It doesn’t matter what ability level you have. Every athlete knows that proper sleep, exercise, and nutrition are key factors to improving your performance in any sport you’re engaged in. Despite these measures, athletes still have a tough time following the prescribed plans. Often, they end up straining themselves too much, which results in injuries they could have prevented.
A study shows that one out of three runners suffers from injuries that affect the knee, shin, ankle, and foot. They are also likely to suffer from groin and back injuries. This is where sports companies that offer sports-specific gear and equipment come in. There are plenty of stores that offer a wide selection of items that help you run more efficiently. Among these options are the Altra trail running shoes, which offer better alignment and balanced cushioning while running.
Whether you’re an amateur or a professional athlete, making mistakes is always a part of the learning curve. Often, we tend to repeat those mistakes until we end up getting hurt. As athletes, you need to ensure your bodies are in tip-top shape and free from injuries. With that in mind, here are the common mistakes most athletes make and how to avoid them.
Mistake #1: They never rest
Different types of athletes may not share the same training volumes and time goals, but they have a common disdain for rest days. Often, they get too eager and excited about their training that they do it too fast and too soon, while others are scared of falling behind. Eventually, they start signing up for various competitions without taking time off to recover and rest.
As much as we want to stay productive at all times, resting is a critical part of any sport. Simply taking time to rest doesn’t mean that you’re slacking off. Regardless of the skill, having a weekly rest day is necessary while you’re in training. You shouldn’t wait for accidents to happen before you allow your body to rest and recover.
Unfortunately, most athletes spend their rest days by going for a short run, skiing, or cycling at the gym. Sneaking to other activities to keep your body active will not help your performance. Resting is essential for injury prevention and overall recovery. If you’re not giving your body the time to heal, then you’re more prone to burnout, poor performance, and injury.
Mistake #2: They fail to fuel their bodies properly
Many amateur athletes underestimate the benefits of proper nutrition for their overall health and sports performance. In fact, what you eat during the entire duration of your training has a significant impact on your recovery and performance.
Before the training, eat a light meal or snack about 1.5 to 2 hours ahead of time. Choose foods with high carbohydrates and low in fat, protein, and fiber. Ideal pre-workout foods include bananas, peanut butter, bagels, cereal, and milk. If you’re having gastrointestinal distress, avoid high-fat and high-fiber foods.
If your training goes over 90 minutes, eat calorie-rich foods to replace burned calories. You can sports drinks, energy gels, sports jelly beans, and bars. During the initial hours of your training, consume 100 grams of calories every 40 to 45 minutes.
Make sure to replenish the energy you lose after working out. Our muscles tend to be receptive to rebuilding glycogen stores during the first 30 minutes after cooling down. You can reduce muscle soreness and stiffness by eating soon after working out. When you consume carbohydrate-rich foods, don’t forget your proteins. But avoid a low-carbohydrate diet during training since they’re the main source of your fuel. Yogurt, smoothie, chocolate milk, and peanut butter and jelly sandwich are great examples of post-training snacks.
Mistake #3: They breathe incorrectly
Some athletes are not well informed about proper breathing while training. They often take shallow breaths that cause side stitches. When running out of breath, take it easy by walking or slowing down. If you notice that a side stitch is about to happen, you’re likely breathing the wrong way.
To maintain proper breathing, breathe in using your nose and mouth while running. Your muscles need oxygen the most when you’re working hard. Breathing through the nose is not enough to deliver the oxygen properly. To keep moving, your mouth needs to breathe in more oxygen as well. You may also try deep belly breathing by using your diaphragm instead of your chest.
The suggestions we have provided above go beyond training longer or intensely. Every athlete should train smarter to promote physical recovery and prevent injury. There is a big difference between exercising without proper structure and having a well-planned training routine. After all, sports is all about doing what you love and making it more enjoyable.