Due to the global pandemic, many Americans have turned to running as their primary form of exercise. Running is an excellent workout that can help you build muscle, burn calories, boost your mood, and lower your risk of heart disease. Furthermore, you do not need to buy a lot of expensive equipment. Unfortunately, even professional runners make common running mistakes that can compromise their safety.
If you want to start running regularly, you must be cautious and train with the proper knowledge to help you avoid any unexpected injuries. So, before you begin your exercise program, remind yourself of what not to do. Here are seven common running mistakes to avoid:
1. Wearing the Wrong Type of Shoes & Clothes
One of the many common running mistakes that new runners make is to begin running in any old pair of sneakers, which are often not designed for running or are severely worn. Some people also wear shoes that don't fit properly. Shoes too loose can cause nail damage and blisters on foot, while too-tight shoes can cause discomforts such as bruises and blisters.
Another mistake is that some runners wear incorrect clothes or too much or too little clothing for the weather conditions, making them uncomfortable and putting them at risk for heat-related or cold-temperature-related illnesses.
Having the right shoes and wearing the appropriate clothes depending on the weather condition can change your runs and help you prevent injury and avoid any risk for illnesses.
2. Skipping Warm-Up and Stretching
Running may appear so simple and easy that most individuals will disregard and forgo warm-ups and stretching. However, we must keep in mind that running, like any other workout, involves time, energy, and a range of muscle movements. Your body requires rest from running, as well as targeted stretch exercises and activities that will increase your running mobility.
Stretching and warm-ups allow your body to practice efficient motions while strengthening and mobilizing areas prone to overuse injuries.
3. Pushing Through the Limits Too Soon
Nothing beats the joy of going for a run on a beautiful day. That sensation can quickly become addictive, motivating many people to include long runs into their daily routines. But keep in mind that while running can be exhilarating and empowering, it can also be exhausting and draining.
Don't become too pumped and push through your limits too soon. Overestimation of your body's capacity can result in injuries that slow you down in the long run. In addition, overuse injuries occur when you exert more than your muscles are capable of handling. If you're new to running, begin slowly and gradually build your mileage and intensity.
4. Running With No Cross-Training Involved
One of the most common misconceptions about running is that it may serve as a substitute for all other forms of exercise. Of course, you can improve your running regularly, but you can also do this by cross-training, thus lowering your risk of injury when performing running activities.
If you wish to run longer distances, you should prepare your body with strength and flexibility workouts in between runs so that your lower body can withstand the impact of running several miles.
5. Not Drinking Enough Water for Rehydration
Your body temperature and heart rate may rise if you do not drink enough fluid. This is because when the overall amount of water in your body falls below average (hypohydration), your body cannot regulate heat adequately. As a result, you might feel more tired than usual.
Many runners underestimate how much fluid they lose during runs and fail to drink enough because they are afraid of getting side stitches. As a result, they become dehydrated, which can be harmful to their performance and health.
6. Not Getting Enough Rest
Practical training will require a combination of several efforts, each with its purpose. You need speedwork to get faster, but you also need easy days and rest days to recover. Long runs can help you build endurance, but only if you recover correctly afterward. Strength and mobility training and correct hydration, nutrition, and sleep all contribute to the whole process.
Take at least one full rest day per week — but this does not imply that you must spend it on the couch eating junk food. Instead, consider cross-training exercises like swimming and cycling on days you don't run to give your body a rest from higher-intensity, higher-impact activities like running. It's vital to give your body a chance to recover from intense exercise it's not used to, so rest and adequate sleep are essential.
7. Ignoring Pain
The motto "no pain, no gain" is not always the wisest one to live by. Pain is your body's way of telling you that something is wrong. As a runner, you learn to be at ease with discomfort, which allows you to run farther and faster. However, there is a significant difference between pushing through exhaustion and ignoring your body's warning signs of actual discomfort while running.
Take note of the difference between discomfort and severe pain as you come to know your body. Stop running if you feel any pain. If the pain worsens with each visit, see a doctor or physical therapist as soon as possible to avoid a chronic injury.
Set Your Goals Right!
Knowing these seven common running mistakes is a step closer to setting your running goals right. And to help you become a better runner, make FullScope Sports your fitness partner. We have a wide range of lifestyle and sports products and accessories available. We also have our blogs for more running advice and fitness events you can participate in near you.