If you’re starting out your running journey and want to take up this wonderful sport past time then good on you. Running is probably the easiest sport to start in but not so easy to master.
The main thing in my opinion to becoming a good runner is consistency. Keep it up.
If you’re worried about looking rubbish when you’re running then worry no more. I have put together my top tips on how not to run. I know that might seem strange but I decided there were lots of articles out there already on how to run. I thought I would be a little bit different and go the other way.
That and the fact that I have already written an article on how to run a marathon in 60 days injury free so this just gives you an alternative point of view.
Don’t run to much
In order to become a better runner you are going to have to get yourself out there. What most people do is go hell for leather and run as far as they can for as long as they can right from the get go.
When you run you put tremendous strain on your body. This strain will take its toll on your muscles and joints and will not allow you to recover properly. If you don’t allow adequate recovery time it will put you at risk of injury. If you injure yourself I can guarantee your running will stop dead.
This one may be something you have never noticed before. Next time you go out running, notice how you land between strides. If you are landing on your heels then you are doing something wrong.
Heel landings put a lot of strain on your joints and can be responsible for increased back pain, knee pain and ankle pain. SHort term this won’t be a problem and unless you have or are going to consistently run you probably won’t notice these as issues. However if you want to take running seriously you need to retrain yourself to lean forward a lottle and land on the front of your foot.
By doing this you will allow the leg muscles to take the weight off your joints helping you stay (in most cases injury free) this will eventually allow you to run longer faster and further.
Keep your strides short
This piece of advice points back to the joints too. Newbies tend to try and take longer strides thinking they will travel further faster. All longer strides do is take up more energy because of the extra effort it takes to accomplish which in turn will force more pressure into your joints.
Try taking shorter strides and pay close attention to how your landing.
Take on plenty of fluid
Hydration is one of my all time favourite go to’s for any illness. Its the first question I ask anybody when they are feeling under the weather with any symptoms “Have you neen drinking enough water?”
Being dehydrated can kill you for gods sake so why wouldn’t everybody take it seriously. Athletes (especially runners) will dehydrate quicker than the average person simply because of the fluid they lose through sweating. Keep the water flowing through your running.
Whilst running you probably won’t notice a lot of these symptoms (if your lucky) If you do, stop and take plenty of water on board.
Avoid to over or under fuelling
Don’t leave yourself feeling hungry before you run and also don’t eat too much. Nutrition plays a major part in sport. If you havn’t taken on enough fuel you won’t have the energy to be effective in your run. Taking on to much food before you run may lead to your body not being able to digest it in time which could cause you to be sick during your run.
It doesn’t stop there as there is also the balance of nutrients that you take on before ad after a run. If you get this wrong it can cause all sorts of issues. As an example. Low carb diets are all the rage currently (especially for fat loss) however carbs provide essential energey that will help you perform at your best.
Finding the right nutrient balance to help you perform at peak levels isn’t easy and I promise I will follow up with an article that covers this in more detail but for the purpose of this article try and take on just enough of the right food to fuel your body during a run but not enough to overload it. Be sure you also leave enough time to digest the food you are taking on so it literally doesn’t come back to see you.
God forbid you forget to warm up
Back to injury prevention. Warming up prepares your muscles for the strain you are about to put them under. If you fail to prepare (i.e warm up) prepare to fail (i.e get injured)
Warm ups take on all shapes and sizes but generally stretches followed by some light running first.
Pay close attention to what your feet are telling you
For a runner your feet are basically the tools of your trade. If they are hurting, pay close attention. You know your own body so you will be able to tell if the pain you are experiencing is normal or not. Don’t run if you are in pain.
Secondly your running footwear is important and will cause your feet a world of pain if they are not correct for your running style or if they are not right for your feet. I recommend popping in to your local running store and buying a pair of runners that suit both your style and foot.
Running shoes believe it or not also have a shelf life and it’s recommended that you change them every 300 miles or so.
So there you have it. How not to run. Feel free to comment below if you feel I am talking rubbish or if you have anything useful to add that might help somebody run better.