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Google running questions 2.0

"Hey Google, why should runners...?"

Last month, we looked at the top 10 running questions on Google by typing “is running” into the search bar. Today, we bring you the sequel, but this time the prompt was “why should runners” to answer more of the running world’s most pressing questions.

 

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Why should runners eat carbs?

To be fair, most people should probably eat carbs, but runners need them even more than the average Joe. Glucose (a.k.a. sugar) is the main source of fuel for your muscles, and your body stores it in the form of glycogen. As you run, you draw on these glycogen stores for energy, and it’s important to replenish them after a training session to make sure you’re able to get back out there the next day and do it all again.

Why should runners stretch?

Running can be hard on the body and can cause a number of muscles (most notably your calves, quads and hamstrings) to get pretty tight. Stretching these muscles back out after a run can help you recover faster and run more comfortably. There is, however, a right way and a wrong way to stretch, and it’s possible to go too far with it. A little bit of muscle tension will help you to run faster, so over-stretching not only puts you at risk for injury, but it can also slow you down. So yes, runners should stretch, but they should do so carefully.

Why should runners do strength training?

At this point, we could write a novel about why, when and how you should incorporate strength training into your regime, but we won’t do that here. Instead, we’ll just say this: strength training makes you more resilient and powerful, allowing you to run faster without getting injured.

Why should runners do yoga?

If it’s a good idea for runners to stretch, then it’s not a big stretch (see what we did there?) to say that yoga can also provide benefits. Not only is it sort of like a guided stretching and mobility session, but yoga can be a good foil to running thanks to its focus on stress relief and low-impact movement. Slowing things down and doing an hour of relaxation yoga after a week of hard running may be just what you need to reduce stress and help you recover faster.

Why should runners cross-train?

If you’re injured, cross-training (like biking, swimming or pool running) can be a great way to maintain your fitness while you’re unable to run. Even if you’re not injured, swapping a running day with a cross-training day can reduce the overall impact your placing on your body so that you don’t get injured.

Why should runners wear compression socks?

The jury is still out as to whether compression socks actually provide any benefit, but some runners swear by them. If you find they make a difference in your training, go for it, but the general consensus is they’re not a necessity.

Why should runners wear masks?

At the beginning of the pandemic, health officials flip-flopped a few times with regards to their stance on masks, but now it seems they’ve landed on the guideline that you don’t need to wear one while you’re running outside, provided you can maintain a safe distance from other people. So, if you’re running out on a country road with few people around, you can probably ditch the mask, but if you’re running down Edmonton’s Whyte Avenue, you may want to mask up.

Why should runners eat pasta?

Pasta is an excellent source of carbs, which is why pasta has been the king of the night-before-a-race meal for so many years. If pasta isn’t really your thing, fear not: being a runner doesn’t automatically mean you have to start slurping up the spaghetti bolognese. As long as you’re getting carbs from another source, you’ll be just fine.

Why should runners eat?

Humans need to eat to survive, and it’s pretty hard to run if you’re dead, so that is reason enough why runners should eat. As a runner, you likely need to eat more than the average person to keep up with your activity level, so what you should be more concerned with is being aware of signs that you might be underfuelling.

Why should runners be rowers?

Yes, this is a legitimate question that came up during our search, and we are just as confused as you. We suppose if you like water and boats, you might want to give rowing a try, but there’s no reason why you should be a rower if you’re already a runner. There’s also no saying that you can’t do both, so why not give something new a try if that’s what you want to do?

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