Some runners get into bad habits without even realizing it and these habits can slow you down or even lead to injury. Before you get into bad habits that are hard to break, see if you do any of these things – and if you do, make an effort to change them now. You’ll likely find that you’ll have more energy, will run faster and may even have fewer aches and pains when you’re done with your workout.
Here are 5 bad running habits you should change:
Swinging Your Arms Too Wildly
Swinging your arms back and forth helps propel you forward but if you start bringing your hands across your body while swinging them, it causes your upper body to work harder than it has to. Focus on keeping your arms relaxed and elbows at a 90-degree angle and allowing them to only move in a forward or backward motion.
Looking Down At The Ground
When you look directly down in front of you near your feet, it negatively affects your posture and makes it harder to breathe in fully. Instead, focus on the space slightly in front of you to improve your posture. It’ll also help motivate you to keep moving forward.
Doing Too Much Too Soon
Sure you want to get faster or run longer, but if you do too much too quickly you set yourself up for burnout or even injury. Get into the habit of giving yourself rest days, alternating the focus of your workouts on different days and gradually increasing your speed or distance by no more than 10% per week. If you feel pain or fatigue, pay attention to it – it’s your body’s way of telling you need to ease up a bit.
Skipping The Stretching
Don’t forget to stretch when you’re done with your run. Loosening your muscles when they’re warmed up after a run improves flexibility and can help prevent injury.
Not Refueling Properly
If you’re running more than 30 minutes, you need to hydrate during your run. Water is enough for shorter runs, but if it’s very hot, you’re running very hard or you run longer than a half hour, adding some electrolytes is recommended, too. Following a tough run, your body may need some carbs instantly, but don’t skip on the protein because it’s needed to rebuild muscle. Grab a high-carb snack immediately if needed and then eat a meal that combines carbs and protein within an hour.