Like with many things in life, when we look back at how we did things, many would not change what they did but more than likely how they did it. When speaking about any form of sport or training, that concept could not be more true. Here we list the things you wish you knew when you started running so that newbies can read this and avoid common errors and misconceptions. By noting these points you could get better results sooner and you could avoid unnecessary injuries.
Results Take Time
In most sports it takes time before you become seasoned and can start really seeing your true potential. With running two to three years is a fair time in which to start seeing results you’re targeting. For most seasoned runners, they run up to 10 years before their potential is exposed. Accumulating decent distance takes time. If you follow a good running program and you stick to it consistently, you’ll reach that true potential sooner. If you get over eager and you increase your distances too soon, you’ll likely be faced with a variety of injuries along the way – injuries which could even lead to extended time off running or even worse, surgery. A program with gradual and fair increments of distance based on results and performance are key!
Only Sticking to Running
A common problem that many runners have is that they avoid other forms of training and only “specialise” in running. Incorporating strength training in your regular training is important; you’ll build a broader base of strength and conditioning and you’ll avoid more injuries this way. HIIT training increases endurance and general fitness competence, so it won’t negatively effect your running – it’ll bolster it.
Doing any sport is not restricted to just that one sport. You need to have a holistic approach to training in order to become a complete and capable athlete – especially if you want long term benefits and limited injuries or negative side effects. So what are these extra effort activities? Diet is one – proper nutrition fuels you, helps you recover properly and ensures you’re always feeling up to the challenge. Find the right diet for you and make sure you stick to it. Work on mobility – this will give you the best results before and during a run and certainly help you recover and prevent injury. Here is a great feature on mobility exercises for runners. Sleep and rest is also very important – making sure you rest enough will gain you many positive results.
One of the misconceptions in running is that you need heavily cushioned shoes to protect your feet, knees, hips, etc. There is a lot of evidence which shows quite the opposite and we compiled a great feature on why minimalist shoes offer you the best results and minimize injury. Too many newbies will use the wrong footwear and pay the price for it before realizing their error. Make sure you use quality running shoes that will prevent injury, niggles and problems before, during and after runs.
Form is essential, especially when it comes to the basics. You want to build a strong base of basic movements to ensure you can progress. Unfortunately many people get into running and they simply run without doing research on running form because they assumes that it should come naturally. It’s harder to fix bad habits rather than develop new correct techniques from the start. Bad running form will cause injury, will slow you down and it will ruin the experience. Work on your form!
Try Something Different
Instead of just running on the road day in and day out, you should mix it up and try different forms of running where and when you can. Trail running is fast growing and there are so many good reason to give it a try. Read this article on five reasons to try trail running. Mountain running is also a great option and similarly to trail running gives you so many great benefits. Ultimately if you enjoy running then mixing up your running environment and types of running, as well as include HIIT training into your regular training program, you’ll enjoy it more and you will boost your overall running competency.