Skip to main content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Top 5 Mistakes Runners Make in Their Training


Are you looking for ways to keep your body and mind healthy? Running has been a fitness staple for years, but it’s essential to prepare for your run correctly and avoid the top 5 most common mistakes runners make in their training.

The Benefits of Running

When most people think of fitness, the first thing that comes to mind is running or jogging. There’s a reason it’s so popular and why most athletes incorporate it into their routines. Your body and mind will be in excellent shape thanks to its many benefits.

Running is tremendous for improving the overall fitness of your heart. Regular running and jogging promote healthy blood flow and reduce heart disease risk significantly. 

Running is also great for your mental health. Going on a run is one of the best ways to clear your mind and form positive thoughts about yourself. Exercise regulates your body’s stress and reduces anxiety. Going on regular runs will make you feel great and help boost your confidence.

Top 5 Mistakes Runners Make

You may think running is easy, and while that may be true for some, there are still ways you can get injured if you don’t prepare properly. Injuries from running can range from mild to severe, so it’s essential that you know the top 5 mistakes runners commonly make and how to avoid them. 

Warming Up Incorrectly

Warming up is vital to avoiding injuries and mistakes that could mean serious harm. Before you run, you should perform some simple dynamic warm-up moves such as these:

  • Heel to Behind: Dynamic stretches are key to preparing your body for rigorous activities such as running. The heel-to-behind warmup is excellent for this and is simple enough to do quickly. All you have to do is lightly run in place and bring your heel to your behind, alternating between each foot.
  • Knee to Chest: To perform this stretch, stand up straight to get into the starting position. Next, simply elevate your knee up to your chest level. This stretch loosens up your thigh and hip muscles, both of which are essential for running.
  • Forward Skip: This stretch is more strenuous as it’s meant to raise your heart rate in preparation for the running exercise. First, you need to get into a running position. Next, elevate your knee up to your waist and let the momentum throw you forward. Remember to alternate between your legs and get your heart rate up!

Not Having the Proper Running Shoes

Proper running shoes may seem pricey and unnecessary initially, and you may be tempted to just run in your regular sneakers–however, every runner will tell you that good running shoes are crucial and can make all the difference for your longevity as a runner. 

Running shoes are specially designed to protect your feet when going for a run, especially the arches. When choosing the right pair for you, there are several things you need to consider: 

First, you should get a pair that fits you properly. Ill-fitting shoes can cause corns, blisters, and black toenails and can even lead to the formation of bunions if too tight; and if too loose, they can cause blisters, a sore Achilles, and even plantar fasciitis from slippage and having to overwork to stay stable in the shoe. You will likely need a different size than your regular shoes.  The best shoe for you is one that you’re able to run in comfortably.  We recommend visiting a running shoe that allows you to try out the shoe.  
Next, consider the make of the running shoes before you purchase them. Shoes range in materials and in arch support. Just because a shoe is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right shoe for you. If you’ve had an injury in the past, you may want to have a foot mapping or gait analysis before choosing your shoe.  Avid’s Athletic Trainers spend time evaluating your foot, running style and goals to help you select the best type of shoe.

Running Too Much Too Soon

When starting your running journey, it’s common to feel extra motivated and excited to go all out and push yourself past your limits. However, many running experts will specifically advise you to follow a gradual training plan.

While you may think your body can go hard on your first run, you must remember that it may just be the adrenaline speaking. You need to ease yourself into your running regimen and let your body adapt to the new exercise. Running too much too soon may lead to injuries and extreme soreness, which can curtail your long-term goals.

Ignoring Injuries

Running injuries are quite common, but they must be treated seriously. Even a light sprain can worsen if you ignore it and continue your running routine.

  • Plantar Fasciitis: Plantar fasciitis is a particularly annoying injury for runners. It’s an injury of the soft tissue connecting your calf and foot, and it makes taking each step a pain. Running will only worsen the pain, so taking it easy and letting your heel rest is recommended.
  • Runner’s Knee: When you run, the joints in your legs accumulate wear and tear. Many runners encounter knee pain and stiffness from running. To avoid runner’s knee, you need to strengthen your thigh and hip muscles to alleviate some of the load on your joints.
  • Tendonitis: Occurs when your tendons have been overused. Excessive running can lead to this injury, especially if you increase intensity suddenly without your body being prepared. 
  • Shin Splints: Shin splints refer to pain in the general area of your shins when you put weight on your legs. They can occur when you increase the intensity of your running or if you run on hard concrete with poor form.

With most injuries, ignoring your pain and trying to work through it only worsens the problem. Getting adequate rest is crucial to running longevity, especially when your body is in pain. Visit Avid Sports Medicine today to learn more about how to take care of your body and recover properly. 

Not Eating and Hydrating Properly

Every serious athlete will tell you that nutrition and hydration are essential for a healthy body. For starters, eating correctly is what will give you the energy to go on runs, and a balanced diet of carbs, protein, and fats is what you need to build muscle and make noticeable improvements in your body.

Hydration is also equally crucial for runners. When you run, you will sweat a lot. As a result, you must ensure you are drinking enough fluids to replenish all the fluid you are sweating out. Hydrating yourself will also keep your muscles functioning at their best.


Starting your running journey is truly exciting, but you should make sure you’re prepared.  You can maximize enjoyment from running by taking note of these common mishaps as you embark on a path to a better mind and body!

Visit Avid Sports Medicine today to learn more about how to take care of your body and recover properly. 

By: Dr. Veronica Jow