Get access to everything we publish when you sign up for Outside+.
When it comes to running, people seem to have very strong feelings. From the hardcore enthusiasts who will talk your ear off about pace and mileage, to the haters who can go on and on about how detrimental running can be, everyone has something to say about our sport. And while much of that chatter is solid information, every runner has been subjected to so-called “advice” that, while possibly well-meaning, is so unhelpful and just plain wrong that it can cause more harm than good.
Here’s some of the worst advice I’ve personally ever heard—and why no one should ever take it.
“Just run through the pain!” Yeah, because that searing pain is probably just a mild cramp, not a torn muscle/tendinitis/impending vomit.
“You should restrict water before and during your race to avoid bathroom breaks” Definitely won’t get dehydrated and pass out at mile five.
“You have to stuff yourself with spaghetti the night before a race to have enough energy” Sure, that works for some people, but some of us have more sensitive stomachs that don’t appreciate a pound of pasta sitting in them at the starting line. Oatmeal and a coffee works just fine, thankyouverymuch.
“Treat yourself to a new outfit for the big race!” And then treat myself to a year’s supply of body glide and band aids to recover from all.the.chafing.
“And while you’re at it, make sure to get a new pair of shoes.” Ow. Just ow.
“Don’t worry about saving anything in the tank for your last few miles-the adrenaline will get you through them!” Yeah…unless adrenaline means a man pushing me in a wheelbarrow the rest of the way, I think I’ll keep an eye on my pace.
“You have to get your sneakers a half size bigger than your normal size. It’s just what runners do.” True, some of my pairs fit perfectly in a half size bigger. But sometimes they’ve left a half-sized blister. #alwaystrythemon
“You’re pregnant, you really shouldn’t be running anymore.” Sure, I’ve used this excuse sometimes when I’d rather sit on the couch with a muffin than work out, but for the most part, both I and my doctor say it’s A-ok.
“You have to lift weights or you won’t be in good enough shape to run.” Hmm, I guess these calf muscles just grew themselves? Ok, a little yoga helped, too.
“You know you’re going to ruin your knees, right?” Really? No one has EVER said that to me before! Thank you!!