When first starting out many runners make the mistake of adding on mileage, speed training, or pace runs too fast.
The first weeks of a training program might seem “too easy” and they know they can push it harder. They may even start training without even building up a base for a few weeks and a week or two into it they notice soreness in their shins, IT bands, shoulders, backs, or knees and ignore it because training is suppose to come with a little pain – right? Wrong!
If you ignore your body’s signals and keep running, you are likely to wind up injured. There is a specific reason for each component of our training plans and if it is too easy in the beginning you are not slacking off by not pushing harder.
Common New Runner Mistake
The challenging training portion will come, believe me!
Always listen to your body, especially when first starting out. Learn the difference between soreness from exercise (typical the day or two following a hard workout) and actual pain from overuse and a possible developing injury (typically this occurs during exercise).
There is a difference. You should not feel any pain during your runs. If you do, immediately stop and perform strengthening exercises and stretches. Walk, hop the bus or call a friend to pick you up and bring you home.
Take a rest from running that day and for at least the next two days. If the pain is recurring during your next run seek medical attention. Often times injuries start minor and can be stopped with the right combination of treatments before serious injury and possibly physical therapy is required.
Remember R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation)
Know the warning signs of a developing injury and how to treat them. An acronym to help you remember is RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Rest the affected area, apply a cold compress, add compression such as compression socks and elevate the affected area to prevent swelling. This technique is also very valuable if you are training for a distance event such as a marathon following a long run. RICE can significantly improve your recovery time and reduce the risk of injury.
When in doubt about whether you should “run through” the pain is DON’T DO IT! GRADUALLY build up and take your rest days seriously. Rest days are just as crucial to your success as your hard run days. If it seems like we are restating the obvious we are. Every runner eventually faces the need to practice discipline and trust in their plan.
Now that you are going to avoid this common new runner mistake, consider these 5 principles of training when getting started running.