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Most Common Running Mistakes

The 3 Most Common Mistakes Runners Make

Running is one of the most popular forms of exercise, because besides burning major calories and toning your tush, it costs pennies compared to other sports. If you're a runner at heart, be sure to avoid these three most common mistakes.

Wearing Sneakers For Too Long
Your trusty old pair was there for you when you shaved two minutes off your 10K time and later conquered your first half, but that doesn't mean you should wear them forever. The lack of cushion and shock absorption that comes from wear and tear can result in foot pain or a more serious injury — make sure to retire an old pair every 200 to 350 miles (about four to six months, depending on how much you run). You could always buy the exact same pair you know and love, but if you're looking for a new sole mate, here are tips on how to find the perfect pair of running sneakers.

Skipping the Postrun Stretch Session
It's hard enough squeezing in a run during your busy day, but stretching those muscles you worked so hard is a must. Increasing flexibility in often-tight hamstrings, calves, shins, and quads can prevent shin splints and runner's knee, as well as lower back pain. A good stretching session can also prevent tomorrow's soreness. Try this yoga sequence to loosen tight hips and hamstrings.

Being Married to Running
You love running. We get it. And even if you're training for your first marathon, running as your sole form of exercise is a big no-no. Since overusing the same muscles can cause repetitive stress injuries, incorporate other forms of exercise into your routine. Biking, swimming, yoga, and strength training are perfect complements because they'll strengthen other muscles, which will make you a faster runner with better endurance. Not to mention, taking a break from running makes you love it even more.

Image Source: Thinkstock
Join The Conversation
jlsander07 jlsander07 5 years
o2cgirl -- I actually would have to agree with you and not agree with you! I'm sure you're familiar with barefoot running, or minimalist -- and although you don't have to run barefoot or wear Vibrams -- wearing regular running shoes is best for your footfall, hips and pelvis, if you very seldom replace your shoes. Feel free to check out my post about it!   With regular running shoes, the more padding -- which new shoes will have -- creates and unnatural footfall, so wearing running shoes that have been worn down from hundreds of miles is actually much better. I can also speak from personal experience that running in older sneaks that you've been running in for a long time yield better results.
o2cgirl o2cgirl 5 years
I think the shoe replacement mileage suggestions are pretty low.  I have always gone at least 500 miles in my Asics and have been fine.  I ran with my last pair almost exclusively on the treadmill and went 700 miles with no problems.
jlsander07 jlsander07 5 years
I think the worst offense is skipping the postrun stretch. It takes 5 minutes, and will make a huge difference in your runs. Thanks for the great article!
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