Yes, I've made a few (actually several, but who's counting?).
The thing with mistakes, running or otherwise, is they are part of the process. If we did everything perfect all the time, I question just how much we'd actually learn.
Care to hear a few of mine?
Not warming up. Truthfully, a lot runners can get by without doing any warming up or cooling down. And, quite often our time is limited, especially for those who may work outside the home. It's just "easier" to skip the real warm-up and label the first mile as the warm-up instead (I've done it myself). The value in doing a warm-up, though (even just a quick 5-minute routine of dynamic stretches), is that you won't have to waste that first mile (or several) getting your muscles primed for action. Also, you will probably lower your risk of injury since you won't be demanding too much (too soon) of your muscles (Need some warm-up suggestions? Check out my Let's Warm up! post).
|warming up with butt-kicks|
Not cooling down. As mentioned, most of us are limited with our time...so, brushing off a proper cool-down is pretty tempting. Similar to warming up, the cool-down gives your muscles a chance to come to a "slow, easy stop." Much like driving a car...it's better to come to a gradual stop than merely slamming on the brakes. Your muscles will appreciate some TLC for a few minutes following a run, or a workout.
|post-run stretching feels so good!|
Going out too fast or too slow. Seriously, haven't we all done this, at least once? It took me a long time (translation: several years) to trust the process of pacing myself. Truth be told, I still do not have it perfected, especially for shorter races (like a 5K). It's tough to figure out how "fast" is too fast, and how "slow" isn't fast enough. Countless times have found me running that first mile too hard, only to have to a major struggle in the final mile. Conversely, there have been other races where I held back too much (conserving energy), only to not be able to make up that lost time in the final miles.
Following a faster runner. It's exciting to be able to keep up with a faster (or more experienced) runner in a race. I tried this once, and felt like a total badazz keeping pace with someone much faster than myself. Only, this more experienced runner was actually keeping a conservative pace for herself...and after a couple miles, she started upping the pace even more. An easy pace for her was a too-fast tempo pace for me, and I was not in condition to maintain that for the duration. You can probably guess what came next (crash, burn, walk of shame). Yadda yadda yadda.
Not cross-training. This is, often times, a common problem for new runners. For myself, I was so excited to have finally found a sport that I enjoyed (and somewhat excelled at), that I didn't want to waste any extra time doing other things. I wanted to save all of my energy for running. I don't think it's a coincidence that I battled piriformis problems (literally, a pain in the buttocks) in those early years because I wasn't doing anything (other than running) to strengthen my body or enhance my balance or stability. My bad.
|yoga and strength-training for the win|
Doing all of my runs (and races) at the same pace. Once I mastered that 9-minute pace, it stuck with me. All of my training runs were run at that pace, as well as all of my races (no matter the distance). Maybe I was lucky that it was a comfortable pace for me, but it wasn't really giving my body a break for longer runs. Nor was it challenging my speed on shorter distances. Unfortunately, I didn't know better.
Thankfully, my injuries have been pretty minimal. Considering the carelessness I exhibited in the early years, I'm very lucky. That said, I have been side-lined on occasion. It's tough taking a break from running, but if one maintains their fitness through other forms of exercise, their rally-back has a better chance of success.
Anyways, those are just a sprinkling of mistakes I have made in my journey of 15 years as a runner. There are many more, but these are the big ones.
Care to hear about a few racing mistakes? Here's a related post: It's just a race, what could go wrong?
How about you? Any big mistakes that you've made along the way? Are there some mistakes that have happened repeatedly?
I'm linking this with Kim and Zenaida for the Tuesday Topics Link-Up
I'm also linking with Debbie, Deborah, Lisa, Laura and Jenn for the Runners' Roundup
I've gone out too fast, once. I've listened to gossip during a race about cut-off vans I wasn't told existed and pushed myself to avoid them. I know I should be doing yoga at the moment and I'm not but I AM going to address that before I hurt myself. Oh, and not resting enough before my first marathon.ReplyDelete
The taper before a marathon (and even a half) is SO tricky! Especially for a first big race, it feels weird to NOT be running all the miles.Delete
I was good about the taper bit in terms of miles run, but I just worked like mad and stayed up too late and wore myself out! I took the week before it off to watch the Olympics but they were in Rio so weren't shown during the daytime, so I worked all day then sat up watching sport. Now I make sure I sleep a lot before a race!Delete
Mostly I've learned from my mistakes, but going out too fast is an easy one to repeat. :)ReplyDelete
I actually do like following a faster runner -- I usually know what's too fast for me, but I also push myself a little bit harder with a rabbit to chase.
As long as we learn from our mistakes, they're worth making ;-) I have a tough time gauging my pace in that first mile. I usually run based on feel, and it seldom feels "too fast" because everyone else is running fast, too LOLDelete
Yep, hands in the air on these. After an injury I learned to do warmups, cooldowns are a work in progress, I used to be good at not going out too fast but as I've gotten faster I'm starting to positive split. I've had really good luck/results with following faster runners in races, cross training is my #1 area that I need to address, and ha ha if I ever get to the point where I can run 9 minute miles I will definitely be guilty of running everything at that pace. Hey, so far so good in my running journey and it's through our mistakes that we learn.ReplyDelete
I agree, it's through our mistakes that we learn ;-) (Even if we have to re-learn those lessons from time to time)Delete
Done them all and continue to.ReplyDelete
I forgot about following a rabbit. Done that too.
Yes, I'm still doing some of these as well. I'm doing them less often..so there's that.Delete
Your mistakes are a great summary of my mistakes, Kim!ReplyDelete
I still catch myself overdoing it, skipping warm-ups and cool-downs and cross-training.
Although since I have started blogging it really helps to read about other runners' workouts and to learn from them. It's my saving grace!
Sounds like a bunch of have all made the same mistakes. Even reading other blogs, etc., I find myself doing the "wrong" things on occasion because I (somehow) think I'll be the exception LOLDelete
Over the past year or two I've done a lot of my runs at the same pace, just out of sheer laziness and the fact that I hate speedwork lol.ReplyDelete
It's tough to change the pace when it feels comfortable. Even trying to run slower, believe it or not, is NOT easy to do.Delete
Done all those things--I still do. I struggle the most with pacing because my body just likes to dial into the same pace no matter what. Trail running has helped me with that because you can't run fast on the trails.ReplyDelete
I have that same issue with a favorite "feels just right" pace, and it's hard to fight that urge.Delete
Not warming up properly has most likely contributed to a number of my injuries. Also amping up my runs to quickly good reminders!ReplyDelete
Amping up the runs (and mileage) is SOOO easy to do...that's something I'm gonna have to be very cautious of in these next months.Delete
When I do stroller runs I am SO bad about warming up and cooling down (because I'm dealing with a wild toddler who doesn't want to wait around for me). Some days I try to do some lunges and leg swings while he is eating breakfast. But typically when we get back I have every intention of cooling down and stretching but it just doesn't happen.ReplyDelete
The stroller situation/toddler would make for a challenge!Delete
My main mistakes are your first two - not warming up or cooling down and often it's because of time constraints as you've said. But when I do warm up my runs feel a whole lot better and stretching afterwards makes me feel like I've reset my body. I also struggle with cross-training -- I have so many excuses and I just need to commit to it!ReplyDelete
I definitely can feel a huge difference when I show the warm-up some respect ;-) Admittedly, I rush the cool-down some days, but I try to at least sneak in a few stretches before I get in the shower.Delete
Allllll of those things! I am notoriously awful about warming up and cooling down. It just takes up so much time and I'm an incredibly impatient soul.ReplyDelete
I think everyone runner is guilty of those at some point! I often skip a cooldown, which I know better than to do but still do anyway.ReplyDelete
Until I started doing my run/walk intervals I was terrible at not warming up or cooling down. Now at least I'm forced to walk for the first three minutes of my interval workout. Next week it will only be two minutes - not much of a warmup, right? Oops!ReplyDelete
I'm also guilty of following a faster runner because my inner Debbie says, "Yep, we're racing." LOL
I have made and still make the same mistakes. I guess I will never learn. :-)ReplyDelete
Thank you for linking up with us!