Running for Beginners: 10 Running Mistakes to Avoid
Among the most accessible forms of exercise, cardiovascular activities are pretty easy, natural, and effective at the same time. There are many types of it: swimming, cycling, even walking, but one that is most notable for its versatility and simplicity is running. It is basically very simple since there will be no equipment needed, no gym membership to be bothered with, and no complex moves and routines to perform. This is aside from the various health benefits it has to offer. Despite such effortlessness and the promising note it carries through, mistakes are still bound to happen. Even those experienced runners often commit them, how much those who are still beginning?
Below we list out 10 mistakes which are very common among those who are still starting to run. The mistakes range from obvious clothing like wearing the wrong sneakers and an incorrect body posture to some overlooked ones such as an unhealthy lifestyle and potentially damaging habits. You will be more prone at committing them and perhaps doing them over and over again. Therefore, always keep in mind how to spot these running mistakes and be very careful not to fall into one of them. Be an effective and amazing runner as the end result. Read more – Running for Beginners: Top 10 Running Tips
Running Mistakes – Wearing Inappropriate Shoes and Clothes
Running shoes are specifically designed to provide supportive and cushioning ability so wearing old and an improper one can definitely affect your running and even promote injury. Visit a local running specialty store and ask for some professional advice when it comes to your running gait and style. There are specifically tailored shoes for different kinds of surfaces so get help in choosing one wisely. In terms of its lasting ability, experts suggest that a shoe replacement should be done every 300 to 500 miles, though various factors obviously have an influence such as weight, running surface, and running style. Make sure also that you wear the right type of fabric, one that will provide comfort and is suited for the weather condition.
Running Mistakes – Not Performing Warm-Ups and Stretching
Do not rush yourself for a few laps. Always do some warm-ups. Aerobic warm-up, in particular, literally warms up your muscles and helps reduce the risk of injury. Try to walk for at least five minutes then increase your speed through jogging, yet again for another five minutes. Before or after that, do some dynamic stretching too. Running should not just be about endurance and strength, flexibility is also vital to keep your muscles from becoming too tight and short and increase your body’s range of motion. So do some butt kicks or a simple jump rope; there are various stretching you can employ to prepare your calves, quads, hamstrings, and other important muscles before taking your laps. Top 10 Warm Up Exercises
Running Mistakes – Improper Posture
Who doesn’t know how to run, right? All of us, novices or experts, have run at least once in our lifetime to know how basic of a human nature it is. When it comes to exercise in the form of running for beginners though, it isn’t that simple. For one thing, your posture does matter. Ensuring a good posture means getting the most out of the activity and reducing muscle pain and possible injuries. In keeping up with a proper upper body form, your hands should be at waist level and your arms, bent at 90 degrees, should rotate at your shoulder and not at the elbow, properly swinging them to and fro. Thrust your chest out, hold your head up, and keep your back straight. This is to avoid slouching which can prevent you from breathing efficiently.
Running Mistakes – Overstriding
Speaking of proper posture, maintaining so also helps avoid a common routine with running for beginners. That’s overstriding where you slam your heel first as your foot lands ahead of your body’s center of mass or gravity. The braking action it creates with your every step lessens your efficiency and increases the chance of injury. Every running expert agrees that overstriding could be dangerous. Now how to address it? Try to make sure that you land mid-sole. Your steps should also be light and quick instead of long and slow; this will keep your foot directly under the center of your body with your every step. Keep a short and low arm swing as well to keep your stride close to the ground. This is especially important so as not to lose control when running downhill.
Running Mistakes – Too Much, Too Fast, Too Soon
Everything with the modifier “too” in it is basically dangerous. Likewise is running for beginners done too much, too fast, too far, and too soon. Doing so for the first time is pretty darn exciting, especially when you get to maintain it. But which unfortunately will lead you into thinking that you need to improve right away. The key here is avoiding being too hasty. The steps which are easy to remember is harder to implement. Simply put, do not get ahead of yourself. When it comes to your pace, avoiding running too fast. Listen to your body signals and slow down when you feel pain, no matter how trivial it may seem. Do not rush with taking longer distance too. Very gradually increase your distance preferably by 10% a week. Take some rest as well and decrease your frequency by not running every single day.
Running Mistakes – Not Hydrating and Breathing Properly
Keep yourself hydrated before, during, and after a run. Rehydrating with water can be enough though some opt for a sports drink like Gatorade, not just for fluid intake but also for mineral replacement. Your thirst, as well as the color of your urine, should guide you when and how much to drink. Also, avoid taking in caffeinated drinks. On the other hand, an improper way of breathing instinctively comes in when running that could bring implications such as a side stitch. Make sure to breathe in through both your nose and mouth to get the most sufficient amount of oxygen for your muscles. Deeply inhale and focus on exhaling fully. Listen to your body and slow down into a jog or walk or simply stop when you’re running out of breath.
Running Mistakes – Ignore Health Issues and Not Taking Rest
There’s no doubt about the benefits of exercise to the body’s immune system. However, there are certain illnesses where an exercise is not advisable. On the other hand, too much of it can compromise your immunity and allow some infections to proliferate. Ignoring injuries is dangerous too. Be extra careful even with minor discomforts since they usually become full-blown injuries when left untreated. Always remember that when it comes to running and other exercises, quality is tantamount to quantity. Which also means take a rest. Yes, taking a break more than necessary may cause you to regress but run every day won’t allow your body to recover. Running for beginners should be done at least 2 to 3 times a week. You can make use of your rest days anyhow with cross training.
Running Mistakes – Neglecting Cross Training
Speaking of which, while running for beginners understandably involves nothing else but running, remaining so over time is a different story. Cross training allows you to incorporate other forms of exercise into your daily routine such as doing yoga, workouts, or any other cardio activities so long as it does involve running. Aside from it will surely get boring soon, not limiting yourself also entails expanding the potential of your muscles and your body as a whole. After all, getting fit does not mean exercising the same group of muscles through the same means of activities. You need varieties to keep your exercise routine as holistic as it can possibly be.
Running Mistakes – Not Setting Goals
As with other exercises, running for beginners involves planning for the immediate future. Of course, making the decision to run is not something you do overnight (unless “No plan is the best plan” is your motto). Thus, setting goals should never be excluded. Do not risk yourself venturing onto something without a clear path in your mind ahead of you when it comes to your health. So ask yourself: why do I have to run? What do I aim? To lose weight? To get fit? Then narrow it down to specific plans, something written down with a date, such as: “I could improve by running 15 minutes for the first week, then gradually increasing it by 10 minutes per week.” In setting goals, always remember SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
Running Mistakes – Poor Lifestyle
If you are thinking maintaining a regular exercise is enough to be fit and remain healthy, you’re probably making a grave mistake. All will be useless no matter how hard you try if you’re still living with an unhealthy lifestyle. First off, maintain a balanced and nutritious diet. You obviously need energy to power your body. And eating too many-processed foods, fats, and sugars won’t help. Also, try to sleep as adequately as you can. Dozing off for less than 6 hours every night is a big no-no. Learn to manage your stress too. Practice effective coping mechanisms to help you deal with the woes in life. Lastly, curb down your alcohol consumption. Better yet, stop it altogether; as with other harmful habits like smoking. Always bear in mind all these reminders and safely enjoy running for beginners.