Spring is coming, the sunny hours are increasing on the northern hemisphere (hopefully 😊), it is getting mentally easier to go for a run after work.
You might be preparing your first 5k/10k run event or maybe a (half) marathon.
What are some beginners’ mistakes which you can avoid relatively easily?
1. It is said everywhere but it is really important. Have a good pair of running shoes! Is it the only important stuff you need to running? Definitely not but it might be the most important. Running business has grown a lot the past 20 years, if the pandemic had a positive impact on anything, one of those was also that individual sports what you can practice without special equipments has their prime time. You can purchase thousands of different running shoes from many companies. Natural vs stability, regular vs wide fit, high vs low stack height and list just goes on. Best if you go to a local running store first, ask their advice, you can try even different shoes on and you grab the best. Many products are not made lifelong anymore, running shoes in general have also a shorter life span then a decade ago. If you feel after a few hundred miles that you legs start feeling different during/after run, time for a new pair, it's not worth to risk an injury.
2. It is definitely true for the longer races and trainings, you need to have a nutrition plan which consists of a strategy for drinking and also have some calories in the form of gels, bananas, isotonic drinks. If you will have a race, check out what is available at the course, where are the water stations. If they do not support your known nutrition supplements, carry eg. your own gels in your shorts. Everyone has a different body, living at climate, you might even need to take water for a 5k run. Be aware what your body requires!
3. Build up gradually! If you just start with running, it’s great to have goals, but be sure that these goals are realistic. If you want to run a marathon in your first year, that might not be the best idea – your body needs to adapt. Of course this is also personal, depends on many factors (eg. your sport background, age etc) but as a thumb rule do not raise your weekly mileage with more than 5% and have an easier week at least every 4th week (for beginners frequently every 3rd week) to allow your body to recover and start the new month on a stronger level.
4. Surround yourself with positive people! Most likely not everyone will support you on your journey, there will be people telling you running is boring, questioning why are you wasting so much time, why are you not spending this time with your family etc. Try to close out these voices. You know why you started, what your goals are (maybe to have a more healthy lifestyle, maybe to belong to a cool community maybe to run your first marathon, up to you), stick to those, and keep yourself motivated.
5. Reach out for guidelines for the right people, who will support you and will keep you on the right track! There are local running clubs, holding regular training sessions with many enthusiasts, check those out! Or if you want even more personal advice, hire a personal coach! You know where to reach out for Trifharder personal coaching right?