I love running. It’s a great way to keep fit. But most of all, it’s more cost-effective than a gym membership. However, over the years I’ve learnt a few things about running.
I’m talking about the common mistakes most beginner runners make. Yes! I made them too and today I’m going to tell you about them and how to prevent them…
Four running mistakes you should avoid
1. Setting unrealistic goals
Getting caught up in what other runners are doing and try to match up with them is the first step to quiting. What you need to realize is that you should only be competing against yourself. Imagine trying to run a 10 km stretch on your first day. This can leave you feeling discouraged. It’s recommended to start with a much smaller goal, like 1km and increasing as goes by.
So, begin with a realistic program that can help you build the strength to reach your running goal. You could start run/walking. This allows you to take rests in between each running set. With time, you’ll definitely build the endurance to run through with no breaks.
2. Starting off too fast
Another common mistake is going too hard, too fast. If you don’t ease into your running program, you’ll end up exhausted much sooner than expected. This can unfortunately make running seem too hard make you quit.
The key is pacing yourself. You have to start slow and progress gradually. You can also download a pacing app like RunKeeper (free, Google Play and iTunes) which can help you keep track of your speed. Try starting off at a moderate pace, and increase it gradually throughout your run. This makes running more enjoyable and also helps to build endurance.
3. Fuelling improperly
We all know cars can’t run without gas. We also know it won’t run for long without water. This is with you. The difference between a great run and a hopeless one is proper food and water.
We’re all different, so you’ll have to experiment to find out what works best for you.
The best way to fuel up is to eat a small mixture of protein, carbohydrates and fats one hour or less before your run. This can be a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut or almond butter spread. However, if you have two hours, eat a meal that includes larger portions of protein, carbohydrates and fats. Try to include bacon, eggs and a slice of whole wheat toast.
4. Wearing the wrong shoes
I’m sure you’ve heard this one before, but it’s definitely worth repeating. Just because your feet feel okay and you’re not getting blisters doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. Poor-fitting shoes cause unexpected problems such as hip pain, ankle pain and even shoulder pain.
You have to this one right from the get-go. Ask for help when buying running shoes and get a perfect fit. The perfect shoe will take your runs to a whole new level.