Beginner, amateur or even elite, there are several basic rules that every runner should follow. These golden rules will bring you far in running, allowing you to progress without succumbing to injury. Here a 6 very important Do’s and Don’ts every runner should religiously follow.

DO

#1 Start Out Slow

It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and carried away with running. Naturally, we are all overly-motivated, over-enthusiastic and over-excited in the beginning. We start off the first kilometre really fast but to pay the price later on. Starting out too fast could lead to side stitches, cramps or even a muscle pull. Your body needs to gradually warm up and ease into the pace. This is especially important for your long runs. You don’t want to burn out and render yourself unable to complete your long run do you? So remember, always start out your first kilometre at a conversational pace.

#2 Mix Up Your Routine

If you run at the same pace for the same distance every day, at some point, your progress will start to plateau. Challenge your body in various way. For instance, try a speed workout, a tempo run, or even hill repeats. Run on different terrains and surfaces. You can also incorporate some strength training into your training plan.

#3 Recovery Days Are Recovery Days

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Most of us tend to forget that it is only when we recover from a tough session, that our body is able to become stronger. We need to give our body that opportunity to rest and recover. Easy days are meant to be easy. Don’t push yourself on easy days, save your determination and grit for the hard and gruelling sessions. Make sure you have a rest day as well. Remember, always listen to your body!

DON’TS

#1 Eat A Huge Meal Before Your Run

It’s certainly easy to think we need to eat more prior to running, because we’d need the energy right? But having a cheeseburger, coke, fries and that sundae isn’t the right way to go about it. Eating spicy and fatty food before a run may give you gastrointestinal problems. Instead, 1-2 hours before your run, have a healthy snack such as oats, or a sweet potato or just a peanut butter whole meal sandwich. That should do the trick.

#2 Skip Your Warmup

We are all looking for ways to save time – but skipping your warm up should not be one method. The warmup is very significant – it prepares your muscles for the upcoming session and prevents unwanted injuries. Do a light jog at conversational pace before doing some running drills pre-workout. Running drills are especially good because it helps your running form and at the same time mimics the running movement, giving your muscles a real good warmup.

#3 Using The Same Pair Of Shoes For Years

Your shoes have an expiration date. As a rule of thumb, your shoes should be changed every 500km in. When your shoes start to wear out, it will affect your running form and start giving you pain here and there. This could become the start of an unwanted injury.

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