Are you new to running? If so, then we hope you’re enjoying the freedom and simplicity of just heading out the door getting your dose of exercise. We are going to be covering the common small mistakes, and the great news is they’re all super easy to correct.
Are you guilty of having slightly lazy feet and you, hear them scuffing through their grand? It is easy to think that maybe that’s a more efficient way to run because you’re not wasting energy lifting your legs up really high.
It could actually be limiting your running ability and obviously the risk of tripping over roots and wearing out your shoes. Other than just saying “well, pick your feet up more,” there are few things you can do to help.
Start off with a bit of a jog warm-up as you normally do, put in some blocks of high knees for 10 to 20 seconds, and then have a nice sort of recovery of 30 seconds.
Do that again and repeat it a few times, so when you come back to normal running, it should feel really easy to lift your feet up just a little bit higher.
Also, steps and hills are a great way because you basically have to pick your knees up high, and again when you come back to running on the flat, it should feel super easy.
It’s super tempting to head out too fast. You might have really fresh legs, be excited just to go out for your run and leave the house, and maybe it’s a little bit cold when you step outside too.
All of that combined can end up in you running too fast too soon, and you really need your body to have time to adapt.
If anything you want actually to be building throughout your run, it’s better to start off slow and get faster – you’ll enjoy it a lot more.
There’s nothing wrong with heading out the door and just walking for the first few minutes until your body gets going, and then you can find your rhythm.
Remember, if the pace feels really easy at the start, you’ll probably going to feel a little bit harder by the time you get to finish. So, think about the whole length of your run when you’re starting off.
Also, you should do a little bit of planning, because getting your eating and drinking correctly around your running is vital.
Too much too soon, and then you’re likely to feel sick or get a stitch.
However, if you’ve not hydrated or eaten enough, you could feel really dehydrated or maybe even a little bit weak and not able to complete your session.
It isn’t complicated, it does just require a little bit of a pre-thought, and we can’t give you any exact numbers of when to eat and what to eat because all of us have very different digestive systems and we can be more used to going running after a meal than others.
Commonly you should wait for 2 to 3 hours small mistakes until you could run at the earliest, and if you just had a snack, there may be 30 to 60 minutes depending obviously on what it was.
Let’s say you want to head out for a run, but you’re really hungry, then a good snack could be something like a cracker maybe a banana or some toast with nut, butter anything that’s fairly dry and simple that your body can digest.
And then there’s the whole side of hydration. There is no point in suddenly realizing that you’re really thirsty before your run downing a pint of water, and it’s just going to be there glugging around in your stomach and probably giving you a stitch, it won’t be absorbed and helped you in any way.
The key to make sure you stay hydrated throughout the day and you’re doing a short run, you shouldn’t need any hydration. But as soon as you get home, make sure you rehydrate to replenish anything you might have sweated out.
On the same topic, carrying water is another subject that divides a lot of runners. Just from observation, we tend to see more beginner runners actually heading out and carrying water with them than experienced runners do.
Neither is gonna need hydration more than the other in any particular reason. We get hydration drummed into us daily of how much we should drink like X amount per day.
You need to make sure you’re hydrated before you go for your run, and you shouldn’t need to be topping it up if you’re just doing 30 to 40 minutes easy jog.
Obviously, it’s going to be very different if you’re running in extremely hot conditions or going for a long run, then that’s another matter.
But for now, when you are starting, leave the bottle at home so you can concentrate on keeping yourself nice and balanced and relaxed and not having to have one thing in your hand.
It’s one less thing to worry about.
We run with our legs, but our arms still play a large part in assisting take walking, for example. When we walk, we naturally swing our arms if you walk faster, then you’ll find the arm swing moves faster but also a little bit further.
But when it comes to running, why do we sometimes feel a little self-conscious of our arms like what should they be doing? How do they move to? Why is that something that we haven’t sort of managed to find naturally?
Your arms need to stay relaxed while still assisting your running, which could sound like a slight contradiction because, obviously, if they’re relaxed, they aren’t doing anything.
But you can rely on momentum to help with that forwards and backward movement, which will, in turn, help with the dry series you lift your legs up.
If our hands are relaxed, it’s going to help through the chain, so you want to imagine if you just hold your hands out in front of you.
You don’t want to have them dead straight like a splinter. You also don’t want to have a clenched fist because that could really build up tension.
Some people even find carrying something seem really soft and light that just helps you have that gentle grip on your hands when you’re running.
Then, you move up to the arms or the elbows in the forearms, and you want to have a nice natural bend in your arms so that your hands are going past your waist in your hips on every run stride.
Hopefully, in a forward and backward motion, any movement across the body is going actually to deter you from propelling forward. If you’ve got all of that right, you will ensure that your shoulders are already nice and relaxed, as well as your neck.
That will allow you to get maximum oxygen into your lungs and really focus on your running.
Running is such a wonderful sport and the fact that pretty much all of us can just head out the door and go and do it with very little equipment required.
There is one piece, though, which is totally worth investing in, and that is your footwear. Buying a pair of running-specific shoes that offer you the right amount of support and cushioning will give your foot that comfort and can make the whole world of difference to your run experience and your enjoyment.
It’s easy to get 100% into a new sport, especially something like running with its post-exercise endorphins. It can be really addictive, but your body still needs time to repair, adapt, and get stronger.
Therefore rest days a vital, otherwise you could run the risk of getting injured maybe not improving and worst of all or even falling out of the love for the sport.
So if you are new to running, it’s a good idea to start off alternate the days you run. Have a run day, then a rest day, and continue like that.
If you don’t want to do anything on your rest day, then maybe try just going for a walk or doing some other kind of more gentle exercise that your body still has that time to adapt and get stronger from the running stimulus.
Do anything the same every day, and it’s going to get boring, but when it comes to running, you’re going to see a plateau in your performance.
We are not saying all of us have trails on our doorstep, but you can still mix up your normal run or do a direction in the opposite way. You could change the pace or the time that you’re running for
There are lots of options when it comes to mixing things up, which will not only help with your performance but will also help with boredom.
Why not experiment with some new routes? You can get a map out at home and maybe have a look and find some different parks or talk with your friends and see where they go running.
W mentioned changing pace. This can completely change a boring run into something that just flies by. It could be as simple as doing some walk-run repeats and maybe run your run-parts harder than you would normally do but then have a walk recovery.
Find a hill and go up and down that maybe it’s walking fast up the hill jogging easy down or you could simply put some music in and every time the chorus comes on you run really hard and then you run really easy on the rest.
There are lots of different ways that can just mix it up and keep you loving running. When you to any sport you’re going to make mistakes, and after all that’s how we learn. Hopefully, as a result of our article, you’ll be making less of those, and you’ll be on a faster track to enjoying your running experience even more.