Who knew that running could be so complicated. It seems as if you should just be able to go out and run. Well, many mistakes that we make as runners actually have consequences that can take a toll on our bodies.
1. Tight Shoulders and arms - Loosen up! Be sure to relax your shoulders as you run. Tight shoulder lead to back and shoulder pain. Also, relax your arms and hands. Never run with clenched fist. Use your arms to propel you forward. The faster you pump your arms, the faster you run!
2. Wear proper shoes - A friend once told me that one of his friends ran a 10k in Sketchers. Although this guy may have been fashionable (or maybe not), this was certainly not a good idea. You need shoes with good arch supports and that absorb the shock of running. So, if there is one piece of equipment you need to invest in as a runner, it is good shoes. Go to you local running store and ask them to fit you for running shoes.
3. Stretch! - Touching your toes and doing a quick hip stretch does not count as a proper stretch. I know this from experience. Let me add that I am not the most limber person. My brother, the body builder, still can't believe that I am not flexible enough to stick my head between my legs. But, I KNOW that stretching helps prevent injuries and tight muscles. Here is a link to a great article on stretches for runners.