- Running too fast!
When I was in middle school I was in the cross country team. I had just found a love for running and I thought I was a pretty decent runner because I was finally able to break a six minute mile, so I thought I would be good at it. Middle school runs were only two miles. unfortunately, all I ever did was a run super fast in the beginning and burn myself out by mile 2. no matter how hard I tried I would never do better than a 16 minute 2 mile. Nobody ever told me to slow it down and pace myself. thinking back on it I’m sure I could’ve gone sub 15 if I learned to slow it down. The coach would only ever make us run 2 miles and so I would do the same thing every time and hope for a better result. Now, I know that every race is just pacing. not only that but if you are training, just hammering yourself to get faster, you’re doing it wrong. I had so many injuries as a young runner and I thought it was because I was just too heavy to runner. Now when I run, I encounter less painful injuries than I did back then. back then I couldn’t have imagined running more than 3 miles without shin splints and all these other issues arising. now I run a comfortable 5 miles without so much issues. lesson being that if you want to run and run for the longevity of the sport, run sloowww. instead of dying every workout, you should be leaving it feeling better.
- not eating enough!
From when I started running three to four years ago till even last year, I would run fasted or not having eaten much. I wanted to be lighter, I heard all those social media influencers out there saying that you should do fasted cardio so you can burn fat and that it led them to getting the six pack they always wanted. Well I would smack that little me in the head for doing that. Not only is that bad for you but it can lead to further injury. I heard it well said the other day from a podcast, to paraphrase, “It’s like going on a road trip with no gas, you would never go on a road trip without gas.” Your body needs nutrition to fuel yourself for the hard work you are about to do. I’m pretty sure that the reason I broke my foot almost two years ago was because I was exhausted from not having enough food or fuel. I have to admit, my runs were getting sloppy. I would push myself hard and expect to go faster everyday, and even on the days my body felt the most tired I would still try to push myself which is probably how I got hurt. Also, you don’t get the full benefit of the workout. Your body is not just dealing with lack of fuel, but with the stress of a workout its not ready for. So make sure to eat to fuel your workouts.
- Not hydrating myself enough!
when you think of hydration you think of water, right? I thought so too until I realized after my studies, hydration is a process of many different chemical processes that your body needs to keep your body working. sodium, potassium, calcium; they are all vital when we are talking about hydration because they give your muscles what is needed to contract and relax in movement. They are also needed to recover from long sweaty bouts of exercise. so runners, especially the sweaty ones, salt is your friend, not an enemy.
- Wearing the proper shoes
Believe it or not as a kid I used to run in converse. I remember watching the sandlot when I was small and I thought the scene where Benny climbed over the fence to get the ball signed by babe ruth was the coolest thing ever. The thing that stuck to me the most was the scene where he pulls out a box of brand new shoes called P.F Flyers. According to the voiceover he said that they were supposed to make someone ” run faster or jump higher.” For some reason that stuck in my head so whenever I would go running I throw on a pair of converse. It’s no wonder I got so many shin splints and knee injuries running. Getting the proper shoes for your feet is tangential to stay running for longer. get your foot sized, find out how you run because it will help you in the long run, literally.
- finally and most importantly of all is…….. HAVE FUN!
There was a point I was not having fun, I was battered and bruised and every run left me exhausted and unexcited .Nowadays that is different. running is a sport for everyone. you don’t have to be a pro. Our bodies were made to run. Don’t try to compare yourself to other people and what times they are getting on their runs, don’t put so much pressure on yourself to perform so well and way above your own abilities. Make some goals to keep you motivated, track your progress, plan your week accordingly, keep it reasonable and attainable, and go for it. But most importantly enjoy every minute of it. if you like running at night, go for it; early in the morning? have at it! are you more in it for the way it makes you feel? awesome! Just enjoy the process. make the most out of it. work towards your goals and make the best of every moment. if your not having fun what is the point of it all? so get out there and enjoy your runs, watch the sunset or sunrise, go for the feeling of accomplishment, because at the end of it all, its all about your health and what it gives back to you.
I hope you enjoyed this little list. I’m not a pro, I’m definitely not saying I know it all, but what I do know I would like to share. I had this thought yesterday on a run about how far I’ve come and decided that I wanted to share this. hope it helps you and thank you for reading!