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If you’re new to running save yourself the hassle and ensure you don’t make some of these mistakes. The likelihood is that you might’ve never run or you’re starting again after years away. In that case here’s a few things you should watch out for.

Rookie Mistake #1: Wrong Shoes

Wearing old running shoes or wearing the wrong type of running shoes for your foot and running style can lead to running injuries. Visit a running specialty store, where knowledgeable salespeople can evaluate your running style and foot type. When they determine whether you’re an overpronator, underpronator, or neutral runner, they’ll make shoe recommendations for you. Be careful not to just buy a flashy pair or choose one without trying them. Check out my other article on shoes to get a better idea.

Once you get the right pair of running shoes, make sure you replace them every 400-500 miles because the loss of cushioning can lead to injuries. Check your tread because this can tell you a lot about your running habits. Your running shoes will last longer when you allow them to decompress and dry out between workouts.

Rookie Mistake #2: Too Much, Too Quick

Too many newer runners, especially those who are “brand new” to running, make this mistake all too often. They get so pumped and excited about their running that they do too much mileage, too fast, too soon. They start registering for lots of races, without taking any time off to rest and recover. They mistakenly think that “more is better” when it comes to running. This is an old school train of thought. As a result, they often start to develop common overuse running injuries, such as shin splints, runner’s knee, or ITB syndrome. In some cases, they may get burned out quickly and lose interest in running. Here is a running guide if you are new and want somewhere to start, specifically geared towards a 15k. 15k Runner’s Guide

Pay attention to aches and pains. If a pain gets worse as you continue runs, that’s a warning sign that you should stop your run. Listen to your body for injury warning signs and know when you shouldn’t run through pain. If you do develop shin splints, I have you covered there too. 

Rookie Mistake #3: Not Fueling Properly

Many beginner runners underestimate the importance of nutrition, for both their running performance and their overall health. What and when you eat before, during, and after your runs has a huge effect on your performance and recovery.

Try to eat a light snack or meal about 1 1/2 to 2 hours before a run. Choose something high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein. Some examples of good pre-workout fuel include: a bagel with peanut butter; a banana and an energy bar; or a bowl of granola with a cup of  almond milk. To avoid gastrointestinal distress, stay away from rich, high-fiber, and high-fat foods. If you have never eaten it before, trying new things before a run can be a nightmare. Stay in your comfort zone.

If you’re running more than 90 minutes, you need to replace some of the calories you’re burning. You can get carbs on the run through sports drinks or solid foods they are easily digested, such as as energy gels, bars, and even sports jelly beans designed for long-distance runners. A basic rule of thumb is that you should be taking in about 100 calories after about an hour of running and then another 100 calories every 40-45 minutes after that.

Replenish energy as quickly as possible after a workout. Studies have shown that muscles are most receptive to rebuilding glycogen (stored glucose) stores within the first 30 minutes after exercise. If you eat soon after your workout, you can minimize muscle stiffness and soreness. You’ll want to consume primarily carbs, but don’t ignore protein. A good rule of thumb for post-workout food is a ratio of 1 gram of protein to 3 grams of carbs.

Don’t follow a low-carb diet when training. You need a certain amount of carbohydrates in your diet because they’re a runner’s most important source of fuel. Here’s an example meal plan for the runner in training.

 

Calories Carbs Protein Fat Fluid
Breakfast 16 fl oz WATER, DRINKING WATER, PURIFIED

3/4 cups OATS, ROLLED, OLD FASHIONED (OATMEAL)

8 fl oz UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK

1 cups BLUEBERRY, RAW

Meal Totals: 347 64g (70%) 10g (11%) 8g (20%) 21oz
Snack 1/2 tablespoons ALMOND BUTTER, NO SALT

1 large APPLE W/SKIN, RAW

16 fl oz WATER, DRINKING WATER, PURIFIED

Meal Totals: 262 34g (48%) 5g (7%) 14g (45%) 24oz
Lunch 1 pita BREAD, PITA, WHOLE WHEAT

3 oz VEGGIE STEAK STRIPS, VEGAN

16 fl oz WATER, DRINKING WATER, PURIFIED

1/2 cups CARROT, BABY, RAW

1 leaf LETTUCE, COS OR ROMAINE, RAW

2 oz TOMATO, RAW

Meal Totals: 350 22g (39%) 26g (46%) 4g (16%) 20oz
Snack 16 fl oz WATER, DRINKING WATER, PURIFIED

20 crisps POTATO SOY CRISPS, SALT & PEPPER

1 small BANANA, RAW

Meal Totals: 180 39g (74%) 7g (13%) 3g (13%) 19oz
Dinner 2 oz TEMPEH, ORIGINAL SOY

16 fl oz WATER, DRINKING WATER, PURIFIED

1/4 cups BROWN RICE, LONG GRAIN, COOKED

1/2 cups BROCCOLI, BOILED, NO SALT

1/2 cups BEAN, BLACK, BOILED

Meal Totals: 380 55g (57%) 26g (27%) 7g (16%) 25oz
Snack 6 oz SOY YOGURT, BLUEBERRY

8 fl oz WATER, DRINKING WATER, PURIFIED

1 oz PROTEIN POWDER, VEGETABLE PROTEIN

Meal Totals: 220 30g (54%) 21g (38%) 2g (8%) 8 oz
Calories Carbs Protein Fat Fluid
Totals: 1739 244g (57%) 95g (22%) 38g (20%) 117 oz
Recommended: 1920 264g (55%) 110g (23%) 47g (22%) 96 oz

 

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Geoff understands that to succeed in athletics or any other endeavor, the support and discipline a coach provides is second to none. A nationally Certified Personal Trainer, as well as a Sports Nutritionist, Geoff understands both sides of the wellness coin, diet and exercise, that will bring you towards your goals. Geoff has worked with all levels of fitness, from pro athletes to those recovering from injury and everywhere in between. Geoff Thomas is the Fitness Director and partner at X Factor Fitness. You can contact Geoff here (​training.geoffthomas@gmail.com) or head over to ​www.xfactorfitness.trainerize.com for personalized workouts & nutrition plans sent directly to your mobile device via the X Factor Fitness app.

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