The 10 Mistakes You Make When Running
- You don’t switch your route: Same time, same route can make for a boring workout — and stats that don’t ever improve. Switching up your route will challenge different muscles, keep you motivated, and improve your running skills. Don’t stick to your tried-and-true trail; find a new running route with these tips.
- You don’t fuel right: You may be able to power through a short run without any food, but if you’re going long, you need fuel and water. Time your run so it’s two to three hours after a meal, or have a snack full of carbs and protein (like one of these pre-workout snacks) about 30 minutes to an hour before you go for a run. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water well before you step out; drinking too much right before you go can cause cramps.
- You don’t warm up: Starting your run at full force is not a good idea. You’ll feel sluggish, tight, and discouraged if you don’t warm up before that sprint. Do a light jog or five minutes of brisk walking before starting your actual run.
- You don’t cool down: You came, you conquered, you’re done with your run. Don’t stop now, however; you still need to take a few minutes to stretch your warmed muscles to help you recover. These postrun stretches will help increase your flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.
- You don’t check your form: Running may seem natural, but a few body adjustments can make a big difference, allowing you to run faster, longer, and more efficiently. Make a mental note to pay attention to your running form every once in a while; your shoulders should be relaxed and down, your arms should swing parallel to the ground (without crossing your midsection), and your head should be up and looking forward, not down. Get more tips on proper running form here.
- You don’t challenge yourself: If you want to be a better runner, you need to up your pace. Intervals and tempo runs help you increase your speed in the short term, so that in the long run, you become a faster, better runner.
- You run in the wrong gear: Sweat-soaked cotton shirts, shoes without enough support, and pants with chafing seams — all of these can cut a run short or at least make you not want to go out again. Invest in a few key pieces once you’ve upped your mileage; you’ll be surprised by how much what you wear matters. Don’t worry, we’ve got you — check out our list of what not to wear when running here.
- You push yourself too hard: Challenging yourself is great, but doing too much too soon is a common cause of runner burnout, not to mention injuries. Start off slow and gradually increase your pace as you get more comfortable. Remember not to ramp up your mileage too quickly; increase your total by only 10 percent every week.
- Your strides are too long: It may feel good to bound down that trail, but if you make a habit of taking too-long strides, you may tire more quickly. Shorter strides are also easier on your knees, so if you find yourself going long, shorten your steps and see if it feels better.
- You’re not consistent: It’s not going to get easier unless you stick with it. Try to run three times a week if you want to become a better runner; you’ll be amazed at how much easier that three-miler seems after just a few weeks of running.
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"Run the first mile with your legs, the second mile with your mind, and the third mile with your heart. "
How to Breath While Running
- Learn to breathe deeply: Your lungs are just a bit smaller than your ribcage, but we all tend to use just the top third of the lung. One reason being that, like all muscles, the intercostals, which run between the ribs, can get tight and inflexible, limiting the expansiveness of your lungs. When you take a deep breath, you are expanding the lungs, pressing down the diaphragm, and causing your abdomen to expand as your lungs fill with air. Learning to breathe this way helps you take in lots of oxygen while running, preventing dizziness and nausea. With a little training and some stretching you can breathe to your full potential to increase your endurance. Cross-training with noncardio workouts like yoga and Pilates can also help you learn to breathe from your diaphragm. Here are some tips for how to conquer diaphragmatic breathing.
Here’s what else you can do to control your breathing during runs.
- Match your breathing to your steps: For an easy-paced run, inhale for three or four steps then exhale for the same amount. Count the steps in your head while you adjust to breathing on tempo. If you are running more intensely, your breathing tempo will increase to support your increased energy output and become faster — a breath in for one to two steps and out for one to two steps. If you can’t match your steps to your breathing tempo then you are trying to run too fast; slow down, and get back into your rhythm. Rhythm is key!
- Breathing in the cooler temps: It’s important to breathe through your nose while running in chillier weather because cold air is dry and breathing through your mouth increases the dryness while decreasing the temperature of the air. Since your lungs do not like dry air, you can experience asthma-like symptoms, like wheezing and coughing, when breathing cold air in through your mouth. Breathing through your nose not only filters out air impurities, but also warms cool air to body temperature, creating less shock for the lungs to decrease those asthma-like symptoms.
- How to breathe through your nose: If nose breathing is difficult for you, start experimenting with the technique now before the temperature drops drastically. Breathing through the nose helps you breathe more deeply and efficiently, which will ultimately help your running no matter what the temperature is. If you plan to run in cold temps and have yet to master nose breathing, you can try wearing a bandanna (or a shirt that can be pulled up far) over your nose and mouth to help trap the moisture of your breath and humidify the air before it reaches your lungs.
i needed this because half of my injuries are due to my lack of stretching out after a run.