You know I’m a bit advocate of running (and walking!) for losing weight and slimming down legs. But running is high impact and it can take its toll on your body. Here are some mistakes to avoid and also some tips to help you improve your running.
1. Going Too Hard Too Soon
Lots of women tell me that they’re going to start running 10kms every day to lose weight. This is just too much! You will hurt yourself if you try to do this. Or you’ll get exhausted and give up by going too hard too soon. Start out with 3-4 kms and then build up from there.
2. Neglecting Resistance Training
Resistance training is still important. If all you do is running and cardio, you will be slim but you won’t have any muscle tone. Both running and resistance training are important so make sure your workout program includes both. This is the style of resistance training that I like doing to tone up without bulking up.
3. Ignoring Potential Injuries
If you feel like there is something wrong, then don’t push it. Sometimes little niggles will go away in a few days with some rest. If not, it could be more serious and is worth checking out. But if it’s sore, try not to run on it and take the rest (as hard as that may be!).
4. Not Having The Right Shoes
I see SO many people running in Vans and Converse shoes! These aren’t supportive and you can end up with an injury, or just very sore feet. Make sure you have proper running shoes – it will make running more enjoyable, trust me!
5. Tracking Your Runs
With any exercise, if you just do it aimlessly week after week, it’s likely that you won’t get any better. Just like lifting weights and trying to improve each week, you should be trying to improve your runs. You can improve either your distance or speed (avoid trying to do both at the same time). But make sure you’re tracking these runs somehow to get the best results!
6. Not Stretching Afterwards
Your muscles might not feel super sore like they do after a weights session, but you still need to stretch! If I don’t stretch after a run, I get really tight quads the next day. I know stretching is the last thing you feel like, but even 5 minutes is enough. Stretch your quads, calves, hamstring, glutes and hip flexors. Bonus points if you can do some foam rolling! Have a read of my stretching blog post here.
7. Taking Rest Days And / Or Weeks
Running needs to be programmed properly. You can’t do it every day – you need to allow your body time to rest. I like to leave at least 36 to 48 hours between runs to give my body a little bit of time to recover. And if you’ve been doing lots of runs, make sure you give yourself a week off running every now and then. Have a read of my blog post on rest days here xx