With information overload just about everywhere you look, it is hard to tell what information is most accurate and useful. We asked running expert, Jenn Semsey, about some of the questions she most commonly receives and some myths we had to debunk.
Running Myth #1: I don’t want to strength train, I just need to run to improve my running.
Strength training can actually improve your running. By hitting the weight room, you develop strength in the very joints that you rely on to absorb the force of every step of your run. By performing multi-joint exercises, you will hit the key areas to improve you run. Remember, it is all in the hips. Strengthen your hip girdle will build strength and muscular endurance as well as prevent injuries down the road.
A weakness in your gluteus medias will cause weakness down the chain from hips to knees to ankles to feet. Squats and lunges are a perfect addition to your weekly routine.
Running Myth #2: If I want to get faster, I need to run fast every time!
Running until you are breathless on every run will eventually lead to over-training. With proper planning and a balanced program, you will adapt your aerobic and anaerobic systems to develop both endurance and speed and improve your running economy over time.
Easy runs should be just that. Easy, conversational paces are ideal for building aerobic endurance. Interval training challenges you to run harder when you are tired.
Running Myth #3: The more support, the better.
When it comes to running shoes… there are unlimited choices. With all of those choices, there is significant technology that goes into each shoe to provide the most neutral ride for your body. When looking at shoes and inserts that provide support, you will want to support the arch that you have and not over correct. Over-correction can lead to nagging injury that will have you off your feet and not doing the sport you love the most. We recommend you first seek medical help from a podiatrist near you to learn more about your individual performance needs. We suggest our very own in-house expert, Dr. Adad.
The key to finding the right shoe is the one that feels the best on your feet, and makes your feet run as close to natural as possible, while still being supportive. Visit the experts at your local running store to get their expert advice on the best shoe type for you.
Jenn Semsey, Personal trainer and running coach at PRO Sports Club.
College Cross Country and Track, 5X ultra marathon participant, 4X marathon participant, 5X half marathon participant