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As a new runner, going for longer distances can be an exciting challenge. The thrill of pushing yourself to achieve more can be invigorating but can also lead to common pitfalls that sabotage your progress. Did you know that 80% of runners get injured each year? Unfortunately, many of these injuries are due to mistakes that new runners make. Whether it's not listening to your body or ignoring proper nutrition, these mistakes can lead to injuries, frustration, and setbacks.
In this post, we'll share the seven most common mistakes new runners make when running long distances and how you can avoid them. We'll also give tips and insights to help you become a better runner. So, let's lace up our shoes and get started!
Not Starting Slow Enough
One mistake that many new runners make, especially when running long distances, is not starting slow enough. It can be tempting to set a fast pace right from the start, but doing so can lead to burnout and injury.
It's important to remember that running is a gradual process, and it takes time to build endurance and improve your pace. Starting slow allows your body to adjust to the demands of running and helps prevent injury.
When you first start out, focus on maintaining a comfortable pace that you can sustain for the entire run. It's okay to take walking breaks or slow down when needed. As you build endurance and become more comfortable with running, you can gradually increase your pace and distance.
It's also important to warm up properly before each run. A good warm-up helps prepare your muscles for the physical demands of running and can help prevent injury. Take a few minutes to stretch and do some light exercises before you start your run.
By starting slow and building gradually, you'll be able to enjoy the benefits of running without the risk of injury. So, lace up your shoes, start slow, and enjoy the journey!
Wearing the Wrong Shoes
Shopping for the right pair of running shoes is an important decision for runners. Not just any pair of sneakers will do; the wrong shoes can lead to pain and discomfort, as well as a greater risk of injury.
Road Runner Sports, a store geared towards running and walking, offers shoes specifically designed to support the foot and absorb shock.
Do you have flat feet or high arches? Will you be running on trails? These things matter when choosing running shoes.
When buying shoes at Road Runner Sports, customers can access a wide selection of shoes specifically designed to fit their running needs. Each shoe features a unique combination of cushioning, support, stability, and traction to meet the needs of different foot types, running styles, and training plans.
In addition to their selection of shoes, they also provide helpful resources to help you find your perfect running shoes.
From their online fitting to in-store 3D foot scanners and slow-motion video analysis, customers have access to the support they need to properly care for their feet and get the most out of their running experience.
New runners often have no idea what type of shoes will be best for them. Road Runner Sports' online fitting tool was a great way for my son to find the perfect pair for his needs – without the guesswork.
In just minutes, he found a pair of running shoes he loves based on just a few questions and watching some helpful videos.
The recommended Kids Air Zoom Pegasus 39 running shoes stay securely on his feet while giving him a bounce-inducing comfort that helps him defy limits and go the distance – all with a smile on his face! They've been great for middle school cross country, where long-distance runs are shorter, and the trails aren't too rough.
Are you ready to improve your running game? Get the gear you need to succeed by going to Road Runner Sports and browsing their easy-to-use website. Here, you'll find the products and advice to get up and run life's marathon!
Focusing Only on Distance
While it's important to set goals for the distance you want to run, focusing solely on distance can actually be detrimental to your training. If you push yourself too hard too fast without properly building up your endurance and strength, you risk injury and burnout.
Instead of solely focusing on distance, focus on proper form and technique. It's important to have a strong foundation before increasing your mileage. Incorporate exercises like squats and lunges to strengthen your legs and core, and work on your posture to avoid unnecessary strain on your back and knees.
Skipping Rest Days
In the pursuit of achieving your running goals, it can be tempting to skip rest days, especially when you're making progress and feeling motivated. However, rest days are an essential aspect of any training plan.
Your muscles need time to recover and repair themselves after each run, and failure to do so can lead to fatigue and an increased risk of injury.
Ignoring Nutrition and Hydration
Running long distances can take a toll on your body and deplete your energy reserves. It's common for new runners to put all their focus on their training without considering what they are putting into their bodies. This can lead to feeling sluggish and depleted during runs, hindering performance and overall enjoyment.
To avoid this, make sure to fuel your body with the right nutrients at the right time. Before a long run, make sure to eat a balanced meal with complex carbohydrates and protein. During your run, you may want to consider taking along energy gels or electrolyte supplements to keep your energy levels up.
Additionally, staying hydrated is crucial, especially during hot weather. Make sure to drink plenty of water before and after your run, as well as bringing along water during your run. Find a balance between drinking enough water to stay hydrated and not overdoing it, which can lead to discomfort while running.
Not Listening to Your Body
One important aspect of long-distance running is being in tune with your body. It is easy to get caught up in pushing yourself to reach new goals and distances, but it is important to listen to your body's needs.
Ignoring pain or discomfort can lead to injury and setbacks in your training. Take the time to stretch properly before and after your runs, and pay attention to any areas of tightness or soreness. If something feels off, it's better to take a break and address the issue instead of pushing through and causing further damage.
Additionally, pay attention to your energy levels and how your body is feeling overall. It's okay to have off days where you don't feel as motivated or strong, but if you consistently feel drained or fatigued, it may be a sign to re-evaluate your training plan or adjust your nutrition and hydration.
By listening to your body, you can prevent injury and ensure that you are making progress in a healthy and sustainable way.
Neglecting Strength and Cross-Training
One common mistake that new runners make is neglecting strength and cross-training. While running is great cardio exercise, it's important to vary the types of workouts you do. Strength training can help build muscle and increase endurance while cross-training (such as swimming or cycling) can provide a low-impact alternative to running.
Incorporating these types of workouts into your training plan can also help prevent injury by strengthening muscles that are not utilized as much in running. This can lead to better overall fitness and improved running performance.
Keep in mind that running should be enjoyable and fulfilling, and taking care of your body is key to achieving that.
In conclusion, running long distances can be a fulfilling and challenging experience for new runners. However, it's important to avoid common mistakes that can derail progress and lead to injury. Remember to start slow, wear the right shoes, and focus on more than distance. By doing so, you'll be able to enjoy the journey of long-distance running and achieve your fitness goals. Happy running!