If you’re a runner, whether you’ve just started or been accruing miles for years, you should consider some vital information to avoid injuries.
There’s a lot that can go wrong when running, which can you leave you off your feet for months. Keep reading to learn about the top six running mistakes that cause foot pain and how to avoid them.
Logging Too Many Miles Too Quickly
Running too much too quickly can easily lead to overuse injuries. These include muscle strains, stress fractures, and tendonitis.
First, to avoid injury, you should maintain good flexibility in your thighs, hamstrings, and calves. It would be best if you also had excellent hip and core strength.
By running many miles before your body can become acclimated to the increased intensity, you risk inflaming your tendons and over-stretching your muscles, which then become strained.
If you’re new to running, slowly increasing your weekly mileage is best. Start with one to three-mile runs several times a week. You can increase your mileage by no more than 10% per week. This means if you’re running three miles three times a week for a total of nine miles, the following week, you can run 9.9 miles.
Ensure not to run on consecutive days. Try to have an “off day” between each run where you can rest your body and strength train all the muscles you need to run safely.
Your Shoes Don’t Fit
If your shoes are too loose, they can cause nail injuries and blisters. However, if your shoes are too tight, they can cause discomfort in the form of bruising and blisters.
You should also ensure you are wearing the right shoes for your sport. You don’t want to be running long distances in tennis shoes, as they do not have the proper stability to support your ankle and the soft tissue surrounding your feet. Always use a pair of shoes specifically meant for running.
Once you find the right pair of running shoes, it’s all down to the fit. Your longest toe should touch the front of the shoe but still have a little wiggle room. In fact, you should be able to move all your toes easily in the shoe.
If you can’t move your toes, your shoes are too tight, and if your heel keeps slipping out, they are too loose.
Incorrect Running Posture
You do not want to lean too far back or slump forward when running. Instead, it would help if you kept an upright posture with a slight forward lean (about five to 10 degrees).
Also, focus on relaxing your arms and swinging them at your sides with a flexed elbow positioned at 90 degrees. It helps you run more efficiently when your arms are in the correct position.
Inefficient Foot Striking
Foot strike is how you land on your foot each time you take a step. You do not want to land on your heels (heel striking), as this puts repeated stress on your heels, shins, and knees. It’s best if you land on the forefoot or midfoot.
One way to think about it is that your feet are springs when running. You’ll be able to run faster when running on your forefoot than on your heel.
Running Uphill and Downhill Too Soon
Like with mileage, you should take it easy on the hills if you’re just starting. If you’re new to running, running hills can be very difficult on your joints.
Running uphill may stress your Achilles tendon and calf muscles while running downhill impacts your knees and thigh muscles.
Overexerting yourself too quickly on hills can cause some severe injuries, so be careful.
First, get your body used to running on a flat surface. Find a high school track or a treadmill. As you get stronger and appropriately increase your intensity, you can add hills into your runs.
You Don’t Cross-Train
Cross-training ensures that all the muscles you use to support yourself while running are in tip-top shape. If you have weak hips and core strength, it can affect the alignment of your legs and knees, putting too much stress on your joints.
Use your rest days to incorporate some strength training into your routine. You should also include stretches and core exercises.
Trust us; by spending your off days maintaining your strength and flexibility, you’ll help yourself avoid overuse injuries.
See A Doctor!
At The Foot & Ankle Center, we are committed to providing premier healthcare that keeps your feet healthy. When you experience foot pain, you must not ignore it. The longer you go without treating the root cause of the problem, the more you risk injuring yourself further. Request an appointment today, so you can get running tomorrow.