I am not trying to say that I am a very experienced runner, for those who are following me will definitely know that I just began running only a couple months back. However, in just a short period of time, I have made so many mistakes without even realizing it. Therefore, I decided to compile a list of 7 dumb mistakes new runners make aka 7 dumb mistakes that I made. I can’t help myself because these are some of the dumb things that I am still doing today despite knowing better.
1. Running Too Much, Too Soon
A lot of new runners assume that the only way to improve tremendously is to run a lot right off the bat. This is a potentially dangerous mistake as it places too much stress on your body and may result in unnecessary injuries. At the beginning, our bodies need time to get used to the 3 R’s – run, rest and recover. Increasing your mileage gradually is a good way to ease your body into exercising. Rest days are equally important as well for your muscles to repair and recover.
2. Not Drinking Enough Fluids
My preferred fluid of choice before runs is water. This is because water is the most readily available at home and it is supposedly the ‘healthiest’ fluid. At the beginning, new runners will underestimate the amount of water they need because they are only going for a short run. They thought too much water before the runs will give them side stitches. This is wrong as we lose a lot of fluids during runs and insufficient water can be detrimental to our performances and health.
3. Running When Injured
I know you are probably going to shake off any pain you feel during runs to prove your determination. This is good if the pain goes away after a while. However, it is very bad to continue running through the pain because this is a way of the body telling you to stop. Take a few days off to rest and get the pain checked out by a doctor if necessary. Ignoring the pain can backfire and set you back significantly by weeks or even months.
4. Not Following Your Running Plan
You just decided to follow a Couch to 5k running plan despite never having run in your entire life. After a couple runs, you realized that it is not as tough as you thought or you might secretly be a natural born runner. You start upping the intensity of the runs and skipping ahead of your running plan. This is a big no-no because there are reasons for the runs and paces in your plan. It is okay to take a step back if you are injured or sick, but it is never advisable to add on to the runs as depicted in your running plan.
5. Signing Up Race After Race
After you run your first race, you are probably going to feel unstoppable and start looking for more races to conquer. Hold your horses right there because that is a bad idea. Too many races for a new runner can lead to over training and even injuries because you are not used to the schedule of regular races. Picking a few races to focus on will be much more beneficial for you at this stage.
6. Running Too Fast
Running is not all about the speed, this is especially true for long distances runs. Although you can only tackle 5 km or 10 km currently, going all out in the first few km will burn you out and come back to bite you in the last leg. This is a common mistake for new runners to commit because they do not understand that running is an endurance sport. This is why you have long runs to build up your endurance. Start your runs with a comfortable pace and you will find yourself going a longer distance than you normally could.
7. Competing With Other Runners
Every master was once a beginner. All those other runners who can do what he does today was once just like you. You are probably excited and you find yourself reading up about other runners on magazines and websites while feeling depressed about your own pathetic timings. Running is unique because it is first and foremost, a sport that pits you against yourself. You should be motivated by those runners who can run further and faster than you, but you should always learn to be yourself by competing against your own body.
Have you made any of the 7 dumb mistakes new runners make above? It is okay to make mistakes, the important thing is to learn from them and not repeat them. What other dumb things for running have you done? Please share with me by commenting below.
Cheers and Start Running Today