Many people have started to run at some point only to end up back on the couch wondering how they are going to lose that spare tire from around their belly. Today, we provide several pitfalls, or mistakes, that many new runners should avoid when they start running. If you avoid these pitfalls, then you will be well on your way to meeting your running goals.
* No Clear Running Goals –
Some people start running with no clear goals of why they are doing it. Then, they get bored of it, tired of it, or do not see any immediate improvement, and then they quit. Many people want to drop a few pounds or just stay in shape, but that is not really a clear goal. You need to write out goals so that they are clear. A few things to consider when writing out goals is that they should be measurable, attainable, and they should have a timeline. Check out the post on running goals for more information.
* Not Having a Running Plan –
Some people just start running with no plan, no goals, and no idea of what they are doing. While I applaud them for trying to do something, I am not sure that they will make it. Most of the time, these people give up because they felt like they were not making progress. Without a plan, you are doomed to have the same happen to you as well. I have written a couple running schedules that will help you get started and establish a reasonable habit of running and exercise.
* Bad Running Shoes –
Some people wear the same old running shoes that they have worn for years to mow the lawn, work around the house, or play basketball in. Worse, some people try to run in shoes that are not designed for running. Another common mistake people make is to wear running shoes that do not meet their specific needs. Running in old shoes, shoes not designed for running, or even running shoes that do not match your needs can cause injury. Ask a specialist at the running shoe store for more information, and go check out this post on running shoes.
* Poor Form –
Many people run with poor form and eventually get injured. Then, they quit running and never try it again. Review the points we made about proper running form so that you do not get hurt, and you can keep running.
* Too Much Too Fast –
Some people try to run too much before they are ready. They think they can just go from never exercising to running five miles. You may feel pretty good at first, but eventually doing too much too soon will catch up to you. You could get injured, sore, or just burned out from overdoing it. Try to ease into running by adding 5 to 10% mileage per week.
* Quit Too Early –
Many people expect to see results far too quickly. I have seen people start running a few miles a couple times a week, and then after two or three weeks they give up. Remember that results will happen, but only with a consistent running routine as well as healthy eating. Follow the tips in this post, and do not give up too early.
* No Time To Run –
Many people have hectic lives, and simply do not have time to run. Or do they? These people probably do have busy lives, and have a lot going on. The reality is, though, that if you do not have time to run (or exercise), then you have not made health and fitness a priority in your life. Over time the success of other areas of life may very well deteriorate due to the lack of your success in the area of health and fitness. My suggestion is to make time to run or exercise so that your life can be well-rounded. Take a look at the post on running with a busy schedule for more about countering the pitfall of ‘No Time to Run’.
Bonus Pitfall— Not Having Support –
Some people think that they do not need the support of friends to help them stick with the program. They go for runs alone, do not tell anyone about their running. Unfortunately, these people often give up when they could have had a friend to motivate them to stick with it. Try to get a running partner to run with. If you do not have a running partner, then at least tell some people about it, and share how things are going. Also, keep a running log or running journal so that you can see your own progress, and hold yourself accountable to making progress.
What do you think?
Have you fallen into one of these pitfalls of running? What is another pitfall you have fallen into?