Ok, so we’ve all been there. It doesn’t matter if we are logging our First Mile or our 10,000th, sometimes we find ourselves on autopilot and end up taking the little things for granted. And, we all know, that is the little things that become the biggest mistakes that will wreck our runs. So, before you head out the door for your next training run, take a look at these Top 10 Mistakes that will wreck your run, so you can avoid them of course!
10) You didn’t plan your run. Did you mean to go out and run 6 miles? Or did you take a wrong turn and it took you longer to get back than you bargained for? Did you know that there was going to be those big hills? While running is all about the freedom to go wherever you please, take a moment before you head out the door to decide how far you want to run and what kind of course profile you want, otherwise you may end up getting a lot more than you bargained for.
9) You didn’t sync your GPS watch. Many GPS watches are not always ready to go when you are, so you have to acquire GPS signal before it will track your run. (Check out our review of one such GPS watch). There is nothing worse than being ready to go but having to stand around for a few minutes to wait for your watch to be ready. Do yourself a favor and start syncing your watch before you head out the door (I put mine in the window that has direct line of site to the great outdoors!). This also goes for when you are ready to toe the line at a race, you want your GPS watch ready to go when the gun sounds.
8) You did not hydrate. We get it, life is busy. You are squeezing in a quick run. You don’t want to have to stop to go pee. BUT, being a quart low while running is never a good idea. Make sure you are properly hydrated before you run, and, even if you don’t think that you will be gone long enough to need fluids, bring a bottle along on your run…just in case.
7) You didn’t fuel. This is a big one for Casual Runners who are using running training as a part of their weight loss and those who are trying to squeeze in a few miles before work or before dinner. Your body needs fuel to run, so don’t deprive your body of fuel or else your run will suffer. You may want to grab a spoon full of peanut butter before you head out the door or grab a couple of gel packets or sport beans to fuel yourself as you go. But without fuel, you won’t be going any where.
6) You updated your apps. Ugh. Our smartphones tell us an update is available for our favorite running apps, so we updated them. However, we didn’t realize that the update required us to restart our phone before it would work. Next time you click to update, do a quick test to make sure your app is ready to go when you are, otherwise you won’t be going anywhere for a while.
5) The chafe. Any runner will tell you that this is the worst. Maybe you planned on going out for a short run and didn’t think that you needed to apply a little bit of anti-chafe product to some of your more sensitive regions. Ugh, it will make your run VERY uncomfortable (not to mention your post-run shower). There are plenty of products out there (we have reviews of 3 of them: Body Glide, TriSlide, and Rocket Pure), so do yourself a favor and, even if you don’t think you need it, apply liberally in advance. You’ll be glad you did. (Editor’s note: 1 member of the Casual Runner Team may have made this mistake this week, but we won’t name any names!).
4) You didn’t bring your keys. You are in a hurry to get out of your house, or to get out of your car, because the sooner your leave, the sooner you get done (yadda yadda yadda). BUT, take a minute to make sure you have your keys so you can get home (or into your home) at the end of your run. If not, you will realize it mid-run and either ruin your run worrying about it or be stuck waiting around for someone to bail you out.
3) You didn’t plan your bathroom breaks. If you are running through the woods or out in the country, and its #1, you can always duck behind a tree and resume your run no problem (just check to make sure no one is around). If its #2, you have a bigger problem. If you are running in an urban area, you can go ahead and duck into a convenience store or fast food restaurant to use their bathrooms. We know Casual Runners who carry a $5 bill in their cell phones so, in case this happens, they can buy a drink, thus making themselves a customer. However, if you are running through neighborhoods? Yeah, you are going to be in trouble. While we are on this subject, even if you don’t think that you have to go, always go to the bathroom before you head out the door.
2) You didn’t look at the weather. You are out enjoying yourself, starting to kick some butt, and then…boom! A huge thunderstorm rolls in and drenches you, but you are miles away from your car or home. Similarly, you could go out for a run with too little clothing or too much for the temps, either of which will ruin your run. So do yourself a favor and check the weather forecast (this means checking the current temp, the hourly forecast, and the radar maps!) before you head out the door so a little change in the weather doesn’t ruin your run and your day.
1) You didn’t take the day off. Some times we just don’t feel like running. Some times this works out for us, some times it doesn’t. The thing is, its often hard to tell the difference between when we are just being lazy and when our bodies are telling us that we need to take the day off to rest and recover. The last thing you want to do is to commit to a long training run, only to completely lose motivation in the middle of it and have to walk back, when you would have been better off taking the day off and coming back he next day, rested and refreshed.
Easy enough? Keep these mistakes in mind so you can avoid them and have a great run!
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