Newcomers to running are oftentimes tempted to dive in at the deep end. They technically know how to run already and therefore assume they know exactly what they’re doing. Unfortunately, this is the mistake that can potentially have very serious consequences.
There is a number of common rookie errors to avoid as a newcomer to running:
Overestimating Your Abilities
If you have never done any real running in your life, you need to start out as slowly and gradually as possible. Worse still, if you have never done any form of intensive physical exercise, you need to think carefully about your current physical health and capabilities. Do yourself a favor and consult with a doctor or physical therapist, rather than making things up as you go along.
Pushing Yourself Too Hard
To coin a common analogy, running as a form of exercise should be viewed as a marathon, rather than a sprint. Pushing yourself too hard in the early days significantly increases your likelihood of experiencing muscle aches, joint pains, shin splints or even stress fractures. Start things gently and aim for an increase in mileage/intensity of no more than 10% per week.
Using Low Quality Running Gear
Just because you are new to running, it does not mean you’ll get away with a low quality running gear. In fact, there’s no better time to kit yourself with a good pair of running shoes and compression socks or calf sleeves. Shoes that either don’t fit your feet or have not been designed for running open the door to an extensive range of painful injuries.
Not Setting Goals
Most people get into running for a specific reason. You may want to lose weight, improve your general aerobic capacity or benefit your overall health in general. Whatever your motivation is, it is important to set goals and establish a roadmap. Otherwise, you’ll quickly begin to question whether you are making any real progress.
Poor Lifestyle Habits
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that running can compensate for other harmful lifestyle habits. If you smoke, drink excessively or consume a generally poor daily diet, these should all be addressed before you buy your first pair of high-end running shoes.