Running is one of the easiest sports to pick up. But if you want to run fast or even race competitively, there are certain Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Runner.
Mistakes to Avoid as a Beginner Runner
Running sounds simple enough. Is it as simple as grabbing your shoes and putting one foot ahead of the other? Anyone who has had to struggle through one mile or even the first five minutes (yep, you’ve seen it) is aware that it’s not easy. If you’re new to running, you may be thinking, “I’ll never get this,” but don’t give up yet! There are some mistakes beginners make when they start that can slow them down. So here are a few tips to avoid these common beginner mistakes.
Have you ever thought of taking part in the sweaty, endorphin-fuelled group of runners, but you’re even a little bit nervous by the idea of running a 5K or trying to understand precisely what a fartlek is and what it is? We’re here for you. We asked experienced runners to reveal the most significant mistakes they made when they were new to the sport so that they could run with confidence.
Don’t go too fast
This is probably the number one mistake people make when they run for the first time. They want to see how far they can run in a certain amount of time, so they decide to go all-out. The problem with going at full speed right away is that you won’t control your pace. You’ll likely end up slowing down before you know what happened because you’re breathing hard and sweating profusely.
Don’t wear tight clothes
When you’re starting, it’s important to wear loose-fitting clothing. Wearing tight clothes will cause you to overheat very quickly, leading to muscle cramps and injuries. Also, if anything happens to catch on your clothing, it will rip easily.
Don’t forget about hydration
One thing that many runners tend to overlook is drinking water. Drinking water helps keep your body properly hydrated and also keeps you from getting dehydrated. If you feel like you’re thirsty during your run, stop and drink something.
Drinking plenty of water helps to flush toxins from your body. Water also keeps you hydrated, which aids recovery.
Hydration is key to staying healthy. Drinking plenty of water before a workout will help you feel energized.
Don’t forget to stretch
Stretching is an essential part of preparing yourself for a workout. Stretching prevents injury by loosening up muscles and improving blood flow throughout the body. Make sure you do some stretching every day to help prevent soreness after exercise.
Don’t ignore the pain
Pain is your body telling you that there’s something wrong. But sometimes, we try to ignore it because we think it means we’re doing something wrong. In reality, ignoring it isn’t necessarily bad; however, if you’re experiencing pain while exercising, stop immediately and talk to someone about it.
Don’t push yourself too hard
You should always listen to your body. If you’re feeling tired, dizzy, nauseous, lightheaded, or otherwise ill, then it’s best to take a break until you feel better. Just because you’re able to complete a half marathon doesn’t mean you should continue to do so without stopping once in a while to rest.
There are plenty of things you can do to improve your running skills. For example, you can work on your form, build strength, increase endurance, and more. However, if you aren’t careful, you could injure yourself and ruin your chances of ever being successful. Always pay attention to your form and listen to your body.
Taking frequent breaks is key to preventing injuries and keeping yourself healthy. If you find yourself struggling to breathe, stop. Stretch, walk around, and cool off.
Know your limits
Don’t expect to become a pro runner overnight. Although you might be able to finish a 5K race in less than 30 minutes, you shouldn’t plan on running marathons any time soon. Remember, no matter how long you train, you still need to respect your limits.
Finally, remember always to have fun when you’re training. Enjoying your workouts can help you stick with them. Try different activities such as swimming, biking, hiking, cross country skiing, and much more.
Motivation is what drives us forward. If you don’t have motivation, you’ll never get anywhere. Find ways to stay motivated. You may want to read books, watch videos, play sports, or join a group. Whatever works for you, make sure that you stay motivated!
Set realistic goals
Setting goals is another way to stay motivated. When you set a goal, you know exactly what you’re working towards. This makes it easier to achieve.
Set small but achievable goals. Smaller goals will enable you to achieve them quicker than larger ones.
Create a routine
Creating a consistent routine is also helpful. Having a regular schedule will allow you to maintain consistency in your workouts. You’ll notice that you’ll start to see results sooner.
Patience is an endearing trait. When you’re learning new things, it takes time to figure everything out. So, instead of trying to rush through exercises, focus on each movement slowly.
Learn from others
Learning from others is another excellent way to learn and grow. Whether it’s online or in-person, watching others can teach you a lot.
Getting feedback is also beneficial. Ask friends, family members, or coaches to give you their honest opinion. They can tell you whether you’re doing something right or wrong.
Don’t compare yourself to others
Comparing yourself to others isn’t fair. Everyone has different abilities and strengths. Comparing yourself to someone else won’t help you. Instead, try focusing on what you can do well.
Keep a journal
Keeping track of your progress is essential. Writing down your feelings, experiences, and struggles will help you understand yourself better. You can use this information to help you grow and learn.
Confidence is essential for success. With confidence, you’ll be able to reach higher levels of fitness. The more confident you are, the more likely you are to succeed.
If you haven’t changed anything about your lifestyle, you’ll probably fail to make improvements. To ensure that you’re making positive changes, consider adding exercise into your daily routine.
Eating well is vital to achieving your goals. Eating nutritious foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins will help you recover faster after exercising.
Stick to your budget
Stick to your budget and avoid spending too much money. By sticking to your budget, you’ll save money and be able to spend it on other things.
Have fun while you’re training. It’ll keep you motivated and encourage you to continue.
Breathing incorrectly can lead to injuries. Focus on proper breathing techniques so that you can prevent any problems.
Warm-up before running
Warming up properly can reduce injury risks. Before you begin running, warm up by walking briskly for five to ten minutes.
Stretch after running
After you run, stretch to prevent soreness. Testing should be done regularly to improve flexibility.
Sunscreen prevents sunburns. Although they aren’t harmful, they can cause skin cancer if used frequently. Sunscreen reduces the risk of getting skin cancer.
Wear comfortable clothes
Comfortable clothing can make a difference between feeling good and feeling bad during a workout. Wearing clothes that fit well, are made of quality material, and are breathable will aid your comfort level.
Take time off
Taking breaks is essential. Even when you’re working out hard, don’t push yourself too far. Taking time off now and then will allow you to rest and recover.
Consistency is important. If you want to see results, you need to stick to a plan. Consistent workouts will increase your chances of being successful.
Focus on the task at hand. When you focus on your goal, you can achieve it. Concentrating on your goals will help you stay motivated.
Work out with a friend
Having a buddy makes training easier. Having a partner motivates you to train harder.
Try new sports
Try new sports such as swimming, yoga, hiking, cycling, skiing, etc. These activities will provide you with new challenges that will keep you interested.
Run as your primary exercise
“During my initial two months of training for the marathon, I did not incorporate any other type of training aside from running. My legs were always sore, and I began to dislike running. I realized that I should take a break from running and include more cross-training in my routine.” – Alyssa Arnold, marathon runner.
Doing away with the cooling down
“My most regretful moment was sitting in the recliner and not moving immediately after running my 10K. My legs became so stiff that I couldn’t walk for a couple of days, and the stairs were a nightmare. I’ve discovered a way to keep blood flowing by walking, stretching lightly, and foam rolling in the days following a long run. This has helped me recover!” – Jen Batista, avid runner of the 5K and 10K striving to run the half-marathon.
Foods that are new to you before running
“I attempted a new breakfast on the morning of running for a long time. I didn’t have enough bananas to go with my typical bagel and peanut butter with bananas breakfast. So I made my own. I started cramping within for the initial 45-minutes, and was vomiting later on.” – Christopher Lopez, multiple marathon participant and co-leader for The Rise NYC
Being ahead of your game
“I was excited and decided to sign up for a half marathon with some more experienced runner colleagues, but I was not properly prepared and did not perform my training effectively. I ended up getting blisters as big as a child’s feet on my shoes. I was unable to wear shoes for two weeks!” – Cali Lavey, a jogger who is a recreational runner.
Inattention to breaks on days of rest
“Training too often and not taking enough rest caused me to be sluggish for months. I was exhausted, with my stake levels were at a record low. I’ve learned since to exercise, rest, and to be patient instead of making dramatic and dramatic statements.” – Dominic Grossman, professional runner for Injinjinji.
Ignoring proper form
“I wasn’t doing enough formwork or strength training until I suffered some injuries. Since then, I’m doing many form exercises and strengthening of my glutes and hips to counteract the natural tendencies to pronate too much.” – Marnie Kunz the Director Runstreet Runstreet as well as a run trainer.
Doing every run too fast
“When I first began running, I wanted to run a personal record] each time I went out the door. I would also do running speed workouts on the running track as frequently as was possible. It worked well for a few weeks until I was struck by an injury.” – Ron ran for 14 years.
Don’t forget your hips
“I was suffering from IT band syndrome throughout training because I didn’t have any strengthening exercises for my hips. As I tried to continue running on my weak hips, I ultimately suffered a stress fracture in my back. In addition to proper form, strengthening training is vital.” – Meredith Harclerode, two-time marathon winner
The belief that your shoes are eternal
“I only purchased one pair of shoes to prepare to run my very first race. I thought their shape would change depending on the time you’ve been wearing them and not the many miles you’ve run in them. In my last 20-mile exercise, I experienced an extreme amount of swelling and pain in my feet that I had to take a break.
“After an order from a doctor for an MRI and a scan of my sneakers were “dead for more than a month. I had to decide whether to run the marathon in dead shoes or purchase brand-new shoes. I chose to buy new shoes, and when I next run a marathon, I’ll have a few pairs of shoes to rotate!” – Kate Barry Four-time half-marathon finisher and a one-time marathon winner.
Don’t push yourself when you’re hurt
“After several weeks of being barely capable of running due to pain in the IT band, I enrolled in this year’s San Diego marathon. As I stumbled in a 20-minute-per-mile pace and I was determined not to put down. I thought to myself, ‘Runners do not quit. We keep going!
“As as a result of “powering through” to the end, I was unable to run for six months. It’s now clear that the one race or race doesn’t have to be a long time of misery.” – Amanda Brooks, eight-time marathon winner, personal trainer, and the author of Run to the Finish
Do not fuel your vehicle with care
“I ran a race that was military-style and took a goo pack to fuel my race. It burst as I opened it in mid-race, resulting in everything becoming sticky and smelling like sour apples for five miles. Gross.” – Lavey
Refraining from seeking medical treatment
“I’ve always had a keen interest in sports. I’ve never suffered a significant injury. However, one day, I experienced a minor discomfort within my knee. The pain went away for about a month before I noticed difficulty putting weight on my left leg. I finally saw the doctor and discovered I was suffering from an IT band problem.
“It took me 4 months of daily physical therapy to recover. I shouldn’t have waited this long to find it examined. It slowed down my exercise routine and was a long time to recover.” – Arnold
Believing in trends blindly
“I purchased minimalist shoes without knowing what minimalist meant. I only knew that people loved the shoes. What did I do? It’s obvious that I was in a coma.” – User TheRunningTroll on LetsRun.com
Letting your playlist get stale
“Music helps to set the tone that you run in and helps make running more pleasurable. Every race or hard race, I’ve realized that I should refresh my playlist to look at new music to help me get to the finish line. If I don’t, I notice my attitude and pace decrease.” Arnold.
Music can motivate you to keep going. It can also distract you from negative thoughts and help you stay focused on the task at hand. Listening to music can also help you enjoy your runs more.
Inattention to hydrating
“I thought of going out to run in the hottest time in the morning. When I decided to go, I thought it’d be nice to sweat a bit, but I did not bring enough drinking water. I came back feeling exhausted, tired, dehydrated, and dehydrated.
If you have to go on a run in stormy weather conditions, make sure you wear appropriate attire and pack sufficient water with you to keep in good spirits. – Sarah Robertson, marketing education coordinator at Precor and a recreational runner.
Inability to change it
“It took me six years to understand that I was getting better in running when taking on longer durations. I started running shorter distances but failed for a while to get that mile.” – User X Trackster at RunningAhead.
Wearing the same pair of shoes for each run
I completed my first and sole road marathon wearing a pair of organized, well-built, and cushioned hiking shoes. I didn’t know what I was doing but thought I needed that extra protection for my knees to protect them. Now, I understand the reason I felt sluggish and slow!” – Joe Grant, Buff USA ultrarunner
A little rest can heal everything
“After suffering from pain on my left knee after the half-marathon, I decided to take off for two weeks. When I began long-distance running once more, I experienced similar issues. I realized that I couldn’t solve it by sitting down. Now that I know how to stretch properly, most of my IT troubles are fading away.” – Mary Rose, recreational runner, and triathlete-in-training
Not knowing your route for running
“I have gotten lost and misled more times than I can recall, so if something sounds off or looks wrong – especially on trails – go back to where things looked right and start again.” – Michael Wardian, a runner for Injinjinji.
Overworking too much
“My most costly mistake was treating running as a soccer game. If I didn’t feel exhausted at the end of the session, I would feel like I wasn’t working hard enough. I’d do all my runs with 80 percent of my effort, which was equivalent to what I refer to as”tempo runs. I was not warming up for the speed or cooling down properly.” User stadjack on RunningAhead
Not utilizing opportunities for PR
“I didn’t hit when iron heat was on. I was at my highest performance during that time that I am regretful for not trying to improve across the all-inclusive.” – Seth Ariel Green, former Division III collegiate runner.
Recovery runs that are underappreciated
“Recovery run should be performed with a relaxed, slow pace. The biggest error I made in my first few years of running was running too many intense exercises and letting each run become mini-races themselves.” – Trackster
Forgetting anti-chafe cream
“…especially “down there. In the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc ultramarathon, I had to make use of the nether regions of my body to get rid of the mud.” – Wardian Wardian
Overlooking important details
“I didn’t replace the headlamp’s batteries before a race which forced me to race in darkness. It cost me lots of hours.” -Michele Yates, Ultimate Direction run ambassador. Michele Yates, Ultimate Direction run ambassador
The risk of entering without an exit strategy
“I ran a long distance without a subway ticket or money and ended up stuck in the rain, with no means of getting home. I was forced to stay and wait for the rain to stop long enough for me to see. A second time I was lost and ran an additional 8 miles(!) because I forgot my subway card.” — Kunz
Alex is a fitness aficionado, empowers others towards healthier, active lives through small, sustainable changes for lasting results. Visit Gearuptofit.com for insightful tips and resources to enrich a balanced lifestyle.