Top 10 Running Myths Busted

  1. Running will destroy your knees

“I don’t run because I want to bend over when I’m eighty”

We will all get wear and tear, whatever we do in life. This will vary based on lifestyle and individual biomechanics however running is not something this will ruin your knees. Arguably, it will alert you to more serious problems with your biomechanics that could be problematic even if you chose not to run at all. If you are noticing pain in your knees when running, it needs to be investigated by a professional.

2. Impact from running gives you a saggy arse and face

There is a level of “oxidative stress” that is created through exercise. Oxidative stress is the production of free radicals in the body as a result of exercise which can cause some damage to the skin’s elastic fibres. However all of the advantages of running – improved circulation, fresh air, reducing stress – provide a boosted defence against free radicals which will counteract that. As for a saggy arse – running uphill is one of the best things you can do develop a great bum so I wouldn’t worry about it!

3. Running will make you look manly

Woah…what is “manly” or “feminine” is entirely subjective and different men/women find different physiques attractive. However there is nothing specific to running that will make you muscly, running is largely an endurance sport which will activate slow-twitch (white) muscle fibres which allow our body  to take on energy whilst on the move. Whereas fast-twitch (red) muscle fibres are what allow us to store power when we are at rest and put it into action in an instant. Slow twitch muscle fibres do not enlarge the muscles – look at any long distance runner. Muscles perform most efficiently if you develop both with a combination of sprinting interval training alongside endurance running.

4. Running will give you saggy boobs

If you neglect to wear a proper sports bra, overly active mammary movement can stretch the Cooper’s ligament which supports your breasts in position. However wearing a well-fitting sports bra that restricts breast movement without causing asphyxiation, you can avoid this.

5. Running makes your knees sound like crisp packets

Feeling a crunchy or clicking noise when you do a squat is called “crepitus” and is entirely normal. If you are experiencing pain with movement, that could be indicative of meniscal injury and needs to be investigated – especially if your knees lock or pop. Crepitus usually comes from the joint between your knee cap and thigh bone (patellofemoral joint) and if it’s without pain, you don’t need to worry about it. If you’ve been training a while and start to get pain over the front of your knee, this could mean your knee cap isn’t properly aligning due to increased muscle development – see a professional…

6. Running is no good for weight loss

Your heart has to be working at 60-70% of your total capacity in order to enter the “fat burning zone” that personal trainers refer to. This is probably what you’re doing when you go for a slow jog – however more intensive exercise and faster running burns more calories which the main factor in weight loss. So yes running does help with weight loss,

7. Running makes you wee blood

Seeing blood in your urine is not normal and if you do notice it you need to seek advice from a doctor as there could be a problem with your kidneys. Some endurance runners have reported blood in the urine which we believe is a result of the red blood cells breaking down during exercise. However this does not happen as a matter of course and shouldn’t be ignored.

8. Running makes your wee smell of ammonia

Running – as with any extreme exercise – can make your wee smell of ammonia but it shouldn’t! If it does you are carbonhydrate deficient and need to address your diet. The smell is caused by the breakdown of muscle protein and is a result of running without enough of the right kind of fuel. The brain needs glucose and cannot get it from fat breakdown consequently if you are running without enough fuel your body with break down proteins to access glucose. It’s the amino acids in those proteins breaking down that causes the smell.

9. Running will cause vaginal prolapse

Running on its own will not cause vaginal prolapse in a healthy person. However if you already have a tendency towards prolapse – and most commonly this is post-childbirth – running can bring it on. As can a sneeze…so…

10. Running will make you die younger by using up your life’s energy faster

This comes from the belief that we only have a finite number of heart beats in our lives and by increasing our heart rate regularly you use them up. There is an overwhelming amount of research to show that life expectancy is extended by exercise, including running. So to be honest this is pure madness…


As mentioned above, pain in your knees, hips, back or elsewhere while running is not normal – call/email me on 07534933516 or to find out about how osteopathy might help you.


The above text is referencing Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley.

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash