We have a lot of articles about the running mistakes made by beginners, and almost nothing is written about the mistakes suffered by those for whom running is not new, but who had a pretty long break in training. The most interesting thing is that they have too much in common with beginners, especially from the point of view of extreme self-confidence and lack of restraints; however, the origin of the problem is different.
Let’s start with the beginners and then move on to those who have decided that they have a decent running experience and therefore can neglect all the rules, even after a long break! Here are the running mistakes made by beginners:
1. Choosing the wrong sneakers
Minimal sneakers are now fashionable, there used to be a lot of “pump” sneakers earlier, but these are, in fact, two extremes for beginners. There are plenty of less fashionable, but very comfortable sneakers with proper foot support and good shock absorption, and you really need it if you start to run to get rid of the extra kilos. Running shoes with thin soles will make it worse, increasing the risk of a knee injury (it is the knee that gets the most load in this case). What to do?
Perhaps, you should go to the orthopedist before going to the store, as you may need orthotics. When choosing running shoes, you certainly need to remember that they should fit the foot well, the heel should not feel loose, the lacing should not press on the metatarsal part of the foot, and there should be a little more space for the toes while wearing the shoes. It is better to choose the shoes in the evening because at this part of the day your foot will be a little bit bigger (due to edema as a result of walking and other physical activity), and you will definitely choose the shoes that will not be tight.
2. Too much load at the very start
The standard error of many beginners is to start too quickly in the direct meaning of the word. That is when they are on the point of running for the first time and immediately do this at a fast pace – after the last time they had to run 2 kilometers for a mark at school eleven and something years ago. The result manifests itself with strong pain in the side after just 500 meters and an aversion to running for at least another year.
The second option is to increase the speed and the distance too fast, thereby making it possible to get a fairly serious injury, for example, a stress fracture. What can be done? Do not rush. Download the app for running, set the initial level, pass the running test, and follow the suggested plan. Remember the golden rule: after each week of running, increase the distance for not more than 10% of the previous distance.
3. Setting unrealistic goals
When we look at someone from aside, we often want to do better, or at least not worse. But we rarely think about our basic physical preparation, how long that other person has been running and whether he/she has a coach. As a result, sometimes it happens that the load one person compares with a light warming up can knock an unprepared person down. Do you have a desire to run your first 10 kilometers or a half-marathon distance? Great! Just do not do it in a matter of a month! Having selected the right approach, it will take you a year to train for a marathon. This presupposes sticking to an appropriate workout plan under the supervision of a coach and correcting your running technique from time to time.
What to do? Set realistic goals. Choose a training program for beginners. Start with 5 km, then increase the load to 10 km, and then increase it to a half-marathon distance. All of this can be done without injury!
It is clear that looking at the pictures of your running motivator in Instagram and watching his/her graphics in running applications, you would like to run as fast and just as much, but do not forget that running is exactly the situation when the slower one can win.
You cannot run when your stomach is full because the heated liver will touch your stomach in five minutes and you will feel a sharp pain in your side. However, it is also difficult to run when the stomach is empty: you will not have enough energy. But beginners will not learn this truth at once.
What can be done? You should eat two hours before your workout. It is desirable to eat something with carbohydrates – this is the perfect fuel for jogging. If you are going to practice long-distance running (over 10 kilometers), it is better to get special energy bars or gels and, of course, water or isotonic! Do not be afraid to experiment with this. Eventually, you will find your ideal food for running.
5. Running on the heels
Beginners think that running on their heels is easier and more natural. They make large steps and land right on their heels. Boom-boom-boom, and both your heels and knees feel the load! Running like this, especially on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete, you will increase the risk of injury by many times! In such a way, many people can get an inflammation of the periosteum.
What can be done? Find a coach and develop the running techniques under his/her supervision. In fact, it is really possible to get rid of this manner of running all by yourself, but it is not the best option. You need to make sure it rids you of injuries for a long time; it should also enhance your performance by increasing speed and reducing the effort made.
What do people forget about after a long break?
It is interesting to know that “old stagers” often repeat mistakes 2 and 3 after a long break. They think that since they used to run for 10, 20, or 30 kilometers (or even a marathon), they can immediately be quick again. They are sure they can start with a dozen of kilometers, or at least a five-kilometer run as a warm-up. After these workouts, injuries are quite common. Not after the first run, of course, but after the second or third day when experienced runners deal with 20 kilometers or even more. Of course, they have their muscle memory, and the body itself remembers how to run properly, but running is a cyclic load. If you are not engaged in it for a long time, the muscles and ligaments need time to remember everything and turn on the body system at full capacity. This may take from several weeks to several months: it depends on the reason why you have stopped running and your state at the time you resumed training.
What should I do to avoid medical problems?
Do not start with a long distance and try to feel like a beginner again. Try to run short distances first, and then gradually find your present limits. You may have to restrain yourself for a month running for a short distance, but you will soon reach your traditional load without injuries and stress.