Common Mistakes Most New Runners Make
Deciding to take up running can be both exciting and slightly daunting. It’s a huge misconception that you need to have good fitness levels to start running, but this isn’t the case. Anyone can take up running and the elusive “runner’s high” makes putting on your trainers and hitting the pavement or treadmill worthwhile.
However, diving headfirst into any new type of exercise without the right approach or knowledge can lead to mistakes. Some mistakes might not only hinder your progress but also put you at risk of injuries. So, in this blog post, we'll take a look at some of the most common mistakes new runners make and how you can avoid them.
Getting Carried Away and Overtraining
One of the most common mistakes new runners make is overtraining. The excitement of starting something new can easily make you go overboard, resulting in you increasing your mileage or pace dramatically in a short period. This can lead to fatigue, muscle strains and even long-term injuries. Instead of getting carried away, you should follow a running plan that gradually increases mileage and speed, and also includes rest days. This will give your body enough time to adapt to doing something new.
Ignoring the Importance of Proper Gear
Another common pitfall for beginners is not investing in the right running gear, particularly the right running shoes. Running in old trainers or shoes that aren’t designed for running can result in discomfort and injuries. Ideally, you should invest in a quality pair of running shoes that are suited to your foot type and running style. Professional gait analysis and fitting at a running store can make a significant difference.
Skipping Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs
Many beginners underestimate the importance of warming up before a run and cooling down afterwards. Skipping these crucial steps can result in muscle cramps and soreness, sometimes for days to follow. You should spend some time warming up with a light jog and dynamic stretches. Then, post-run, make sure you’re cooling down with a short walk and static stretches to help your muscles recover.
Running at a Consistently Fast Pace
Another frequent error, not just among newcomers either, is maintaining a consistently fast pace throughout all of your runs. While it's tempting to test your limits and see what you can do, always running fast isn’t as beneficial as you might think. When you incorporate different types of runs into your routine, like easy runs and intervals, you will notice more of a difference in your performance. Variety can enhance your training and boost your stamina.
Neglecting Hydration and Nutrition
It can be easy to overlook the importance of drinking enough water and eating the right foods when you start running. However, dehydration and poor nutrition can significantly impact your running performance and recovery. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water before, during and after your run, and it can be beneficial to purchase a hydration pack. Pay attention to your diet too, ensuring your body gets the energy and nutrients it needs when exercising.
Running is undeniably excellent, but it shouldn't be the only form of exercise you do. Neglecting other forms of physical activity like functional training can result in muscle imbalances and increase your risk of injury. Incorporate at least one or two days of cross-training into your weekly running routine. This can include activities like cycling, swimming or strength training exercises targeting different muscle groups.
Ignoring Pain and Discomfort
Last but certainly not least, new runners often ignore the signs their body is giving them. If you experience niggling pains or consistent discomfort while running, it's a clear sign that something isn’t right. Always listen to your body. If you experience pain or discomfort, take a break and give your body time to recover. If you think you have developed an injury, get in touch with a medical professional for some treatment before you run again.
Looking for the Best Store for Running Advice in Ireland?
All in all, running is a hugely rewarding exercise with numerous health benefits, but it's essential to start off on the right foot by avoiding these common mistakes. Taking a sensible approach that includes proper training, equipment and self-care can create the foundation for a positive and injury-free running journey.
When searching for somewhere to buy all of the new running essentials you need, The Run Hub is the place to be. We have several running stores in Ireland and we stock everything from footwear and apparel to accessories and nutrition. In all of our running shops, you will find a team of running enthusiasts who are happy to answer any questions you may have too. Our experienced team loves helping people get the most out of their running journey and we have plenty of knowledge to get you started.