Training for a race takes time, discipline, and consistent work. While it may seem tempting to take a few short cuts along the way, it almost always affects your performance later. Find out about seven common training mistakes you should avoid if you want to be able to give it your very best effort on race day.
Trying to do too much, too soon. Don't try to run 15 miles during your first week of marathon training if you are a first-timer. Be honest with yourself about your fitness level and running experience. Talk to a professional running coach or follow a reputable training program that will help you gradually work up to your pace and distance goals.
Skipping your warm-up routine. Don't be in such a hurry to run that you skip your warm-up. A good warm-up routine will not only help lower your risk of injury, it will gradually bring up your heart rate and make it easier to fall into a sustainable cadence. Include dynamic stretches, strides, and walking into your warm-up routine whenever possible.
Staying too comfortable. Don't stick to the same comfortable running routine. Break out of your "comfort zone" by mixing up your training with different types of running challenges like intervals, tempo runs, or hills. You might be surprised by how much this contributes to better performance.
Ignoring pain. Pain is your body sending you a sign that something isn't right. Heed the signs; don't ignore them. When you listen to your body and avoid running through pain you can help prevent serious or long-term injury. Find out what is causing the pain, and then take the appropriate actions so that you can heal properly.
Not cross-training. As a runner, your best protection against injury is a strong body. Do your best to work in other activities such as cycling, swimming, or strength training. Consistent cross-training can help you maintain strong muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Wearing worn shoes. Don't wear running shoes that are ready to retire. Most experts agree that you should replace your running shoes every 300 to 500 miles. If the treads are worn or your sock is popping through the toe box, you need new shoes. When in doubt, swap them out for a new pair.
Not fueling your body properly. Don't expect your body to perform at its best if you aren't filling it with premium fuel. Skip the sugary sodas, greasy chips, and alcoholic beverages. Instead, fuel your body with plenty of fresh produce, lean meat, and healthy fats.
Now that you know which training mistakes to avoid, remember to stay focused and get your runs done. You can also share your training and race day photos with us on our Run's Done Facebook page or by tagging us in your Instagram photos @runsdone
. We can't wait to see photos of your sweaty smile as you cross the finish line!
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning freelance writer, blogger, and runner based in Estero, Florida. Her publishing credits include several outdoor-related web sites and magazines including USA Today. In addition to multiple 5K running events, she has completed the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon, Naples Daily News Half Marathon, and looks forward to tackling her first full marathon within the next two years.
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