The 13 Best Hamstring And Glute Strengthening Exercises For Runners in 2020

The 13 Best Hamstring And Glute Strengthening Exercises For Runners in 2020

Running requires tremendous strength in your lower body. If you can strengthen them properly, your risk of getting injured becomes way less.

Strengthening your lower body muscles will also improve your running performance.

Today I will provide you with 13 best hamstring and glute strengthening exercises for runners that will make the most difference in your performance.

If you are getting injured often, or you cannot speed up your running, give these exercises a try. You will surely benefit from it.

Related: 

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. If you want to know more check here.

Hamstring And Glute Strengthening Exercises For Runners Thumbnail-min

Hamstring and Glute exercises for runners

Below are the steps of all those 13 exercises along with the number of repetitions you should perform.

However, based on your fitness level increase or reduce the number of repetitions.

You can incorporate these exercises for your leg day. Also, don’t attempt all of them together – start with 5 of them and build it from there.

Otherwise, this will be very tough for you and you may not want to do them at all.

So, without further ado, let’s start…

Glute Bridge

Image Curtsy: coachmag.co.uk

1. Glute Bridge

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Thighs, Hips, Core, and Hamstrings

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back

Steps:

  • Lie down with your back on the mat.
  • Bend your knees and your feet are flat on the mat shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your arms at the side with your palms facing down.
  • Lift your hips off the ground till your hips, knees, and shoulders are in a straight line.
  • Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your core tightened.
  • Hold the pose for 15-20 secs.
  • Gradually lower your hips to the ground.
  • Do this exercise 10-15 times.
  • Do this for 3 sets with 30 secs rest in between sets.
Single Leg Glute Bridge

Image Curtsy: womenshealthmag.com

2. Single-Leg Glute Bridge

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Gluteus Minimus, Thighs, Hips, Core, Hamstrings, and Lower back

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes and hamstrings.
  • Strengthens your core.
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back

Steps:

  • Lie down with your back on the mat.
  • Bend your knees and your feet are flat on the mat shoulder width apart.
  • Your feet should be a bit ahead of your glutes (12-16 inches)
  • Keep your arms at the side with your palms facing down.
  • Lift your right leg up in the air at hip level with foot flexed. (If you cannot lift so much, lift it as much as possible and work on it).
  • Squeeze your glutes hard and keep your core tightened.
  • Lift your hips off the ground with the help of your glutes and left heel, till your hips, knees, and shoulders are in a straight line.
  • Hold the pose for 15-20 secs.
  • Gradually lower your hips to the ground.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this exercise 10-15 times. (One count = Left + Right leg)
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest in between sets.
Donkey Kicks

Image Curtsy: spotebi.com

3. Donkey Kicks

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Core and shoulder muscles.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes
  • Stabilizes your core
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back

Steps:

  • Start on your all fours
  • Hands should be directly under your shoulders and knees directly under hips, shoulder width apart.
  • Engage your core and make sure that your spine is in a neutral position.
  • Keeping your core engaged and your knees bent slowly raise right leg to your hip level using your glutes.
  • Squeeze your glutes and hold your form for couple of seconds
  • Lower your leg to the ground and repeat with other leg.
  • Do this for 10-15 counts (One count = Left+right)
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest between the sets.

4. Dumbbell Donkey Kicks

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Core and shoulder muscles.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your glutes
  • Stabilizes your core
  • Improves hip mobility
  • Strengthens lower back
  • Tones your glutes, core, arms and shoulders.

Steps:

  • Start on your all fours and place a dumbbell at the crease of your right knee. (use a weight you are comfortable with).
  • Hands should be directly under your shoulders and knees directly under hips, shoulder width apart.
  • Engage your core and make sure that your spine is in a neutral position.
  • Keeping your core engaged and your knees bent slowly raise right leg until you feel your glutes are engaged.
  • You should keep your foot flexed and slowly pulse it towards the ceiling.
  • You should squeeze your glutes while pulsing.
  • Use your hips for this movement and don’t use your torso.
  • Pulse for 10-15 times and then repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest between the sets.

5. Weighted Bridge

Muscles used: Gluteus Maximus, Gluteus Medius, Core and shoulder muscles.

Benefits:

  • Relieves back pain.
  • Reduces knee pain.
  • Stronger and rounder butt.
  • Strengthens lower back.
  • Improves posture.
  • Helps you to run faster.

Steps:

  • Start by lying on the mat with your face up.
  • Bend your knees and your feet are on the mat and hip width apart.
  • Place weights on your hips (use a weight you are comfortable with).
  • Engage your glutes and lift your hips till your knees, hips and shoulder are in a straight line.
  • Hold for a moment.
  • Slowly lower your hips on the mat.
  • Repeat 10-20 times.
  • Do this for 3-5 sets with 30 secs rest between the sets.

6. Reverse Plank

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Shoulder, Core, Lower Back, Obliques and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Tones your arms and shoulders
  • Strengthens lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and all the muscles of the core
  • It improves core and spinal stabilization.

Steps:

  • Start by sitting on the floor with your legs extended in front of you.
  • Place your palms on the mat slightly behind and outside your hips.
  • Spread your fingers wide.
  • Lift your torso and hips towards the ceiling with the help of your palms and engaging your glutes and core.
  • Look at the ceiling.
  • Your toes should be pointing straight.
  • In this position, your entire body, from your head to toe should be in a straight line.
  • Keeping your glutes and core engaged, hold the pose for 30 seconds.
  • Lower your hips gradually to the mat.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

7. Reverse Plank with single leg lift

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Shoulder, Core, Lower Back, Obliques and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Tones your arms and shoulders
  • Strengthens lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and all the muscles of the core
  • It improves core and spinal stabilization.

Steps:

  • Get into reverse plank following the above steps.
  • Once in the pose, raise your right leg as high as possible.
  • Hold it for 30 seconds.
  • Lower your right leg and repeat with the other leg.
  • Lower your hips on the mat.
  • Repeat 3-5 times.

8. Romanian Deadlifts

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Middle and Upper Back, Lower Back, Trapezius muscles, and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stabilizes hips, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and core
  • It helps prevent common running injuries.

Related: How to avoid running overuse injuries?

Steps:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells in front of your thigh with your palms facing your body. (Use a dumbbell weight comfortable to your)
  • Bend your knees slightly.
  • Push your hips back and slowly bring down the weights towards the floor.
  • Keep your spine and core straight and tight throughout the movement.
  • Using your heels return to the standing position.
  • Do this 10-20 times.

9. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts

Muscles used: Glutes, Hamstring, Core, Middle, and Upper Back, Lower Back, Trapezius muscles, and Arms.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stabilizes hips, lower back, glutes, hamstrings, and core
  • It improves your balance quickly and efficiently.
  • It helps prevent common imbalance related injuries in athletes.

Steps:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Hold the dumbbells in front of your thigh with your palms facing your body. (Use a dumbbell weight comfortable to your)
  • Bend your knees slightly.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground moving your foot behind you and leaning slightly forward.
  • Push your hips back and slowly bring down the weights towards the floor until you feel a stretch in your hamstrings.
  • Keep your spine and core straight and tight throughout the movement.
  • Also, raising your leg behind you will help you to maintain balance.
  • Using your heels return to the standing position.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this 10-20 times.

10. Dumbbell Hamstring Curls

Muscles used: Hamstring (Biceps Femoris, Semitendinosus, Semimembranosus)

Benefits:

  • Builds and strengthens hamstring muscles.

Steps:

  • Start by holding a dumbbell between your feet and lying face down on a bench or on a mat. 
  • Lift the dumbbells off and make your legs parallel to the floor.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground moving your foot behind you and leaning slightly forward.
  • Now keep lifting the dumbbell up till it points to the ceiling.
  • Slowly lower the dumbbell until you feel a slight stretch in your hamstring.
  • Do this 10-20 times.

11. Step-ups

Muscles used: Quadriceps (thigh), hamstrings, hip flexors, gastrocnemius, soleus (upper and lower calf muscles)

Benefits:

  • Builds and strengthens Quadriceps, hamstring, glutes.
  • Reduces chances of common injuries.
  • It improves balance and stabilization.

Steps:

  • Start by standing in front of a step.
  • Now step-up with your right foot.
  • Pressing through the heels straighten your right leg.
  • Move your left leg and place your left foot at the top of the step.
  • Bend your right knee and step down with your left leg.
  • Next, bring your right foot down aswell to return to the starting position.
  • Lift your right leg off the ground moving your foot behind you and leaning slightly forward.
  • Do this 10-20 times.
  • Repeat with the other leg.

12. Reverse Lunge

Muscles used: Quadriceps (thigh), gluteus maximus, adductor magnus, soleus (upper and lower calf muscles)

Benefits:

  • Balance and stability.
  • Activates your core, glutes, and hamstrings.
  • Lesser stress on joints and bit more stability to front leg.

Steps:

  • Start by standing straight with hands on your hips.
  • Take a step back with your right foot.
  • Lower your hips so that your left thigh is parallel to the floor with left knee directly above your thigh.
  • Your right knee should be bent at 90 degrees and pointing towards the floor and left heel pointing towards ceiling.
  • Return to your standing position by pressing on your left heel and bringing your right foot forward.
  • Repeat with the other leg.
  • Do this 10-20 times, 3-5 sets
  • 30 secs break between each set.

13. Squats

Muscles used: Quadriceps, Glutes, Adductor Magnus (Inner Thigh), Hamstrings, Erectors, Abdominals and Obliques, Upper Back and Laterals, Calves.

Benefits:

  • Strengthens your core.
  • Reduces the risk of common injuries from running.
  • Strengthens your lower body.

Steps:

  • Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Shift your weight to your heels and start to push your hips into a sitting position.
  • Keep lowering your hips until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • You should feel the sensation in your thighs and glutes.
  • Pause when your knees are over your toes, not beyond them.
  • Exhale and push up to the starting point.
hamstring and glute workout for runners. These workouts will help you to strengthen your hamstrings and glute muscles and you will not have to go to a gym. All these hamstring and glute stretches can be done at home with almost no equipment. These will make you a faster runner.

hamstring and glute workout for runners. These workouts will help you to strengthen your hamstrings and glute muscles and you will not have to go to a gym. All these hamstring and glute stretches can be done at home with almost no equipment. These will make you a faster runner.

20-minute Bodyweight Workout For Runners

20-minute Bodyweight Workout For Runners

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. If you want to know more check here.

20-minute bodyweight workouts for runners

Many people falsely believe that we runners only run all the time. Running is so much more than ‘just run’. You have to run, eat a proper diet and more importantly strength train.

However, when it comes to strength training somehow you and I get lazy and head out of the door to squeeze in another run. And then all the problems start.

You start getting injuries like ITBS, Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, Back Pain and so on and so forth.

In short, no matter how tempting it is, you are not allowed to skip strength training. (I included ;))

Related: Is Resistance Training Required With Running?

So, today, I’ll provide you with a set of bodyweight workouts that I generally follow to squeeze in that strength training.

As you know most of my go-to bodyweight solution is yoga, today also I’ll do the same.

And what qualifies me to provide you with the routine?

Well, to be honest, I’m not a certified Yoga Instructor although I’ve got the plan of getting my certification this year.

I’ve been practicing yoga for almost 7 years now and yoga has been instrumental in my recovery from an accident I suffered 5 years ago.

So, I’m sharing whatever little knowledge I’ve here.

1. Downward Dog

Downward Dog Pose

Image Curtsy: yogajournal.com

Benefits: Stretches Hamstrings, Calf muscles, Achilles Tendon and Foot Arches.

Strengthen shoulders and relaxes back muscles.

Steps:

  • Begin on all fours.
  • Your wrists should be under your shoulders.
  • Your knees should be under your hips.
  • Your fingers should be spread completely on the ground.
  • Tuck your toes and pull up your belly-button and gently straighten your knees.
  • Try to lower your heels on the ground completely. If you cannot don’t force yourself.
  • With each practice, you will get better.
  • Hold your pose for 30-sec to 1 min or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

2. Plank Pose

Plank Pose

Image Curtsy: yogajournal.com

Benefits: Strengthens your core, wrists and arm muscles. Strengthens your triceps.

Improves metabolism, reduces back pain, improves posture, improves sense of balance, relieves stress.

Steps:

  • From downward dog using your core push your upper body towards front.
  • Your entire body should be forming a straight line.
  • Your wrists should be under the elbow which in turn is under your shoulder.
  • To make this pose more effective, pull your belly button towards your spine. This will engage your core.
  • If you would like to take this pose one-step further, have a imperceptible bent at your elbow. In other words, only you should understand that there is no weight on the elbow.
  • For the first couple of days your body may shake severely in this pose. 
  • Don’t worry, its natural as it is trying its best to get used to the pose. With each practice, you will get better.
  • Hold your pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

3. Knee Chest Chin

Benefits: Increase flexibility and strength of the spine and neck. It helps strengthen the arms, shoulders, legs, abdomen, and back.

Steps:

  • Start in plank pose.
  • With exhalation lower your knees to the floor with your toes tucked.
  • Your knees should be under your hips.
  • Your fingers should be spread completely on the floor.
  • Bring your arms to the side and your elbow joint pointing towards your heels.
  • Bring your chest down to the floor with your hips lifted off the floor and palms flat.
  • Now gently bring your chin to the floor.
  • Hold your pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

4. Cobra Pose

Cobra Pose

Image Curtsy: gaia.com

Benefits: Improves and strengthens your spine. Strengthens and opens your shoulder and chest.

Stretches and strengthens your entire front portion of the body.

Steps:

  • From knee-chest-chin push your body front and in one motion come up with a slight back bend.
  • Your toes are flat on the floor and you are supporting your entire body with your core and spine.
  • Keep your elbows bent so that you don’t put any weight on your arms.
  • See to it that your shoulders are relaxed and straight. Many time you will have the urge to squeeze and curl it up.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

5. Upward Dog Pose

Upward Dog

Image Curtsy: doyouyoga.com

Benefits: Improves posture, strengthens arms, wrists and spine. 

Strengthens and firms your gluts. Opens up your chest, chest and shoulders.

Steps:

  • From cobra pose tuck your toes and push your upper body higher up.
  • None of the parts of your body should be touching the floor.
  • Your body is kind of hanging in between your arms.
  • See to it that your shoulders are relaxed and straight. Many time you will have the urge to squeeze and curl it up.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Then move into the next pose.

6. Pegion Pose

Benefits: Stretches and strenghtens hip flexors and opens up your hips. Strengthens and opens up all the muscles of your gluts.

Relaxes and strengthens your piriformis. 

Steps: 

  • From upward dog, push yourself back to downward dog.
  • Now lift your left leg as high as possible in the air.
  • In one swing motion bring it in front in and place your leg on the floor, like you are sitting on one of your buttocks.
  • The other leg is still stretched at the back.
  • Release your tucked toes and spread them on the ground. 
  • Your upper body is perpendicular to the ground and your palms are on side of the hips spread on the floors.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable for you.
  • Pushing on your palms, raise up your left leg as high as possible.
  • Bring it down on the floor so that your are again in downward dog pose.
  • Repeat the above steps with right leg.
  • Then move into the next pose.

7. Warrior 1

Benefits: Strengthens your legs, ankles, back, shoulders and arms.

Steps:

  • From downward dog, bring your left foot to the front so that it is in between your wrists.
  • Rotate your right foot so that it is pointing towards the front wall at an angle of around 90 degrees.
  • Push of your palms and lift your upper body so the it is perpendicular to the ground.
  • See to it that your hips are squared and pointing towards the front.
  • Now raise your arms straight up.
  • Hold the pose for 30 sec or 10 breaths, whichever is easier for you.
  • Fold your upper body again and rotate your right ankle to the front.
  • Bring your left leg back so that you are again in the downward dog position.
  • Repeat the above steps with right leg.

8. Warrior 2

Benefits: Strengthens your legs, hips, ankles, back, shoulders and arms.

Stretches your groins, shoulders and improves metabolism.

Steps:

  • From Warrior 1 now rotate your hips so that your upper body is in the same direction as the foot of your back leg.
  • Now stretch your arms on either side of the body and they should be at the same level as your shoulder.
  • Turn your head and look in the direction of the front hand.
  • Pull your belly button towards the spine and keep your core and buttocks engaged.
  • Hold the pose for 30 sec or 10 breaths, whichever is easier for you.
  • Rotate your hips to the front and bring your palms to the floor.
  • Rotate the back foot to the front.
  • Bring your left leg back so that you are again in the downward dog position.
  • Repeat the above steps with the right leg.

9. Goddess Pose

Benefits: Strengthens your entire lower body including your legs, thighs, glutes, hips, calves, and ankles.

Steps:

  • Start in the Warrior 2 pose.
  • Now bend your back leg at the knees.
  • See to it that your feet are pointing outwards at almost 90 degrees.
  • Place both your palms on your hips.
  • Start lowering your body until both your thighs are almost parallel to the ground.
  • Now raise both the arms above your head.
  • If possible raise your heels so that you are on your toes while rest of the body remains in the same pose.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths whichever is comfortable for you.

10. Forward Fold Pose

Benefits: Stretches calves, hamstrings, and hips. It also stretches thighs and knees.

Steps:

  • From Goddess pose bring both the legs together in front.
  • Exhale and fold your upper part of the body.
  • Bring the palms as close as possible to the floor and try to touch it.
  • Initially, you may not be able to do it if you have stiffness in your back, hamstring or calf muscles.
  • Breath normally.
  • With each exhalation try to bring your palms closer to the ground.
  • Hold the pose for 30 sec or 10 breaths, whichever is comfortable for you.
  • Then move onto the next pose.

11. Chair Pose

Benefits: Tones and strengthen your legs. Strengthen your hip flexors, ankles, calves and back. Helps to deal with issues related to flat foot.

Steps:

  • From forward fold, bend your knees.
  • You should still be able to see your toes.
  • Make your thighs parallel to the ground.
  • Now raise your upper body.
  • Stretch your arms above your head and they should be near your ears.
  • Hold the pose for 30 secs or 10 breaths, whichever is comfortable to you.
  • Straigthen your knees and stand up with your palms folded over your chest in namaste.
Repeat the above poses 5 times non-stop then relax for 10 mins in savasana.

Follow the below video, if you don’t know how to perform Savasana.

Conclusion

This 20-min bodyweight workout for runners will serve you immensely whether you are a beginner or an advanced runner.

Not only these poses will strengthen your body, but will also strengthen your mind and relax it.

Please don’t skip any of the poses. I know plank, chair and goddess poses are very tough to hold.

But with practice, you will get better at it.

Are you searching for intense bodyweight workout for runners? Here is a 20 min runners bodyweight workout that you get you sweating in no time. Also, it will build your strength and endurance.

Are you searching for intense bodyweight workout for runners? Here is a 20 min runners bodyweight workout that you get you sweating in no time. Also, it will build your strength and endurance.

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30 min Non-stop Running Habit In Just 30 days – Training Plan for Beginners

30 min Non-stop Running Habit In Just 30 days – Training Plan for Beginners

30 days to a 30 min running habit. Possible?

Well, of course!

Today, I’m sharing the plan that I’ve followed to get up to speed and form this habit.

30 days to a 30 min running habit76-min

30 days to a 30 min running habit – The Plan

Before you start off with the below running plan, understand that consistency is the key.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and an affiliate for some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. If you want to know more check here.

Also, talk with your physician, before you get in to this running plan. It may be a bit intense and if you have not run before, below I’ve recommended another plan.

For this plan, we will start as gently as possible and gradually build up the mins.

I’ve found that, if once I built the morning waking up habit, the rest became more consistent. (Twin bell alarm clocks and wake-up light alarm clocks are majorly responsible for my success. I genuinely couldn’t have achieved it without them)

So, if it is 30 days then it means you have 4 weeks to achieve this.

Every week you will run for 3 days and two days you can do some cross-training.

Week 1:

Day 1: Walk for 2 min/Run for 60 sec. Do this 5 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 2: Cross-training of your choice for 10-15 min

Day 3: Walk for 2 min/Run for 90 sec. Do this 5 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 4: Cross-training of your choice for 10-15 min

Day 5: Walk for 2 min/Run for 3 min. Do this 5 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Rest

Week 2

Day 1: Walk for 2 min/Run for 5 min. Do this 4 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 2: Cross-training of your choice for 20-25 min

Day 3: Walk for 2 min/Run for 6 min. Do this 4 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 4: Cross-training of your choice for 20-25 min

Day 5: Walk for 2 min/Run for 8 min. Do this 3 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Rest

Week 3

Day 1: Walk for 1 min/Run for 7 min. Do this 4 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 2: Cross-training of your choice for 30-35 min

Day 3: Walk for 1 min/Run for 8 min. Do this 3 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 4: Cross-training of your choice for 30-35 min

Day 5: Walk for 1 min/Run for 13 min. Do this 2 times with 1 min break in-between

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Rest

Week 4

Day 1: Walk for 1 min/Run for 15 min. Do this 3 times with 30-sec break in-between

Day 2: Cross-training of your choice for 40-45 min

Day 3: Walk for 1 min/Run for 17 min. Do this 2 times with 30-sec break in-between

Day 4: Cross-training of your choice for 40-45 min

Day 5: Rest

Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Run for 24 min. Do this 1 time

Now we are at the end of 28 days (4 Weeks X 7 Days)

Week 5

Day 1: Cross-training of your choice for 40-45 min

Day 2: Run for 30 min. Do this 1 time

30 days to a 30 min running habit77-min

How to get in the habit of running every morning?

WARNING: Embrace yourself – It’s a long read

Morning is my favorite time to run. It’s calm, serene and you can just completely focus on your running.

Once you run in the morning you have already achieved your daily fitness target. No further time adjustment, shuffling meetings or sacrificing your family time.

If you start correct, you feel right the entire day.

Prerequisite

Before you can implement the below plan you would need:

Related: 

101 best beginner running tips you should have known

Zero To Half-Marathon Training Plan For Beginners On Couch

However, the challenge here is to run every morning. Or rather how to get up early in the morning to go for your run.

And Oh boy! it is the toughest hurdle to cross…

I’ve always been a late riser, my entire life…I struggled every day to get up in the morning.

Some days I didn’t even hear the alarm. Other days I may not get my clothes and other gears on time.

And for me, excuses were abundant.

Then one day when the weighing scale pointer crossed a certain mark and my doc gave me a serious warning, I got a shock. I had to change and had to change immediately.

It was hellishly difficult to get up initially but gradually it got easier.

How?

All I had to do is get a little disciplined and make some lifestyle changes.

Related: Running at 4 am in the Morning: 11 SECRET Habit-Forming Tips

The keystone habit that I developed was to sleep on time.

Your body in general needs a sleep of 6-7 hrs.

So if you plan to go for your run at 5 AM, you need to be in bed by 10 PM.

But you are not a machine, that once you press the button its turned off. You may not be habituated to sleep so early.

Sleeping on time also needs some effort initially. Your body’s clock needs to get adjusted first to your new routine.

Some tips to be in bed on time

  • Avoid your afternoon siesta.
  • Don’t drink too much black coffee in the evening.
  • Don’t eat late, latest by 6 PM.
  • Preferably eat a light meal.
  • Try having a warm bath before bed, it helps in getting a good night sleep.
  • Even better if you can add some essential oil in your evening bathing ritual.
  • Don’t spend time on your gadgets before sleep. Shut them off, an hour before your sleep.
  • Avoid sitting up late watching your favorite show.

Even with all these changes its possible that you are wide awake in your bed.

Why?

Your body has an internal clock.

If previously your bedtime is set for 11 PM, you may find it difficult to sleep at 9 PM.

What to do?

Your body needs to reset its clock and it may not happen overnight. Practice sleeping 15-30 min early each day until you reach your desired time. It may take a couple of weeks or a little longer to get used to the new plan. But eventually, this will happen.

On the bright side of this is when you push yourself to sleep early, your rest of the day will start to fall in place. You will push yourself to wake up early and you will be way more organized with your time.

You can follow the same regime, sleep 15-30 min early and wake up 15-30 min early.

Set up your alarm clock before going to bed and keep it away from your reach. This will force you to get out of bed.

When I implemented this, I got one of those twin bell alarm clocks and kept it in the common bathroom. I literally remember sprinting to the bathroom one morning to shut it off so that no one else gets up.

By the end of that sprinting, it was well awake…and that day somehow my body registered that I’ve to get up in the morning and the daily struggle became way less.

You may also use those wake-up light alarm clocks. I later switched to them once I got used to getting up in the morning. I never liked that jolted feeling in the morning that my dependable twin bell used to give me. But initially, it was very effective. So when I was ready I switched to this gentler clock.

PRO TIP: Never place the alarm very close to you. It’s very comfortable to just snooze it off and your morning running habit will fly out of the window. You should keep it at a distance from where it is well audible.

Once you are up, after all these efforts you would really not want to waste any time to get out of your door. For that, you should keep your running sportswear ready the previous night.

Trust me, it not only saves your time but also will help you to get into the running habit easier and faster.

Believe me, even with such a solid plan you can still catch yourself giving 101 excuses for staying in bed.

Some excuses could be as silly as I am late by 10 min I cannot achieve my target today, so let’s not waste my time and sleep off. (Guilty as charged :P)

Or, I have a long day planned today, it can get very stressful. I need extra sleep today. (Again guilty :D)

So, how to keep yourself motivated?

Initially, going out for a run in the morning is more of a mind game. You need to literally tell your mind to be out for running.

Related: Running Brain Training: 7 Super Effective Ways to Develop Mental Toughness

Here are some effective tips to trick your mind:

  • You can write the target run for the day and paste it in the mirror.
  • Try reading it while you are brushing.
  • Read it 2-3 times unless you have told your brain to do it.
  • Another way is the calendar method.
  • You can cross the days when you have not worked out.
  • Tick the days where you have run or done strength training or yoga or any other activity.
  • You do not want to break the streak.
  • Treat yourself when you achieve your personal streak record.

The best way which worked out most for me is to run with a buddy. This really kept me motivated.

It’s not that you are competing with your buddy, but at the same time, you do not want to left out.

30 days to a 30 min running habit78-min

How to break bad running habits?

Oh great!

You are finally running. The inner joy is beyond limit once you accomplish it.

But are you doing in the right way?

When you start running, you develop your own running regime and pattern.

You and your friend may have different stamina levels.

Hence it is obvious that both of you will have a different running pattern.

You can increase your endurance over a period of time, but you may still be making common mistakes?

Related:

How To Improve Running Stamina In Under 2 Weeks?

Skinny But Slow Runner? How to become faster?

Some of them can be listed as below:

Running empty stomach

Tell me honestly, do you eat before your morning run?

Do you know it is important?

So many of the runners especially the new runners are always in a hurry to run.

No sooner than they are awake, they intend to head out.

This is correct, but stepping without a small snack is not the best way.

But the most important question is – Is Running Right After Eating Bad?

Find out for yourself…

Imagine this – If you have take the above approach to sleep early then you would have eaten the previous evening. If you now plan for a 45-60 min run, the gap between your meals will be 8-10 hrs.

And this is a huge gap.

Running for long, makes your body enter the glycogen depletion state and your body starts using the stored fat.

True, it helps in weight loss, but you may also face serious conditions like fatigue and dizziness.

How to tackle this?

Easy…

Opt for a small portion of the snack.

Some healthy options could be

  • A banana
  • A  small apple
  • Handful of nuts
  • Cereals
  • Cracker with natural peanut butter

The idea is not to make your tummy overloaded, at the same time you are not running an empty stomach.

Skipping the warm-up

Warm-ups are as important as the workout. Be it running or HIIT, you need to make your muscles awake. If you are planning to run in the morning it is even more mandatory.

In the morning, your body has the lowest temperature. This makes your muscles and joints stiffer. So even if you are fully awake, your muscles may still be sleeping.

You are more prone to a muscle pull or other injuries when you are working out with stiff muscles.

A light warm-up and stretching are required to reduce the stiffness making them more flexible.

Warm-ups dilate the blood vessels. The blood vessel then carries more oxygen to the muscles and increases body temperature.

A sample warm-up plan could be:

  • Opposite toe touch –  each toe 5 counts
  • Jumping jack – 10 counts
  • Lunges – 10-20 counts
  • Squats – 10-20 counts
  • Push-ups –  10-20 counts
  • Shoulder rotations
  • Neck rotation
  • Waist rotation

It’s ok to run 10 min less, but not at the cost of warm-ups if you want to avoid injuries.

Related: How to avoid running overuse injuries?

Also, you must start slow and gradually build up your speed.

Start with a few minutes of a brisk walk or light jog and then increase your speed.

This is the right way to increase your heart rate.

Insufficient fluid intake

Most mornings when you get up your body shows the signs of dehydration.

You have dry mouth and throat, chapped lips, don’t want to speak much.

It is quite evident that overnight your body has consumed more fluid.

There could be several reasons for overnight dehydration:

  • Losing out more fluid while breathing, especially if you sleep with mouth open or snore
  • You experience night sweat
  • Your bedroom is too warm
  • You have a lower level of estrogen
  • You have worked out late evening
  • You had a late and heavy dinner

There could be any reason, you need to hydrate yourself once you are up.

If you are planning to go for a morning run, this becomes double important.

It is best to start your day with a tall glass of water.

And it is equally essential to carry your water bottle while you step out.

Best is to keep your water bottle ready in the night and keep with your running clothes.

While you are out on your run, keep sipping some water in between.

By this, I don’t really mean to drink a full glass.

Dehydration affects you physically and your performance is also hit.

Some common signs of dehydration are:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Increased thirst
  • Weakness

With the sweat, you are also losing the essential body salt.

Under these conditions water intake is insufficient.

You must try to include some electrolyte based drink during or post-run.

Another option is coconut water.

It quenches your thirst and is loaded with nutrients.

Overlooking Post-run recovery

Running just not ends when you reach your destination.

The more you run, the more recovery is needed by your body.

A good and safe workout is the one where you start slow, gradually increase your heart rate.

You are working out at a higher intensity for a period of time and then slowly cool down.

You should never stop abruptly.

Try to reduce your pace and then continue to work out at a slower pace for 5-10 min.

This will regulate your breathing and heart rate coming back to normal.

When you are running at a pace of 7 mi/hr you are causing a lot of stress on your lower body muscle.

This may bring about the tightening of muscle and soreness.

How to overcome this?

Here are some stretches to make your muscles relax post-run.

  • Hamstring stretch
  • Quad stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • Thigh stretch
  • ITB stretch
  • Low lunge stretch
  • Butterfly stretch
  • Hip and back stretch
  • Buttock stretch
  • Arms and abs stretch
  • Tricep stretch

Never rush through the stretching.

When you are stretching, hold the stretch for 30 secs. This is required for your muscles to become relaxed. 

Also, after you complete your workout, you must eat within 30 mins.

Your body has burned a lot of calories and needs to be fueled. 

The post-run recovery meal should have 4:1 carbs to protein ratio.

You must include complex carbohydrates and avoid refined sugar as much as possible.

Fish, lean meat, eggs, greek yogurt, and beans are good sources of protein.

You must also include fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants.

As Indians, in our kitchen, nothing is complete without Turmeric. And, there is so much science behind it. 

Try to fit turmeric in your diet as it has numerous health benefits besides reducing muscle inflammation.

Most important is to take a few sips of electrolyte water to replenish mineral losses.

Not to mention, your fluid intake should be sufficient all through the day.

With all this, take adequate rest and a nice good night’s sleep.

This is very important for your next day’s run.

Incorrect running form

It is not really an incorrect running form.

As everyone initially runs with his/her own natural running form or pattern.

Their body language is also natural.

So there is a possibility that unknowingly you are making certain mistakes.

Your running performance can suffer and you may also expose yourself to injury.

These mistakes are common in new runners.

Too fast, too soon

This is the most common problem with the new runners.

Even I have done it during my initial days of running.

It does feel good to run a good distance but give then again your body needs some time to do that.

Starting with excessive running may cause shin splint, Runner’s knee or ITB syndrome.

If you are a new runner, you should take your runner journey one step at a time.

First, start with walking and then gradually to running.

You should not increase your mileage by 10% in a week. Also, at this point, it makes sense to strengthen your hips.

This will make the most difference in your running.

Related: Hip Flexors Strengthening For Runners

Overstriding

This is also a common mistake that many beginners are guilty of.

You may feel taking bigger strides will make you cover more distance.

This is not true on the contrary it makes you slow.

When you take bigger strides, you are landing on your heels.

As a result, your foot is in front of your hip.

For you to move fast, your hip should land on your foot and this will propel your body forward.

You should take smaller strides as close as your body to land on your toes or mid-foot.

This will increase your cadence and speed.

Breathing pattern

For your day to day activity, shallow breaths will suffice.

When you are running or performing the intense workout, your muscles are working hard.

You need more oxygen to reach your muscles.

Related: 8 Essential Breathing Tips for New Runners

You should practice taking deep breaths from your diaphragm or belly.

Use both mouth and nose for inhaling while you are running.

Breathing from the mouth will help you take more oxygen.

You should exhale from your mouth and practice to exhale completely.

In this way, you are flushing out the carbon dioxide completely.

If you are a beginner, try to run at a conversational pace.

You must slow down your pace or get into walking if you run out of breath.

Incorrect Posture

A good posture gives better performance.

What is the correct posture for running?

  • You must run with the spine straight and tight core.
  • This gives better stability and balance.
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed.
  • Your arms should neither be side by side nor locked at your chest.
  • You should keep your hands and at your waist and at 90 deg at the elbow.
  • You should not lean forward too much, especially if you are running downhill.
  • Your face and chin should be parallel to the ground.

Not preparing for the run

Doing your homework before the run is very important – especially if you plan to run early morning.

Why?

In the morning every minute counts.

It is good to keep all your running gear ready before going to the bed.

You need not have to waste time looking for your running clothes and other stuff.

Apart from that, running in the morning is quite tricky.

You must be aware of the climate and select your clothes accordingly.

You must take out some time and check the routes beforehand.

It is not really safe to run in unknown routes.

Always carry your water bottle and some energy bar with you.

Best is to keep them ready the night before.

Plan for your pre and post-run meals in advance.

Not to mention, you must keep your phone charged and never leave it at home.

They may sound very trivial at the moments but they take a lot of your time.

You make so much effort to get up for a morning run and I am sure you definitely do not want to waste your time.

Lack of safety

Your safety is your utmost priority and you must never compromise on it.

If you are running very early in the morning or later in the night you have to extra cautious.

Related: Best Personal Safety Devices For Women Runners

Wearing the wrong shoes

Shoes are the most essential running gear.

They carry you along so you must select them wisely.

The selection of shoes is a big task.

It depends on various factors like pronation type, foot arch, running surface, etc.

Related: Best Budget Running Shoes for Beginners

Pronation type being the most important factor to decide.

A neutral gait is considered the most optimum running gait.

In case if you are overpronated or under-pronated and you continue to wear neutral shoes, this will not help you.

Overpronation may cause problems like shin splint or knee pain.

Under-pronation may cause ankle pain.

So if you are overpronated and you are wearing shoes designed for under-pronation, this will worsen your problem.

The shoes may cause your foot to roll inwards more.

You are at a greater risk of injury.

The vice versa is also true.

Another issue is if you do not select the shoes depending on the surface.

The harder surface has more impact on your feet than the softer surface.

Hence the shoes designed to run on surfaces like concrete or asphalt will have more cushion than the shoes for trail running.

Here if you are using shoes with more cushion for trail running it does not really matter.

But if you do the reverse,  your feet have to pay the cost of it.

So whenever you buy a new pair of shoes, select the parameters and then go for it.

It is advisable to keep more than one pair of shoes and never wear the same shoes for days at a stretch.

Continue to use worn-out shoes

This is yet another mistake that many of us make.

We continue wearing the shoes even if it is worn out.

Sometimes it could be a little heavy on the pocket, other time you are just negligent and lazy.

You are more prone to aches and injuries if you continue to use old shoes.

When to change your shoes?

It is normally said you must change your shoes after running 300-400 miles.

Of course, this also depends on various other factors like your body weight, the running surface, and your running style.

Let’s say your body weight is towards the heavier side then you may have to change your shoes closer to 300 miles than the leaner ones.

Never knew bodyweight could be heavy on your pocket too 🙁

The running shoes come with cushions which help is shock absorption.

With more usages, the shock absorption is reduced.

If you continue to use shoes with poor shock absorption, more is the stress on your muscles, bones, ligaments and soft tissues,

This may also cause severe pain on the joints – especially in your knees.

Moreover, if you are running on rough surfaces like asphalt or concrete, the chances of wear and tear are more as compared to running on the treadmill.

Your shoes sometimes reflect the signs for replacement.

With usage, the front of the shoes may look damaged, if you are overpronated.

The sides of the shoes will be damaged if you are under-pronated.

 Running immediately after eating a full meal

 Some of you may feel, it is good to run after a meal as this would make the digestion faster.

This is not true and on the contrary, it would make running even more difficult.

When you are running, the blood flows to your muscles to transport the oxygen.

After a meal, there is more amount of blood flowing through your digestive system, for the proper digestion of food.

Now, if you plan to run after a meal, your body will get confused about the blood flow.

You may suffer from gastrointestinal discomfort.

How to plan for your meal and workout?

For a moderate running, up to (60 min) eating a balanced meal 3-4 hrs should work.

Your muscles would stock the required amount of glycogen to sustain for a 60 min workout.

30-60 min prior to workout, you can opt to munch a banana or a handful of nuts.

Well, if you are planning to go for a longer run, around 2-3 hrs, they yes you may re-fuel.

Your glycogen level may not be able to sustain for a longer run and may get depleted.

You can carry some electrolyte drink or energy bar or energy gel on the go.

Related: Are Running Gels Bad For You? 

Not listening to your body

The young runners are always passionate about running.

They are eager to lock maximum mileage as possible.

They tend to ignore the signs given by their bodies.

This is the most common mistake that you make.

You are the best judge of your body and it is you who can feel the strain and the stress.

Running is good, but if you overexert you are taking a huge risk.

If you are running 6 days a week and your body needs an additional rest day, it’s ok.

Your body may give you signs of exhaustion and fatigue.

If at all you are running and suddenly you feel fatigued, it’s better to stop.

If you are pushing yourself too hard, you may be taking a big risk.

When your body demands rest, it is good to reward it.

Another scenario is when you are running twice a day.

Running twice is a great practice, but you should give your body an optimum recovery period.

Without proper recovery, if you are running a second spell you are inviting more harm than benefit.

Alternatively, you can split a single long run into two smaller runs.

Copying your buddy

Another common mistake is done by newbies.

This is mostly seen when you are new to the field and your buddy is a veteran runner.

Obviously, you cannot match his/her capacity.

There is no benchmark to compare the both of you.

Your partner may be a conditioned runner, may have better stamina.

It’s good to get inspired by your partner but copying is the least you should do.

How to create good running habits?

Well, implement the below changes:

Gait analysis

If you are new to running, it is recommended that you go for gait analysis.

Although this is not compulsory, it is a good practice.

This is a small procedure and very commonly held out at sports outlets.

It takes not more than 15 min.

Related: 

What Is Running Gait? How Can You Improve It?

How to choose running shoes to improve your gait?

You are made to run on a treadmill wearing neutral shoes.

Your running pattern will be recorded.

The running experts will analyze your running pattern and recommend the most optimum shoes.

The gait analysis tells you if you are overpronated or under- pronated or neutral runner.

In case if you are overpronated or under-pronated, it is best to use the shoes prescribed to you.

Overpronation – This is the condition when your foot rolls inwards as you land on the ground.

Under-pronation–  This is the condition when your foot rolls outward.

Neutral –  This is the condition when your foot rolls inward in a controlled manner.

Having neutral gait is considered to be the best.

However, more than 70% of the runners are mostly overpronated.

Overpronation may lead to shin splint or knee pain.

Under-pronation may lead to ankle pain.

If you continue to wear the wrong shoes, this will expose you to more injuries and aches.

Apart from this, gait analysis also tells you about your running form.

The right posture and form are equally important for running.

You may be making these mistakes unknowingly, but it is good to get it analyzed and work upon them.

You should go for gait analysis early in your running.

This will help you make the required changes for the more efficient running outcome.

Good diet plan

Ah!

This is my favorite part of the post and I can go for long on this.

Well, it’s because of my own experience.

Working on my diet helped me tremendously while I was on my weight loss spree.

And that’s why I strongly recommend having a balanced diet.

You need to eat well for running long.

Before heading out, its good to have a small snack to support your run.

Related: How To Increase Running Stamina By Food?

At the same time, you need to be careful that you are not over-stuffing.

This is mostly after a long run.

You are mostly starving and crave for a nice meal.

A good idea is to keep your post-run meal ready before you go out.

Else it mostly happens that you are extremely hungry and the hunger pang will make you binge on a  bag of chips.

You realize much later the stupidity you just did!

 Pre-run meal 

It is good to have a small portion on snack 30-45 min before you go out for a run.

This is extremely important if you plan to go out for a run early in the morning.

You can opt from the below options

  • 1 banana
  • Half apple
  • 1-2 hard-boiled egg
  • A handful of nuts and seeds
  • A small bowl of oatmeal
  • A small quantity of black coffee

Post-run meal

This is the most important part of your diet.

You must overcome your craving and settle for a healthy balanced meal.

Your post-run meal should help you in faster recovery.

Here’s what you can include

  • The ground rule is to consume protein and carbohydrates in the ration 1:3.
  • Milk, yogurts, lean meat, eggs, legumes, beans, and sprouts are great sources of protein.
  • You must eat complex carbohydrates like whole wheat, brown rice, buckwheat, oats.
  • Avoid simple carbohydrates in the form of sugar as much as possible.
  • Vitamin C enriched fruits and vegetables help in faster recovery and also burn more fat while exercising.
  • Try to eat the fruits and vegetables with the skin as much as possible. This increases fiber intake.
  • When you are running, you lose a lot of antioxidants. Berries, dark chocolate, green tea, beetroot etc are rich in antioxidants.
  • Magnesium-rich food is extremely helpful in reducing soreness. Magnesium relaxes the muscle and brings down inflammation. Cabbage, green peas, broccoli, banana, raspberries, spinach, and kale are rich in magnesium.
  • Banana – This wonder food needs a special mention. Bananas are delicious and packed with nutrients. The best part about banana is you can enjoy it at any point in the day. It is a convenient carry-along snack. It helps in instant energy booster and also in post-run recovery. It makes you full and decreases your cravings. The GI of banana is between 50-100, hence if you eat a banana when you have a sweet tooth it will not shoot your sugar level. So just go bananas!!

Resistance training

Great that you are running well!!

But, is your body really in a condition to sustain your running?

How can your body support your running?

Running alone is not sufficient for you.

To run better and longer and to continue running for years, you need to improve or tone your body.

This is where Resistance training or strength training fits into your regime.

Related: Is Resistance Training Required With Running?

The benefits of resistance training are not just for the runners but for anyone.

  • Improves your stamina
  • Increases muscle strength
  • Increases bone density
  • Better muscle flexibility
  • Corrects postures
  • Good weight management
  • Protection from numerous ailments
  • Peps up the mood

As a runner, you can get benefitted from these and see a significant improvement in your performance.

You may be thinking Resistance training to be a complex training program or need to go to a specialized gym, hire a trainer etc.

But it is as easy as working against your own weight!!

The term resistance training refers to working out against a resistant force.

This resistant force can be anything

  • Bodyweight
  • Gravitational weight
  • Dumbbell or kettlebell
  • Resistance band
  • Weight bars
  • Complex exercise machine
  • Some poses of yoga are an excellent example of resistance training

Resistance training is so versatile that you can easily do at your home.

The best practice may require 2-3 days of resistance training for 30-60 min in a week.

If you are running in the morning then the afternoon is the best time for resistance training.

Make it a part of your exercise routine and you will definitely see the difference over a period of time.

Improving your performance

You must be happy that you did all that it takes to be a better rather professional runner.

A good diet plan, resistance training, working on your form, etc…

Great!!!

So what’s next?

Do you need to stagnate where you stand?

By this I mean let’s say that if you are running at 9 min a mile will you be doing the same always?

Not a very nice idea.

 You must inculcate the habit of improvising your skill.

So, if your best pace is 9 min a mile, work towards getting an 8 min a mile run.

Of course, this cannot happen overnight.

You need to work on your cadence and strategy for better performance.

The number of steps that you are taking in a min is your cadence.

How to find your cadence?

Count the number of times your right foot lands on the ground in a min.

Multiply it by 2.

So, if your right foot strikes the ground 80 times in a min, your cadence is 160 steps /min.

The gradual increase in cadence is one of the most commonly used techniques for improving your pace.

So, if your pace is 160 spm.

Take a 20-sec interval where you increase your cadence by 5%(168 spm)

Repeat this 3-4 times a week.

Now if you are comfortable, increase the time interval to 30 sec and run with 168 spm.

Continue doing this till you are comfortable running at 168 spm for 1 min.

Now, again increase the cadence by 5% and repeat the same steps.

This surely will improve your pace and hence performance.

Apart from improving your pace, you can also change your technique.

If you mostly run positive splits or even splits, try negative splits.

This sure is a winning strategy. 

Run 30 min straight in 30 days with this running plan. If you cannot run for more than a couple of minutes and want to get in a great running shape then this 4 weeks running plan will help you to run non-stop for 30 min.

Run 30 min straight in 30 days with this running plan. If you cannot run for more than a couple of minutes and want to get in a great running shape then this 4 weeks running plan will help you to run non-stop for 30 min.

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Skinny But Slow Runner? How to become faster?

Skinny But Slow Runner? How to become faster?

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Skinny but slow runner-74-min

The heavier you are the slower your…Agree? I strongly disagree…I’ve seen thin runners who struggle with speed? If being overweight makes you slow…then why these not fast? Let’s find out…

Why I’m Skinny But Slow Runner?

You are skinny but a slow runner because you are not running efficiently. By losing 10 lbs you can improve your running by 20 sec per mile. But you are already skinny, so that is not the deciding factor in your case. You can be skinny but may underperform with a heavier runner.

This is because, the key to becoming an efficient runner is training. The regularly you train, the better is your running efficiency. The running efficiency also impacts your VO2 max.

Is it in my genes?

You may not like the answer, but it is true. Also, your genes are responsible for your fitness.

This is one of the main reasons why the East African athletes dominate the major races in the world. Studies show that the genes ACTN3 and ACE are primarily associated with your athletic performances. These genes influence the fibers that make up the muscle and are also related to strength and endurance.

Another example of the gene influence is on your lactate threshold. During exercise or running a by-product called lactate is generated. If there is an accumulation of lactate in the body, this will cause the tiring of muscle and fatigue.

The variation of MCT1 gene is responsible for difficulties in mobilizing the lactate throughout the body. Hence it may cause the onset of early fatigue.

Another way your gene affects your performance is how it builds up your collagen protein. A pair of genes COL1A1 and COL5A helps in building up this protein. They are responsible for strengthening the tendons and ligaments which are essential for any runners. 

So, your genes may not directly make you a better runner, but they inherently influence your performance.

What can be the other reasons that I’m so slow at running?

Your body weight is not the sole responsible party for your slowness. And especially for a skinny person like you, they are surely something different.

Here are some of the factors which may be responsible for your slowness:

Practice & Training

Practice and training are the main keys to your performance.

If you have just started to run then you cannot think of speed.

You need to build your base first before you can even think about speed.

Be patient and keep training.

It may take sometime before you may attain the level of speed you are expecting of yourself.

Related: Zero To Half-Marathon Training Plan For Beginners On Couch

Muscle strength

Another reason for your slowness may your lack of muscle strength.

So, you may need to improve on that as well.

Strength training will not only help you build up muscle strength but will also improve your endurance.

Also, you should strengthen your lower body muscles so that you can continue your running.

This will make you overall faster so that you can further build your stamina.

Related:

Diet

If you have started to run, then you should alter your diet accordingly. You have to eat a balanced diet. Protein and carbs are a must and you should also have sufficient fruits and vegetables.

And if you are thinking about skipping carbs, don’t even think about it…

Carbs are the fuel for running and are the only ones which will keep you going…

But instead of simple carbs like refined sugar, choose complex carbohydrates.

The next thing that you need to focus on is protein – your muscles need proteins for strength. So, include lean meat and fish in your diet.

If you are vegetarian then you can eat different combinations of pulses.

Another vital mineral that will have a direct effect on your speed is Iron.

Lack of iron may also slow you down. An easy fix is to include beetroot and spinach in your diet.

These vegetables and greens will also help in recovery.

And last but not least, keep yourself well hydrated.

It’s just not only at the time of the run you should drink water all through the day to prevent dehydration.

Related:

How To Increase Running Stamina By Food?

Running Technique

Your running form and posture may also be the reason behind your slow speed.

If you are bending your head and looking down you may end up having slower speed.

Keep your chin parallel to the ground and look at a 45-degree angle.

Keep your shoulder relaxed and tighten up the core.

Your hand should be bent at 90 deg at the elbow and must be next to your waist. 

Making these little tweaks can help to improve your speed.

Pains and aches

Listen to your body.

If there is any persistent pain in your knees, ankle forefoot or anywhere else, get it checked.

These pain may be the problem areas that are reducing your speed.

Sometimes the smaller pain may become a big problem.

Related:

How to avoid running overuse injuries?

Wrong Running shoes

This is not directly related to you being skinny but in general, if you are running in the wrong kind of shoes or in worn-out shoes, you may end up being slow due to persistent aches and pains.

As a runner you can have any of the below three pronations:

  • Overpronation
  • Underpronation
  • Neutral

For each type of pronation, you will have a different type of running shoe.

You fail to choose the correct one and you will end up not only slow but an injured runner.

Skinny but slow runner76-min

Related:

Can I ever become a fast runner?

Well, you can…

In fact, anyone can become a fast or at least a faster runner, if they put in the effort.

Keep in mind the above points and put in the training.

Also, just focus on the current week, don’t think too much about the distant future.

For me, if I overthink this, I tend to stop in tracks.

It better works for me if I just focus on the current run.

Try it out…

It may help you to stick with your running plan better.

And this is most important…

You follow a plan…

This will give you a base to which you can measure your performance.

If you don’t have one handy try out the below one.

This is a basic plan which any beginner can follow and will help you to run a half marathon with decent speed in 24 weeks.

Related: Zero To Half-Marathon Training Plan For Beginners On Couch

How can I become a fast runner?

Well, for starters, focus on consistency…

This is the only thing that will make a real difference…

Without consistency, the rest of your efforts will not bring you any results.

Check your cadence

You can calculate your cadence by counting the number of steps in a minute.

For an elite runner, the cadence is 180 steps per min.

But it’s really OK if you have a cadence of 100spm or 120spm.

You can gradually work on it and increase it and try to achieve 130 to 140 spm (strides per minute).

Resistance training

Resistance training comes with a bundle of benefits.

To improve your speed, you need better stamina and muscle strength.

Resistance training can help you with that.

Although it may seem complicated at first, but with time it gets easier.

Also, you can go to some fancy gym with lots of equipment or you can do it at home with your own bodyweight.

Include a 20 min resistance training 2-3 times a week and you will see the difference.

Working on the core

Your core is an integral part of running.

A strong core not only gives a sculpted look to your body, but it is required for better performance.

When you are running the core keeps the torso upright and makes the pelvis, hips and lower back to work more smoothly.

It stabilizes and strengthens the lower back muscle, giving you the right posture.

So next time when you are running, or even otherwise, try to pull your belly button towards your spines.

Here are some exercise for your core

  • Jackknives
  • Planks and side planks
  • Russian twist
  • Mountain climbers
  • Leg raise
  • Crunches

Stretching

For running faster, you need your muscles to be flexible so that they can work faster.

Proper stretching can quickly get you there.

If you are running early morning, there will be a lot of stiffness in your joints accumulated due to an entire night’s inactivity.

To make them fully functional, stretching is a must before running.

For better speed you need your hip flexors, quadriceps and hamstrings to be more flexible.

The relaxed muscles make you swift.

Some most effective stretches for runners are:

  • Quadriceps stretch
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Calf stretch
  • IT Band Stretch
  • Piriformis
  • Downward facing dogs
  • Psosas stretch
  • Glutes muscle stretch
  • Groin stretch
  • Spine stretch

You can get more detailed steps here: Strengthening Exercises For Runners: Hip Flexors and Others

Running Form

When you are running for the first time, focus on your form and you will be able to pick up speed faster.

Here is how you can improve your Running Form

  • Your chin should be parallel to the ground.
  • Look at a distance 50-100 meters ahead and not in your shoes.
  • Your shoulders should be relaxed.
  • Do not have a tight fist, you will be wasting your energy.
  • Your hands should be at your waist.
  • Swing your arms in rhythm to your foot.. opposite hand and opposite foot.
  • Tighten up your core.
  • You must stall tall and never crunch it.
  • Slightly incline your body from the hip flexors
  • Never lift your knee too high
  • Keep shorter stride
  • Your midfoot should land under your knee.

Breathing

You must have felt sometime while running you run out of breath.

While you are running, you need more and more oxygen to reach your muscles.

So, you must pay attention to your breathing.

You must practice deep breathing and avoid shallow breathing as much as possible.

The shallow breathing is where you are using just your chest.

While you inhale you must use both your nose and mouth and you must feel abdominal swelling.

Related: 8 Essential Breathing Tips for New Runners

Run a sprint

Sprint running helps in improving the form and running efficiency.

Sprinting is not just running from point A to B.

It requires much more effort, muscle activation, and coordination.

So if you master the skill of sprint, you would have built the essence to run fast.

Related: Can A Sprinter Become A Long-Distance Runner?

Running with a faster runner

Have you ever heard of healthy competition?

NO?

Let me tell you a story:

During the early 1900, Charles M. Schwab, the steel magnate, wanted to increase his steel production.

However, whatever he did, never seemed to bring any result.

So, he did something like this:

One day, at the end of the night shift he asked one of his managers – How many heats did your shift make today?

‘Six’.

Without any words, he wrote a big number 6 on the floor and walked away.

The next morning, Schwab walked through the mill again and found that his number 6 was replaced by a number 7. 

When the morning shift reported that day, they thought the night shift is showing off being better than them.

Now they wanted to show the night shift how it is done…

Result?

A big fat number ’10’ by the end of the morning shift…

This continued…and soon afterward it became the largest steel-producing mill in the entire plant…

This is what a little bit of healthy competition can do…

Now back to you…

You will also be challenged to perform better if you are running with a faster runner…

This is how human nature is – take advantage of it.

Running to music

If you love music then it is the best way to improve your running.

All you need is an upbeat playlist.

You try to match your stride with the beats.

This way you will not realize how fast you are moving while enjoying your music.

Uphill training

Training under the worst scenarios prepares you for the best.

I totally agree that running becomes more difficult at higher altitudes.

Uphill training is more challenging due to

  • Increased dehydration
  • Reduced oxygen
  • Drop-in VO2 max
  • Lower temperature
  • Altitude sickness

Once you have mastered the skill to run on the plain, try out running uphill.

Though there are challenges it will boost your confidence for future races.

Treadmill for Newbies

I personally feel a treadmill is a safe and relatively easy way to workout.

This is particularly more helpful if you have just started running.

Running outside may be difficult at first.

The harder the surface gets it becomes more difficult to run on them.

So, that way the treadmill has the belt which provides a softer surface and it is not very hard on the feet.

Another reason is that there are lesser chances of leg turn over or twist which may happen on an uneven surface.

You can run at your own desired pace and inclination.

The latest treadmill comes with so many advanced features and in-built programs.

Another reason why I suggest the treadmill for the new runners is the climate.

If it’s too hot or raining you may drop the idea of running outside, but you can still run on the treadmill.

This will help you be regular for your training.

Related: 

Skinny but slow runner-75-min

Related Questions

What else can I do to improve my speed?

Hydration

Make sure if you are running you are well-hydrated.

Dehydration may lead to fatigue and make you slow down.

You should take fluid intake throughout the day.

If you are running in the morning you must drink a tall glass of water before running.

Also, do not forget to carry your water bottle.

Post-run sip on coconut water.

This will quench your thirst and also provides nutrients for recovery.

Black Coffee

I am not kidding!!

Really, Black Coffee does add to your running performance.

Caffeine reduces the perception of effort.

Hence you will be feeling lesser effort than what you will be putting into your run.

This way you will be running faster without actually feeling the pain of it.

For example, you will be completing a mile in 6 minutes and feel as if you would have completed it in 7 minutes.

It also makes your mind more alert and improves endurance.

Sleep

Sleep is essential not only for runners but for everyone.

Runners particularly should sleep for 8-9 hours.

In fact, you should set up the bedtime alarm to be in bed if you are running early in the morning.

Sleep helps in the post-run recovery.

The real problem is it actually increases the perception of effort and makes the running more challenging.

You are not able to concentrate properly and draggy on the field.

Rest day

The best practice is to run for 5-6 days a week and giving 1-2 rest days to yourself.

Rest days are very important for recovery.

Your muscles and soft tissues work really hard when you run.

So giving rest day in between you can give a chance for these muscles to relax.

Once in a while, you can take a break from the regular running and go for a relaxed run.

Or maybe try out some cross-training like swimming or cycling.

Running Shoes

Invest in a good pair of running shoes. 

Your shoes are the most important running gear and you must be very careful while selecting them.

Mostly for long-distance running, opt for a Light Weight Running Shoes which will not tire you out.

The weight of the shoes will not affect if you are running a small distance.

But when you go for a long-distance running you may start feeling the weight of your shoes and slow down.

Ensure that your shoes have a proper cushion without which it becomes very difficult to run on the harder surfaces.

Replace your shoes once you see the signs of worn-out or the cushioning is gone.

Related:

Are you a slow runner? Are you skinny but still slow? Its frustrating isn't it? Here is a definite plan to improve your running speed and endurance. Follow these running tips and you will improve quickly.

Are you a slow runner? Are you skinny but still slow? Its frustrating isn’t it? Here is a definite plan to improve your running speed and endurance. Follow these running tips and you will improve quickly.

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Are running shoes durable? How to make them last longer?

Are running shoes durable? How to make them last longer?

Are running shoes durable_1

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. If you want to know more check here.

Apart from your clothing, running shoes are the most important gear for a runner. And if you are just about to begin your running journey and have just purchased your running shoes…you know that any decent pair will cost you a bomb…now the only question that is haunting you is “are running shoes durable”. So, let’s answer this question and check some ways to make your existing pair last longer. One more thing, if you are already fed up after seeing the price of running shoes, here is a list of affordable ones which will last you long and is of great quality

Are running shoes durable?

Running shoes are durable and can last from a couple of months to several years depending on the usage, the brand you are purchasing and the materials that are being used for the construction of the shoe. However, if you buy something in the range of $50 to $150, they will last the longest, whereas anything below $40 may not be as durable.

Now that we have answered the durability question…let’s find out when you should replace your running shoes in-depth…

How often running shoes be replaced?

We use running shoes for cushioning and protection and that is mainly provided by the midsole.

The midsole of most of the running shoes is made from EVA foam which is pretty much an industry standard.

These foams are made by injecting air cells into a foam material which makes them lightweight and very shock absorbing.

However, with constant pounding, this foam loses its power to provide you with cushioning as it gets more compressed due to pressure.

Once it loses its cushioning abilities, it is time to get it replaced.

Research suggests that you should replace your running shoes after you have run 300 – 500 miles in it.

If you are a runner who runs 3 miles per day, 5 days a week, these running shoes will last for 5 to 6 months.

However, if you run less it will last you longer.

After that, you must replace them.

Why?

Otherwise, you will start getting overuse injuries ranging from minor aches and pains to major ones like a stress fracture.

Here is a handy guide for your running shoe replacement.

Running Shoe replacement guideline

Also, it will last you years if your usage is minimal, however, in that case, it may start to disintegrate or the materials may start to dry up. 

Here also, you will be forced to replace your running shoes.

Are running shoes durable_4

Why am I recommending pricier shoes, when there are so many affordable ones?

Well, don’t get me wrong.

I also love shoes which are easy on my pocket. However, what I found was, they are mostly made from cheap materials and doesn’t last.

For me, some have fallen apart with a week and some gave me terrible pain in my feet and knees.

So, after a couple of bad experiences, I thought to stick to decent running shoes which cost me above $80 mostly.

However, I understand that many people will not want to spend that kind of money periodically, so I found some running shoes which will cost you within $40 to $70

These are from good brands and are well made. The materials used in them are also good and will not cause you unnecessary aches and pains.

Also, if you want to brush up your skills in picking up affordable running shoes, this article will provide you with complete details.

Here I’ve included what to look for in affordable running shoes, exactly what to avoid and how to get affordable shoes from the best brands around. With this guide, you cannot go wrong.

How do you know it’s time to replace your running shoes?

When it comes to replacing your running shoes, you can never be too sure.

Most of the times, you will ask yourself, “Is it time? Shall I replace it next month or this month?”

Then time goes by and eventually it cost you an injury before you replace your running shoes.

Don’t worry…I have some simple solutions for you so that you never run into such kind of trouble ever again…

Test the midsole – Press at the center of your shoe with your thumb. Do that where there is the midsole. If you feel that it is hard and not bouncing back, it means, it has lost its cushioning. It’s better to get a new pair of running shoes.

Look for heavy lines into the midsole – After you have worn your shoe for some time, there will be some lines or creases that form on the shoe.

However, if the lines are too heavy, that means the foam is too compressed to make a recovery. At this point, it is best to replace the shoes.

Observe if you are getting injured more – This is one of the most telltale signs. If you are getting more hurt than usual or getting more aches and pains, then it may so happen that your running shoes have lost cushioning. Do the above tests to find out if it is time to replace the shoes.

New shoes feel more comfortable – The loss of cushioning happens very gradually. Most of the times, you will not be able to understand this loss. If you are not sure, try on a new pair of running shoes. If it feels more cushy and comfortable than your older pair, then it is time to get a new one.

How can I make my running shoes last longer?

Like anything in life, if you want to solve a problem, you need to have a plan…

Know your shoe – Well, this is not like knowing what the shoe is made of. Rather, you need to know the followings:

  • Date of purchase
  • Brand
  • Shoe Name
  • First Use
  • Miles ran

For “miles ran”, you can use a paper log or an online app. If you wear any fitness band, the smartphone app that comes with it will have a way of tracking this.

Save this information along with the picture of your shoe. After a couple of times, this will provide you with crucial information like which shoe lasts the longest as your usage.

You can purchase the next one accordingly.

Limit its usage – You should not use your running shoes for any other purpose, other than running.

Why?

Usage outside running will also get added to your total shoe’s mileage. So, overall you will use up your running mileage earlier.

Don’t put your shoes in the dryer – If your shoes get wet, never ever put your them in a dryer. The glue in the shoe will start to disintegrate under such high heat. This will reduce your running shoe’s longevity, significantly.

Rotate your shoes – Like you, your shoes also needs time to recover from all the impact that it is withstanding. 

If you continuously use the same running shoe, you are not giving it the time to recover and come back to its original form.

Hence, it will break down faster. 

Instead, alternate your shoes and each of them will serve you longer.

Are running shoes durable_2

What are the most durable running shoes?

As mentioned above, the durability of a running shoe depends on a lot of factors like:

  • Usage
  • Mileage
  • Price Range
  • Quality of the materials of the shoe

It is really not possible to say which shoes are the most durable.

In general running shoes should last from 300 – 500 miles.

So, I’ll provide you with some running shoes which will last near to the upper limit of this range and are affordable:

 

References

Will the durability of my shoe get impacted if it gets wet? 

Well, the answer depends on how you dry your shoes after you get them wet.

Also, how you get it wet also matters…

If you are running in the rain and snow, you will not see much of an impact other than that wet smell.

You need to get it dried properly.

However, if you give it a hot water bath, then it may start to fall apart, or the joins of your shoe will start to weaken.

Why?

This is due to the way in which these shoes are constructed.

Nowadays a lot of glue is being used in the shoes to give it that seamless finish.

These glue doesn’t hold up well under heat.

So, this may reduce the durability of your running shoes.

Also, if you put your wet running shoes in the dryer, you will also face the same problem as here also, the glues will not hold up well.

Are running shoes durable_3

What to do when running shoes get wet? 

 Well, there is nothing much you can do, other than to get it dried.

Here is how you can effectively dry your running shoes:

Use some newspaper – You can ball up a newspaper and stuff it inside your running shoes and leave them somewhere they will get some air.

Keep it near a fan – If they are not soaking wet, you can leave it near the fan. The air will dry the shoes out.

Leave them at your balcony – Leave your wet shoes in the balcony. Place them a against a wall at 45-degree angle will heel touching the ground. This way the water will drain out the shoe faster and through a smaller area near the heels. Also, do not keep them in direct sunlight as this will affect the durability of the shoe.

How to make running shoes last? Well here are some essential tips that will almost double the life of your running shoes.

How to make running shoes last? Well here are some essential tips that will almost double the life of your running shoes.

How to avoid running overuse injuries?

How to avoid running overuse injuries?

How to avoid running overuse injuries header image

During my initial days of weight loss, I just knew this – if I have to lose weight I need to sweat. The more I run the better it is. So the quantity was always the goal. Then one fateful day – I remember a snap pain in my knee which forced me to stop the treadmill. The pain was so sharp that I could not stand. And that was my first tryst with running overuse injury.
In this post, I have provided all the details I could to avoid and deal with overuse injuries. I don’t want you to go through the same pain that I have endured.

Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate and affiliate to some reputed brands, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost you. If you want to know more check here.

How to avoid running overuse injuries?

Some form of running injuries is inevitable when you are running for some time.

However, with a little precaution, you can play safe and avoid it as much as possible.

Gradually increasing your training

As a new runner, you are always in a hurry to chase your dream.

I completely get it. I was guilty of that. 

But is this really correct?

Are you not pushing yourself hard?

On the contrary, design a practical and balanced training plan.

It is more so if you want to run big races like half-marathon, marathon, etc.

Related: Zero To Half-Marathon Training Plan For Beginners On Couch

If you have just started to run it is not possible that you can run 20min a day for 5 days a week.

If you try, you will be exerting too much pressure on your knees.

You need to build up the stamina and strengthen your muscles first.

You may follow the above plan, or create a plan of your own using something like below.

A sample running plan for a beginner would be:

Week 1

This week you will be working out for 3 days

Day 1  –  Walking for 15 min at a moderate pace

Day 2  –  Rest day

Day 3 – 2 min alternate jogging and walking for 15-20 min

Day 4 –  Rest day

Day 5 – Strength training for 30 min

Week 2  –  Same as week 1

By now your body will start responding to workout and the initial stiffness would have come down.

Now it is the time to accelerate but not in full throttle but gradually:

Week 3

Here you may increase your workout days to 4 or 5 but you will not only be running.

Day 1 – 2 min of alternate walking and running/jogging for 20 min

Day 2  –  Strength training for 30 min

Day 3 – 4 to 5 min alternate walking and running/jogging for 20 min

Day 4 –  Cross-training exercises like cycling or swimming

Day 5 – 20-30 min brisk walking.

Week 4 onwards you can gradually increase your running.

I am sure some of you would feel this is a very slow progression.

Trust me, if you are too fast initially, you will end up with injuries.

For any training, you should not increase your workout by more than 8-10 % in consecutive weeks.

Count on the technique

By running technique, I mean your running form and posture.

You may be committing these mistakes unknowingly.

Running with the wrong posture can lead to stiffness and strain in muscles.

This may lead to an overuse injury.

A classic example of this is the Runner’s knee.

Recovery

When you run, your muscles are working really hard to support you.

If you are using these muscles without giving rest, there are chances of these muscles to be worn out.

The stress may settle and it can become a persistent problem in the long run.

You must limit your training plan to the utmost 5 days a week.

It is a good idea to apply an ice pack or heat packs to your sore muscles.

They really help in faster recovery.

Good pain vs bad pain

No pain no gain is the mantra that most of the fitness enthusiasts follow.

Are all kinds of pain good for you?

While you are running or working out, you would have felt the pain in the muscles.

This pain may subside after your workout and recovery.

So, the next day you are all set to take up the challenge again.

This is what we call a good pain.

But let’s say you felt like something popped and then there is a sharp pain, or you felt a sharp pain somehow, then that may not be the right sign.

Consult your physician immediately. 

Warm-up

It is a must for your workout regime, whether you are running or doing any other kind of workout.

It is really OK to spend 10-15 min on warmup rather than giving up on your workout.

A good warm-up may reduce the stiffness of the muscles and make your bones and joints more flexible.

A stiff muscle is more susceptible to injury.

You can opt for brisk walking or jogging before the run.

Alternately jumping jacks, squats or lunges are also good options.

What is running overuse injuries?

Running overuse injuries is an overuse injury that develops because of overusing any of the muscles.

Running is a complex exercise.

Though it may appear a simple run, it involves almost all of the lower parts of your body.

And that includes your hip flexors, thighs, knees, calves, ankles, and feet.

Sometimes, any of these may get overstressed and cause pain and discomfort.

The next question that pops up in your mind is why me?

One size fits all is not always the case in running.

Not everyone has the same body structure and muscle strengths.

You may feel the stress in some parts whereas your co-runner would feel stress somewhere else.

It completely depends on how your body is responding.

As I said, I had severe knee pain.

This was the runner’s knee condition because of the improper alignment of my knee cap and thigh bone.

You may face any other problem like ankle pain or pain around the tibia. 

 

Here are some common reasons that may lead to running injuries due to overuse:

Inadequate recovery – Longer exertion hours with insufficient rest is one of the most common causes of running-related injuries. Repetitive usage of the same muscles makes them sore and causes aches. To prevent this try having proper recovery time and you can try different types of exercises to balance the stress.

Improper shoes or types of equipment –  Your shoes are the most essential part of your running gear. They carry you long and you must be very careful while you pick your running shoes. The wrong kind of shoes will almost always lead you to injury.

Related: Recommended Gears: My performance-tested picks

Technique error  –  This is mostly seen in the new runners. As a new runner, your prime focus is mileage and pace. You may overlook the form and posture. If your posture is not correct you are quite susceptible to injury.

Pre-existing medical condition – Unfortunately, this is not in your hands. Sometimes the problem arises due to existing medical conditions like diabetes, foot overpronation, previous injury. There is nothing much you can do about it. All you need to do is to be more careful and take necessary precautions.

What can you proactively do to prevent running injury?

Here are a couple of things that you can do to prevent overuse running injuries:

Post-run Stretches

We have spoken about the warm-up part of the workout.

equally important are the post-run stretches.

They help in eliminating any kind of stress that settles in your muscles, joints or softer tissues.

When you run, your entire lower body is in action to support you.

Some of the most helpful stretches are:

  • Hip-flexor stretch
  • Thigh stretch
  • Hamstring stretch
  • Iliotibial band stretch
  • Calves stretch
  • Lower back stretch
  • Buttock stretch

Running Shoes

This is one of the most essential parts of running.

You really cannot run without a good pair that supports your foot type?

It is equally tricky to get the right pair for yourself.

Pick-up the pair depending on your pronation.

Also, buy a well-cushioned shoe for running on a harder surface.

You must change your shoes after running for 500 miles or when the wear and tear signs start to appear.

Related: 

Best Running Shoes For Overpronation

Best Neutral Running Shoes

Best Running Shoes For Underpronation (Supination)

Gait Analysis

Gait analysis is very important for the new runners.

It helps to determine how your foot rolls when it lands on the ground.

Also, this helps in determining the right pair of shoes.

Other than this it also shows other common running mistakes that you  would be making like

  • Slow cadence
  • Heel strike
  • Longer stride
  • Incorrect posture
  • Lack of core strength

You can definitely eliminate a lot of problems by working on your mistakes.

Related: What Is Running Gait? How Can You Improve It?

 

Diet

Diet is not only required for your fitness but the right amount of protein and calcium is required for bones and muscles.

Your balanced diet must include carbohydrate, protein and saturated fat in the ration 4:3:3.

Vitamin D and calcium are very essential for your bones.

If you are suffering from a stress fracture (another running overuse injury) it is recommended to include Vit D and calcium.

Milk and other dairy products are prime sources of calcium – however if you are lactose intolerant, try some alternate sources or calcium supplements.

Other than this the food which helps in faster recovery and healing are:

  • Kale
  • Brocolli
  • Spinach
  • Turnip greens
  • Soy products

Egg yolks, tuna, salmon, mushroom cod liver oil are good sources of Vitamin D after sunlight.

Prime sources of protein are lean meat, fish, legumes, beans, sprout, and whole grain.

When you start running, start including them in your diet.

What is the most common injury in running?

As was mentioned earlier, running injuries are inevitable in a runner’s life.

So, it’s better to know to identify them so that you can get help in time.

Here are some of the most common injuries faced by many runners.

Runner’s knee 

Medically called Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), is a sharp pain around the kneecap.

Around 16.5% of running injury is PFPS and it is most commonly seen in women.

The pain is triggered when you are squatting, running, descending stairs or getting up after sitting for long.

This happens due to poor alignment of the knee cap and weak hip abductors and glutes.

Achilles Tendonitis

The Achilles tendons connect the calf muscles to the back of the heel.

If you ever experience acute pain in the calf muscles when you get up in the morning, this could be the first sign of Achilles Tendonitis.

This causes pain and stiffness in the tendons.

It is mostly caused by too much stress on the tendons or when the calves muscles are tight.

If you have started seeing the signs, it’s better to rethink your shoes.

They will provide you the fastest relief.

Related: 21 Best Running Shoes for Achilles Tendonitis

Shin Splints

Medically termed as Tibial Stree Syndrome another common form of injury that affects around 15% of the runners.

This causes pain around the shin bone that is the front area of the lower part of the leg.

The pain intensity varies depending on the severity of the injury.

It is mostly seen in the case of new runners who are not accustomed to running or when you increase your running drastically.

Sometime it could be triggered by using wrong or worn-out footwear.

It becomes difficult to differentiate it from the stress fracture.

But in the case of shin splint, the pain is more spread along the shinbone and the x-ray is normal.

Related: Best Affordable Running Shoes for Shin Splints

Stress Fracture

It is basically a crack in the bone which is caused by prolonged stress.

Mostly this occurs on the shin, feet or the heels.

This accounts for one of the more serious running injuries.

The pain is aggravated with the increase of activity and reduces with rest.

Iliotibial Band Syndrome (ITB Syndrome)

The IT Band is a ligament that stretches from the hip to the knee on the outside of the thigh.

It serves as a connecting tissue of major hip muscles to the knees.

So when you run, your knee flexes and extends, causing the IT Band to rub along the femur.

With more activity, there is inflammation and irritation in the tissue.

This causes pain in those areas, especially above the knees.

 Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is the thick band in the bottom of the feet that runs from the heel to toe.

Any tear or inflammation in this may cause pain and in the heel.

This is usually worse early in the morning and it becomes difficult to take a step.

The pain is more when you are standing or running for long or on hard surfaces.

It is most commonly seen in people with very high or low arches or in extreme pronation(overpronation or supination).

Hamstring Tendonitis

Hamstrings are the muscles that connect the top of the tibia (behind the knee) to the pelvis.

Any inflammation in the hamstring may cause pain in one or more hamstring muscles.

This may cause pain in the inner or outer area of the back of the knee.

This may also cause pain to radiate to the calf or back of the thighs.

This usually happens when your hamstrings are too stiff or weak.

Some time due to insufficient warm-up or sudden motion may cause strain in the muscles

Hip flexor tendonitis

The hip flexor tendonitis is the inflammation and pain in any of the tendons in the hip flexor.

The pain gradually develops over a period of time. 

Exercises to prevent overuse injury

Overuse injuries are common to many runners.

The best we can try it to take measures to avoid it as much as possible.

Most of these injuries are the result of stress and strain.

You can do the stretching and strengthening exercises to prepare your body for the long run.

Stretching exercises

Hamstring stretch

  1. Sit on the ground or mat.
  2. Fold your left leg in the butterfly pose.
  3. Extend your right leg straight.
  4. Bend your upper body from the waist and try to touch your toe.
  5. Stay in this position for 15-30 sec.
  6. Repeat it with your left leg.
  7. You can do 2-3 repetitions with both legs.

IT Band stretch

  1. Lie on your back on the floor or mat.
  2. Extend your left leg straight.
  3. Hold the knee of your right leg with both hands.
  4. Pull it towards your left shoulders.
  5. Hold it in this position for 15-30 secs.
  6. Repeat it with the left knee.
  7. You can do 3-4 repetitions with both legs.

Groin stretch

  1. Sit on the floor or mat.
  2. Bend your knee and join the soles of the feet.
  3.  Hold the feet with both hands.
  4. Keep your elbows on the knees.
  5. Keep your spine straight and press your knee to the floor. You can apply gentle pressure with your knee.
  6. Hold in this position for 20-30 secs.
  7. Repeat it for 3-4 times.
  8. For a deeper stretch, keep your feet close to your body.

Quadricep stretch

  1. Lie on the floor or mat on the right side.
  2. Keep your body straight.
  3. Fold your left leg behind and hold it with the left hand.
  4. Hold this position for 20-30 sec.
  5. Repeat this by lying on the left side.
  6. Do 3-4 repetitions on both sides.

Calf stretch

  1. Stand facing a wall standing at a distance.
  2. Extend right leg behind you, keeping both the feet flat on the ground.
  3. Bend your left knee and lean forward, such that your left knee is above the left foot.
  4. You can keep your hands on the wall for support.
  5. Stay in this position for 20-30 sec.
  6. Repeat with the left leg.
  7. Repeat 3-4 repetitions with both legs.

Plantar fascia stretch

  1.  Sit on a chair
  2. Fold a towel lengthwise and place it under the arch of your left foot.
  3. Grab the ends of the towel and pull the foot towards you.
  4. Hold on this position for 20 sec.
  5. Repeat it with the other foot.
  6. The above-mentioned calf stretch also works for the plantar fascia

Strengthening exercises

Reverse lunges

  1. Stand straight with your legs slightly apart and hands on the waist.
  2. Place your left foot behind.
  3. Lower your body such that your right thigh becomes parallel to the floor with the right knee above the ankle.
  4. Your left knee should be bent at 90 deg angle with the knee towards the floor and heel lifted.
  5. Return to the standing position.
  6. Repeat with the other leg.
  7. Repeat 5 times with each leg.

Bridge

  1. Lie on your back on the floor.
  2. Your knee should be bent and feet flat on the floor and hands by your sides
  3. Try to lift your body such that it forms a straight line from knee to shoulders.
  4. Hold this position for 20 sec.
  5. Lower your body on the floor.
  6. Repeat it for 3-4 times.

Straight leg raise

  1. Lie on your back on the floor and hands by your side.
  2. Bend your left knee and the left foot placed on the floor.
  3. Exhale and lift your right leg.
  4. Keep your foot straight and toe pointed up.
  5. Inhale and bring your leg down slowly.
  6. Repeat it with the left leg.
  7. Repeat this 10-15 times with each leg.

Related: 

Hip Flexors Strengthening For Runners

Is Resistance Training Required With Running?

Will running everyday cause injury?

Well, this again depends on person to person and your pattern of running.

If you are running hard every day, there is a possibility of injury.

With more running, lesser recovery time your muscles and tissues are worn out.

This may make you a victim of running-related injuries.

Strength training exercises are the best to keep your muscles healthy.

Make sure you practice it.

Be alert when the first sign of injury starts to appear and take corrective action.

This may reduce the extent of the injury.

And last but not least, never miss to rest and relax.

 

How to prevent running injuries? Here is a definitive guide for running injuries prevention and recovery. Also, it provides all the details of the common running injuries that a runner may come across in her running career. These running tips will definitely help you out.

How to prevent running injuries? Here is a definitive guide for running injuries prevention and recovery. Also, it provides all the details of the common running injuries that a runner may come across in her running career. These running tips will definitely help you out.

 

Injury from running are a part of every runners life. However, if you are a bit careful, you can prevent most of these running injuries. Here are the common injuries that you may sustain and how to prevent them.