What should you not be doing as a runner?


So you have recently decided to take up running as a sport.

Whether your goals are to take part in your first 5Km race, to run a marathon or simply to lose weight, there are certain things that may hamper your training and running efforts – and prevent you from reaching your peak potential.

Here are a few things that you should definitely not do, as a runner.

Wearing the wrong running shoes

shoesWearing the wrong shoes are a major cause of feet pain, black toenails, blisters and many other problems that often plague runners. Do note that the right size for running shoes should be at least half a size bigger than your regular shoes, to allow some space for your feet to move during the exertions of running.

To get the right pair of shoes, you should speak to a running speciality store and get them to recommend the best type for your running style.

Not drinking fluids during runs

100plusYou may think that drinking liquids is a waste of time, especially during a training run or a race. But don’t make this mistake. By not drinking anything during a run, regardless of whether it is an actual race or a training session, will only make you get dehydrated. So whenever you feel as though your mouth is getting slightly parched or dry, be sure to take a sip of water or isotonic drink.

Never run on an empty stomach

You might think that eating something is a waste of time and it deprives you of some much-needed sleep, especially for those early-morning training runs and races.

But on the flip side, eating something before that early morning training session or race will help you to run better and work some way to enabling you to achieve your personal best. Eating a light meal, such as a bowl of breakfast cereals, is preferably done 90 minutes to 2 hours before you start running, but if you don’t have the time, just eating a light snack, such as a banana or energy gel 30 minutes before your run, should not cause you to have digestion cramps during your run.

If you really don’t feel like eating anything though, even having perhaps a bottle of isotonic drink would be better than nothing, because it will provide you with some calories that you need for your run.

Don’t think that running lets you eat anything you want without gaining weight

Loch_ness_donutAs a runner, you do have the licence to eat more calories than a non-runner and still maintain your weight. But don’t think that you can eat any amount and any type of food that you want, without gaining weight. You still do have to manage your food intake and do not go overboard with your calories during meal times, even if the food you are eating is healthy.

A good way to prevent yourself from overeating is to keep a running and exercise logbook, where you record down the distance and duration of your runs, as well as the amount of food you’re eating. Having a visual logbook would give you a picture of exactly how many calories you are consuming and burning, and will stop you from reaching out for that extra piece of chocolate or biscuit.

Don’t forget your warm-up session

Many runners think that doing a warm-up session wastes time. But don’t make this mistake. If you don’t warm up, it increases your chance of getting stitches, feeling very tight in the legs, or having other problems that may impede your running.

So you should always do some form of warm-up exercise, regardless of whether it is a five-minute brisk walk, a slow jog or jumping jacks and doing arm/leg stretches.

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