Avoid These Top Three Running Mistakes

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Avoid These Top Three Running Mistakes

Mistakes are a part of life, and that is just as true when running a 5K/12K as it is anywhere else in your life. But how can you avoid common mistakes that seem to capture you right off the course? Read on to find out our top three favorite running mistakes and how to avoid them!

Mistake: The first mistake on our list involves going from “zero to hero.” If you’re a couch potato who considers the basement “a long walk,” you probably shouldn’t just hop right into a 5K. Likewise, if you’ve been out due to illness or injury, you may find that your stamina and endurance are far lower than before. When you push yourself too hard, not only will you enjoy your race less, you increase your risk for injury substantially!

How to Avoid: Go slow! This is harder than it sounds, especially for those runners who are highly motivated and active. This step involves careful planning and commitment. To prepare for your race, start slow and gradually increase your distance or time each day until you reach your goal.

Mistake: Wearing the wrong shoes. This could mean wearing shoes that simply don’t fit, wearing shoes that have worn out beyond their usable capacity, or even wearing brand new, shiny shoes… that have yet to be broken in! When your footwear is less than ideal, you can be uncomfortable during the race—or worse, you could become injured.

How to Avoid: Assess your footwear well before the race. We recommend at least two weeks to break in new shoes effectively—assuming that you are wearing these shoes during training. For regular runners, incorporating “buy new shoes” into your schedule at least once or twice a year can help make sure your shoes are always in good condition.

Mistake: Psyching yourself out. Have you ever found yourself getting nervous, stressed, or anxious before a race? Your body may be in the best shape ever, but if your mind isn’t in good shape also, you’ll miss your best performance.

How to Avoid: Practice good mental health skills, such as reminding yourself of your successes, setting reasonable goals, and seeking support from your fellow runners. Make sure to schedule enough time to train, and remember, these events are supposed to be fun!

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