It’s easily done, and we’ve all been there. Once the New Year hits, many of us begin on our quest to find our inner fitness junkies. However, it isn’t long before we throw in the towel because we’re in too much pain or lose motivation, and our willpower has disappeared out of the window never to be seen again.
But this doesn’t have to happen to you! Read on to find out about the 3 mental mistakes most new runners make – and how you can avoid them!
New Runners’ Mental Mistakes
1. Doing Too Much Too Soon
Don’t get your hopes up. Whether you are completely new to the game, or you have taken a lengthy hiatus, you’re not going to be running 4-minute miles in the space of a week. Building your speed and stamina takes time and a bit (a lot) of patience.
If we have any advice at all, it is to simply take your time and the results will follow. There is no need to run 5 miles a day because not only will your body be in terrible agony, you won’t improve.
A good (and sensible) runner knows that recovery is just as important as practice. Therefore, making sure you get enough sleep and giving yourself rest days, allows your body to recover properly.
2. Becoming Demotivated
It takes a lot to be a motivated individual, and not all of us are. Finding that willpower is sometimes hard, especially when it is cold outside, or you are struggling to cope with other issues (mental, family, or work-related).
A good way to prevent this from happening is to:
- Find a running partner (somebody who you won’t want to let down)
- Lay your running clothes out the night before
- Set yourself a running goal to achieve by a certain date
3. Comparing Yourself
This may not be what you want to hear – but there will always be somebody better than you out there. So why worry or care what others think? This is your journey, and the only person who cares about it – is you!
If you feel insecure about running, or have any other doubts, you may want to join a running club.
That way, you can run with people of all different ages and fitness levels. You may surprise yourself!
Another tip is to stay away from social media or any fitness/running forums. Those places are competition central, so take a break and focus on yourself and your journey.
More Common Running Mistakes
Eating Before A Run
It’s true! Many newbies think that eating a meal just before taking to the tarmac will give them a well-needed energy boost and increase stamina.
We hate to break it to you, but this is a big no-no. In fact, your last meal, or portion of food, should be consumed at least 90 minutes before taking part in any kind of exercise.
Avoiding food just before you go for your daily run reduces cramps and stitches. And don’t worry about the energy side of things. As long as you eat relatively well, and have had enough sleep, you will have all the energy you need!
Spending Too Much On Running Accessories
There are many – albeit too many – shiny gadgets on the market that are all too enticing. With clever marketing tactics, and celebrity endorsements, it is sometimes hard to prise your eyes away from something that could potentially be, well, useless!
It is best to wait for 2 to 3 months before splashing out on a shiny new device so that you are confident and determined enough to stick at it.
If we’re being completely honest, there is never a need to buy all-singing-all-dancing equipment – although it might be a good plan if your goal is to become a competitive athlete.
As long as you have a good pair of running sneakers, a t-shirt, and a pair of shorts, you’re good to go!
Too Much H20
Staying hydrated is of course essential, but if you’re not competing in a marathon, you probably don’t need to bring water with you.
Not only is it inconvenient, but it just adds weight to your body, and it is unlikely that you will really need it (unless you’re running in 90-degree heat; which we do not advise, but each to their own).
Drinking plenty of fluids consistently is enough to keep hydration at a healthy level. The only time we recommend taking water with you is if you are running for long distances of 90 minutes or more.
You may also be interested in the article: Is Sparkling Water Good For Runners?
The Bottom Line
We hope you have enjoyed finding out about the 3 mental mistakes that many new runners make. It is easy to see why they are made as technically speaking, they make sense! However, the reality is very different.