4 Common Running Mistakes Beginners Should Avoid
Running is a free, simple and effective form of exercise, so it’s worth trying to fit it into your routine if you’re trying to improve your fitness. However, if you do decide to start running, make sure you’re aware of these common beginners’ mistakes so you can avoid them.
1) Starting Too Fast
Many people who take up running make the mistake of pushing their bodies to do too much right away. If you’re not used to running, you need to ease yourself into it. Start with small manageable runs and go at a moderate pace which won’t leave you overly exhausted and uncomfortable. You can increase the length and speed of your runs over time. Gradually improving your endurance will make running feel more enjoyable and take less of a toll on your body.
2) Setting Unrealistic Goals
While you may want to run impressive lengths or match your running habits to those of someone you know, it’s important to pay attention to what your body can handle. Setting unrealistic goals will only result in you exhausting yourself and feeling discouraged when you can’t meet that target. Smaller, more realistic goals, on the other hand will help you keep track of your development, which will motivate you to stick with your running regime.
3) Wearing the Wrong Shoes
If you run in shoes that fit poorly or are unsuitable for the activity, it can lead to pains that will hinder your progress. Even if there are no immediate pains or other signs of poor fitting, such as blisters, more long-term problems can slowly develop. Ankle pain, hip pain and even shoulder pain are all possibilities. If you’re serious about running regularly, try visiting your local running or sports store where you can be fitted for proper running shoes. These are designed to cushion the feet and raise the heels, reducing the risk of injury.
4) Heel Striking
Heel striking is when the heel of your foot is the first part to hit the ground. While most of us naturally walk this way, doing it while running can cause pain in the shins. You should try to land mid-sole while running, even if you have to shorten your stride to do so. This will reduce the risk of injury and generally put less strain on your legs. As mentioned above, good running shoes will also help with this by raising your heels.
Knowing these common errors and how to avoid them will allow you to get the most out of your new running regime. Remember that getting used to any new physical activity takes time, but if you pace yourself and stick with it regularly, it will have a noticeable and encouraging impact on your body and your general fitness.