6 Mistakes to Avoid as a New Runner

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

9 Ways to learn to love running

While some of us are already hooked on running, I know there are people out there who genuinely want to try, but are intimidated. Or have just started running, but don’t really get the “runner’s high” that everyone talks about. Don’t worry – we have put together a great list of ways you can learn to love running and make it part of your lifestyle!

1. Start slow.

It might seem really hard right now, but I promise you that it gets easier (and then you step it up and it gets hard again, but that’s another story). Start slower than you think you need to go, and gradually work your way up to a faster pace or longer distance. Also? It’s okay to walk. You could try the run/walk method, or just walk when you feel like you need to.

2. Set a goal.

For some people, that might be to finish one mile without stopping, for others that might be to run a 5K, or even a half marathon. Whatever it is, a goal can get you in a rhythm and give you a sense of accomplishment.

3. Get some external motivation.

For some people, setting a goal is a great motivator, but for others it might be something like finding a friend or club to run with, picking a new trail to explore, or signing up for something like Fun Run Box to try out fun new things on your run.

4. Find some good music.

Music can turn even the most boring run into a fun work out, if you pick the right tunes. Create a running playlist of your favorite songs for your phone/iPod, or check out Spotify Running – it picks songs that match your running tempo.

5. Keep it simple.

Don’t try to get crazy with all kind of work outs, just keep it simple and take it easy. This really basic training plan from Runner’s World requires just 30 minutes, three days a week.

6. Schedule it in.

If you stick with it and make running a habit, it will become easier. In fact, it will become one of the best parts of your day!

7. Do a little research.

Check out a book, search online, and pay attention to what you eat before your run, how long you need to wait before heading out, whether you need to take hydration, what kind of hydration to take, etc. You want to feel good while you are running, and that’s part of it.

8. Get the right shoes.

Again, you want to feel good on your run, so visit a local running store and get fitted for the right shoes. This will decrease your potential for injury and keep you out there (which is the goal, after all).

9. Remind yourself of why you started in the first place.

Maybe you want to be healthier for yourself or for your family, maybe you want to meet new people, or maybe you just want a new challenge – whatever your reason for starting is, remind yourself of it when the going gets tough. We believe in you!

Why did you start running? What helped you get “hooked”?

Feature Image: SimonWhitaker