Basic Running Mistakes To Avoid

petite woman running along footpath

Too Much, Too Soon: 

Many runners, especially those new to running, often get so excited about their running that they do too much, too fast, too soon. This often results in common overuse running injuries. So, to prevent this happening, don’t let your weekly mileage increase by more than 10%. Stick to our walk/run programme outlined and this should prevent this from occurring. Having a day off from running every second day will help your muscles build and repair themselves.

Over Striding: 

Some runners assume that a longer stride will help improve speed or efficiency. However, over striding wastes energy and can lead to injuries such as shin splints. Try to focus on landing mid-sole instead of heel first, with your foot directly underneath your body with every step. Keep your steps light and quick as if you’re stepping on hot coals!

Losing Control On Hills: 

When running downhill, some people have a tendency to lean way too far forward, over stride, and run out of control, leading to injury. The best way to run downhill is to lean forward slightly and take short, quick strides. Try to keep your shoulders just slightly in front of you and your hips under you. Avoid taking huge leaping steps to reduce the pounding on your legs.

Bad Upper Body Form:

Some runners swing their arms side-to-side, which makes you more likely to slouch and not breathe as efficiently. Holding your hands to high up near the chest tends to make you more tired and you’ll start to feel tightness and tension in your shoulders and neck.

Try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they might lightly brush your hip. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows at your sides. You should rotate your arms at the shoulder (not at the elbow), so they’re swinging back and forth. Keep your posture straight and head up, when you feel yourself slouching, push your chest out.

Not Drinking Enough:

Many runners underestimate how much fluid they lose during runs and don’t drink enough because they’re worried about side stitches. As a result, they suffer from dehydration, which can be detrimental to your performance and health.

An hour before you start your run, try to drink half a pint of water. Stop drinking at that point, so you can prevent having to stop to go to the bathroom during your run. Use your thirst as your guide for when to drink during your runs. Don’t forget to rehydrate with water or a sports drink after your run.

Not Fuelling Properly:

Many beginner runners underestimate the importance of nutrition, for both their running performance and their overall health. What and when you eat before, during, and after your runs has a huge effect on your performance and recovery.

Try to eat a light snack or meal about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before a run. Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fibre, and protein. Some examples of good pre-workout fuel include: a bagel with peanut butter; a banana and an energy bar; or a bowl of cold cereal with a cup of milk.

Make sure to replenish energy as quickly as possible after a workout. If you eat soon after your workout, you can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. You’ll want to consume primarily carbs, but don’t ignore protein. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a fruit and yogurt smoothie, and chocolate milk are examples of good post-run snacks.

Don’t follow a low-carb diet when training. You need a certain amount of carbohydrates in your diet because they’re a runner’s most important source of fuel.