Some Dos and Donts for Runners

Fix small mistakes before they cause big problems.  

There is more than meets the eye to running training.  Ensure that you aren’t taking shortcuts on the efforts into training for your events.  Below is a list of a few common mistakes that are made.

Slipping Off Still Tied Running Shoes – You may be tied after that long run or set of intense intervals, but don’t work your shoes off while they are still tied.  Doing it multiple times per week, those ankle twists add up and can damage ligaments and tendons in your ankle.  Try toggle or stretch laces, or untie your shoes for easy on and off.  

Hand Carrying a Water Bottle – Holding a water bottle in one hand may cause imbalance while running.  This imbalance may change your stride or run form and lead to injury.  Try wearing a fuel belt, which puts the weight near your center of gravity, making it less likely to alter your gait.  

Overstretching Hamstrings – You may think that stretching should be uncomfortable or should be done by stretching your muscles to the maximum, but this may cause a tear in the area you are stretching.  Try stretching muscles gently, never force a stretch or hold it to the point of discomfort.  You can also try easy dynamic stretches.  

Skipping the Squats – Runners often have leg muscle imbalances that only targeted strength work can correct.  Strength training can also improve stabilizing muscles to help prevent injury.  If you are short on time, try combination moves to work your upper body and lower body at once,  such as a thruster.  

Giving Blood Before a Big Event – It can take four to eight weeks for red blood cell counts to return to normal.  You may not notice it on casual runs, but it may hurt your performance if your are trying for a personal record.  Make sure to give yourself an eight week window to fully recover before racing.  

Wearing Bad Casual Shoes – Unsupportive or worn-out non-running shoes can strain the plantar faciae.  High heels tend to tighten the calf muscles and Achilles tendons.  Look at your shoes from behind and from the bottom, if the soles lean in or out, or if the soles are worn down, get rid of them.  Choose comfortable shoes with good arch support and avoid high