By Karen Kwan
Myth #1: You should stretch before you run.
Those gentle stretches most of us envision when we think “stretching” where you hold the stretch for 30 seconds or so? Not beneficial, it seems, before going for a run when it comes to injury prevention as we once thought. But that’s not to say you shouldn’t stretch at all before heading out. Active or dynamic stretches are recommended pre-run. These stretches focus on loosening up the muscles by doing rotational movements. Think swinging your arms, gentle leg swings, etc.
Myth #2: You should try to run as many kilometres as you can manage for your training runs.
Going longer should not always be the goal of your runs. If you’re looking to build your endurance, slowly adding distance to your runs is the way to do it (the general rule of thumb is to add no more than 10 percent each week). If you add too much distance too soon, you run the risk of injuring yourself. Other than building distance, though, incorporating shorter runs where you focus on speed is key, as is hill training (both up and downhill).
Myth #3: Eat as many carbs as you like the night before a race.
Carbs fuel your body and while you will want to ensure you body has enough carbs stored (N.B. the body can only store approximately 1,600 calories of carbohydrates) overdoing it may have your body storing those excess calories as fat. Plus, as long as you’re eating a high carb diet in the week prior to your marathon, your body is likely well fuelled. This means that enormous plate of spaghetti you envision chowing down on pre-race is actually not likely a must. Also, keep in mind that having too heavy a meal may actual cause you to be more sluggish during your run. Oh, and if you’re running a shorter distance (say a 5k or 10k race), you actually don’t need to be carbo-loading as your stores won’t be depleted during your race.