Unless you are a seasoned veteran of the sport, odds are you find running to be a bit of a struggle. That is probably putting it mildly. For most of us running is hard. So why make it any more difficult? Here are the five most common mistakes made which lead to a ruined run.
You are wearing the wrong shoes.
Not all shoes are created equal. If you are reading this and thinking to yourself, “But I have running shoes?!” then you are already a step above the rest. It hurts me to even think of all of the people out running in shoes not designed for the sport. I won’t bore you with it here, but there is a lot of science to show the effectiveness of a proper pair of running shoes. The easiest way to navigate these troublesome waters is to find your way down to your local running specialty store. Remember when I mentioned science? Yeah, it isn’t rocket science to fit you in the right shoe. The highschooler working there can do the job just fine. And if there isn’t a store near you, or you’d rather not shop in-person right now, there are plenty of resources online to help.
You are wearing the wrong shorts/bra.
For guys it should be simple enough to choose the proper running gear. But I’m shocked at how much this simple tip changed my running experience: if you are going to run, wear running shorts. Mind blown yet? But really. Do yourself a favor. When you go to buy those shoes mentioned above, grab a real pair of running shorts too while you’re at it. Yes, the ones with the built-in liner (your pick on if it is brief-life or more of a boxer-brief). No, they don’t have to be incredibly short. Every imaginable length and color exists. So find a pair you like, and enjoy. You can thank me later. And please don’t wear them more than once before washing. The running community thanks you.
And ladies, my wife insists I mention the efficacy of sports bras. I’m sure you already know this. This area isn’t my specialty but it is worthy of an entire series of articles in running publications. Long story short: a running specific sports bra matters.
You are running in cotton socks.
So you took the plunge and spent a pretty penny on a great pair of running shoes. Well done. Now please, please, please, don’t be the person who refuses to spend the little bit extra on a good pair of running socks. Running in great shoes and bad socks is like ordering a filet mignon and covering it with A1 steak sauce. Sure it’ll do the job, but the experience could’ve been sooo much better.
A good pair of running socks can be just as important as a good pair of shoes. These running-specific socks are designed to reduce blisters, wick moisture, and keep your feet more comfortable. And while running-specific socks may cost a bit more than generic athletic socks, the added durability can make them a more economical choice over time. I personally have had pairs of running socks last five years or longer. Just make sure you air dry them.
You are running in a terrible place.
One of the great joys of running is experiencing just how far our bodies can take us on our own two feet. When traveling, running through a new city is one of my favorite experiences. You can cover so much more ground on a jog than you can simply by walking. Now extrapolate that experience to your weekly running routine. I’m not saying every run needs to be exceptional. But if even once a week you treated yourself to a run that was at least a noticeable notch above the rest, now that’s something to look forward to!
You’re running around too many people.
Running with a mask sucks. I think we can all agree on that. It’s hot, harder to breathe, and stinks if you burp. What’s the easiest way to avoid that inconvenience? Go find some place, or time, to run where there aren’t quite so many people. This is not a free pass to run without a face covering, just an opportunity to pull it over your nose and mouth about 100 fewer times throughout a run.
Hopefully now you can take these tips and immediately be on the path to your most enjoyable runs yet.