Having evolved over thousands of years to be able to run, you’d think doing it correctly would come naturally! However, this is not the case. There are a lot of small details budding athletes miss which can lead to recurring injury and affect the distance they are able to cover (this goes for both beginners and experienced runners alike). Just by becoming aware of the mistakes people are most prone to, you can avoid them and keep on the road to success.
Here are five common mistakes that should be avoided at all costs.
It is important to maintain proper posture in order to minimize the stress placed upon ligaments and the chances of injury, which is often caused by involuntarily using some muscles more than others. Poor posture is a frequent cause of injury. Maintain good posture by holding your upper body in an upright position, with your neck, arms, and shoulders in a relaxed state, while naturally looking ahead towards the horizon.
Foot posture is also vitally important when it comes to running, so make sure you have a good pair of running shoes. Your feet should be in constant motion while running and should remain pointed straight ahead. Refrain from crossing your feet or placing too much weight onto them when making contact with the ground. Your feet should take off of the ground and make contact again within a relatively short amount of time without any gazelle-like strides.
A common misconception among inexperienced runners is that training intensively and more often will lead to better physical fitness and conditioning. What most don’t realize, however, is that training excessively (for example, performing intense workouts on a daily basis) may take away from the benefits of working out in the long term and eventually cause injuries.
Resting is necessary so that our bodies can fully recover and reap the rewards of a previous workout. Overtraining, on the other hand, may result in a lack of improvement, burnout, and muscle damage.
Even though running is an excellent choice for staying in shape, it does not engage all of the leg muscles to their full potential. Cross-training allows you to do exercises which target these muscles more effectively. Other activities you could take part in includes cycling, swimming, and weight training.
Skipping The Warm-Up
While it is tempting to set off at a fast pace without warming up, you might increase your chances of getting injured by straining or pulling a muscle. Warming up allows your heart and respiratory rate to get into a “work out” state while increasing blood flow to your muscles which will in turn allow for improved muscle contractions and increased flexibility. It also prepares the body both physically and mentally for intensive workouts by increasing your endurance and the core temperature of your muscles while maximizing the overall benefits of your training session.
Quick Tip: Be sure not to initiate a workout too abruptly, allow your body plenty of time to prepare and ease into the session.
Dehydration & Improper Nutrition
The body needs just the right amount of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, and minerals to function correctly during training. Not eating right will put extra strain on your body and heart. Water consumption is particularly crucial for one’s muscles to work smoothly during training and also in preventing heat exhaustion and possibly even heat stroke! Remember, when we’re sweating that’s our body’s own water reserves we are using up, so keep wetting that whistle!