One week post-op and running myths

I always look forward to my hair appointments.  Its just a feel-good, pampering day; and today was no different.  Thank you Heather!

My hand is doing much better. The swelling is down and I can move my fingers really well.  Are you ready for my completed goal?  I can completely dress myself without help – as long as there are no buttons.  (This is also a great accomplishment for  most 3 yr. olds.)

My dogs aren’t improving very well from their kennel cough.  When they aren’t having a coughing fit, they are sleeping.  I thought I’d make them a special meal:  canned chicken mixed with gravy and rice.  Yummy, right?  Here’s their  reaction:IMG_1372

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Although you might think Moose is eating, actually he is sound asleep with his face on the plate.

Since the dogs haven’t been outside much, the deer are getting closer and closer to the house.  Today there were 10 in the yard.

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Now for all of you who might someday become runners, current runners, and adamant non-runners here are some myths about running:

MYTH #1.  Running in the cold will damage your lungs.

Lungs

Even when temperatures are well below zero, there’s no danger running in the cold.  Mucous heats and moistens the air flowing in through the nose and mouth so its warm by the time it reaches your lungs.

MYTH #2.  Running is bad for your knees.

Knee

Research shows that there is no greater instance of joint issues or osteoarthritis in people who run versus those who don’t.  Running is simply not bad for your knees.  If you have a genetic predisposition to knee issues, running can potentially bring those issues to the forefront, but studies show that running can actually be beneficial for joints, as it strengthens the surrounding musculature and increases bone density.

MYTH #3.  Eating Pasta before a race will boost performance.

Pasta plate

There is no need to carb load for any race under 2 hours long.  Eating carbs before a 5K or 10K will do nothing at all.  If you are running a marathon, increase your carb intake to 70% of your daily calories during the 2 weeks before the race.  This will maximize the storage of glycogen in your muscles, which can provide energy late into the race.  This can be your happy eating time.

MYTH #4.  Runners should stretch daily before a run.

Stretching

The only benefit to stretching is to increase flexibility.  There is little evidence that stretching prevents running-related injuries or improves your speed.  Stretching before a run may actually have a negative impact on your performance.  Runners who want to increase their flexibility should only stretch after a run, or better, completely separate from their running.

MYTH #5.  The More you run, the better you’ll run.

tired runner

Believe it or not, you can get too much of a good thing when it comes to running. You may think that by upping your training volume you’re better preparing your body for a race, but you might be doing more harm than good,  running coaches now emphasize quality over quantity.  The aim is to avoid the cumulative fatigue that results from too much mileage and not enough recovery. “Basically, it’s debunking the whole myth that before your marathon you have to build up to 25 miles before you go run 26 miles.”

MYTH #6.  Running outside and running on a treadmill are completely different .

treadmill

When it comes to scenery and stimulation, that may be true; but in terms of the mechanics of running, research shows there’s not much of a difference between pounding the pavement and pounding the deck. Researchers compared motion capture and ground reaction force data of running over ground and on a treadmill at similar speeds. They found that parameters measured were comparable, although not equivalent. (Aren’t you glad there are people who do that?)  Study authors conclude their findings show that a treadmill with a sufficiently stiff surface and adequate belt speed can be used to reproduce the conditions of outdoor running.

MYTH #7.  Taking a few days off will result in  a loss of fitness.

dog

Most people who run do it because they love it, so taking time off is not usually high on their list of priorities. But not only can taking a few days off aid your performance, it also won’t decrease your fitness.  A break from running of less than two weeks isn’t likely to affect your fitness level dramatically. Not taking rest days, however, will affect your performance. “You always want to make sure you recover more than you actually think you need to,” says sports-performance coach Hannah Schultz. Your body doesn’t get stronger and faster during runs; rather, improvements occur during recovery, when your body goes to work repairing the damage done during your workout.  (A great excuse to sleep late and take a rest day).

MYTH #8.  Running is only for the young and fit.

 

My first 1/2

I certainly can attest to this.  Although I have run short distances for fun/exercise most of my life, my first 1/2 marathon was at age 59.  As long as you don’t have any medical conditions or injuries that prohibit it, you can run. Even if you’re overweight or have been a couch potato, you can start  today and see real improvement in just a few weeks — not only in your ability to run, but also in your fitness level and overall health. You don’t have to immediately start running continuously, start with the Run-Walk-Run method, which alternates periods of walking with periods of running.   It’s a great way for beginners to get into running.

Now, I just took away 8 of your excuses!

Anne

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