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Running Myths Debunked: How to Actually Get the Most Out of Your Training and Become a Better Runner

Running shouldn’t be complicated, so let’s separate fact from fiction.

Contrary to popular belief, there are more efficient ways to improve your running than focusing on improving your technique or breathing only through your nose.

What aspects of running training are actually important and which ones are running myths? We talked to Endurance Training coach and 2:28 marathon runner Josh Sambrook to debunk a handful of them and get a couple of tips along the way.

We’re not saying you should completely disregard all of the following running myths – they might work and make a difference – but just like hitting the right number of macros in your nutrition is more important than nutrient timing, there are other aspects of running training that are more beneficial to your performance than spending a lot of time and energy in the following five areas.

Running Myths Debunked

Myth 1: You Should Only Breathe Through Your Nose

Up until a couple of years ago, the general advice was to breathe through your mouth when running. A big part of you running performance is dictated by how fast you can get oxygen to your muscles – you’re probably familiar with VO2 Max – so mouth breathing makes sense.

The mouth lets more oxygen through than the nose, so breathing through your mouth is thought to be more efficient when working at higher intensities, when your muscles require as much oxygen as they can get.

However, in the past couple of years, the idea that you should only breathe only through your nose has gained popularity. Arguments in favour of nose breathing range from cleaner lungs (for which nasal breathing is definitely beneficial) to increased oxygen efficiency (how much movement you can get out of a certain amount of oxygen), but the link to how running performance benefits from this isn’t crystal clear.

While nasal breathing can reduce exercise-induced asthma, currently there’s little evidence to suggest nasal breathing trumps over oral or oronasal breathing when it comes to improving your running performance.

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