Common Running Mistakes & Fixes

Running is a popular form of exercise, and the benefits are numerous. While running can be done at any time and doesn’t require a gym membership, there are a few things to keep in mind when incorporating running into your exercise routine. Bayhealth Supervisor of Athletic Trainers and Rehabilitative Aides Stacy Trice, PT, SCS, ATC, says it’s important to avoid common running mistakes on your way to becoming a runner.

“Running is great for our cardiovascular and heart health, and building muscle strength and endurance; it’s a total body workout, but if not done properly can cause wear and tear on the body,” Trice said. Here are the most common running mistakes people make:

The Problem – Not Warming Up Properly
Going from zero to 60 without a proper warm-up can lead to numerous injuries such as muscle strains and ankle sprains.

The Fix
Perform some type of dynamic activity, such as a light jog, followed by stretching to warm up cold muscles.

The Problem – Doing Too Much, Too Fast
Don’t start out by running a mile or more. This will lead to overuse injuries.

The Fix
Start with walking 1/10 of a mile and once you’re able to walk and run that distance, gradually increase 1/10 of a mile at a time. There are also good training programs available online and apps that you can download on your phone.

The Problem – Not cooling down properly
When you run, there is an increase in your heart rate, breathing rate and muscle temperature. When you’re done exercising, you need to get your heart rate and breathing to return to normal to help avoid feeling lightheaded or dizzy.

The Fix
Perform some cool down activities, such as a static or dynamic stretching, to help prevent muscle soreness and bring down overall body temperature.

“Strength training is also important to build muscle strength and rev up metabolism, which burns fat. Cardio alone won’t do that,” Trice said. “It’s also important to remember that living a healthy life is 90 percent nutrition and 10 percent exercise.”

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