Fitness / Running

5 Common Bad Running Habits—and How to Break Them

From skipping rest days to fueling with the wrong food, we're all guilty from time to time.

Like any other aspect of life, we’re bound to develop some bad habits when it comes to our sport of choice. We’re only human after all. And, in the case of running, that can mean skipping self-care, fueling improperly, or over-training. We’re all guilty at some point. Here are some of the most common bad running habits and advice for breaking them.

If you’re interested in incorporating running into your fitness routine, or becoming a better runner, Aaptiv is the perfect app for you. With hundreds of treadmill and outdoor running workouts, you’ll be racking up the miles in no time. 

Running too hard or too often

It’s not always a race. You don’t have to, and shouldn’t, go all out for every run. Nor should you be doing more intense runs every day. If you do, you’ll eventually run your way into overtraining syndrome. When that happens, most of your workouts will feel horrible, you’ll be tired and crabby, and your performance will drop. AKA, you’ll run your body into the ground… which leads us to…

Not getting enough sleep or rest

Runners can be notorious go-go-goers, sometimes skimping on sleep or skipping rest days. Not letting your body rest goes hand-in-hand with overtraining. You don’t get faster or stronger by pushing hard for every workout; you get faster with occasional hard efforts, base miles, and plenty of recovery time—thus letting your muscles rebuild.

Running on the same surface

We all have running preferences , but hitting the pavement for every run isn’t always the best for your body. Ideally, your running schedule should include multiple surfaces. Try some pavement, some trail, some treadmill, and (if accessible) some track. The more variety you can incorporate into your regimen, the better. Your muscles will become as well rounded as your training grounds.

Skipping warm-up or cool-down

Launching right into a workout is kind of begging for injury. A warm-up gets your body temperature up and blood flowing more efficiently to your muscles, helping to prevent tears and strains.

Cooling off is an easy step to leave out, especially when you’re spent from a tough workout. But it’s worth completing and doesn’t have to be complicated. Add a few minutes of walking on to the end of your run. And spend five to ten minutes stretching. This will help prevent muscle cramps and help alleviate soreness.

Aaptiv has hundreds of stretching classes, so there’s no excuse to skip your warm-up or cool-down!

Trying to doctor yourself

Another thing runners tend to do: downplay injuries. Some muscle soreness is normal and probably nothing to worry about. But if your pain is persistent, keeping you up at night, or impeding in daily activities, get in to the doctor.

Ice and ibuprofen won’t mend everything, and you’ve got to know when an actual doctor’s visit is necessary.

Focusing on only running

Ironic, but true. Running does wonders for our cardiovascular system, but without resistance changes, such as incline, not so much in terms of actual strength.

Weightlifting will greatly improve your structural strength (and you’ll probably see an all-over toning too). The stronger your body is, the more resilient it is. And the more powerfully you’ll push forward.

Break Those Bad Running Habits

While you’re out there running, try to be aware of how you’re treating your body and these bad running habits. Running can be a hard sport, but it’s addicting; it’s easy to push rest or minor injuries aside in order to put in more miles or fit in another race. Remember, the more conscious you are about your training and your body—and adjusting accordingly—the better your performance.

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