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Top mistakes beginner runners make

Everyone makes mistakes during training

Overtraining can be caused by a number of factors.

Running isn’t easy, and there are many myths about how beginners can improve. If you are a new runner or someone who’s considering trying out the sport, take a look at these mistakes runners make before heading out the door, so you can avoid them.


Many runners go from doing nothing to high-volume training in a short period. This is an injury waiting to happen, as there is no better way to shock your body than going from nothing to running five days a week. Running more distance needs to be done gradually. Some runners follow the 10 per cent rule, which follows a slight increase in mileage each week.

Running the same route at the same pace

It is great to have favourite routes, but running the same distance at the same pace on the same route won’t help if you are looking to improve. Try mixing up the route and adding a bit of distance to your current route. You can drop down the pace if you are feeling good that day. If you are wanting to run further or improve your endurance, you will need to make time each week for a longer run. Speed workouts are also important once or twice a week for runners looking to improve their speed. Try this speed workout for all levels.

How long does it take to see results from training?

Running hard on easy runs

Newsflash: unless it’s a race, no one on Strava cares about the pace of your easy run. This mistake goes hand and hand with overtraining. The point of easy runs is to keep your heart rate low recover from faster efforts. Your body will take longer to recover if you are doing hard effort after hard effort. You should be able to engage in conversation on your easy runs. If you can’t, it’s a sign that you are going too fast.

Choosing your running shoes by the way they look

The most important consideration should be comfort, not colour The point of buying running shoes is to have a pair that can get you from point A to point B without pain or discomfort. When buying shoes, it’s important to find the right pair. Be open to the shoes that are recommended for your feet and check out online reviews.

How to start strength training

Setting unrealistic goals

Many new runners fall victim to the hype and hysteria of “bucket list” type achievements like running the marathon. While certainly an achievable goal for most, marathons require a lot of time and training. Runners are better off starting with reasonable short-term goals over a month or two. Those new to running should also complete shorter benchmark races and distances such as the 5K, 10K and half-marathon before moving on to the marathon. Don’t try to run before you can walk – racing shorter distances will build up your confidence and running experience.

Ignoring your body

Don’t feel like you have to run. No one has to run, especially if you’re injured or tired. It’s important to listen to your body when you are starting. Don’t make running harder than it should be.

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