9 Things Not To Do When You Take Up Running
Trust us, other runners will not judge what you look like.
Running is free and it's great cardio - win win, right? But before you embrace your inner athlete, get familiar with what not to do to avoid becoming injured, getting down on yourself or tiring yourself out.
Ever wondered how the Wonder Woman cast trained to be superheroes? Check out the video below.
1. Shove on any old pair of shoes
We get it, you’re excited to start running, but Stan Smiths aren’t going to cut it for pounding the pavements. When you run a force of two to three times your weight goes through your body, so you need decent running shoes to absorb the pressure and support those feet. Head to a running shop where a pro can fit you with the best shoes for your running style – though be warned that the best trainers for you might not be the best looking.
2. Start off too fast
You leave the house, sprint down your road feeling like you could rival Usain Bolt and… oh no, you’ve got a stitch. It’s hard to pace yourself at first, but try to run at a pace you can hold a conversation at. It’ll feel pretty slow. That’s fine - work on building up your stamina before ramping up your speed.
3. Compare yourself to other runners
Maybe there’s a middle-aged man lapping you round the park, maybe your flatmate can smash out a half marathon every month or maybe you feel out of shape next to other runners you see out and about. Try not to compare yourself to them – it’s easy to do, but everyone is at their own stage in their running journey and it’s totally fine to be at a different point.
4. Worry about what other people think
So middle-aged Dave at the park or your speedy flatmate must be judging you for being a new runner, right? Wrong. Most runners are just happy to see another person in the same sweaty cardio boat, or they’re too wrapped up in their own training to care.
5. Run too far too soon
If your running is going well it can be tempting to do it more and more. But steady on there – building up your distance too fast can lead to injury. As a guide, running pros recommend adding no more than 10% more mileage a week. You can track how far you’re running with free apps like Nike+ or Strava and work out how much further to go.
6. Wear a regular bra
Hold on, ladies – strap the girls down before you hit the road. Normal bras are fine for day-to-day wear, but high-impact exercise like running requires a lot more support. Your boobs move in all directions – literally all directions – when you run - that’s in/out, up/down and side to side. Invest in a running sports bra to be as comfortable as possible on the run.
7. Neglect the gym
It’s all exercise, right?! Yes, but to be able to run faster and go further your body needs to be strong enough to handle the strain. Moves like squats, lunges and deadlifts are great for building leg and glute strength, plus cross-training with cycling, swimming or HIIT can help improve your cardio levels.
8. Train when you’re injured
Planning to go for a run but you’ve got a sore leg? Stop. Aches and pains can sometimes be harmless, but on the off-chance they’re not it’s important to rest. It’s annoying not being able to run, but it’s even more annoying to train through an injury, ending up in loads of pain and not being able to run for months afterwards. If you have persistent problems while running, book an appointment with a doctor or physiotherapist.
9. Do it even though you hate it
It can take a while to warm up to running, but if you really don’t like it after giving it a fair shot, try something else. You don’t have to run – you’re not a caveman and you don’t have to chase down dinner. There are loads of other kinds of exercise you might enjoy more, so why not give something else a go?