As runners, it’s important to know what you’re doing while you run, especially so that you don’t injure yourself. We’ve compiled a list of things you should not do when running to avoid unwanted harm.
Overwork yourself. Sometimes when you have a set goal in mind, it’s easy to lose sight of what your body is telling you. If you’re in any pain, don’t push yourself—you may exacerbate the issue. Overtraining can actually lead to chronic soreness, weakened immunity, lack of motivation, and moodiness. If you’re feeling achy or tired, take the day off. Rest is important on your fitness journey too! You could consider incorporating some cross-training into your routine to work other muscles, or working on increasing your mileage gradually.
Use long strides. Active says that if you lean forward while running, you aren’t using your energy efficiently, because you are reaching your foot in front of you. You should instead stand tall and lean forward when you run. If you feel you may fall, step forward enough to catch yourself. Taking shorter strides reduces the movement going through your joints, causing less stress on them.
Skip your warmup. At times it may be tempting to just get your running gear on and go, especially if you don’t have much time. However, you may hurt yourself—you may strain a muscle or tweak a tendon! Be sure to gradually raise your heart rate and loosen up your muscles, bones, and joints to prep for your run by walking, striding, or doing other dynamic stretches.
Static stretches before your run. Speaking of stretching, don’t do static stretches before running. According to Runner’s Blueprint, this is because doing a stretch for a long time before running slows your nervous system down and makes you sluggish, as found in a report published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. Instead, a dynamic warm-up will move your muscles in a wide range of motion to mimic running and help you move better!
Skip your post-run stretch. You’ll want to save your static stretches for after your run! Be sure to stretch the muscles you just worked, and you’ll improve your flexibility, increase your range of motion, and relieve stress. The best time to stretch is right after your run while your muscles are warm. Check out our blog here for our favorite after-running stretches! Hold each for 30-45 seconds to get your blood flowing.
Knowing what not to do while running plays an imperative role in proper running technique. Make sure you keep these in mind so that you don’t hurt yourself! Happy running!
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