Running can be a great way to stay in shape and shed those pounds. You don’t need access to a gym and you can run almost anywhere. It’s simple and easy! However, if you’re a new runner, necessary precautions should be taken in order to ensure your safety. Many beginners make a lot of mistakes so here are a couple of common ones that you should avoid.
Doing too much too soon: Many beginners tackle too much mileage too soon. Often racking up way too much before ever building a strong base. Slowly easing into a training program can be much more beneficial. Experts recommend increasing your mileage by no more than 10% each week.
Not taking rest days: rest days are very important. Running is a high impact sport because it can pound really hard on your body. Novices who haven’t been conditioned for this can easily injure their muscles and bones. Rest days will allow your body to recover and be ready for what comes next.
Not wearing the right gear: you may not need to get top of the line running gear, but wearing properly fitting shoes are very important. Get fitted at a running specialty store by a knowledgeable employee. They can analyze your gait and then recommend shows that will fit your budget.
Not cross-training: it is important to also train other muscles so that you’re not always using the same muscles. The lack of cross-training can lead to overuse injuries.
Running through pain: no pain, no gain right? Wrong. There are different types of pain and it is important to recognize which ones correspond with which. If something hurts when you run, you should make sure to stop and treat the pain before running again.
So what are some common running injuries that can occur if you run too hard?
The most common by far is runner’s knee. You can wear the cartilage down on your knee cap and you may feel pain going up or down stairs. Pain may also be felt when squatting or sitting with a bent knee for too long.
A stress fracture is also common. It is a small crack in the bone that can cause pain or discomfort. Pain gets worse with activity but will improve with rest. Rest will improve the pain, but it is important to note that running on with continued pain can lead to worse problems.