I enthusiastically decided to start running last year but after a few weeks I quit. I decided to reflect on what had happened and I’ve found five major mistakes that I made in my journey to start running. People who make similar mistakes are likely going to stop running too. A runner needs to cultivate awareness and the right approach to be successful in the long term. Here are the 5 mistakes that I made and newbie runners are likely to make.
Lack of consistency: I ran my very first marathon without any preparation right when I had decided that running may be something I should pursue. After the marathon I didn’t run consistently and I had no schedule which I committed to following. If you want to run a longer distance you need consistency and a system in place. You need to run regularly and build yourself up to that distance it isn’t going to be possible for the first few months!
Lack of purpose: some people run because it is fashionable or because they want to feel a sense of belonging with other runners. It helps to understand your own specific motivations for why you are doing it. Your goal may be to run a marathon or to lose weight and become healthier. Your purpose should be your own and not borrowed from others.
Running Alone: when you run with a partner or a group it becomes a more pleasant experience. You are also likely to stick to a regular running schedule when you know others are expecting you to join!
Not focusing on overall health: newbie runners often just run without doing any of the other stuff that is important to make running a better experience. Stretching before and after training, warming up before training, focusing on your feelings and mind, eating a fairly healthy diet, monitoring your nutrition, exercising the rest of your body and getting enough rest are all important aspects of becoming a better runner.
Not getting the proper running equipment: investing in a comfortable and supportive set of sneakers is essential to being a successful runner. Your joints, legs and back will feel the stress as you start running and the stress can be reduced by a good pair of sneakers. You don’t need to spend a ton of money but you should get a good pair of shoes with a cushioned sole. Other than that comfortable clothing depending on where you live is also a must.
In conclusion to be successful as a runner you should:
- Try and be consistent
- Understand what motivates you to run
- Run with a partner or in a group
- Focus on your overall health, specifically warming up and stretching
- Get comfortable shoes and the right running clothes