Running has a long list of benefits and if you are doing it right, you are helping yourself life longer and healthier. However, there are certain mistakes that most of us tend to ignore. While running is one of the best workouts, things could quickly go south if you are not paying attention to details such as posture or technique. Here are a few common and very avoidable running pitfalls that people are prone to while running.
1. Straight Posture
If you don’t have the correct posture while running, you are not doing your body any good. Instead, you probably feel sore in all the wrong places. The correct posture is to keep your midriff straight and do not slouch as you run.
2. Swinging Hands
Some runners swing their arms too wide to add momentum to their run. That puts too much pressure on your knees and stomach and you could suffer serious shoulder injuries. Keep your hands bent in right angles at the elbow with palms pointed as you run.
3. Land on Your Mid-Sole
A common running mistake is landing on the heels. It might take a little practice but always land on your mid-sole when running.
4. Not Warming Up Before Running
Warming up is important before a run to get your body prepared for the rigorous exercise of running. However, people set out on a full paced run as soon as they step out of their building on to the turf – another of the most common running pitfalls.
5. Wearing Loose Clothing
Uniforms have a purpose. They allow for better execution of the task at hand. When running wear clothes that do not interfere with your strides. Loose clothing can get tangled and make you trip or fall. The last thing you would want is sustain injuries while out on your run. Wear clothes that allow you freedom of movement and do not make you too hot or sweaty. During winter, keep yourself adequately warm or run indoors on a treadmill.
6. Wrong or Worn-out Shoes
Good shoes are a basic requirement for running. Ill-fitting or worn out shoes are the cause of many a problem including chronic pain and common injuries in the knees, ankles and even your spinal cord. Avoid this mistake and invest in a good pair of running shoes.
7. Carrying Water Bottle In The Hand
Keeping yourself hydrated is essential when running so you do not go out of steam. One of most common mistakes is carrying a bottle in your hands. Water has weight and as you carry a bottle in one hand, you are making a case for unequal weights for your body. To offset, your shoulders will hunch more towards the hand that carries weight giving you an unequal gait when running. Instead, use a water belt around your waist. That way you are hands-free and can actually carry more water if planning on a longer route.
8. Not Pacing Yourself
Faster, stronger, higher – inspiring though it may be, your body may not agree to push the bar all too soon. Pace yourself right so that you don’t burn out too soon. Choose a running partner who can match your pace and never compete with your neighbour on the treadmill in a gym.
9. Taking Calls or Texting
Remember the rule – Do not Text and Drive? That holds true when you are running too and pretty much for the same reasons. You would definitely like to watch where you are going when on a run rather than bump into someone or lose your footing and landing yourself in trouble. Surely, you can stay off calls or texts for a little while every now and then.
10. No Cooling After Run
Cooling down after your run is just as important as warming up before you start out. Hold your hands on your knees and bend forward while taking in deep breaths. Let the oxygen go in and reach all your vital organs.
11. Not Stretching After Run
Studies have shown that stretching ‘after’ a good run is more beneficial to the body than stretching during warm-up. It will take out the soreness from the muscles and as you stretch, you grow more lean muscles in the right places.
12. Wrong Time For Running
The best time for a run is the early morning time. Studies have proved that those who take in the sun in the early hours have better energy levels throughout the day and sleep better at night. So wake up early and lace up for a good run as the sun begins its ascent in the sky.
13. Running On Bad Route
Choose your route carefully and avoid roads that are broken or are not quite fit for running. Not only you would be putting yourself at a risk of falling and hurting yourself, you are being unkind to your knees that would be absorbing most of the shocks of the bad surface.
14. Eating Right Before Running
Eat a light snack if you must before you set out for your run but heavy meals including carbohydrates is a strict no-no. If you are preparing for a race or marathon, skip the carbo dinner the evening before to avoid running with undigested food in your stomach. If you must, eat all your carbohydrates at least 24 hours before the start of the run to allow foods to be digested properly.
15. Running with the Wrong Partner
To achieve the desired running goal, you need to hang out with the right running partner. It might happen that your partner is running for weight loss which is very different from yours of building stamina and faster time. These things must be taken care of to stay yourself on right track. Find someone who is enthusiastic and energetic enough to keep you motivated and take you that extra mile.
16. Mistakes on a Treadmill
Treadmills are a great way to exercise too but they also do come with a list of do’s and dont’s. Stay safely at the centre and check for clutter behind the treadmill as you will be thrown back if you slip on it. Do not run too fast on a treadmill or hold on to its sides while running. Keep your posture correct and good cushioned shoes are a must to protect your knees from damage when running on a treadmill.
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