Some of the most common mistakes that new runners make are simple errors that have big consequences. Most runners learned the hard way, but below are some running tips for beginners to help you avoid making the same mistakes too. The more enjoyable and injury free your running is, the more likely you are to do it long-term.
Tip #1 – Buy the Correct Shoes
One of the most common mistakes that new runners make is wearing the wrong shoes. The best thing to do is go to a running store, or at the very least a shoe store that offers a gait analysis. If you don’t know what kind of running gait you have, getting the proper shoes for your stride is a roll of the dice.
Wearing the wrong kind of shoe can cause a whole list of issues, from discomfort in your legs and feet, to strained muscles and overuse injuries. Your shoes should be helping to support your foot, ankle, and lower leg with every step. By wearing the wrong shoes, they could be doing the opposite. By wearing the proper shoes, and in the correct size, a lot of unnecessary injuries can be avoided.
Tip # 2 – Wearing a Pair of Shoes for Too Long
Another very common mistake is wearing a pair of shoes well past their useful life. Most well-made running shoes will last 500-600 km (approximately 300-375 miles), depending on how well you take care of them. Rotating shoes so you aren’t running on the same pair every day can help to extend their life. Drying them out properly after wet runs will discourage mold growth, which will cause odors and can often eat at the materials in your shoes.
Tip # 3 – Running Too Fast
Running too fast is another very common mistake for new runners. Quite often, inexperienced runners think they need to constantly be running faster and faster to be getting better. Not only is this not true, but it also drastically increases the likelihood of injuries and burnout.
By slowing down any run that isn’t a speed-specific workout, you decrease your chances of injury and build up your endurance without putting too much strain on your body. Long, slow runs help to build your body’s aerobic system, which is essential for building up your mileage.
Tip #4 – Don’t Compare Yourself to Other Runners!
This probably should have been tip #1 because of how important it is. Every single person is different, with different athletic abilities, at different points in their running careers. Especially with social media, it is very easy to see how fast other people are running, or how far, and get disheartened with your results. You have no idea how long or how hard that person has trained to get to that point. You also only get to see their best runs, as most people only post their best days, and don’t post anything on the tough days.
Even if you are starting out running at the same time as a friend, don’t expect to get the same results at the same time. Body type, age, level of motivation, diet, rest, recovery methods, stress levels, previous injuries, and many other things will all factor into how any particular runner reacts to their training.
Many, many new runners compare themselves to runners they see on Instagram or Facebook, and get discouraged and give up running. The important thing to remember is to stick to your plan, and the results will eventually come.
- Consider getting a coach to get the most from your training
- Drink water, before, during, and after your runs
- Invest in a decent fitness/smart watch
- Give your body adequate recovery time between workouts
- Cross training to help alleviate muscle imbalances