Running should be a great enjoyable and stress-free activity but many runners experience pain and discomfort because of wrong gear, form, and hydration. Many runners have a favorite pair of running shoes they do not want to give up but running shoes need to be changed every 300-400 miles, depending on weight and where you run. Heavier runners should change earlier than lighter runners, and outside/trail runners should change shoes at an earlier mileage than treadmill runners.
Also, make sure that you are wearing shoes that fit properly. Some runners have specific wear or strike patterns that can cause pain. However, these problems can be easily addressed by ensuring your shoes are the right fit. Changing and wearing the correct running shoes is very important to avoid the most common running injuries such as knee, hip and other joint problems.
Over striding is when runners land on their heel, with the entire foot ahead of the body’s center of gravity. This type of stride seems to be a good way to increase speed, but in reality, it slows you down. Over striding wastes precious energy since with each foot strike, as there is a braking motion. It is also one of the leading causes of running injuries. The best way to correct this problem is to pay close attention to your running form until the motion becomes natural.
Many runners don’t realize how much fluid they lose during a run and don’t drink enough fluid. Some choose not to drink because they worry about getting cramps. Getting side cramps from drinking water is a myth. Cramps can be prevented by deep mouth breathing and warming up properly. It is also important to drink before, during and after exercise. An hour before exercising, try to drink between 16-24 ounces of water or a sports drink. During a run, the general rule is to drink 6-8 ounces of fluid every 20 minutes. If you workout more than 90 minutes, you should supplement your water with a sports drink. After a run, rehydrate with 20-24 ounces of water for every pound lost.
Runners who are focused on training for a race or a personal goal are often extremely dedicated to the challenge, maybe even a little too much. The thought process tends to be: more miles equals better performance. In fact, this is not true! Taking the time to recover is one of the most important parts of improving speed and efficiency.
Running everyday or running too many miles causes burnout and injury. If you are building up to a longer race, build your mileage incrementally. Don’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% to reduce your chances of overuse injuries. After a harder run, take a day off to allow your muscles to recuperate. Every 4th week, drop your weekly mileage by 50% (rest week) so that you don’t burnout and schedule days off from running just as you would schedule a run.