As workouts go, running from A to B is one of the simplest, however, it’s surprisingly common for people to make mistakes that can have a detrimental impact on their mid-workout performance and post-workout recovery process. Some of these might seem a little obvious to the more seasoned pros among you, but can be easily made by those just starting out…
#1 Wearing The Wrong Shoes
Running shoes are just running shoes, right? Wrong. Wearing inappropriate footwear for your run, whether that’s the wrong size or the wrong type of shoe for your running style, offers a fast-track route to shin-splints and other strain injuries. Consider a visit to a specialist running store where they can assess your running style and measure you up to ensure you’re getting the ideal footwear for your workout.
#2 Too Much, Too Soon
Just started running yesterday? Maybe put those Marathon application forms down for a second and really think about if you’re ready. It’s great to be enthusiastic about your new favourite workout, but it’s also important to ensure you’re taking things at a pace that’s right for your body. Build up your mileage slowly, don’t ignore any warning signs that you’re overdoing it (aches and pains), and don’t underestimate the importance of a good rest day…
#3 Getting Excited On the Hills
We’d be lying if we said we didn’t enjoy the respite and added pace that a decline can offer on a challenging run, but it can be easy to slip into bad form when making your way down a steep hill. There’s a tendency for runners to over-stride, leading to a more prominent stomp as each foot hits the ground, in turn adding much more strain on the joints. Avoid this by softly applying the brakes to your pace and taking short, quick steps as you make your way down the hill.
#4 Skipping The Cool Down
This is potentially the most common AND the most detrimental to post-workout recovery. You’re on the tail end of a big workout and all you want to do is collapse into a heap on the settee; we get it, but it’s a big no no. Once you’ve hit your target, slow the pace to a brisk walk until you feel your heart rate reaching pre-workout levels then finish off the workout with some stretching. This will go a long way to preventing soreness in the days following.
#5 Failing to Rehydrate
You’ve no doubt heard this a million and one times, but we’re going to say it anyway – hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your body loses more fluid on a run than you think, and without appropriate hydration your body will be operating without the fuel it needs to perform properly. Ensure you’re drinking plenty of water before and after working out, and drink whenever you feel the need during the run – you know your body better than anyone.
As always, stay fit and stay healthy!