Top five running mistakes
Published on August 22, 2015
Running is one of the best ways to stay in shape, pump up your heart rate and loose those extra pounds. If hitting the gym is not the most inspiring idea to you, then make a habit of going for a run – a perfect cardiovascular exercise that will clear your mind and help you amp your fitness levels. Even though running is natural it has its own risks of injuries; if you want to avoid shin splints, runner’s knee, or ITB syndrome, you must run correctly. Whether training for a marathon or just a beginner, avoid the most common mistakes runners make.
Too much, too fast and too soon
Listen to your body and focus on your breathing as it is the best way to identify how your body is coping with the pressure. You have to push yourself every workout for a better result, however it is very important not to exhaust your body beyond its capabilities. A balanced program that alternates easy days with tough mileage rack-up is the correct training method. It is essential to let the muscles recover in a healthy way. There’s also a greater risk of injury when your body is weak. To create a smooth flow, give your body ample time to adapt. If you had a full energy workout today, go for an easier run tomorrow.
It is natural to feel that the longer strides you take, the better your run, however in reality that is not the case. Don’t lunge forward when your run because you increase the risk of knee injuries. With long strides you increase the impact on your foot when it hits the ground making it much more prone to injuries. If you’re stretching each step you most likely land heel first, which is also wrong. Keep your stride a medium or short length and make sure that you land mid foot.
When you go for a run, having natural posture is essential. Your upper body should be relaxed and you should look straight ahead of you. Keep your hands comfortably near your chest and don’t lean too forward. A proper form, which is the correct position is very important to avoid injuries and get great results in any exercise you do.
Focusing on speed and pace
Aim for the mileage and not the speed and pace. By trying to run a fast pace you push your body beyond limits which can lead to excessive exhaustion when your body starts using glycogen instead of oxygen. If you want results, aim for more kilometres with variations of speed and pace throughout your entire run. You have to alternate between a fast jog at a slow pace, a run in medium speed and then a full run where you push your limits to the max; it should be a cycle that keeps on repeating.
You might be very determined to start running as fast as possible, but if you’re just off the couch, hold your horses! Your body’s fitness levels are not ready for the impact. Don’t start with extreme speeds and distances. You may be able to run fast during your first running session, but it will not benefit you in the long-term. You should start gradually; an optimal approach would be to run 3-4 times a week for 6-8 weeks.