Running is great way to keep fit, giving your body an effective cardiovascular workout. However, this activity can expose your body to very high impact forces starting from your feet and travelling up through your legs and all the way to your hip.
If left unchecked, the risk of running into related injuries can be high. Additionally, poor preparation and nutrition can further increase your risk of injury and even hinder the amount of progress you make as a runner. There are a lot of mistakes that you can easily make as a first-time runner and the aim of this article is to highlight them. Follow on for Running Mistakes: 7 Errors Made by Beginners Which You Can Avoid!
1. Inappropriate Footwear
First off, having the right running shoes is essential for comfortable and safe running, especially for the long term. The shoes you wear should match your running style (whether you’re a supinator, over pronator or neutral runner) and this can be evaluated by assistants at a specialist running shop such as ASICS, Under Armour or Nike.
Major running mistakes occur where there’s an impatient desire for progress. A more accurate key motivator for running is to consider the long term. Many people will often train too much in order to see those results quicker, however they may be inadvertently opening themselves up to overuse injuries such as patellofemoral syndrome, Achilles tendinopathy, stress fractures and plantar fasciitis.
Therefore, it’s important to allow adequate recovery time between runs to prevent these injuries, and thus prevent serious hindrance to progress later.
3. Poor Warm-up
As with any sport, it’s crucial to do a good warm-up. Among the common newbie running mistakes is to just take off running! If you don’t warm up properly it could lead to agonising cramp, stitches or in the worst-case scenario you could tear a muscle.
A good warm-up should get your blood pumping and get your body up to speed with what you’re about to do. Things like dynamic stretches and light jogging before a run will help you go a long way.
4. Not Monitoring Progress
In order to improve you need to know how you’ve performed and what works for you. Without keeping note of your run details (pace, distance, how you felt during the run etc) you will never know how to increase the difficulty and improve as a runner. Thankfully, there are many apps that can automatically collect that data for you such as Strava and Nike Run Club.
5. Not Enough Variety
Having a routine and a plan that you can to stick to in the long run is a necessity, but if you don’t gradually adapt and evolve this plan you might find that your progress reaches a plateau. Adding variation in running distance, speed and intensity will help keep your body on its toes and lead to maximal training adaption.
6. Poor Nutrition
You could liken your body to a car, if you don’t fuel it well then you won’t go far. Eating lean meats will help you build the muscle to drive your performance, fruits and vegetables will give your body the needed vitamins and minerals to run optimally and carbohydrates (especially before the day of a big run) will supplement your glycogen stores to provide the chief energy fuelling your run.
7. Not Incorporating Prehab Exercises into Routine
Conditioning your body to run is pivotal to reducing the risks of injuries from running! Prehab exercises should be added to your routine to help strengthen and condition your body to meet the physiological demands of running. These exercises aren’t necessarily that demanding and just 10-15 minutes a day can make a significant difference.
If you want running to be a long-term form of physical activity for you, you need to listen to your body, set realistic targets and maintain consistency. There are a lot of mistakes that can set you back, but hopefully these tips will give you an advantage and help you become a strong and well-prepared runner, without the undue setbacks that plague many others!