New runners: Three Conceptual Mistakes Everybody Makes

Nobody comes to the world knowing everything. The learning process takes time and requires a lot of dedication.

A new runner gains experience by running more and more, with some virtues, but generally with many mistakes.

It is human to make mistakes and learn from it is extremely beneficial, but there are mistakes that can put you in danger and therefore should always avoid them.

We will now show you 3 gross conceptual mistakes that affect new runners.


When starting an activity, the body needs time to adapt to it. For those new runners who start to run without having done a previous physical activity (any sport), it is normal to start discovering unknown parts of the body based on pain.

For those new runners who have done another sport, the experience may be similar, but with some differences (those who are used to playing football, may feel less muscular pain in their legs than those who play golf).

One way or the other, it is impossible not to feel new sensations in your body and it is vital to learn the difference between muscular tiredness from pain indicating an injury.

The well-known muscular pain felt after physical activity is known as delayed onset muscle soreness or DOMS. It causes pain and rigidity in muscles and tends to occur from 1 to 5 days after the physical activity. This stiffness may cause our movement while running to be painful and clumsy.

The DOMS does not tend to take long and, even though it is unpleasant, after a few minutes of running you may stop feeling it.

Prudent workouts (reducing intensity and volume) and an additional day of rest help stiffness not to become a more serious problem.

However, feeling pain in specific areas of your legs that does not disappear after a few days and that forces you to run with a defective technique is a clear signal that something important is occurring and the announcement of a possible injury.


Amateur runners tend to be extremely anxious. They want to improve quickly, run more miles and “fly” in every workout.

They expect to start to run one day and be better and bend over backwards in a few weeks.

There is a double problem here. On one hand, it is normal that after some time improvement is not as visible as at the beginning, and this may cause frustration or deception.

On the other hand, demanding your body more that what it can cope with increases the risk of injuries and, unfortunately, many amateur runners suffer from injuries.

As from here, there may be another problem. They believe that suffering from injuries is normal and they do little or nothing to avoid this.


Nutrition  is one of the fundamental aspects for a runner’s performance, but too many amateur runners forget it.

They commit the mistake of believing that, as they run, they can eat anything, and the result will be the same. They reward themselves with junk food that not only makes them gain weight but it also does not allow them to improve their performance.

It is really important for a runner to fill the body with vitamins and minerals and with the adequate amount of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Every nutrient is important and no runner can live without them.

Try not to commit the mistake of taking too many carbohydrates before running. Amateur runners should not run many miles and daily alimentation should be sufficient.

Avoid having unnecessary sport drinks, energetic gels and supplements that guarantee a better performance. Have vegetables, fruits, cereals, seeds in your diet and accompany them with meat and fish.


flickr photo by Peter Mooney shared under a Creative Commons (BY-SA) license