How to Get the Best Results from Running Without Hurting Yourself

by Dennis K
runner sitting at side of road due to sprained foot

Running can be an excellent way to get in to great cardiovascular condition, as many people are aware of, hence it being one of the most popular ways to exercise around the globe.

Many people have experienced the benefits of running, however many of them have also injured themselves in the process as well. This just doesn’t happen to people who are new to exercise, as it routinely happens to seasoned veterans as well.

Injuring yourself during running can really sideline you for a long period of time, so make sure you are taking every step necessary to lessen the likelihood of doing so.

Avoid making these mistakes that many other runners have, and continue to do.

The Most Common Mistakes People Make While Running

1-Trying to Go All out Right from the Start

One of the biggest mistakes people can make is trying to go from a sedentary lifestyle and immediately start training hard.

runner with knee pain holding his legYou want the results as fast as you can, so put in the most work at the start. The work ethic is commendable, but going from park to 4th gear isn’t going to do your body good, and is a great way to injure yourself.

Gradually work your way up from the bottom if you are new to running to help avoid injuries especially in the joints. The ligaments and tendons in our joints take an especially long time to heal because of the limited blood flow to these areas, so it is especially important to start slow.

It is tempting to go all out from the beginning, especially if you are in good physical shape and are just new to running. You may be in good cardiovascular condition, but if you don’t run regularly your biomechanics are going to need some work.

Start off by running long distances at least every other day so you can get the biomechanics down for that length of time, and allow your body adequate time to recover as well.  Do this for the first two months to allow your body to properly adapt to the training.

2- Improper Balance Within Their Exercise Routine

There’s nothing wrong with going hard on occasion is you stagger your routine properly but many people make the mistake of having an imbalance in their routine which can potentially cause injury.

What we mean by this is that if you are going on a hard run in the morning for example, don’t follow it up with a heavy lift later on at the gym. Not only is this going to decrease you chance of injuring yourself, it is going to increase your recovery time.

One of the biggest reasons why injuries happen during exercise is because our muscles are over worked. When this happens, they transfer the all of that load they were carrying on to the bones which can cause fractures as well.

3- Trying to Best Themselves Each Time They Run

injured runner with sprained ankleWhen you are training you should be concerned about progression, but if you are trying to do so by decreasing your finish time every time you run, you are more likely to hurt yourself in the process as well.

You first have to ask yourself why you are doing so; if you aren’t a professional athlete or training for some competition there really is no reason why you should be trying to make a best time.

A better way to measure progression especially for beginners is not by time but by distance. Make sure you are hitting a goal, and gradually increase the length you are running to progress further in a safer manner.

4- Stretching Too Much Before Running

Stretching is extremely important, and is something many people forget to do prior to exercise. Stretching is important, however you must do so in moderation. Too deep of a stretch can overstretch your muscles which can actually do you more harm than good.

If you like to use deep stretches, save them for after you are done as they are great stretches for post workout to really relax those muscle fibers.

Instead of doing deep stretches before exercise to warm up, stick to first walking and alternating with running. Walk for the majority, about 75% of the first few laps with the remaining 25% consisting of running. Work your way up from there and when you feel good you can jump right in to your run.

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