Vitality2day

Your help to sustainable health and redesigning your body

5 common mistakes runners make in the beginning.

A little over three years ago I started running. Not amazing distances or really fast, but a lot greater distances than ever before. Running is great for your health for many reasons and Sweden has had a real runners boom over the last few years. It’s easy to do and, as I wrote, has great health benefits.

But running was not an obvious choice for me. When I was a teenager I played basket and like almost all my team mates I began having knee problems. So, I always assumed long distance running was out. Another thing I imagined was that since I have more explosive muscles, my body was simply not buit for long distance.

Now, it is true that some bodies are more naturally built for long distance and some for shorter and faster distances. However, if we’re not talking competing on a professional level well then that difference is more about how you train than how you’re built.

Anyway, I was sure I would never run more than 3 kilometers – ever. I had tried and failed. So when a close friend of mine, who also used to have knee problems, told me that her new found favourite form of exercise was long distance running and that she thought I should try it too, I laughed. I told her there was no way.

Now, this friend has known me since I was 8 so she knows how to make me curious, so a few weeks later I joined her for my first +3km run, and believe it or not – I’ve grown to love it!

Last September I ran my first half marathon!

There were a few things though I noticed I had been doing wrong, and talking to other beginners I realised I was not alone. Quite the opposite. Most of the beginners I’ve talked to have made the same mistakes. So here they are. Please note that this is out of my own experience and depending on what you want to achieve some of them might not apply to you.

Here are the 5 most common mistakes beginner runner make:

  • Running too fast: Many beginners run waaaay too fast in the beginning and as a result they run out of breath after only a few km. Find someone, or use the Runkeeper-app to pace you. In the beginning try keep a pace when you can talk at the same time. 
  • Running with too wide strides: Try and shorten your strides. Try and think that you push back to get speed and strenght. You want to land on your foot under your body. This way you won’t put the same strain on your knees.
  • Keep your chest high and your gaze at the horizon. Beginners often slouch a little when running. Keep your chest high and use your abs. This is important so that you don’t strain your back and neck. It’s easy, especially when we start getting tired to start looking into the ground. Try not to. You lose speed and energy.
  • Keep an even pace: Many beginners start off running a little, walking a little. Now, I’m not saying this doesn’t work, but I would highly suggest that you slow the pace even more, but keep the jogging stride. This way your body gets use to constant work faster and it will help you run further sonner. So even low pace and try not to start walking!
  • Don’t exhaust your self the first few times: This might sound odd. However there is a really good reason. The first few times you are out running it’s important to feel good and that your body remembers how good it felt. If you pound out every ounce you’ve got, the risk is you won’t want to do it again. As you and your body gest use to running, then start challenge your self with greater distances and greater speed!

This was just a few tips, but they will really make a difference, I promise!

My very last tip is: Whenever it feels tough – smile! It really helps 🙂

Good luck and if you have more tips, please share them here!

5 common mistakes runners make in the beginning

 

Me after just having finished m second 10 km competition 🙂

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6 comments on “5 common mistakes runners make in the beginning.

  1. amummyslife12
    February 21, 2013

    Thanks for these tips. One of the things I want to get into once I’ve had baby is running and as a complete beginner this is great to read!

    • Vitality2day
      February 21, 2013

      Thank you! And I wish you all the best with both baby and your running debut! 🙂

  2. Stella Scott
    February 21, 2013

    I did some running when I was younger. Very industrious and disciplined… My god, how bored I was! When I realized I don’t have to do boring things because “the are good for me”, ever, I stopped! 😀

    • Vitality2day
      February 22, 2013

      Oh no, exercise should be fun! Otherwise what’s the point? What is your favourite exercise now? 🙂

  3. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden)
    February 22, 2013

    I have “moderate” osteoarthritis in one knee and lighter arthritis in the other knee. I’m also 60 years old. Right now I’m concentrating on walking and water zumba/water aerobics. I’m not sure running would be suitable for me at this stage of life. But these are all good suggestions – the important thing is: “motion is lotion” as my rheumatologist says – keep moving!

    • Vitality2day
      February 22, 2013

      Motion is lotion – I love That!! Haha 😀 No running isn’t for everyone, but great to hear you stay active! Thank you for stopping by 🙂

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This entry was posted on February 21, 2013 by in healthy body.
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