5 Mistakes That Derail New Runners

by The Know

Running is all the rage these days. It’s a simple sport. There are no rules or techniques to learn. You don’t really need expensive equipment. You can do it by yourself or with friends. It’s easy to see why so many people have put on their running shoes to pound the pavement. If you’re new at running, you might think it’s simple to build endurance toward that first 5K or half-marathon. Though some things about running are easy, there are mistakes that can easily derail you on your quest to be the next Moneghetti. Here are five to avoid.

1. Running in those old, clunky shoes in your closet

Most new runners will simply look for the first shoe that looks like it could be used for running. This might be a shoe you used for basketball in college or a shoe you bought to wear around town. This can lead to injury and make running more difficult. You need legitimate running shoes to support your feet, avoid blisters, and provide the best results. There are specialty running stores that will fit you for shoes, telling you whether you have a neutral foot strike or a pronated strike. Invest in good shoes so you don’t have to cut your training short.

2. Losing the momentum

Running requires momentum. If you’re going to build toward long distances, you need to put in a little work along the way every week. If you start taking weeks off, you’ll lose progress and running will feel much more difficult. Don’t think that running is like golf or riding a bike. When you take time off and get out of your routine, you’ll have a much more difficult time achieving your long-term goals

3. Getting too aggressive with speed

Most new runners don’t realize they can take it slow at first. They’ll try to push the pace as much as possible, running too fast for the distance they’ve chosen. Understand that there’s nothing wrong with starting slow. In addition, there’s nothing wrong with adding some walking between your jogging sessions. Some athletic trainers recommend that their clients mix running and walking because it can improve overall pace and provide significant calorie-burning benefits.

4. Unreasonable expectations

Starting a new training regiment is not much different than starting a new diet. You need to keep your expectations in check. Chances are your early runs will be difficult. You’ll be out of breath, your feet will hurt, and your body will take a while to recover. If you expect it to be hard going in, you’ll deal better with these challenges. Don’t expect to run a marathon within weeks of starting. Most runners build to that sort of goal over the course of many months or even years. If you have a big race in mind, give yourself plenty of time to train.

5. Failing to account for weather

There are some parts of the country where weather at times makes it almost unbearable to run. It’s critical to plan for these times so you don’t lose momentum with your plan. Serious runners find a gym with a track to keep them going, while a treadmill is always an option.

Running has many health and social benefits. It’s a sport favored by those who want to lose weight and those who’d like to push themselves toward a difficult goal. If this sounds like you, then running might be up your alley. Just make sure to avoid these mistakes so running becomes a positive experience rather than a negative one.