Common Running Mistakes to Avoid

Whether you’re training for a race or just trying to stay in shape, form matters when it comes to running. Bad form can lead to injuries, discomfort, and just plain old burnout. 

Learning the proper way to breathe, train, and rest during any exercise routine is vital to optimizing your workout and gaining endurance without injuring yourself. There are several common running mistakes that can prevent you from reaching your full potential.

Wearing Out Your Shoes

Experts recommend replacing running shoes about every 350 miles. If you’re running several times a week, that mileage adds up fast!

Many people wear out their shoes until they break, but running on old shoes can put unnecessary strain on your feet and can cause an injury. To keep your shoes in peak condition, avoid wearing them except when running.

Neglecting Rest Days

If you want to get in shape fast, you might think running every day is a good idea. Pro tip: It’s not! Daily exercise is beneficial for your heart and your mental health, but try switching up the type of exercise you do to give your muscles a break.

Your body requires rest days to repair and rejuvenate hardworking muscles. Pushing the same muscle groups every day will increase your risk of injury. While it might feel like a setback to take a day off, you’ll probably be more energized to run farther the next day!

Increasing Mileage Too Fast

Most people want to maximize their exercise by running as far as they can each day (guilty as charged!). But pushing yourself too far, too fast can lead to injuries and burnout. 

Let’s face it—it doesn’t feel great to push yourself to the limit every day. Let yourself enjoy a short, comfortable run every once in a while. You’ll be more motivated to keep up your exercise routine when you remember that working out can actually feel, well, good!

Ignoring Aches and Pains

It may seem minor, but achy joints or painful muscles can signify a problem which, if ignored, could lead to a serious injury. Pushing through the pain can cause a minor injury, like a muscle sprain, to develop into something serious, like shin splints. 

Not Hydrating

Bring water when you run (a hydration belt or backpack can come in handy!) and hydrate throughout your exercise. Even if you don’t feel like you’re sweating very much, you lose a lot of water when you breathe heavily. 

Staying hydrated throughout the day can help you to avoid dehydration while running. Just make sure you don’t drink too much right before your run, or you might have to stop to use the restroom!

Taking Strides that are Too Big

It seems like taking longer strides would make running easier, right? Wrong! Many runners make the mistake of taking strides that are too big, causing them to land heavily on their heels throughout their run.

Aim for landing with your feet directly under your body. This will prevent you from developing shin splints and will conserve energy.

Running Too Fast 

Pacing yourself is one of the toughest parts of running. Some runners feel great right out of the gate, so they start off at an unsustainable pace and wear themselves out quickly. Wearing a running watch can help you to establish a comfortable pace that you can stick to throughout your run.

If you’re looking to improve your exercise routine, good for you! Keep it up and stay healthy by avoiding these common running mistakes.

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