10 Bad Running Habits…and How to Break Them

bad-habitsNow that you’re on the path to being a runner, it’s important to note a few things.  Like any sport out there, it’s easy to fall into bad habits.  It is key to identify these early so you can make the most out of your running program.  Here are 10 bad habits and how to break them:

1.      Running too much too soon.  You may be feeling great and want to conquer the world but only increase your mileage by about 10% each week.

2.      Refueling badly.  After a run you might be ravenous.  Take it easy and grab a high carb snack and some water.  Wait about an hour or so and grab a meal with carbs and protein to build muscle.

3.      Skipping SPF.  About 20 minutes of sun a day is healthy but you need sunscreen on long runs.

4.      Ignoring your core.  Core workouts help in all levels of sport.  You can’t lift more, or more importantly, run faster, if you don’t work out your core.  Try these core workouts four times a week.

5.      Starting a race too fast.  Studies show that holding off in the start of a race gives you more energy and fuel to finish stronger.

6.      Being your own doctor.  Runners tend to be hyper-aware of their bodies.  However, if a pain has lingered for more than 3-4 days, you may want to see a doctor.  Ice, rest and Tylenol will not fix everything.

7.      Skipping stretching.  It’s definitely not okay to skip stretching.  You need to loosen and warm up your muscles before you take off.

8.      Not getting enough sleep.  There are thousands of sleep studies out there but use common sense.  If you are going to a race or a long run, you need to rest your body and your mind first.

9.      Never resting.  This can lead to over-training, injury and loss of motivation.  You should have a few easy days each week, some cross-training and 1 solid day of rest.

10.   Trying to fix it all.  There’s a lot of advice out there on being a runner.  Focus on what’s manageable and try not to stress yourself out.