5 Common Mistakes Runners Make And How To Fix Them

Everyday runners often make crucial training mistakes that affect their chance of achieving peak condition and performance. Thinking about your training program before you start training is the key.

Here are my 5 tips to help you run and perform at your best.

TIP 1.

Starting too fast Those of you going for a long run, 'going out too fast' means that you are starting at pace that is too fast for your current fitness level. For intervals/tempo sessions it means starting the workout to hard and not being able to maintain the pace throughout the intervals. This can lead to shortened workouts and thus risk missing out on the benefits of the session.

SOLUTION - This can easily be fixed by being conservative early and feel your way into intervals and tempo sessions.

TIP 2.

Making All Runs "Medium" Running at the same medium pace at all times means that you are failing to gain the benefits of easier long runs or shorter speed work sessions. Every session has a purpose and achieving it requires you adhere to certain run lengths, duration, pace and recovery criteria. For example long runs provide some of the same benefits at an easy pace as at a medium pace. The thing is, at an easy pace you're able to run longer and recover more quickly. All beginner runners should keep to a chat pace during Long Runs.

SOLUTION - Try considering backing off when you feel that you are pushing your legs and/or lungs too hard. If you have to drop behind your training partner or group or run alone that’s fine. Pre-Set a goal pace and challenge yourself to stick to it - no faster.

TIP 3. Neglecting Speed You cannot live on distance alone. Everyone can benefit from speed work. Skipping strength and speed work results in the following:

  • Atrophy ("wastage") of fast-twitch fibres

  • Decrease in neuromuscular recruitment and efficiency

  • Increase in lactic acid build up during high-intensity exercise

  • Decrease in the body’s ability to neutralise lactic acid build-up

SOLUTION - By simply adding some speed work, hill repeats, form drills, interval or fartlek work to your training you help reinforce muscle-fibre and nervous-system development while at the same time promote more efficient lactic acid removal.

TIP 4.

Not Recovering Properly

Many runners fail to realise the value of rest days. They fail to understand that all fitness gains are achieved during recovery. Running damages muscle fibres as well as depleting fuel and hormones. You replace the latter quicker compared to repairing muscle and tissue. Older runners might need as much as twice the recovery time as younger runners between hard workouts.

SOLUTION - The smarter you are in knowing your body and when to factor rest into your training the more chance you have of reducing the risk of any injury.

TIP 5.

Delaying Injury Prevention Plans

Injury is a fact of life for most runners. The ideal time to deal with them is before they occur. Yet why do we as runners, wait until the first pinch in our glutes, pain on the outside of our knee or a twinge in our arch to start seeking help? You are only delaying the inevitable!

SOLUTION - I would advise you to reduce injury risk by not pushing all your workouts to breaking point. Hold a little back in reserve. Seeking out advice on what exercises to do to prevent or correct muscle imbalances will also improve performance and also reduce your injury risk. Similarly, factoring in adequate recovery, maintaining hydration and also incorporating strength exercises into your training will also remove the threat of any common running soft tissue or stress related injuries.

If you want to know more or need help with a running goal I am here to help. Call StudioForty6 today!

Happy running....


Tony Giannone - StudioForty6 Run coach. Tony was ranked 3rd in Australia as a junior in the 100 & 200m as well as taking out an Australian 100m title. He was also a starter in the famous Easter Stawell gift.

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