RUN­NING MIS­TAKES That Slow You Down

HAVE YOU BEEN RUN­NING CON­SIS­TENTLY BUT DIS­COV­ERED THAT YOU’VE HIT A PLATEAU? IT’S POS­SI­BLE THAT YOU MIGHT UN­WIT­TINGLY SAB­O­TAG­ING YOUR PROGRESS.

Men's Health (Singapore) - - FRONT PAGE -

You’re Wear­ing The Wrong Shoes

It’s im­por­tant to use the right pair of shoes based on your foot type. This will en­sure that you’re com­fort­able as you run.

There are three foot types: neu­tral (feet that roll in nei­ther too much nor too lit­tle), over pronated (feet col­lapse in­wards) and un­der pronated (feet with high arches). The best way to find out your foot type is to visit a sports­wear store and get a foot spe­cial­ist to an­a­lyse your feet and rec­om­mend ap­pro­pri­ate footwear.

Other than don­ning the right pair, it’s also im­por­tant not to run in worn out ones. Gen­er­ally speak­ing, the life­span of a pair of run­ning shoes is 700 to 800km. Here’s another way to know when to re­place your shoes – when you feel pain in parts of your feet that you’ve never felt be­fore, it’s prob­a­bly time to toss them out.

Your Runs Lack Va­ri­ety

Do you al­ways run on the same days and tend to clock the same mileage each time? That is the quick­est way to hit a plateau – do­ing the same form of train­ing week af­ter week. With no pro­gres­sive train­ing, your body will nat­u­rally adapt it­self to run at the same pace.

Chal­lenge your body by vary­ing the speed and dis­tance of your runs. In­cor­po­rate sprints to im­prove your speed or run slower but longer to boost your en­durance. Make sure your body doesn’t get used to a run­ning pat­tern so you’ll con­tin­u­ally im­prove.

You’re Do­ing Too Much

You might think that clock­ing in more mileage will make you a bet­ter run­ner. But it’s quite the op­po­site – fo­cus­ing too much on the dis­tance can dam­age your body and even re­sult in in­juries.

Pos­si­ble signs that you need to scale things back in­clude fa­tigue in your legs that last more than two or three days af­ter a run and feel­ing slug­gish through­out the day de­spite hav­ing am­ple sleep the night be­fore.

Here’s how you can clock more mileage safely:

Dur­ing the first week of pro­gres­sion, add 15 to 20 per cent more of your pre­vi­ous week’s mileage. The sec­ond week, ease off by adding only five to 10 per cent more. Re­peat this process.

You Don’t Cross-Train

Do­ing a com­bi­na­tion of ex­er­cises such as swim­ming, cy­cling and yoga is an effective way for you to im­prove as a run­ner. They help to build over­all flex­i­bil­ity and strength, and also ac­ti­vate mus­cles that run­ning doesn’t.

By adding a va­ri­ety of work­outs to your train­ing, you’ll be less prone to in­juries. Bet­ter yet, you won’t get bored by just run­ning all the time. Start off by re­plac­ing one of your runs with one of the cross-train­ing work­outs men­tioned.

You’re Not Fu­elling Prop­erly

Eat­ing might be the last thing on your mind straight af­ter a run. Al­though a re­fresh­ing drink sounds more ap­peal­ing, it’s bet­ter to fill your tummy with some­thing more sub­stan­tial.

Ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Coun­cil of Strength and Fit­ness in the US, you should have a snack within 45 min­utes af­ter your work­out. Eat­ing dur­ing this time frame lets your body op­ti­mally ab­sorb nu­tri­ents. Your post-work­out snack should have a 3:1 ra­tio of car­bo­hy­drates and pro­tein, which is the per­fect for­mula for mus­cle re­pair. One great post-work­out combo would be peanut but­ter and sliced ba­nana on rice cakes.

You’re Re­ly­ing Too Much On Tech­nol­ogy

Many run­ners like to track their work­outs us­ing a smartwatch or GPS run­ning watch, and use the data as a ref­er­ence for their next run. How­ever, re­ly­ing too much on num­bers can pre­vent you from nat­u­rally pro­gress­ing.

When you’re run­ning at fixed pace, you can’t ac­cel­er­ate or slow down you ac­cord­ing to what you feel is com­fort­able. Make it a point to leave your watch at home for at least one run per week. In­stead, lis­ten to your body and let your legs carry you.

WITH NO PRO­GRES­SIVE TRAIN­ING, YOUR BODY WILL NAT­U­RALLY ADAPT IT­SELF TO RUN AT THE SAME PACE.

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