Getting into running is intimidating! If you have never run for exercise or competition before, the idea of starting running can be daunting. Or if you were like I was and ran competitively then stopped running altogether for a couple of years, the idea of getting back into running can be discouraging because you aren’t who you once were. Regardless of how you are getting into running, there are mistakes you will make. This article will help you point out some common mistakes newbie runners make, and how to avoid them.
1. Not Stretching After Runs
Have you ever bent over to grab something, and it felt like your body aged 30 years? Not stretching after runs will lead you to feel like you cannot move. It’s also incredibly bad for you and can increase injuries. A simple 5-minute stretch routine after running will make all the difference you need to keep running and continue to feel your best on your runs.
One simple hamstring stretch is touching your toes. Another hamstring stretch is sitting on the ground with one leg extended while the other leg is bent with your foot touching the base of your extended leg. You will kind of make an L with your legs. Then extend your arms to touch your extended foot. Extended is the key word here it appears. Repeat with the other leg.
To stretch your quadriceps, you stand (you might want a wall to balance on) and grab one of your feet and bend your leg to meet your foot to your butt. Pull your foot directly back not at an angle. Repeat with the other side. You should feel this stretch on your thigh.
To stretch your hips and groin, the butterfly stretch is excellent. To do this stretch, you sit on the ground, place both of your legs bent towards each other, meet the bottom of your feet together and pull your body as close to your legs as it feels comfortable while keeping a good stretch. You should feel this in your hips and inner thighs. *A quick note, no matter how much you want to flap your wings, aka your legs, it can be counterproductive and lead to muscle pulls.
Lastly your calves need some love. For me this is the tightest part of my body after running. To stretch these, you can lean against a wall with one leg further back from the other, pushing the back of your foot down to get a good stretch in your calf. Repeat with the other leg. Another way to stretch this is by using a curb and putting the top of your foot on the top of the curb and lowering the bottom of your foot into a stretch that you will feel in your calf. *Bonus points if you do this next to a baby calf. (Read one of The Running Well Store’s most recent blog posts- “Top 5 Stretches for Runners,”)
2. Building Up Mileage too Fast
Newbie and veteran runners often make the mistake of ramping up their weekly mileage too fast. Increasing mileage too quickly can lead to injuries and prevent you from running at all. There is a good rule called the 10% rule that you can follow. This rule means that you do not increase your weekly mileage more than 10% of your previous week’s mileage. Obviously if you are starting from 0 miles a week you can start at a realistic mileage for you
3. Not Drinking Enough Water
This one is crucial. You must drink enough water to stay hydrated. This means consistent drinking of water throughout the day. If you are sweating more because of warmer weather this means you should increase your water intake even more. If it is summer and very humid, you are for sure going to sweat more. During this time, you may want to consider supplementing your salt loss due to excess sweating with salt chews.
4. Too Many Comparisons
Comparisons are the determent to your progress. This could be comparing yourself to your faster friend, a pro-athlete, or yourself. Comparing myself to the old version of myself before I quit running for two years is something I still battle with. If you keep thinking about how in shape you used to be, and how you can never get there again it will discourage you. Try and stay positive and be the best you can be on that run and that day. You’re never going to live someone else’s life, or be who you used to be, so why not make your life now the best it can be? *Rhetorical question of course.
5. Not Wearing the Right Shoes
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know what you’re thinking a running store is posting about the importance of shoes. However, this is crucial to your success as a runner. So many times, new runners come in with mild injuries and pains because they are wearing poor running shoes. Good shoes are something any runner needs to have. Honestly, if you’re going to buy anything for your new runner journey make it a good pair of shoes. I just want to stress the importance of good shoes. Need help trying to decide which shoe is right for you. Click here to read the most recent blog post about The 5 Best Running Shoes for Newbie Runners. Or…
The Gurus’ at The Running Well Store know that there are a lot of options of footwear on the market and deciding what model is the right model for your needs is not easy. We are here for you! You can come into one of our three locations (Lee’s Summit, Northland and Mission, KS) for a free stride analysis. No appointment is necessary, but if you would like to schedule an appointment, click here. We take in-person and virtual fittings. Want to do research online? We have a find my fit tool that will help you narrow down footwear options. We hope to hear from you soon!
So many times, I have had a horrible race because I couldn’t get out of my head before or during the race. Relax and know you can only take things day by day, run by run. You are a strong person who can reach all your goals with hard work and determination. Speak good energy into your life, and you will be calm enough to do your best on your run or race. If you’re about to race for the first time or 1,000th, know you have countless runs leading up to that moment, and you can’t change anything now. Don’t overthink, just run, and have fun.
7. Not Waving Back to Other Runners (Bonus)
Okay, this one might be my personal pet peeve. However, the running community is so welcoming and friendly it is important for people to acknowledge and act friendly to runners running by. Simply a wave or a “good morning” is sufficient here, and it builds up the encouragement of runners. Sometimes when I’m on long runs, those simple interactions help me keep going. So next time a runner is passing you running the other way, please wave so we can keep this wonderful community growing!
About TRWS GURU Nathan
Nathan Straubel started working at The Running Well Store, Barry Road location, in May of 2021. He loves the job and meeting great runners in the community. He is a Track and Cross-Country runner for Park University. He is in his senior year and will graduate in May of 2022 with his master’s degree in Business Administration, with an emphasis in Marketing. He looks forward to the next journey of his life, and wherever running takes him post-collegiate competition.
Not certain if this shoe is right for you?
We understand! There are a lot of options of footwear on the market and deciding what model is the right model for your needs is not easy. We are here for you! You can come into one of our three locations (Lee’s Summit, Northland and Mission, KS) for a free stride analysis. No appointment is necessary, but if you would like to schedule an appointment, click here. We take in-person and virtual fittings. Want to do research online? We have a find my fit tool that will help you narrow down footwear options. We hope to hear from you soon!