Think you having your running training routine down pat? You might want to think again. Whether you are just starting out or are a more advanced runner, these five running training mistakes can be costly to your workout.
Not Warming Up
Warming up is essential to having a successful workout. A good warm-up can lower the risk of injury and increase your flexibility. In addition, a good warm-up routine can help your body tolerate more stress than it would if you did not warm-up, which also helps reduce injuries.
So what can you do to warm-up? There is a three step routine you can easily do to get ready for your run. The first thing to do is walk for about three to five minutes. The pace should be gentle and not too fast. Walking increases the temperature of the muscles while enhancing the blood flow as well. This is especially important if you recently had an injury.
The second thing to do after walking is to add strides, or pick-ups. Do about six 100-meter strikes to let your body know it is almost time to transition to running.
The third warm-up to do is dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches can include squat with walkout, jumping jacks, and walkout with knees to elbows.
After doing this warm-up, you should be ready to start your run.
Avoiding Strength Training
Strength training is another important aspect of a running training program that some runners put off. It is important to do strength training and stabilization exercises designed specifically for runners to keep your body healthy and strong.
Abdominal muscles should be incorporated into your strength training routine to increase the stabilization of your core. This will prevent injuries by eliminating compensatory movements and stabilizing your spine.
How do you know if you have been overtraining? If you are experiencing an increase in injuries, mood issues, hormonal imbalance, and disruption in sleep. Exercise and training should leave you feeling more energetic, but if you are always feeling tired you may be overtraining.
Here are some other symptoms of overtraining:
- Changes in appetite
- Digestion issues
- Changes in menstrual cycle
- Thirstier than normal
It is important to rest between workouts to allow your body to recover. While you rest between workouts, you should also take one full day of rest every week. This means no training of any kind.
One downfall of overtraining is it can raise your cortisol levels, which can actually make you gain weight. If you are running to help you lose weight, you want to keep an eye on your metabolism and make sure to take those rest periods.
Another downside to overtraining is adrenal fatigue, which is when your body stops producing enough cortisol and some types of adrenaline. This can result in nutrient deficiencies, loss of appetite, fatigue, and difficulty sleeping. If this is not caught in time, Addison’s Disease can develop and you may need hormone replacement therapy.
Going Too Hard Before a Race
Did you forget to train before a race or wish you had trained more? Training too hard before a race will cause injuries and make the race that much more painful during and after the run.
To avoid this, give yourself plenty of time to train. If you allow yourself more time to train, you can focus on stamina, distance, and your speed.
When training for a race, take into account how long you have been running. Are you just starting out or do you have a few races under your belt? If you are a beginner, plan to spend more time training before a race. For example, to properly train for a 5k or 10k, allow for six to eight weeks of training. When it comes to a half marathon, allow for 12 to 14 weeks of training. For a full marathon, allow at least 16 to 22 weeks of training.
By giving yourself more time to train, you will have extra time in case of an injury, missing a day, or an illness happens. Check out this guide for a solid training plan.
Not Taking Into Account Nutrition
Nutrition on race day is important as it helps keep your body moving through the race. Furthermore, the proper nutrition can help decrease cramps and bathroom issues. One thing to think about are gels or sports drinks, are you going to use either of them before, during, or after the race? Find what works for your body and then train with what you plan on using the day of the race.
Run in varying weather conditions because you will need to change how much water you drink during different conditions. Practice on hotter days and see how your body reacts to drinking more fluids. Do you start bloating or cramping? You may need to look at other tactics or get your body used to training in that condition.
Nutrition for recovery is as important as nutrition for the race. While training, you need to take into account your calories. Keep track of the amount of calories that go in versus the amount of calories that go out. This will vary as you up the intensity of your workouts. If you do not keep track of nutrition, your body will not have the energy and nutrition it needs to properly recover between workouts. This can lead to lack of energy, tiredness, and injuries.
Keep an Eye on Training
Reassess your running training routine every so often to make sure you are not making these mistakes. It is important to vary your stretches and warm-up routine from time to time as well because your muscles will get used to the same routine if you do it over and over again. Remember to rest as your body needs to recover, which is an important part of any training routine.