The New Year is still fresh, which means many of you are still running to improve your health and weight. Are you doing it correctly? For new runners, their goals and ambitions can hide the reality that the body is not ready for a 5K on day one. Take a break and look at your running routine. Are you guilty of the mistakes new runners make? Explore the seven mistakes new runners make and how you can fix them next time you lace-up. A commitment to fix your running plan is a commitment to yourself.
7 Mistakes New Runners Make
Before you start training, make sure you are ready. Take a look at the 7 mistakes new runners make.
1. Too far too soon
When new runners commit to a new running plan, there is often a goal on the calendar. For many, it is a 5K coming up or a specific mile-goal. Making goals is essential for your running success. Trying to reach the goal within the first week is not. Take the time to train and work toward your goal. If you push it too far too soon, you will burn out and become injured.
2. Ignoring the pain
When you run, do you feel pain? Knee pain is one of the most common aches runners feel. Running can be uncomfortable at times because you are not used to the movements and intensity. Running should not be painful. Your body will tell you when something is wrong. Listen to it. Look at some of the ways to reduce knee pain while running.
3. Not warming up
You have to stretch and warm-up. If you hit the pavement right away, your body and mind are not ready. Why do you need to warm up? Warming-ups achieve many things:
- Warms up the muscles
- Lengthens the muscles
- Reduces injuries
- Targets specific muscles
- Improves flexibility and joint movement
4. Powering through recovery and rest days
Running every day will not improve your run. Yes, your body does need to rest and recover. Overtraining does nothing more than burn you out and injure your body. What if your boss forced you to work 7 days per week? We are talking work that is harder than your normal day, more intense, and physically exhausting. Don’t be that boss. Give your body time to rest and recover so that is can perform better next time you go for a run.
5. Only running
You can’t improve your run by only running. You have to do cross-training to improve your run and to prevent injuries. When you cross-train, you work different muscles, prevent boredom, curb overuse, and increase your overall health. Make sure you include strength-training exercises, relaxation techniques, and new machines.
6. Improper form
Form, form, form! Form is one of the biggest mistakes new runners make. If you do not address running form right away, it will develop into a chronic habit. Bad form causes injuries, puts stress on your muscles, reduces performance, and it causes a lot of pain. When working on your form, try a few strategies:
- Work with a personal trainer. A trainer will observe your body mechanics and make suggestions to correct the problem areas.
- Don’t take too big of a stride.
- Lean your weight forward.
- Land on the midsole.
- Practice your stride near a wall. Stand with you back facing the wall, but do not lean on it. Lift your foot and tap the wall behind you. This is the natural stride to take when you run. Practice this to train your body and your brain.
7. Wrong clothes and shoes
Do not grab the same shoes you’ve been wearing around town. You need proper running shoes. Do your research. You should also ditch the oversized, baggy sweats that you lounge in on the weekends. Wear comfortable clothes that won’t flop and wave when you run, and won’t overheat you. Ladies, it is critical that you find a properly fitting sports bra. A good sports bra provides protection, support, and comfort. Get fitted if you need to.
If you are a new runner, you probably recognize these mistakes. Many of us make them when we start a new training plan. The problem is that these mistakes can lead to exhaustion, running injuries, and a complete dislike for this incredible sport. Take the time to improve your run. You will notice the results within the first week, and your body will feel much better.