Common Newbie Running Mistakes
by Nadezhda Pavlova
by Nadezhda Pavlova
Often, the most common mistake beginner runners make is too much mileage, too fast and too soon. They go from nothing to relatively high-volume training in a short period of time. They get so excited and enthused about their running that they mistakenly think more is better. The results are injuries, loss of interest, and burn-out too quickly.
As we get towards the end of 2020 and the New Year is close, lots of people will once again take up running as a means of getting fit. However, it’s important that when you begin running, that you take it steadily and that you don’t try to run your legs off! It can be exciting and you want to do your best – but it’s a time to accept your limitations and to build yourself into both distances and pace. Each willcome if you take your timeand stick to a plan.
The solution is to be more conservative than you think you need to be with how often, how long, and how much you run, especially early on in your development:
1. Increase mileage gradually (no more than 10% weekly)
2. Make sure to include easy runs and recovery days
3. Mix things up and add some cross-training
4. Don’t forget to give yourself a “rest week” every 3-4 weeks by dropping your mileage.
To run fast, you need to run slow and be patient – and yes, it can “hurt” more than a speed workout 😉 . First of all, learn to run. Take slow and short distances so that you learn to control your breathing, and make sure that you learn your hydration needs – we’re all different and have different nutrition and hydration models to suit our uniqueness. Hydration is a key element and you can read my blog on hydration by clicking here.
Get used to what your heart is telling you too. Your heart rate is important, so use a fitness watch and analyse it during and after your run. Don’t over-stride, as this can cause muscle strains and tears. Also, make sure to stretch things off for a few minutes afterwards.
Once you’re comfortable with a short distance, slowly increase things until each new distance becomes comfortable. It’ll take a few weeks, but your patience will be rewarded. Running is a great way to stay fit and to trim down, but don’t rush into it. As the saying goes: ‘don’t try to run before you can walk’ 😉 Taking these small steps will maximise the benefits for you.
Which is harder for you — a low heart rate run or a hard workout?