Hey guess what? I got my running mojo back. The foot and Achilles is healed and I am green lighted to start running again! This is great news since pain isn’t really my thing, but triathlons are, so I’m back to hitting the pavement again.
I’m lucky to have a great resource here in the blog community, and since it’s been FOUR MONTHS since I last ran, I reached out to my girl Ashley over at http://www.chocolatemedals.com/ for some newbie advice. She just KILLED a half marathon, and managed to train for it without getting injured, with maintaining a healthy balance, and with lots and lots of chocolate and pizza!
Check out her super informative info below on the top 5 mistakes new runners make, and how people like me can start a running plan and be successful!
Hello to all of Nicole’s friends and fans :). My name is Ashley and I blog over at chocolatemedals.com, where I go on and on about my love for running, chocolate, healthy living, and pretty much anything sweet.
Funny enough Nicole’s blog was one of the first that I found when I started my own blog. I instantly fell in love with her passion for a healthy lifestyle, specifically her focus on Cross Fit, something I have YET to try and am endlessly amazed by.
Admittedly, I’m no pro but have tackled a few missteps (pun intended) in my running journey to date. Since I have no shame, I thought it might be fun to share some of these with Nicole and her readers in hopes that it keeps some of you from making the same mistakes!
So here in no particular order, are the New Runner’s Mistakes that I have been guilty of (and unfortunately know many others who have shared in my pain!)
Mistake 1: Don’t have the proper gear: ESPECIALLY Shoes.
When I started running about a year and a half ago, I picked up an old pair of Puma’s from the bottom of my closet. They were 3 or 4 years old, and probably weighed 2 lbs each. This, my friends, was my first running mistake.
Running shoes aren’t cheap. BUT they don’t have to be ridiculously expensive either and they are the best investment you will ever make. Especially if you enjoy running AND having toenails. After about 2 months, when I decided I kind of liked this running thing and wanted an ACTUAL pair of shoes, I went to one of those specialty stores that everybody talks about and met with the pros about what shoes they recommended. Best idea I ever had. I never knew how miserable I had been running in those old Puma’s, and within a week of owning those shoes I went from running 3 miles to signing up for my first half. It made THAT much of a difference.
Mistake 2: You Don’t Fuel Properly
Ok so this one can go multiple ways.
One: Have you ever heard of runner’s trots? Well if you haven’t, they’re exactly what they sound like. Think about this. You go out to eat at your favorite Mexican restaurant (love me some Mexican food). You demolish a thing of chips and salsa, AND your entire quesadilla. Now try and run after, or even tomorrow morning. It will NOT be pretty. Make sure there are porta potties on your route for this one.
Put simply: Eat simply before a long run. Think good balance of carbs and protein.
Second: If you’re training for DISTANCE, you need to fuel specifically for your long runs. The general rule of thumb is anything over 60 minutes, you need to ingest carbohydrates and simple sugars for your body to burn. Now I’ve tried many things: Gu’s, gels, blocks, candy, protein bars. It really is trial and error for each person — that’s one of the great aspects of long training cycles. You can test out different fuels, and figure out what your body likes. Personally, I prefer real food. I’m all about bars and candy — but that’s me.
Mistake 3: The 10% rule
Again, primarily for people training, but it really does pertain to ANYONE wanting to start a running regimen. The 10% rule states that you up your mileage PER WEEK by NO MORE than 10% each week. So think about it. If you are training for a half, and you run 3 short runs per week with one long run per week, then you shouldn’t be upping your long run by any more than ONE MILE PER WEEK. And for Fulls, I think the general rule is 2 miles per week, tops.
I’d say stick to this with shorter distance as well. Running is high impact, and if you want to enjoy and continue running, you’ve gotta up the mileage slowly. Otherwise you’re asking for a runner’s worst nightmare: Injury. Been there. Done that.
Mistake 4: You Go Out Too Fast
Just like with anything else, you’ve got to pace yourself with running. This one is probably the hardest for me where I’m at in my own running currently. This is especially important when you are trying to ADD mileage, whether it’s for a marathon or a 5k. A lot of us are full of energy and excited when we go out, so we go out strong, only to BONK a quarter or half way through our run.
It’s important, especially while you’re training or trying to up mileage, that you conserve your energy for those later miles. I’ve heard a lot of people actually say to plan to go out slower than your goal pace, and save your energy for the end. It’s called “negative splits” in runner’s lingo: your miles get quicker as you go. That’s something a lot of runners go out trying to achieve — but it takes pacing yourself in the beginning, when it’s most important!
Mistake 5: You Stress Out!
Really, running should be fun. It’s a challenge for me every single time I go out, but I love it. If you are wanting to try and get into running or racing, the most important thing I would remind you to do is remember why you started, and just enjoy the journey. We all have bad runs, and we all have good runs. And unfortunately they don’t come on schedule. . . but try and NEVER forget to enjoy the ride! Because I’m telling you, that runner’s high is worth it every single time!
And that, my friends, are my 5 Common New Runner’s Mistakes. Now lace up your shoes, and get out there. . . and tell me all about your run! 🙂