What Should a Runner Not Do on His Runs?
No matter your level of experience or interest in running, here are a few things you should avoid doing on your runs. These can make running more uncomfortable or even hazardous. Avoid these traps and you’ll be well on your way to becoming a stronger runner.
1. Drinking Alcohol
While training, athletes often turn to alcohol for relaxation. While certain drinks can help them unwind, others could hinder recovery or performance. Running should abstain from alcohol when prepping for a race or endurance event. It is best to abstain 48 hours prior to the race and at least 24 hours before an intense training session.
Alcohol should never be consumed before an event, as it depletes your body’s glycogen stores and hinders recovery from exercise. Alcohol also increases heart rate and blood pressure, potentially increasing the likelihood of injury during a training session or race.
Running can vary in the amount of alcohol they should consume, but it is generally advised that they limit themselves to no more than two or three alcoholic drinks per day. Drinking too much alcohol can hinder recovery and performance, particularly for those training for marathons or other endurance events. If you’re experiencing foot and ankle pain, consider seeking professional help.
2. Drinking Energy Drinks
Energy drinks may promise to enhance running performance, but they often contain a high amount of sugar. Plus, they often include caffeine and stimulants like guarana which have been proven to enhance performance but could be too much for some systems and lead to stomach upset.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should limit their caffeine consumption to 400 milligrams per day and most healthy individuals should not consume more than one can of energy drink per day. However, energy drinks that use lab-made caffeine may be even worse for you than those sourced naturally from sources.
Caffeine can alter your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing, making it difficult to fall asleep. Furthermore, caffeine increases appetite which may lead to weight gain; additionally, it makes you jittery and nervous. Finally, caffeine may increase the risk of experiencing a heart attack or stroke. If you’re a runner, consider trying physical therapy for runners to improve your performance without relying on energy drinks.
3. Not Warming Up
If you haven’t been warming up before your runs, you could be placing yourself at greater risk for injury. Warming up helps avoid muscle and tissue injuries while also increasing flexibility. Physical therapy can also help you learn proper warm-up techniques and exercises.
According to the American Heart Association, a proper warm-up can enhance your running performance by raising your heart rate, body temperature and speeding up oxygen delivery to muscles. It also helps you remain calm and relaxed before beginning a run.
It’s essential to remember that a warm-up doesn’t have to last forever. Ideally, it should last around five minutes prior to race start time.
Particularly for races of less than half a marathon, doing an extensive warm-up prior to the race can significantly improve your time. So if you’re racing a shorter distance and wish to improve your time, then it’s wise to do a thorough warm-up beforehand.
4. Not Drinking Water
As runners, we know the importance of proper hydration for optimal performance. Hydration also plays a vital role in avoiding injuries, fatigue and electrolyte imbalances.
The amount of water we need depends on our body weight, environment and exercise habits. For an active adult, it’s recommended to drink 11.5 cups of water daily.
However, drinking too much water can be hazardous for some individuals – particularly those who tend to sweat excessively. This could result in hyponatremia, wherein the concentration of sodium in your blood becomes too diluted due to too much liquid intake.
Before your run, aim to consume 2 mL per pound of body weight by drinking approximately 2 mL prior to starting your run. Additionally, drink approximately half a cup of water every 15 minutes while running in order to replenish any fluids lost during exercise.
If you have any questions or need assistance with your running routine, don’t hesitate to contact us at Ascent Total Performance. Our team of specialists is here to help you achieve your goals and maintain a healthy lifestyle.