Having made the decision to start running, it is extremely easy to make a series of mistakes that could put you off the sport for life. So read on to make sure you don’t fall off the running bandwagon before you’ve even really got on it.


Wrong shoes

Despite the very good advice on offer about the importance of the right running shoes, many beginners ignore all of that and launch their running career in an old pair of tennis shoes, or trainers/sneakers they bought 5 years ago. As a result blisters, injury or plain old discomfort lie in wait for the enthusiastic beginner, who will very quickly lose that enthusiasm. The answer is simple. Invest in a good quality pair of running shoes. They should last you around 400 miles (644km) and provide essential protection from injury and cushioning for your feet.

Wrong kit

While good running shoes are the single most important piece of kit you’ll need, it is very easy to forget the rest of your outfit, or even worse, wear something unsuitable. Baggy tracksuit bottoms that waft in the wind and add to your workload, or cotton t-shirts that grown heavier and wetter with every bead of sweat, will not help your cause. The wrong kit can have a really detrimental impact on your performance, so make sure you choose polyester tops that wick away sweat and allow your body to breathe and cool down while you’re exercising. Similarly don’t over-dress in summer or under-dress in winter, or you will leave yourself vulnerable to heat/cold related issues.

Too much too soon

This is a classic early mistake from runners who are so thrilled to have made the decision to actually start running, that they then decide they want to run 5 miles (8km) tomorrow. Having drive and ambition is great, but too much of it targeted at the wrong areas can be disastrous. If you do too much too soon, you will either hurt yourself or lose interest in your new favourite hobby. Starting slowly and gently is vital if your running career is to have any longevity. Once you have made a start, build slowly. Never increase your longest run by more than 10% each week.

No goal, no plan, no direction

No matter how committed you are it is fairly pointless starting a running career without a plan. When we get into a car we always do it for a reason and know where we’re going. It is exactly the same with running. You need to have clearly defined targets to aim for, to help you choose the training plan that is right for you. Pick a distance that you want to build up to slowly and then choose the plan to help you get there. Don’t just run aimlessly, as you will quickly find your motivation levels will dip. When the going gets tough with running (and it does), if you have no reason for pushing yourself, you won’t push yourself.

Don’t drink enough

Rehydration or lack of it is a common mistake. Runners get so caught up in the challenge of pushing themselves to run that extra 20 minutes at a certain pace, they forget to drink enough fluid. As a result headaches and dizziness and even nausea may ensue. Make sure you have water or a sports drink with you when you exercise. And keep hydrating before and after you run. The colour of your urine is a good indicator of your hydration levels. Too dark and you’re dehydrated and need to drink fluids.

The wrong fuel

You wouldn’t put diesel in a petrol engine and expect it to work properly, and the same is true of running. A heavy night out on the town followed by a greasy fry-up is not the ideal preparation for a run. Runners who eat sensibly and at the right times before and after a run, give themselves every chance of producing their best performance.

Technique is wrong

While running is one of the easiest and simplest sports to get involved in, it is easy to fall into bad habits with running technique which can in turn lead to injury. Over-striding is a common mistake that beginners make, as they fall into the trap of thinking that a bigger stride will eat up the distance quicker. Stretching your foot out too far and landing on your front heel is not good for your joints. Focus instead on landing in the mid-sole area with your foot directly under your body. Keep your stride pattern light and quick and don’t swing your arms too much. You will expend too much energy and run the risk of over-stressing one side of your body when your feet impact the floor.


Many runners get the running bug, set themselves a goal and start sensibly, only to undermine their effort by overtraining. They do too many miles/kilometres as they build up to a certain race or goal and then compound that mistake by ignoring rest and recovery days. Burn out can be a common problem, so don’t fall into that trap. Listen to your body and follow training plans carefully. They will all factor in rest days, so make sure you take them. Your body will need it.

Warm up/cool down and stretch

Runners who forget to warm up properly, cool down or stretch, often pay a heavy price through injury. You need to start your run with a warm up which includes dynamic stretching and a light jog or brisk walk, before you start to increase your pace. The same is true at the end of your run when your body needs to cool down gradually. Static stretching will keep muscles flexible and limit stiffness, soreness or hyper-extension.


Getting the pace wrong is a common mistake for beginners. They start what is supposed to be a gentle training run like Usain Bolt and then can’t finish their scheduled distance. Learning to judge pace is an acquired skill. It involves listening to your body and gauging what kind of pace suits you. Aim to run at a pace where conversation is possible but not constant. If you’re chatting too comfortably you aren’t running quickly enough. If you can barely utter a word, it’s too fast.



source : http://www.worldrunning.com/articles/10-things-beginner-runners-get-wrong/

Comments 0

Leave a Comment