5 Common Running Mistakes

For those that love running, there are at least 5 common running mistakes that most people make without knowing. It’s pretty easy to make mistakes while running unless you are watching yourself in a mirror making sure everything looks right. If you’ve noticed that maybe your back has been hurting and you aren’t quite sure why, it’s probably because of your posture or one of these other mistakes

Like I mentioned, unless your constantly running alongside a full length mirror to check your posture, it’s almost impossible to recognize your posture is off. So what are some of these other common mistakes?

Let’s get into it.

Inward Knee Collapse

One mistake is the Inward knee collapse. This basically means that while you’re running, your knees are collapsing inward which can be caused by weak muscles. While running, your knees are supposed to stay aligned with your hips. If your muscles are weak, they won’t be able to support you and your body weight. To correct this, performing exercises to build up your gluteus muscles (aka: your shapely backside) will end up helping you support your body weight preventing any injury.

Asymmetrical Running Pattern

Another common mistake is the asymmetrical running pattern. This is when you land harder on one side of your body.

If you come down harder one one foot than you come down on the other one, it can signal pain. By simply paying attention to the sound your feet make when you hit the ground, you will be able to tell which side your coming down harder on, and try and start to evening out your landings.

If you find that one side hurts more than the other, attempt to lead with the opposite foot. Concentrate on counting that foot as “one.”

How You Run – Heel or Toe

A third mistake it how you run. If you have been running on the fore-front of your foot (toes) when you are actually a rear-foot (heel) runner and the same goes for rear-foot runners’ running on their fore-foot this could severely effect your running posture. Picture yourself running. When you run, do you put most of the pressure on your heels, or the front of your feet? This is a test for you to see what running style you have. You don’t have to switch up your running style, just make sure that whichever running style you have, you aren’t having any pain when you strike down. If you are, simply just try and rearrange some of the impact on your feet.


The fourth mistake is over-swinging and over-striding. Are you someone that swings their arms when you run or simply has an extra long running stride? These two can actually lead to back pain. When you over-stride, you are taking steps that are too long for your body size. The extra rotation that you have can actually harm your spine because it’s working overtime to compensate for your long strides. It’s natural to move your arms a little when you’re running, but swinging them too much actually affects the alignment of your spine. To correct this, simply become aware of your strides and how your arms are swinging. Just by altering your stride a little bit and by keeping your arms a little bit closer to your body while running can reduce your back pain tremendously.

It helps to attempt to relax your shoulders and neck and let your arms swing naturally.

Being Aware Of Your Foot Type

The final common mistake made by runners, is not being aware of your own foot type. Every person’s feet are different. Some have higher arches, wider feet, flatter feet etc… In the running world, those with higher arches actually run better. You may not notice that your feet are flatter than you thought. It’s all about finding a shoe that supports your specific foot type. If you can find a shoe that supports your feet and ankles, you will realize your back, hips and knees are no longer in pain while running. If you are someone that is dedicated to running, it’s best to spend those extra dollars to find a pair of shoes that are specifically designed for running that fit you like a glove. In the long run (pun intended), you will feel the benefits. By becoming more aware of your running style, you will be able to fix any mistakes you may have to save you from a visit to your physical therapist. If you find yourself making any of these mistakes, you can fix it and get rid of that pain you may be feeling forever.

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