Everyone has a habit or two they want or need to break. People will typically follow the same routines from day to day, eventually forming both good and bad habits. Long-held habits are very difficult to break without the right type of motivation. Passionate runners are no exception to this rule. Here are some of the worst runners' bad habits and how to break them:
1. Bad Fuel
Many runners have the habit of loading up on unhealthy heavy carb-rich foods before and after a run. Large portions of pasta dishes are often chosen to counteract the carbs lost during a hard run. However, empty calories fill most pasta and other popular high-calorie dishes. While your body gains energy in calories, low quantities of essential nutrients are missing. To break this bad habit, replace empty caloric foods with foods that are nutrient dense like whole wheat flour, brown rice, beans, nuts, and seafood. You might consider joining a meal delivery service like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron.
2. Skipping Stretches
Sometimes runners just want to immediately rest after a long, hard run. Skipping post-run stretches
can potentially lead to muscle cramps and tightened tendons. To avoid these injuries, take 5-10 minutes to perform cool-down stretches especially in the hip flexor, thigh stretch, hamstring stretch, calf stretch and lower back stretch.
3. Never Resting
One of the most common runners' bad habits that we see is over-training. Passionate runners will want to keep up the same day to day running and training routines. Take time to allow muscles to recover and rebuild otherwise you may get an injury or even become ill. Every good training program calls for at least one rest day and two to three light work days. Create a weekly schedule that takes this into account and follow it without skipping rest days.
4. Being Your Own Doctor
Often runners self-medicate minor aches, pains, and injuries because they tend to be hyperaware of their bodies. Even minor injuries can develop into serious ones if not properly cared for. Sometimes ice and ibuprofen are not enough. If pain persists for more than three days, schedule an appointment with your physician.
5. Coming Back Too Soon
Runners have the habit of not waiting long enough to recover from injury
. Coming back too soon could potentially worsen the situation extending recovery periods. When you do finally start running again, be sure to take it slowly. Start with a lower mileage and gradually strengthen your muscles by increasing your mileage by only 10 percent each week. Take your physician’s professional opinion when getting back into the swing of things.