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Running Myths

Thanks to ongoing research, some beliefs about running that have been accepted as fact in the past are now considered to be myths. I thought it would be interesting to collect these myths. If you know of other myths, please send me the links so I can investigate them and add them to this page.

Lactic Acid

I learned as a new runner reading the literature that stiffness after a run was caused by a build-up of lactic acid in ones body. Recent research has shown that the stiffness is caused by damage to muscle tissue not by lactic acid. "Lactic acid does not exist as an acid in the body: it exists in another form called 'lactate', and it is this that is actually measured in the blood". Research has also shown that lactate can be used by the body as fuel. The following pages discuss this in more detail.

bullet Lactic acid and running: myths, legends and reality - the ABC

bullet Lactic Acid Is Not Muscles' Foe, It's Fuel

bullet Lactic Acid Will Be Sorely Missed

Marathon Running Prevents Heart Attacks

Back in the 1970s, when I first started running, it was commonly believed that if a person ran a marathon, the person would never suffer heart attacks. Some running books and articles made that claim. The subsequent deaths of marathoners shook up the running world. Medical researchers are now learning that persons who run marathons but were improperly trained may suffer damage to heart muscle. An article in the Boston Globe gives the details. In addition, this article discusses the physiology of marathon running.

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The information in this site and in my podcasts is for informational purposes only; it does not constitute medical or physical therapy advice. For medical advice, consult a physician. For physical therapy advice, consult a physical therapist.

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