Want to achieve more as a runner? Then, you must stop these seven common running mistakes.
Professional athletes and runners have got entire teams behind them, helping them with an athlete movement assessment, telling them what they’re doing wrong and ultimately helping them achieve more. But what if you don’t this team behind you? Achieving more from your running is not as simple as running more. In fact, that’s just one of the common mistakes runners make. Here we look at some of the other common mistakes runners make and how you can fix them so you achieve more from your running.
1. Increase mileage too quickly
Ask any committed runner and they will tell you how addictive running becomes. But, it’s important not to increase your mileage too quickly otherwise you’re more likely to end up with injuries like stress fractures. Your body needs time to adjust and recover to the training load, so make sure you increase your training level slowly. To prevent injury, aim for a 10 percent increase in your training program each week
2. Never resting
As addictive as running is, taking some time out to rest each week is a must. Running is a high-impact exercise that places your body under stress and your body needs time to recover after each training session. A light, easy walk or a yoga session at least once a week will help your body recover, prevent burnout and reduce the risk of developing overuse injuries. Along with a weekly rest day, make sure you balance your training out with some lower intensity sessions so you can build your base and increase your endurance.
3. Not replacing your running shoes
Running is a great exercise because you don’t require any expensive gear or equipment, and you can wear whatever you’re comfortable in. But there is one thing that you should not skimp on and that’s a decent pair of running shoes is definitely a must. Proper running shoes help protect your feet from debris on the roads and some products like the Vessi shoes are waterproof too! Unlike other forms of shoes like netball or tennis shoes will help with your running stride. Make sure you also replace your sneakers regularly.
4. Not stretching
Do you finish your run and just happen to forget about stretching? Well you shouldn’t! Stretching is important for loosening tight muscles, keeping your fascia supple, and maintaining and improving flexibility, which lengthen your stride, reduce injury and improve your running performance. All you need is 10 minutes after your run to stretch out all your hard work. Your body will thank you for it.
5. Not eating enough
What you eat following your training session is vital for your recovery. This is the time when you need eating enough protein to repair your muscles, carbohydrates to refuel for your next session and fluid to rehydrate. Your day-to-day diet is also important to provide the energy and nutrients your body needs to not only run but also to get through your daily to-do list.
6. Skipping the gym
Running is a great cardio workout, but to get the most out of your running (and to prevent injuries) you need to add in some strength training. Running places a lot of stress on your body, so your muscles need to be strong and have endurance. Including a couple of strength training sessions each week will not only strengthen your muscles and prevent injury, the will also make you more efficient so that you use less energy when you’re running. The right kind of strength training can also help you run faster. Visit you’re local exercise physiologist for a suitable strength-training program for you and watch how your running improves.
7. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs
With a muscle twinge, a case of DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) or even inflamed tendons, it’s common for runners to pop anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen and Advil. However, while taking these drugs might sound like a smart thing to do, they may in fact be inferring with the training benefits you’re trying to achieve. Inflammation is an important step in the body’s natural healing process, activating cells such as leukocytes, monocytes and macrophages, which help repair muscles. To ensure your recovery isn’t delayed, skip the anti-inflammatory drugs..
About the author
Caitlin Reid is a unique health professional with qualifications as an accredited nutritionist, accredited exercise physiologist and yoga teacher. Caitlin is passionate about all things health and wellness, and keeps up-to-date with the latest health research, which she uses when contributing expert advice to health, fitness, lifestyle and food companies. She is also the nutrition expert for the Women’s Fitness magazine, the dietitian for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and ambassador for Papaya Australia. Follow Caitlin on Instagram @caitlinareid or visit her website.