7 Dumb Mistakes New Runners Make

7 Dumb Mistakes New Runners Make

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.

Not Drinking Enough Fluids


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.

8 Weeks To 5 KM


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




14 Comment

  1. Having a fair amount of rest and good diet is the key to recovery for a runner and it is not a good idea to overtrain as your muscle need time to heal and repair. Good article !

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Arthur

      Thank you for dropping by again, yes, rest and nutrition is key to a good run. Thank you!

  2. Grace says: Reply

    Love these tips! I was thinking of going running again to get exercise back in my life and these tips will help me not be so much of a newbie so thank you. 🙂 I will take each point down and will not have to worry about #7 since I don’t dear to compare or compete with anyone anytime soon. 😉


    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Grace

      Thank you for the kind words. I hope you can come back to running soon as well. Do drop by often!

  3. Steve says: Reply

    Good article. I could have used this sort of advice when I was starting out, I probably made most of these mistakes lol. But the good news is even if you do you can recover and learn from your mistakes. I’ve gone on to run many marathons and ultra marathons plus 6 Iron-distance triathlons so there is hope even if you get off on a bad foot.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Steve

      Yes, every runner makes mistakes and what matters is we recover from them. Wow, you must be an experienced runner because you have taken part in so many races. I am honoured to have you visiting my page. Look forward to seeing you more often around!

  4. Craig says: Reply

    Hi Will,

    Great tips to help a novice like me. I used to run a lot in my younger years but I am getting on a bit now. I’d love to be able to take it up again if and when I get the time. Can you recommend somewhere to buy gear?

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Craig

      I remember this quote I read somewhere ‘You don’t stop running because you get old. You get old because you stop running.’ I think this applies to everyone, start running today! I believe any sportswear store will be sufficient for your running needs or you can visit Amazon.

  5. You’re right about all these mistakes that runners make, because their enthusiasm can get the better of them and they can do themselves more harm than good.

    It takes time for a new runner to adapt to their training schedule, that doesn’t happen in a couple of weeks, it takes consistent training so your heart and lungs and the rest of your body can handle the work load.

    I would not like to see any new runner who is very keen to begin with, lose their motivation because they over trained and got themselves injured.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Adrian

      Yes, sometimes new runners (including me) tend to get too excited at the beginning and overexert our bodies. It takes a lot of discipline to get into running as a lifestyle habit.

  6. Nnamdi says: Reply

    Hello Will, I agree that these are really dumb mistakes. How can one not know that hydration is one vital aspect of staying, and how can one not know that he or she shouldn’t run when injured, but unfortunately there are people that do not know all of these even though they appear as common sense. This article will really teach a lot of us how to run.

    Thanks for the post man, and keep it simple just the way you just did with this article.

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Nnamdi

      These are not really dumb in the sense of real stupid, I personally have made these mistakes because of my own ignorance and wrong judgement due to my enthusiasm for running. We all learn from mistakes and hopefully not repeat them.

  7. A lot of good information here. Being a health coach, I see too many people overestimate their abilities. Many try to get all their runs in during the weekend…it’s crazy, then they wonder why they’re injured. Will bookmark your site and send some people to it!

    1. Will says: Reply

      Hi Linda

      Thank you for dropping by my site. Yes, I can’t agree with you more because I used to be 1 of those that try to squeeze all my runs into the weekend. Now, I am beginning to realize that running like all other sports should be done consistently instead.

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