The Running Bug Wed, Jan 9 2013 Likes1 6 Comments Facebook Twitter 5 Major Running Mistakes and How to Avoid Them New to running? Avoid these five common mistakes made by beginner runners and you'll get more enjoyment and make great progress that you'll be able to maintain throughout the year. 1. Too Much Too Soon It’s great to be enthusiastic and to get fit you do need to overload. But there’s overload and there’s overload. Many new runners get the bug, go hell bent for leather and end up with overuse injuries like shin splints. Try one of our beginner programmes to help get you started. Follow the Couch to 5k Training Plan. 2. Running Too Fast “Run slow to run fast” is a mantra that many beginners would do well to listen to. Arthur Lydiard was famous for making this type of training popular amongst the elite marathon runners back in the 1960s. The marathon is an aerobic event, and uses the aerobic energy system; therefore in most cases it’s volume not intensity that should be addressed first to improve performance and many schedules include base building, when you run at low intensity, as the first block of training. When you train at a lower intensity you use fat as fuel, and that’s what we need to get good at using when we do a marathon. Running at a low intensity is a great way to build your endurance base, and gives you a fit platform to lift off from with more intense faster work as you progress. 3. Not Mixing It Up Enough The other mistake new runners make is running at the same (often too fast – see above) pace and not adding variety to train different energy systems used in running. “Novice runners tend to self-select a pace and stick to it in every session,” explains physiologist from the University of Brighton Alex Bliss. “Performing the same type of run over and over again will lead to boredom and will eventually stop providing a sufficient training stimulus to produce overload, a critical factor for successful training and athletic development”. Speed and interval training, hill training and long slow runs are all essential ingredients in the runner’s recipe for success. Find training schedules and training tools here. 4. Wearing The Wrong Shoes Ever since Chris McDougall’s famous 2009 Born to Run book described the Tarahumara ‘barefoot’ ultra running tribe, and discussed the research by Dr Daniel Lieberman, the need for shoes has been under scrutiny. Lieberman pointed out that it was from 1972 with the invention of the modern athletic shoe that injury rates rose to the current 65 to 80 per cent annual injury rate. Whether we need shoes or not is a debate that lingers on, but there is a consensus that the level of cushioning we choose will make a difference. And many runners opt for extra support when they don’t need it. A study in 1989 found that runners in the most expensive cushioned shoes were 123 percent more likely to get injured! Most good running shops offer a gait analysis; some more sophisticated than others. Shops like Sweatshop offer specialist gait analysis services and often your local running shop will have an experienced runner and seller of shoes who can give you the once over as you run up and down the street outside the shop. See our article, Which Running Shoes are Best for Me? 5. Setting Unrealistic Goals Goals are important if you want to succeed, but unrealistic hard to achieve goals will have the opposite effect. For example, running your first marathon is a tough thing to do, so unless you have some real benchmarks i.e. lots of half marathons at consistently similar times leading up to the race, then setting tough time targets can be detrimental. Getting round really is a good option. Set your goals the SMART way. What mistakes have you made in your running? Share them via the comments below so hopefully others won't make the same mistake More from The Running Bug Why Run? 10 Healthy Reasons 5 Horrible Facts About Running Food, Nutrition & Weight Loss 7 Reasons Why Running and Alcohol Don't mix New to Running? Here's 10 reasons why your body's going to love it. Fiona Bugler reveals some of the things newcomers may not want to know! Running to lose weight? Get your diet right to shed pounds and enjoy running. Here are seven reasons why running and booze don’t mix. By Fiona Bugler. New to the Running Bug? We're the online community for runners with over 100,000 members! Join today - it's free and easy - and you'll get access to all our running events, training schedules and advice, shop, groups, blogs and forums. You will also be able to share and communicate with the running community in bugmiles and the great debate. JOIN THE RUNNING BUG HERE! It's free and takes just 30 seconds.