Beginners: 5 Bad Habits to Break While Running


Take a tip from a Basset and stretch!

Today’s Run: 5 miles @ 49:29, two sets of 30 second planks (I’m gradually building up my plank strength)
Yesterday: Rest Day

Do you ever feel like an “easy run” just isn’t that easy? I always start out my running regimen by doing calf stretches, so not to irritate my plantar fasciitis, but today, at just two miles in (while I was running at an easy 10:00 mpm pace), I could feel my calves start to tighten up. I waited to see if it would go away, and ironically, it wasn’t until my warm-up was over, and I quickened my pace (if my legs continued to stay sore, I would have slowed down or stopped) that the tightness seemed to go away. This led me to thinking about when I was starting out as a runner, and how my legs were always tight…which in turn, led me to thinking about some of the bad mistakes I’ve made as a runner (and some of the ones that I still make).

1) Sticking your tongue out while running.
I’m not a huge Miley fan, but this is one thing I’ve most recently found myself doing, mainly because I’m pushing myself more, both mentally and physically. But you should never do this because if you trip and fall you could bite your tongue and injure yourself really badly (someone should tell Miley that, and maybe she’d stop)!

2) Looking down while running. This is something I used to do a lot but have gotten a lot better at. It’s important to keep your head up, because it’s much easier to breathe that way. Of course, I am still guilty of this when trying to look at my time while on the treadmill.

3) Waving your arms around like a lunatic. This is something I (luckily) grew out of; I haven’t done it since high school cross-country. But back then I’d flail my arms around like a wild goose going after a Fischer cat. OK, maybe not that bad, but you get the idea. This is very, very bad because a) people look at you like you’re crazy (remember that episode of Friends where Rachel was embarrassed to be seen running with Phoebe?), and b) you end up exerting yourself more than you need to.

4) Avoiding stretching after a run. For most of us who love the go, go, go aspect of running, stretching seems like a waste of time. But it’s not, and it’s important to do in order to avoid injury. I always feel extremely stiff if I don’t stretch (which is very, very rare), so as boring as it can be, I just suck it up and get it done.

5) Wearing a cotton t-shirt during a run. If I wear a regular t-shirt during a run, I’m as sweaty and gross as a pig in the middle of summer. So if you’re just starting, do yourself a favor and buy a shirt like this.

What are some mistakes that you’ve made/learned from while running?

Do you do planks, and if so, how many sets/reps do you tend to do after a run?


8 thoughts on “Beginners: 5 Bad Habits to Break While Running

  1. Jessica @ RunYourMuttOff

    I know exactly what you mean! I ran 1 miles this morning and felt like it was SO hard! It was my first early morning (6AM) workout in a LONG time, but still. I counted it as a success; I was proud I got my mutt out of bed early and did something, no matter how short.
    And my bad habit has always been my jaw. I have TMJ and I hold my jaw tense while I run, to the point that I can only open it about halfway until I relax again. I’ve gotten a lot better over the last few years, but I still have to be mindful of it, especially on long runs.

    1. 262x2 Post author

      I have tmj too, and have also been known to do this! Have you ever noticed that it’s even worse when it’s really cold outside? I’ve had issues with being able to open my mouth when the temperature drops…weird, I know. I hope I’m not the only one this happens to!

  2. Heather

    Love that Phoebe and Rachel scene! LOL.

    I find myself making a weird sort of grimace with my face when I’m pushing it. I only imagine how nuts I must look.

  3. Lily

    I never stuck my tongue out, but I did realize recently that I was sticking my thumbs out when I ran, so I was inadvertently giving everyone thumbs up when I’d run by! At least it looks intentional in some race photos…

  4. Marie Oliveira

    I’ve heard it’s bad to wear cotton but I’ve discovered I hate the polyester shirts. My fave are the cotton blends.

    I’m really bad about stretching immediately before and after a run, but I like to stretch at night after the kids are in bed and my husband is parked in front of the tv with his bag of chips. We have a few tv series we like to watch and I like stretching while watching tv cause it helps me feel like I’m relaxing and being productive.


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