Science is a matter of facts

Last night I was reading (by curiosity) on social media an article from a well known running publication. I’m instantly frustrated by how bad and false the information is. A common emotion I get when reading training, performance, rehabilitation, nutrition… advice on Instagram.
It drives me crazy for two reasons, first people will actually believe what they read, second the info is generalize, or taken out of context and very often simply WRONG (which we’ve known that for years).

Example #1
Facts : repetitive ankle sprain while running is not due to weak ankles but poor foot and lower leg intrinsic muscle strength.
But we tell you that you have weak ankles, probably hypermobile, and you need to increase ankle proprioception on the Bosu ball.
Wrong and very old school

Believe me when we give you the 10 best recommendations to avoid injury or the 5 best gluteus exercises, run slow to get faster, carbohydrate intakes for runners and non-runners, why you shouldn’t eat when you race or foam rolling is the best tool, please think twice !

Also, they like to throw in latest research or science-based
It has become trendy to sounds smart and scientific :)))

Lets make it clear, the good, the real and the latest research is not available to everyone.
We have medical journals for that.

Some research is old and not current anymore.
Other research is done in-house, not valid, we are simply trying to sell you shoes, coaching, gear. Gatorade used this strategy in the 70’s & 80’s, all of a sudden it was research proven we needed lots of sugar to train, race and stay hydrated :)))

And we have the so called NEW research that is simply common knowledge.

Example #2
If next year you read that the latest research has proven stretching the hamstrings makes the muscle tighter (shorter) increasing the risk of running injury.
Well we’ve known this for quite a while if you are a professional in sports science, a sport physical therapists or a certified and experience running coach that keeps updated with the latest research. I’ve been teaching to optimize hamstring elasticity versus stretching for years.

But we are regularly feeding you the 5 best hamstring stretching exercises to avoid running injury ! (are we in 1982 or 2021 ?)

Example #3
When you search on Google “pain in calf muscles when running” what will come up on the first page is not the latest research or accurate info but what is mostly looked at.

You will probably read the following : stretch, ICE, be a forefoot striker, probably dehydrated, avoid running. All wrong-

Don’t get impress easily and do not use Google to figure out injury !
Run. Think. Be smart.

I see it also in running & training books written by different individuals or names we know, but substance and knowledge is missing, content is poor. The general public buy it and follow advice. I understand how it must be hard these days to differentiate the good from the bad  info.

I remember being a teenager eager to read the monthly article of George Sheehan in Runner’s World, a medical doctor, passionate runner, genious mind and a brilliant philosophical soul. He fed me info, knowledge and inspiration that I still nourish. I also reread his books.

I have mentors, humble and brilliant people I work with, learn from and look up to.
Most of them are quiet, many are not on social media and some don’t even have websites.
They are scientists, medical professionals, professors, coaches, athletes and experts in the their field.

Humility. Wisdom.

Passion does not equal knowledge
Does not mean someone is simply passionate about running that can be a good coach or a running expert. Of course there is always exceptions.

On social media everyone can be famous, an expert, and have a fan club.
It’s a cheap marketing tool that works really well, unfortunately.
We overload the amount of daily information to maximize followers or win new subscriptions.

Get your info (training, rehab, exercises, nutrition…) from experts in the field.
Experts have science degree, medical backgrounds, certifications, in-depth knowledge and most importantly, years of experience.

Data and info alone is noise
Data and context is information
Information and experience is knowledge

Be a stride forward and don’t believe everyone and everything you read,

Chloë

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