Running isn’t simply going out for a jog. There are many things you need to consider to help you run more comfortably. For starters, you need to do a proper warm-up exercise to prevent potential injury.
If you are thinking about doing a lot of running in the future, remember these three worst mistakes to avoid before starting running.
Eating Too Much
One of the most common mistakes that people commit before running is eating too much in the morning or the night before. If you overeat, your stomach will be full, especially if you consume too much salt or sugar.
When you’re running, your body relies on the glycogen stored in your muscles as fuel. If your stomach is already full, your glycogen levels will be lower.
And when you reach your limit and still have to run, you will experience muscle cramps and fatigue, which can eventually lead to injury.
The best thing to do before you start running is to eat a light breakfast with complex carbohydrates. This will help provide energy to burn during the run.
In addition, you should also drink a lot of fluid. This will also prevent cramps and dehydration.
Doing Static Stretching
Many beginners will start with a warm-up routine that involves static stretching. Static stretching involves a stationary stretch where you will try to stretch one or more muscle groups to their maximum length by using your own body weight as resistance or by using an object as resistance.
Research has shown that static stretching before running can cause an increase in muscle tension, an increase in the risk of injury and a decrease in performance.
This is why it is recommended to do a dynamic warm-up instead. A dynamic warm-up is performed in a continuous manner by gradually increasing the muscle’s range of motion rather than holding the stretch for a longer period of time.
Dynamic stretching involves movements that mimic the action you’ll be doing when you run. It also improves your overall endurance, strength and technique. In this way, you can get your body warm and your muscles ready to start running.
Being Underhydrated or Overhydrated
Another common mistake that novice runners commit before running is being underhydrated or overhydrated.
If you drink too little fluid, your body will be working harder in order to draw fluid from your muscles and other parts of the body. This will cause dehydration, which will make you feel tired and weak when you run.
On the other hand, you also need to avoid overhydrating yourself before running. This can also cause dehydration.
If you take in too much water, then your body will be forced to let go of the water you already have. This will cause you to lose muscle mass, which will make you feel weak. You will experience muscle cramps and fatigue and can even get heatstroke in some cases.
It is recommended to take a 20-ounce bottle of water two hours before you run. Then, drink 12 to 16 ounces 20 to 30 minutes before you run. And during your run, consume 8 ounces every 20 minutes or so.
All these will keep your body hydrated and eventually reduce your risk of dehydration.
But remember that every runner is different, so you need to find what works for you based on your weight. For instance, if you weigh about 150 pounds, then you’ll need to drink about a 32-ounce bottle of water in the hour before running.
Running can be very beneficial for you. But make sure that you’re not doing these three things before you start running so you can avoid making critical mistakes that can ruin your run and your body.
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