There are many benefits of running – strengthen muscles, stronger bones, burning calories, maintaining healthy weight, but joggers (especially beginners) make a lot of mistakes during the process of running that can decrease the effect or create some injury.

In order to help you maximize the effects of running, we have come up with a list of the most common mistakes that are made during the running process. Try to avoid these:

1. Running too much, too soon – beginners are exited about running so in the first few sessions they run too fast and cover too much distance. This can cause injuries like runner’s knee and shin splints, or even losing interest in running. So in order to avoid this, joggers need to start with appropriate distance and speed, and as their condition and strength improves, gradually increase the mileage and speed.

2. Choosing the wrong shoes – wearing old running shoes or the wrong type of running shoes can lead to injuries for your foot. So before you start running go to your local sports store and choose appropriate shoes for running. The store salespeople should help you choose the right pair based on your foot, the type of running you plan and your experience. The running shoes should be replaced after you run 500 kilometers in them (good luck), because the loss of cushioning after this distance can lead to injuries.

3. Setting unrealistic goals – if you are a new runner trying to run 5 km without a break you might feel disappointed in the end. Also don’t try to mimic the distance your running mate (friend, spouse, co-worker) is doing, because the circumstances are always different. The best thing would be to set your own real and achievable goals, and increase them as you gain more condition and experience.

4. Never stretching – tight (unstretched) muscles can lead to shinsplints, plantar fasciitis, and muscle pulls, which could sideline you for weeks. So always before the run try to stretch at least for a few minutes. This leads to improved flexibility and also shortens the recovery time (looser muscles are more receptive to glycogen replacement, which accelerates healing).

5. Not eating after the run – recent studies have shown that muscles absorb nutrients best within 45 minutes of a workout. So always have a¬†“recovery” meal 30-40 minutes after the run. The best option for post-workout muscle repair is a meal consisting of proteins and¬†carbohydrates in 3:1 ratio.