Runners can be a little stubborn, and these stubborn ways can get in the way of training. There are a few classic mistakes that runners make, and sometimes we have to learn these lessons a few times before they actually stick. Here are some examples–and one more reminder that you should ditch your bad running habit.
RELATED: 5 signs you’re overtraining
Run easy days easy
— Trevor Hofbauer (@TrevorHofbauer) January 12, 2018
Hofbauer’s tweet says it perfectly: runners know what being smart is, they know what pace they should be doing their easy running at–but for some reason they never do.
Here’s how it goes: a run starts and you feel pretty good, so you pick up the pace just a tiny bit. Then a good song comes on your playlist, and you’re moving even faster. Then you notice that you could average a nice round number if you go just a touch quicker. All of a sudden, your five minutes per kilometre run becomes a 4:20 per kilometre run, and your workout the next day is terrible.
If your body hurts, stop running
My Life With Tendonitis
Wake Up: I need a wheelchair
Making Coffee: There’s no way I run
First Mile: I will Uber home
Last Mile: What side was hurting?
— Kyle Merber (@TheRealMerb) December 15, 2019
If your body is hurting, don’t run. Simple, end of story.
The beginning of an injury is a critical period. During this time, a runner has usually developed a nagging pain that hasn’t taken them out of running entirely, but is lingering. This pain can usually be cleared up quickly if attended to properly, or it can develop into a full-blown injury if it’s pushed through.
RELATED: The vicious cycle of injury
Don’t eat right before you run
When you’re time-pressed and you’ve got two options: run on an empty stomach or run and burp the entire time, most runners choose to eat too close to their workout. There’s nothing worse than feeling sluggish because your stomach is empty, but time for digestion is always recommended.
Nothing new on race day
See something cool at the expo? Looking to try it on race day? You know you shouldn’t, it’s a bad plan–but somehow you convince yourself that this time will be different.
When you’ve got the blisters of the century at mile 20, don’t come to us crying. We warned you (and so did all of your running friends).
Cross-training is a life saver
Runners are notorious for avoiding cross-training, but this is a mistake. An elliptical minute does feel like a small eternity, but when you reach the start line healthy, you’ll be so happy you hit the cardio machines during your build.
Take a break
When your race is over, take a break. And not one of those breaks where you run every day but it was, ‘just easy running.’ Really take a real break. Do something other than run. Go on a trip, start knitting–but whatever you do, don’t run.
It’s amazing the difference that sleep makes for running performance and injury prevention. It’s kind of like legal and safe doping. When possible, go to sleep at night instead of watching 30 more minutes of TV.
Don’t run on dead shoes
Most running shoes are only good for between 500-600 kilometres, and depending on how often you’re running, you’ll go through them quickly. When your shoes are dead, get a new pair. Running on dead shoes is one quick way to ensure that you end up injured.