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Avoid These 8 Mistakes Often Made By New Runners

BY: The Running Channel
05 January 2024

It’s January! You might, like thousands – possibly millions of others – are thinking about, or have started running.

You might be thinking “But how do I start running?” It might be your very first time or an opportunity to get back into the swing of things. We’ve unpacked the most common pitfalls that new runners fall into. 

1. Over-Investing in Gear

While it’s tempting to think that success in running hinges on having the latest gear, the truth is far simpler. A good pair of supportive running shoes is the cornerstone of a runner’s kit. Remember, the most expensive shoes aren’t always the best. Fit and comfort trump price tags; we recommend heading to your local running store to get your gait checked and advice on the right shoes for you. 

2. Too Much, Too Soon

A classic mistake is to hit the ground running – literally – at an unsustainable pace. The motto ‘slow and steady wins the race’ holds true here. Incrementally increasing your mileage, perhaps guided by the 10% rule (increasing your distance by no more than 10% each week), can help prevent burnout and injury.

3. Monotonous Pace

Variety is not just the spice of life but also of running. Mixing up your running pace is crucial. Incorporate different types of runs – speed sessions, slow runs, and recovery runs – to provide diverse stimuli for your body, aiding in overall improvement and speed. Keeping things interesting is the key to sticking at running and not burning out come February.

4. Skipping Cross-Training

Cross-training shouldn’t be an afterthought. It’s a vital component of a well-rounded running regimen, aiding in building strength and preventing injuries. This could include cycling, strength workouts, or simple exercises at home.

5. Neglecting Warm-Ups and Cool-Downs

Many new runners overlook the importance of warming up and cooling down. These practices are crucial for preventing injuries and aiding recovery. Incorporate drills and strides for warm-ups and focus on proper cooling down techniques.

6. Expecting Every Run to Be Great

Not every run will be a record-breaker, and that’s perfectly okay. Various factors like stress, diet, or lack of sleep can affect your performance. Accepting the ups and downs will make the journey more enjoyable and less stressful. Although – we’re pretty sure we always feel better after going for a run than not!

7. Rushing into Marathon Running

While running a marathon might be a bucket-list goal for many, rushing into this challenge can be a recipe for disaster. Building up your running base with shorter distances like 5Ks and 10Ks is a more sensible approach.

8. Bonus Tip: Stay Informed

Finally, staying informed and educated about running can make a significant difference. Channels like The Running Channel offer a wealth of information that can guide, inspire, and motivate you on your running journey. I know, we’re biased.

Remember, every runner’s journey is unique, and embracing your personal progress, however gradual, is key to a satisfying running experience.

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