9 Things Runners Should Stop Doing

9 things runners should stop doing | happyfitmama.com

Running is easy.

You lace up and run, right?

True, but…there’s so much more to running than just running.  Once you fall in love, it’s easy to want to get faster, run more races and learn everything there is to know about running. There’s a whole laundry list of the right and wrong ways of becoming a better runner.

Here’s just a few of the bad habits that runners should stop doing now:

1.  Run your easy runs too fast – Easy runs were meant to be easy.  There should be a difference in pace between your easy runs, speed workouts and tempos. If every single run is at the same pace, there’s something wrong.  Even elite runners slow down significantly for easy runs.  Race day may be a pace of 5:xx but an easy run can be in the 8:xx range.

2. Stop saying you aren’t a real runner – If you run, you are a runner. End of story.

9 things runners should stop doing | happyfitmama.com

3. Stop skipping a warm up – In an ideal world, I’d be able to get in a 5-10 minute walk/jog before foam rolling and doing a full dynamic warm up.  But I’m more likely to get a minute or two of foam rolling and a 5 minute dynamic warm up before a run. I then try to keep at least the first mile pretty easy. Most of my runs are a time crunch so corners are cut to fit it all in.  Not ideal but at least it’s something.

Need dynamic warm up ideas?

6 Dynamic Warm Up Routines for Runners

4. Overdressing – I know it’s easy to pile on the layers before heading out for a run when it’s cold outside.  But when we run, our bodies heat up and having extra layers will soon be uncomfortable.  When getting dressed, it’s best to think of what you’d wear if it was 20 degrees warmer.  You may be cold at the beginning of your run, but you’ll be glad you opted for less clothing within a mile.

9 things runners should stop doing | happyfitmama.com

Ok, I needed ALL the layers on this day when the temp was 3 degrees and the windchill was -15.  But I still was not overdressed!

5. Taking zero rest days – Your body needs rest to recuperate from the hard workouts you put it through.  The whole #nodaysoff thing is a bunch of bull.  Running builds stamina and strength but it also causes tiny amounts of tissue damage every time you lace up. Taking rest days allow for your body to recover and come back stronger and faster for future runs.

6. Skipping strength training – A runner can’t survive on running alone. Strength training should be a big part of any runner’s weekly routine. Single leg exercises that work the glutes, quads, hamstrings and calves, upper body and core exercises and mobility work help prevent injuries and will increase running power and economy. I share my strength training on my weekly workouts wrap ups.

9 things runners should stop doing | happyfitmama.com

Here’s some great strength training ideas for runners:

6 Hip Strengthening Exercises for Runners

10 Bodyweight Exercises You Can Do Anywhere

6 Core Workouts for Runners

Workouts with Equipment for Runners

7. Paying too much attention to their GPS – I love wearing a GPS watch while running.  I have a general idea of mileage points in my town but it’s nice to get the exact amount.  I also like to get the feedback of all the numbers after my run.  Notice I said AFTER my run.  It’s easy to become fixated on the numbers during the run, particularly pace.  Don’t be a slave to the numbers.  Learn to run by effort rather than pace.  If you find yourself looking at your watch too much, try running naked (i.e. watch free) one day a week.  Or if you still want the data, turn the watch read out to the time of day.  Try anything other than staring at your watch for the whole run.

8. Racing too much – There’s more to running than running races.  If you all out race every single weekend, you are going to find yourself burnt out and most likely injured.  Pick a goal race every season of varying distances for keep things interesting.  If you love the race environment, you can still be a part of it by using the race as training run or for fun to support your goal. Or better yet, volunteer!

9 things runners should stop doing | happyfitmama.com

9. Expecting a PR at every race – When you first start running, it becomes the normal to set a PR at every race.  It’s so exciting that you want that to happen every single time. Eventually you will reach a plateau and will find that the PR’s aren’t as easy. I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals but be realistic.  Don’t expect to knock off minutes every time you run a half marathon.  Just like in #7 above, continue to set goals for yourself but also make sure you are having fun races too.

What other bad running habits would you add to the list?

Linking up with Coaches Corner and Wild Workout Wednesday.

13 comments on “9 Things Runners Should Stop Doing

  1. I’m definitely still struggling with overdressing but have come to embrace running my easy days easy, which was very difficult!! I obviously agree with all of these and I would add – stop comparing your journey with everyone else! I know it’s nearly impossible with social media and, when I find myself doing it, I try to nip it, take a step back and remember what I’m doing and why it’s important to me.
    Allie recently posted..The Rundown – Hello Running My Old FriendMy Profile

  2. Guilty on many of these especially neglecting the warm up. So many runners in our group think that if they did not get a PR it was not a good race. No one can expect one every time they race. You can learn something from every race.

  3. I was nodding my head at all of these! I am terrible about the warm up. I really need to do a dynamic warm-up regularly! If I added one thing it would be to not ignore your body’s signals. Whether it’s that something is hurting or you’re just feeling extra tired, sometimes you need to take an extra day off, cut a run short, or just rest for a while.
    Debbie recently posted..12 Essential Tips that will Help You Avoid Running InjuriesMy Profile

  4. Running the easy days too fast. Guilty as charged!!

    Actually, I’ve done all these things. Except expecting PRs. Those days are long gone!

  5. I’m guilty of always wanting that PR! I see a lot of people out here overdress – yesterday it was in the mid-40s and I saw people all bundled up on their runs – even a few wearing balaclavas!

  6. These all are gems and so true! I do a warm-up before most runs, but I know it should be a bit more thorough (my bad). I do not consider myself a fast runner (I’m a solid middle-of-the-pack gal), but I have a really tough time making myself run “slower” for the long runs. I’m not sprinting, by any means, but I’m probably not running as slow as I should be…long legs make it tough!

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