We’ve all been a newbie runner, and trust us – even the most experienced runner makes a mistake every once in awhile. If you don’t have anyone to ask for advice (or might be too intimidated to ask), we’ve got you covered. We have a project in the works that will be much more comprehensive than this (coming soon!), but here are a few of the most common mistakes new runners make and how you can skip the learning curve.
1. Choosing a shoe based on color or price.
While most shoes have better color options these days than just boring white with a few accent colors, this should not be the biggest reason why you choose a shoe. Oftentimes, a particular model will have several colors to choose from, but the most important thing to consider is the fit. With that, we aren’t saying you have to buy the most expensive shoe, but plan on an investment of $70-120, unless you get lucky and find your shoe on clearance. Personally, the most expensive shoes I own are my running shoes because I need them to have the right fit, the right support, etc. If you find a model you love, check online for the previous version of the shoe, which is usually cheaper, and usually not all that different as far as features go.
2. Going too far or too fast too soon.
We know you’re excited, especially if you are trying to keep up with a friend who has been running awhile, but you have to take it slow. Don’t add more than 10% of your weekly mileage t your next week (i.e. if you run 10 miles total one week, don’t add more than one mile next week). It’s okay if you walk and run, and try to find a running buddy who is also a newbie so you can challenge each other appropriately.
3. Not hydrating.
Staying hydrated can make or break a run, and not just while you are actively running. Drink water before and after your workout, and then take a bottle or pack with you on the run if it’s hot, or if you are going out for more than 30 minutes. This varies for everyone, but it’s better to take the water and not need it, than realize that you are super dehydrated midway.
4. Not wearing the right clothes.
When it comes down to it, definitely wear whatever makes you feel comfortable, but investing in some technical sports clothing is probably going to make you feel more comfortable. The fabric is designed to wick the sweat and keep you cool, whereas a fabric like cotton just gets wet and clings to your body.
5. Pushing through the pain.
There is a difference between pushing through feeling crappy because running is hard, and continuing to run when you are in pain. Pain is not a good thing, and generally only gets worse. If you feel something painful, walk for a couple minutes, then try to run again. If it continues to be painful, or you did something that could cause an injury (i.e. tripped and fell), then consider walking the rest of the way back, or even calling someone to pick you up. Even if it is a false alarm, you can always run tomorrow.
6. Trying anything new before a race.
This should probably be number one, because it is the Golden Rule of running – never (ever!) try something new before a race. This means no new shoes, no new clothes (especially not socks), no new gels, no new foods… you get the picture. Race day is the culmination of weeks or months of hard work, and you don’t want to ruin it with an unexpected blister, stomach distress, or anything else.
Feature image credit: RunnersWorldtr.com