It is marathon season. That glorious time in the fall when every weekend (if you are a runner) you have friends racing. Chicago, Detroit, Columbus, Marine Corp, New York, Richmond, Philadelphia and many many more. Unfortunately it also means that the three mistakes that first time marathoners make come back to haunt folks. I’m about a month out from my third marathon and over the past year or so, I realized that there are three mistakes that first time marathoners make. I made these mistakes, my friends have made these mistakes. Hopefully this post will help you to not make these mistakes.
- Avoiding cross training. I wrote over on the Women’s Running website this week on the importance of cross training for runners. The main gist: when you are only running, you aren’t using all your smaller stability muscles. Those muscles help you avoid injury. Many first time marathoners find it so overwhelming to fit in all the running, that it leaves them no time to cross train. This is an injury waiting to happen -trust me. Do something other than running a couple times a week – your body will thank you!
- Not choosing a realistic plan. If you’ve ever only been able to run 3 days a week because of your work schedule, then don’t choose a marathon training plan that calls for you to run 5 days a week. It won’t work, you’ll miss runs and you’ll get frustrated and feel unprepared. Take some time thinking about what plan will work for you and then do your best to stick to it (but don’t freak out when you miss a day. that’s called life and it happens).
- Not wearing the proper gear. Now y’all know I love Oiselle, but I’m not talking about clothes. Please, for the love of all things good, go to a running store and get fitted for shoes. This is so important. You want (and need) to know what shoes are best for your feet and only a professional can tell you that. High quality running shoes aren’t cheap (whoever said running was free was wrong) but they are worth it. You can always buy an older model of the shoe you want to save some cash!
I have made these mistakes and it wasn’t fun. I have friends who have made these mistakes and it wasn’t fun. Please please please – don’t make these common three mistakes that first time marathoners make! Your body will thank you.
What should be added to the list? Have you made any of these mistakes?