The worst training advice ever given to runners, as told by Gifs

We’re just as confused by the origin of this horrible advice as you are

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Matt Trappe

Everyone has heard some bad training advice at some point. Family and friends – runner and nonrunner alike – love to insert their two cents and tell you what it is they think is best for your training. So, we wanted to know what the worst advice you’ve ever gotten is and, wow, the answers you gave were shocking (and, often, very amusing!).

This advice ranges from bad to baffling to just plain offensive and old-school. What better way to showcase a series of bad advice than with a series of gifs? Though you’ve likely heard and rolled your eyes at some of these comments multiple times, other ‘tips’ might be a new surprise, so laugh along with us…

You’ll ruin your knees

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‘Running for years is a guaranteed knee replacement.’—annahashby

‘That I shouldn’t run so much… that it’s bad for my knees.’—iz_amstutz

You really shouldn’t run. It will mess up your knees… especially as a woman.’— technicalzan

‘It’ll destroy your hips and knees.’— giveherplants

Never slow down

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‘That all of my runs should be at race effort.’—_christina_horne

‘Run as hard as you can every single day til you almost puke!’ My dad, not a runner. — livvy_the_runner

Three runs per week, intervals, tempo and race-pace training won’t help you to improve. You must run seven days per week at a fast pace.’ —fabellan506

‘Run the same pace all the time.’—ncfitover55

No pain, no gain

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‘The pain will pass. (No it won’t lol).’— ohandaugust

‘Just run through the pain. No pain no gain.’ I did and developed knee and calf issues. Turns out, I have pronated feet so it was a shoe issue that could have helped prevent the pain.’ —missvicrenee

‘Five weeks left of marathon training and I started having pain in my knee. I’d tried Ibuprofen and took a few days off without resolve and told my family I didn’t think I could run it. They said I’d be fine and should keep training and add in Tylenol. A week later I couldn’t walk. Took an entire year to recover. No one but you knows the extent of your pain! Don’t take the advice of non-runners and listen to your body!’ — kellymichelle90

‘Train thru shin splints.’ —viewsfromthewolffden

No days off

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‘The ‘No Days Off’ concept, might as well call it ‘Injury Here I Come!”— jennyrmcg

‘Push through the pain, run when you’re sick, real runners don’t take walking breaks. All led to preventable injuries! Now I know better.’ —stuffytales

Running causes heart attacks

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‘When it’s below 40 degrees it’s dangerous to run outside. You could have a heart attack!’ —runner_cp2018

‘You shouldn’t run… you’ll drop dead of a heart attack.’ Um, no. I’m running so I won’t drop dead of a heart attack!’ —pennyfloyd5

You’re too old to run

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‘Running over 40 years old means ‘jogging short distances’ because your body can’t handle hard running anymore.’—kitm79

‘You will never run a marathon or run fast because you didn’t start when you were younger.’ —kacraine

‘You’re too old to run…it’s too hard on your body.’—lindasiokaloguthrie

‘Don’t start running after age 40.’ I started at age 41 and I’m still running at 53.’ —lsgeckogal

How not to fuel and hydrate

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‘Not to eat before my runs when I was marathon training because the person thought that the only reason why I run is to just lose weight.’ —ddesiderio10

‘My mother-in-law (not a runner) told me after my 12-mile run, ‘you know, you shouldn’t eat any carbs after that long of a run. Then you’ll just burn fat!”—carlygiblets

‘Back in the late ’70s/early ’80s the track coaches told us not to drink any water while running or we’d get cramps.’—marathongrl1

Drink water until you hear it sloshing around in your stomach.’—staygiddy

Runners shouldn’t strength train

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‘Lifting and strength training is bad for an endurance athlete.’—tradehomeshoesofficial

‘Don’t lift weights because they’ll make you bulky.’ —teddy.yvr

‘You can’t run and lift weights. You have to pick one.’—west.coast.cereal

‘Don’t lift weights or you’ll get bulky and won’t be able to run.’—rungry

Women shouldn’t run

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‘Women’s bodies are not made to run marathons!’—fusbal

‘Women shouldn’t run because the ‘bouncing’ damages your female parts and will make you infertile.’ —seebottsski

‘A lady I once worked for told me women shouldn’t run, but should walk for fitness instead, as running jars our bodies too hard and will cause our internal female organs to collapse, and soon I’ll be in in adult nappies (WTF?). And, according to everyone who doesn’t run, running will destroy my knees, so I should switch to an elliptical.’— caseykelly72

‘Don’t run when you are pregnant.’ —txrunnergirl365


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‘You can’t wear contacts to run in the winter – they’ll freeze to your eyes.’—stephrunningsk

‘To wrap my shin splints with wet cabbage.’ —4seasonsrunner

‘Running is a battle between your body and the pavement. The pavement always wins.’ —eklass1235

‘A high school roommate (non-runner) advised me to start smoking cigarettes to increase my lung capacity.’—meghanemorris

‘High school track coach advised me not to swing arms, but to keep them long by your sides to avoid exerting too much energy, which would tire you out early. All energy should come from the legs. I stupidly followed that advice for many years.’ —kera719

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