It’s inevitable that a regular exercise routine bore you! Running is a great form of exercise, and whether you do it indoors (i.e. on a treadmill) or whether you gallivant in open air, it’s important to avoid making certain common mistakes.
1. Running In Pain
No one’s going to confer a bravery award on you for running through intense pain, while wincing and grimacing like a war hero! Do the braver thing, in fact, and know when to call the shots. Listen to your body for any signs of pain or injury, and stop immediately if you feel any agony. Muscle soreness is common, often exhilarating as it means you’re on the right track, but learn to distinguish between that and intense pain.
2. Wearing Wrong Shoes
We can’t stress this enough: while it’s all very nice to buy the sparkliest pair you see in the store, do some research before you invest in a pair of running sneakers-the durability, the soles, comfort, etc. Look for shoes with extra padding in the soles which will cushion your foot and heels each time you land on them.
3. Crouching Or Hunching
If you’re grinning shiftily as you read this, you needn’t fret-about half the running population gives in to this stance, when beginning cardio. This is, however, a position fraught with risks. If you’re hunching too far forward, your body will automatically have to exert itself to keep balance. You will naturally develop an excessive forward lean-which may contribute to back pain. It’s imperative that you keep a good solid upright posture-even if you have to sacrifice speed for it, in the beginning.
4. Not Warming Up
When newbies first take up the running, one of the most common mistakes they make is diving headfirst into their routine, without warming up beforehand. This is dangerous as it can lead to soreness of muscles and cramps in the joints, ultimately proving detrimental to your workout. Don’t underestimate the beauty of cross-training and stretching. Do as many as possible to get into full, pumped-up mode!
5. Landing Heel First
Once you’ve kicked off with your warm-up and started pacing yourself, you might notice yourself tending towards yet another common problem that almost all runners face. You might be landing with your heel first, while taking longer strides. Most people feel that taking longer strides is better as this means you’re expending more energy. However, this isn’t necessarily true. Overstriding wastes energy and increases chances of injury, so you’d be better off trying to land mid-sole, with your feet directly beneath your body.
6. Swinging Your Arms Too Much
Some runners fall into the habit of enthusiastically swinging their arms as they run-whether on the treadmill or outdoors. This is simply not efficient as you’re burning up energy with your arms. Instead, aim at keeping them at about waist level, right where they may touch your hips. Always remember to keep them loose, not tight or tense.
7. Overdoing It
We know you cannot wait to start your newfangled running routine. Possibly, you have your workout mix on a phone and your circuit all mapped out! However, you need to be cautious against doing too much too soon. It’s important to gauge your strength and agility as you go along each day; be honest with yourself as to what hurts, and at what frequencies you can run. It’s always best to begin with a jog, take an interval, then speed things up again, etc. Increase your mileage gradually, so that you don’t end up wincing in pain with an ice tub.