All runners, no matter what their current level of experience, have made mistakes at one point during their training.
In most cases runners repeat the same running mistakes over and over again without realizing it.
The goal of this article is to point out 5 of the most common running mistakes so that you can avoid them in the future.
Top 5 Most Common Running Mistakes
Running Mistake #1 – Wearing The Wrong Running Shoes
Of all the running mistakes this is easily the most common.
When you wear the wrong type of running shoes you open yourself up to injury.
For best results you need a shoe that fits your running style and foot type.
In order to get the best shoe you must first determine whether you are a neutral, under pronator, or overpronator runner.
Once you have the right shoe there are still a few things you must do to ensure you don’t get injured.
First and foremost you want to make sure you replace your running shoes every 350 miles.
You should also invest in a second pair of running shoes so that you can rotate them in and out.
Doing so will not only prevent injury, but it will help your shoes last longer.
Running Mistake #2 – Improper Breathing
Most runners breathe too shallow which is why they end up with side stitches.
In order for your muscles to keep moving while running, they need plenty of oxygen.
In order to deliver that oxygen you need to breathe through both your nose AND your mouth.
Focus on breathing from your diaphragm and not your chest.
When you breath deeply from your belly you take in more air. As a result you will not have to deal with side stitches.
If you are a beginner run at a pace where you can still breathe easily.
You should still be able to speak in full sentences without running out of breath.
If you are out of breath its okay to slow down or start walking.
If you start to feel a side stitch just slow down and relax the pace. This should help you get your breathing back on track.
Running Mistake #3 – Bad Form
Those new to running tend to either swing their arms side to side, or they run with their hands up close to their chest.
Running in this way actually tires you out quicker. It will also make your shoulders and neck tight.
The best way to run is by keeping your hands at waist level.
Keep your elbows by your side and your arms at a 90 degree angle.
Your arms should rotate at the shoulder and not the elbow.
Your posture should be very erect as you run. Head up and back straight. Keep your shoulders level the entire time.
Running Mistake #4 – Taking Strides That Are Too Long
Taking strides that are too long, also known as overstriding, is one of the most common causes of running related injury.
A common belief is that running with longer strides will improve speed.
This however is not the case.
When you overstride not only do you waste energy, but you open yourself up to injuries such as shin splints.
You should never lunge forward with your feet.
Your feet should always be directly underneath your body.
Your steps should be light and quick, and your stride should be short.
Running Mistake #5 – Not Staying Hydrated
Its easy to lose a lot of fluid when you are out running. Especially on a hot summer day.
It is therefore very important you pay close attention to how much you drink before, during, and after your run.
Here’s a few tips to ensure you stay properly hydrated during your run.
An hour before you go out on your run drink a minimum of 16 ounces of water.
Avoid drinking too much before your run as you don’t want to have to stop for bathroom breaks.
Let your body tell you when you need to hydrate while you are out on your run.
Depending on your pace, you may need to drink between 4-8 ounces of water every 20 minutes.
If your run will last 90 minutes of longer, have a sports drink so you can quickly replace lost sodium and electrolytes.
After your run you always need to take a few minutes to rehydrate.
This can be done with water or a sports drink such as Gatorade.
If you notice your urine is a dark yellow after you’ve finished your run, that’s a sign you didn’t fully hydrate.
Grab some more water and drink up. Don’t stop until you are completely satisfied.
Your urine should be a light lemonade color after you run.
Other common running mistakes that can set you back include not fueling up properly, overtraining, wearing the wrong clothes, doing too much too soon, and not staying in control when running downhill.