Runners all around the world, old, young, experienced, or non-experienced, always believe they are doing everything they should be, until an injury strikes! Even olympians have had this issue in the past. The injuries are caused by several different reasons. On today's post, I am going to talk about the top 5 mistakes runners make! Just a reminder, that this is from my personal experiences. I've literally made all five of these mistakes!
1. Training TOO hard
In the year of 2015, I decided to run my first marathon. Ever since I can remember, I've been a running fanatic. Racing 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons. What I didn't really grasp was that, I am getting older. Although I am 23 years old, it's the best time to really take care of myself. Training for the half marathons, I started training too hard. Sure, you must work hard to receive great results, but when it comes down to hurting yourself, yet still pushing it, it's time to back off! What I mean by training, is that I would get up early, run, then do a spin class, or something else extremely aerobic. This tired me out, and ultimately resulted in painful injuries that I still suffer from today. As I am training for my next marathon coming up in 6 months, I'm still training as hard, but not as much. Taking breaks is crucial for me to not get burned out. I know this about myself!
2. Not Hydrating
I don't mean not hydrating the day of a practice, or the day of a race. I'm talking about while at your desk at work! Keep a water bottle next to you at all times even if it results to several bathroom breaks! Being hydrated will keep you from crashing throughout practices and racing. If your race is in 6 months like mine is, start now! Drink that gallon a day!
3. Wearing the wrong shoes
The other day while I was running, I was listening to the Runner's World Show Podcast, (Which is amazing) and they were talking about how some of their own runners that work for Runner's World do not even know how to determine which shoe they need while running long distances! This blew my mind. You're telling me, that an individual who is around running all of the time, does not know which shoe he needs? But then I thought, wait a minute, I run every single day.. I should know this too right? Wrong. If you are not educated in shoe wear, and what works, it's okay as a runner. That is why there are amazing stores like Fleet Feet Chico, or any Fleet Feet in your town! Whether it's a speed work out, or a long run, the proper shoes are crucial for your running success, and crucial to prevent injuries!
4. A lack of warming up
This is a huge NO. I don't care if you're running for 2 miles, it is important to get your blood pumping before any run. Have you heard of plyometrics? Look them up! They will change your running game so drastically that you will be so excited on your next long run! All I'm asking you to do is, swing your legs, move your arms, pump up your body to prepare for an endurance based activity! You will not regret it, unless you're late to work or something, then you gotta work on your time management ;).
5. Stretch, and Cool down
I am, and have always been SO bad at this step. I don't know why, but my mind always tells me it is a waste of time. But in reality, it SO is not. Remembering to stretch your calves, your quads, or even your arms is so crucial to prevent any injury. I love the foam roller for this very reason. I am so thankful I have taken up yoga. Implementing this into my daily routine has helped me keep up with my stretching, since I am so bad at doing it after a run. If you're not a huge yoga fan, then grab a foam roller, and stretch it out. Your next run will be amazing if you do!
Sense a pattern here? All of these are really bad bad things to get used to in your routine. Training too hard, not drinking enough water, hurting your feet, not warming up, and not cooling down will even affect your day in the real world at work! If you sit down like I do for 8 hours a day, it's time to get a jug of water, and to take a 5 minute break every once in a while to stretch!
Until next time,