Nothing will slow you down quite like a running injury. So what’s a girl on the move to do? Whether you’re a first-time runner or an avid marathon veteran, read through these tips to make sure you aren’t making one of these common mistakes that can increase your chance of an injury.
1. Setting unrealistic goals
Setting goals is an important part of running. Whether you want to run for a certain number of minutes without stopping or complete your first half-marathon, having something to work toward will help you stay motivated. However, if you set goals that are too lofty, you might give up before you can accomplish your objective. Don’t ditch your ultimate goal, but set smaller ones as well. So if you want to run a half-marathon, sign up for a 5k or 10k beforehand. Accomplishing those races will help you to prepare for your big race and give you the confidence to keep pushing yourself.
2. Wearing the wrong gear
What you wear to run is critical. Shoes in particular can really make or break your workout. If you’ve never been fitted for a pair of running shoes, go to a store and have a professional help you find a pair that will be right for your feet. Some people benefit from a softer pair, while other runners need stiffer shoes with more structure. Choosing what you wear based on the color or how the style looks is a recipe for disaster. And don’t forget to invest in a good sports bra while you’re at it.
3. Leading with your heel
Heel striking is a runner’s worst enemy. While running, make sure that your heel doesn’t land first when your foot comes down. Land on your midfoot instead. It might take a bit of intentionality, but the Boston Running Center reported that leading with your heel will slow down your run and increase your risk of injury.
4. Using long strides
When you’re trying to run a certain distance, it would seem to make sense that longer strides will get you there faster. However, according to Prevention Magazine, taking long strides is going to hurt your form and decrease your efficiency. Opt for comfortable, medium strides instead.
5. Rounding your shoulders
Posture is critical for the runner. When you’re tired, it’s easy to slouch. You probably won’t even notice that you’re doing it. But rounding your shoulders will make it more difficult for you to take deep breathes. Keep your shoulders back to open up your rib cage and increase the oxygen that you take in with each breath.
6. Increasing your distance too quickly
If a run feels good, it can be tempting to add extra minutes or miles the next day. But beware of increasing your distance too quickly. Many experts suggest increasing your runs by no more than 10 percent at a time,CNN reported. If you keep track of your runs by minutes rather than miles, use a BABY-G digital watch to keep track of your time. One of the options from the pink series will help you track your runs and look chic in the process.
7. Ignoring pain
When you run, listening to your body is critical. The philosophy of pushing through the pain really only goes so far. Sometimes it takes your body a little while to warm up, so if you are experiencing minor joint pain when you start your run, slow down your pace and keep going for about ten minutes. If the pain doesn’t go away in that time, take a day or two off and try again. Pain that persists could be a sign that you need to visit a medical professional before you cause a serious injury.
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