Running isn't the type of sport that everyone performs and enjoys. People either love running or hate it. Many people force themselves to jog because it provides lots of boosting cardiopulmonary function and burning calories, but once they've reached their goals they're likely to cancel.
Those who love running, on the other hand, develop a lifelong passion for feeling the pavement roll under their feet, enjoying the sun and wind on their skin, feeling more positivity being outdoor or in nature, feeling better health, and pushing themselves to go just a little farther or endure just a little longer. These enthusiasts run for the adrenaline, endorphins, and feelings of satisfaction supports for making a body work the way it was intended to.
Because running is often a solitary sport, it's all too easy to make mistakes and fall into bad running habits that can cause discomfort, pain, or injuries that disrupt the progress. There are plenty of resources available for running advice- websites, blogs, and other runners.
If we’re running with bad habits, then we could be facing health issues like chronic pain or injuries. To prevent running injuries, it is best to discover the bad habits we’ve adopted sooner rather than later so we can break them immediately.
Here are a few of the most common poor running habits and how we can break them.
1. Too Much Bounce in Your Step
Posture is an important part of running and our form can have an impact on how we run. It is commonly recommended that runners lean slightly forward at the ankle, to keep their feet closer to the ground when running, moving their legs in a forward trajectory instead of up and down.
Unfortunately, some runners end up bending forward at the waist instead, aggravate the problem and putting more bounce in their step. This will not move us forward more quickly or efficiently, all it will do is add to the impact of our activity, putting more strain on bones and joints and potentially causing pain and injury.
2. Tension in Shoulders and Neck
Strangely enough, a common complaint from those who run frequently and/or go long distances is pain in the neck and shoulders. How does this happen when our legs are doing all the work?
The problem, as with bouncing, revolves around proper running form. Most runners swing their arms as they run to increase power and good running form. However, it is a common mistake to swing the arms across the body instead of parallel to the sides of the torso.
This can lead to aches and pains in and of itself. If we pair it with unconsciously hunching our shoulders, the problem gets even worse and could result in tension headaches, pinched nerves, and other issues. We should pay attention to our shoulders and make sure to relax them throughout our run.
3. Inadequate Rest
Our body needs recovery time, especially when we're pushing it hard physically, as when training for a race. Even if we're not overtraining, a failure to schedule in adequate time for rest and recovery could lead to soreness, stiffness, and lack of stamina at best, affecting our progress negatively, and serious injury at worst.
Whether we're training or just trying to improve our distance and speed with regular runs, it's important to create a schedule that includes downtime for rest and recovery.
4. Improper Nutrition
Life in general requires us to provide our body with adequate nutrition through balanced meals, plenty of fluids, and perhaps supplements like daily vitamins and minerals. When we're exercising a lot, our body will naturally require more or different nutrients to continue functioning at peak levels.
Depending on our goals, we might want to increase the amount of protein in our diet (in order to build and repair muscles more quickly). However, all runners should increase their carb intake, at least slightly, to account for the many calories they're burning off and increase energy before or after running. And to focus on healthy, natural food, and healthy carbs and protein will support our overall health and energy level.
5. Wrong Gear
The right running gear can make a world of difference, not only in how we perform, but in how our body feels. Shoes are the most essential element since the wrong ones can leave us with foot, ankle, knee, and hip pain, not to mention shin splints and other aches and pains. We need to focus on the best running shoes according to our foot type.
You should also consider wick-away clothing that helps to keep our body cool and dry, as well as extras like anti-chafing, sunblock, running visor or cap, and items intended to keep us more comfortable and protect our skin while running.
Focus On Good Fun Running Habits, Enjoy Being Fit And Happy, Appreciate Some Wonderful Outdoor Runs!