benefits, both for physical and mental well-being. However, there are still many myths and misconceptions surrounding the world of running! We joined superstar athlete, Commonwealth champion and Great Run ambassador, Eilish McColgan, to discuss these misconceptions, explore common running facts and debunk any myths to help you on your running journey!
Myth: Resting will cause a reduction in performance.
One myth that often circulates is the idea that resting before a race or intense training session will harm performance. However, the truth is quite the opposite!
Resting is really important leading up to race day to make sure you’ve got fresh legs and so you can give it all in the morning!
Making sure you have enough rest helps prevent overuse injuries and promotes optimal performance. So, I would say to any new runners, or even the seasoned runners out there, embrace those rest days and trust that they are an essential part of your training routine!
Truth: Hydration and nutrition are key to improving running performance.
This is, of course, a well-founded truth!
Staying hydrated before, during, and after a run is also essential to maintaining optimal performance and to prevent dehydration.
Along with this, fuelling your body with the right nutrients, ensures that you have the energy reserves needed for endurance and stamina – You’ll need lots of energy for standing on that start line and getting through to the finish line!
One big tip from me – prioritise a balanced diet and make sure you’re properly hydrated to maximise your running potential.
Myth: There is no point in a 20-minute run.
This myth couldn’t be further from the truth! Every bit of training you do, regardless of duration, contributes to your overall fitness and progress.
No one regrets going out for a run. Every little bit of training that you put in, whether it’d be five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes… it’s all really important for your fitness on race day and helps build your cardiovascular endurance.
Consistency is key in running, and even short runs can have a positive impact on your fitness level. So, don’t underestimate the value of those shorter runs—they all count!
Truth: Running is good for your mood and helps reduce stress
This is, of course, a very big truth. Running is not only beneficial for your physical health, but also for your mental well-being.
Engaging in regular running has been proven to have a positive impact on mood and stress reduction. When you run, your body automatically releases endorphins, which can boost your mood and create a sense of well-being.
Also, many find that running can help clear your mind and provide a much-needed break from any other stresses in your life.
So, if you’re looking for a natural, effective way to improve your mood and reduce your stress levels, I would definitely recommend lacing up your running shoes and getting out into the fresh air.
It’s important to separate running facts from myths to help you in your training and to improve your performance.
Remember that rest days are essential for recovery and performance, hydration and nutrition play a vital role in improving your running abilities and every minute you spend running, regardless of how long you’re out running for, contributes to your overall fitness.
You can discover more blogs from Eilish here as well as Eilish’s 10K and Half Marathon training plans.