Common Mistakes By Beginner Runners

by alexandriawill

If you are following me on Instagram, you know I am geeked out as I have been accepted to run the 2017 New York Marathon. Woohoo! As such you can expect more fitness, training and personal post as I work on achieving one of my life long goals. As an RRCA Certified Coach, I am often asked what are some tips for beginner runners. Below are 13 Common Mistakes By Beginner Runners.

  1. Running too Fast: Everyone wants to be faster, but it takes time, conditioning and proper planning to be consistent. Many runners run too fast too soon. Running 13min miles on Tuesday for 3 miles and then increasing to a 9min mile the following day is not beneficial. I recommend having a running coach, joining a local running program. If these are unavailable, I recommend testing various paces to see what is a comfortable pace and to increase after a few weeks gradually.
  2. Running too Much: This is probably the number one mistake I see as many runners think they should run every day of the week. Running 3-4x a week while incorporating cross-training such as yoga, cycling, and weight training is vital.
  3. Improper Footwear: Small minor injuries often are the result of not having the proper footwear. Most people just buy a pair of shoe that is the cheapest or looks good. My actual running shoes are at least two sizes larger than my actual foot due to the expanding of my foot and have ample support for my pronation. Just as I go annually to the doctor for a checkup, I make sure to do a foot analysis and review my running shoes. Things change within a year and models are often replaced and may not fit the same. My running shoes vary depending on the season and mile. This is an excellent time to for what I consider a running tune-up.
  4. Not Properly Training: A lot of runners just lack proper training. I cringe when I see people sign up for a half-marathon and the have never run more than 5 or 6 miles. There are a lot of training plans on the net, but these may not work for you and your schedule. It is important to have a running coach or a certified RRCA running club for training.
  5. Not Properly Moisturizing Hair: Women forget their hair is battling the elements such as heat, dirt, and sweat while running. It is vital to keep hair moisturized before, during and post workouts. I always keep a  daily moisturizing spray like the Mane Choice in my gym bag and car to ensure my hair isn’t dry.
  6. Not Listening to Your Body: Many runners simply ignore the pain or medicate signals the body is saying. Popping over-the-counter medications or adding KT tape on a sore muscle consistently is a recipe for disaster. I recommend keeping a running log and noting daily how your body is feeling so that you can discuss with your team of doctors what is going on. There are hundreds of races each year, so if your doctor recommends some off time, you should take it.
  7. Not Listening to the Professionals: Too often I see runners asking in forums or social media for advice on if they should push through an injury or should they ignore their doctor’s advice on not running. It’s always great to discuss with your doctor your training.
  8. Not Incorporating Chiropractic and Massages into Training: Adjustments and Massages often are overlooked when training. As runners hit the pavements, the body can be sent out of alignment causing multiple issues if left untreated. It is important to schedule adjustments, treatments, and massages as a regular part of training and healthy lifestyle
  9. Lack of Proper Hair Regimen: Every morning, I see women sweat for 60-90 mins only to apply heat just a few minutes later with no heat protector or suitable products.  Many women do not have a proper hair regimen while training or working out, which can help you avoid hair loss or damage follicles. Make sure you create a custom hair regimen that includes the proper hair accessories, products, and regularly scheduled hair appoints to keep hair healthy.  
  10. Not Resting:  The “No Days Off” movement distorts the important that a rest day is a part of training. Resting is one of the most days of the training plan. Runners should adjust rest days to his or her personal schedule,
  11. Lack of Proper Nutrition: Most runners don’t understand the direct connection between performance and nutrition. Eating too much or not enough can directly impact a run or on race day. Make sure in the early part of the training you learn what meals, snacks, and fluids work best during base training. Once you find what works, stick to it.  
  12. Avoiding Stretching:  Stretching keeps the muscles in the body flexible allowing muscles to utilize their full range of motion. Many runners avoid stretching and
  13. Avoiding Foam Rolling: I honestly hate foam rolling, but it’s vital for anyone who exercises especially runners. According to Breaking Muscles, “By applying pressure to specific points on your body, you can aid in the recovery of muscles and assist in returning them to normal function. Normal function means your muscles are elastic, healthy, and ready to perform at a moment’s notice.”

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