By Monica Harvey for RTBR
Everyone knows that mistakes happen in everyday life. Mistakes also happen at some point during a runner’s or walker’s career. The good news is you can always learn from those mistakes and become a better runner or walker. Here are some common running mistakes that you should try to avoid.
Avoid training too little or too much
If you’re new to running then you’ll want to ease into it and take it slow. Increase your mileage gradually as you’re ready. As a rule of thumb, don’t increase your mileage by more 10% each week. On the flip side, you don’t want to over train for a big race either. When you first start training you don’t want to overdo it with too many miles or going out too fast. Do a little research and find a training plan that works best for you.
Avoid injuries by listening to your body
Your body gives you warning signs when you’re not feeling well or when you’re injured. Listen to your body when you feel a developing ache or pain. Continuing to train through the pain will lead to a more serious injury. Remember to take care of yourself when something doesn’t feel right.
One common mistake runners often face is not drinking enough water. After a hard workout, you want to rehydrate with 16 oz of water for every pound lost during your workout. For example, if you step on the scale right after a workout and see that you’ve lost two pounds then you’ll want to drink 32 oz of water to rehydrate. A good way to determine if you’re dehydrated is by the color of your urine. The darker yellow it is the more dehydrated you are. A lighter, pale-yellow color means your well hydrated.
Avoid trying new things on race day
Race day is a big day and you don’t want to ruin your race with any hiccups. Avoid wearing brand new shoes that you haven’t broken in yet. Avoid any new gear that you haven’t run with before. Avoid using body glide or icy hot if you don’t know how it will affect your run. Avoid trying a gel for the first time during a longer race. Stick to what you know and what works for you.
Avoid comparing yourself to others
Running is an individual sport. It does you no good to compare yourself to anyone else running on the course. All of the runners or walkers participating around you during a race have different abilities and goals they are working toward. Try not to compare your race times or strength training with others. Remember your race is YOUR race. Your workout is YOUR workout. Focus on the goals that you set for yourself and have fun.
Monica Harvey, a former Center Grove High School runner, participates in 5K, 10K and other races. A Rock the Block Run volunteer, she is a Community Relations Specialist with the Johnson County Public Library.