Young blood with no worries in the world, I just wanted to keep running because when I do, I could feel the rush of joy in me. Running was like sweets to me, they gave me happiness. I have joined different Co-Curricular Activities (CCA) like track and field, floorball, hockey and even soccer! Any sports that have running in it, I’m up for it!
As the years pass, there were things that I wished I knew before I started running at 13. Due to the lack of knowledge about proper running, my body is now taking on its toll. Here, are the few things I wished I knew.
1. The correct running shoe selection
I didn’t know having the correct running shoe that fits and is suitable for me is important. At that time, I used to just choose the nicest running shoe and as long as the shoe fits my feet, then I am good to go but I was wrong. Due to the wrong selection of running shoe which wasn’t suitable for my feet, I had to wear a cast on my feet.
Different sports use a different kind of running shoe, for example, soccer with thicker studs, hockey with rubber-thin studs, floorball with non-marking soles and so on. Having the correct running shoe selection will prevent you from unwanted injuries.
Like I said earlier, I joined many CCAs and with competitions included, I barely had any rest for myself. I always had that thinking where consistent training and running will improve my stamina and body muscles greatly, but I was terribly wrong.
Rest is important as it helps to recover our body by repairing and growing our muscles, which means recovery is required if we want our body to improve. Not having enough or any rest will just lead our body into a bad state. Instead of improving, we will just gain injuries from it.
3. Eating well
Mcdonalds? Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC)? All kinds of fast food were my favourite at that point of time and I continued abusing my body by eating all of the fast foods. Unhealthy food isn’t that bad if you eat it moderately and if you know when is the right time to consume it. When we consume food, our body breaks it down to be used as energy or stored for later.
According to Livestrong, consuming unhealthy foods before running will lead to a decrease in running performance, which means you may suffer energy crashes and will quickly feel fatigued. However, consuming healthy foods will help to increase running performance by making us feel more alert and energetic.
4. Proper warm-up
I used to think to have a warm-up before a run is a hassle because I just wanted to go straight into running without having any proper warm-ups. After a while, I realised how important it is to have a proper warm-up. A warm-up is called a warm-up for a reason and what warm-ups do is that they help to prepare the body for exercises by gradually increasing the heart rate and circulation.
During warm-up, stretching the muscles helps to prepare for physical activity and also prevent injuries. If you do not do any proper warm-ups, you will be very likely to have an injury.
5. Correct breathing technique
At such a young age of 13, I didn’t know there was a correct and wrong technique of breathing while running. All the while I thought to breathe through the nose was the way to it.
Little did I know, breathing through the nose can’t get as much oxygen as compared to breathing through the mouth. Breathing through the mouth is essential as while running, you will need as much oxygen as possible.
6. Correct running technique
I didn’t even have the slightest thought of having the correct running technique will actually help you in becoming a better runner. What I used to hear a lot is that taking longer strides will make you faster which was not true because this is more likely to result in injuries and extra energy consumption.
Knowing all of these beforehand will definitely help you be a better runner and prevent future injuries.