10 Things Runners Do to Mess up Their Workouts

Opening your stride could lead to injury.

We all make mistakes, but they can benefit us if we learn from them. Runner's World's Jeff Galloway shares 10 missteps to avoid in your running workouts.

1. Opening up your stride. Not only does this fatigue your leg muscles, it can lead to injury. Pick up speed by shortening your stride, staying light on your feet, and increasing your leg turnover.

2. Not resting enough. Take a day off from running, or at least go very easy the day after a long or hard run.

3. Resting too much. Some runners take two to four weeks off after a marathon. You'll recover faster by taking liberal walking breaks during a 30- to 45-minute run every other day for up to a month after your marathon.

4. Overdressing. You should feel slightly chilled when you start running on a cool day. If you bundle up, you'll be too hot by the end of the first mile.

5. Not having a goal. Even a small goal will get you out running on days when you're just not in the mood. Pick a local race. Or celebrate your workout with a pizza afterward.

6. Aiming too high. Choose a goal that's within your reach. Instead of trying to run a minute faster than you did last year, shoot for 10 seconds faster than you ran a month ago.

7. Going solo. Your long runs and races will become more enjoyable if you have a group of runners to share them with.

8. Eating too much or not enough. Eating about 250 calories an hour or two before the run usually will keep your energy up for 60 to 90 minutes.

9. Starting too fast. Even running 10 seconds per mile too fast at the beginning can force you to slow down by 20 to 30 seconds per mile at the end. It's better to start 10 to 20 seconds per mile slower than goal pace, and then pick up the pace by running 20 to 30 seconds per mile faster during the last miles of the race.

10. Telling yourself you can't. Instead, whisper "I can," and remind yourself that running is the best way to feel revived and reduce stress. Believe in yourself. Yes, you can.

 

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