10 common racing mistakes to avoid

All runners have made mistakes at some point during their races or practices. So we are not here to judge or criticize these mistakes, but rather to avoid repeating them. Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid injury or other issues.

1 the wrong shoes

The Problem: Wearing old running shoes or the wrong type of shoe for your foot shape and stride style can lead to injury.

The solution: Go to a specialty running store, where salespeople know the stuff and can assess your foot type and running style. When they determine if you are pronator, supinator, or neutral, they will be able to give you recommendations.

Once you have the right running shoe , be sure to change them every 500-600 km, as they can lose their cushioning and cause injury. Around half the life of your shoes, you may want to purchase a second pair to rotate between your runs.

Your shoes will last longer when you give them time to decompress between runs. Plus, having a new pair of shoes as a reference can help you know when the older ones are ready to be changed.

I recommend this book to solve the defect of posture of the foot:

2 running too much, too fast

The problem: Many runners, especially those who are just starting out, make the mistake of “too many”. They are so excited and enthusiastic about their jog that they are going too far, too quickly, and too soon.

They mistakenly believe that “more is better” when it comes to racing. As a result, they begin to develop classic overuse injuries, such as periostitis , runner’s knees , or iliotibial band syndrome .

The fix: Be more conservative than you might think about how often, how long and how much you run, especially when developing. Gradually increase your mileage.

Don’t let your weekly increase exceed 10%. If you are new to running or starting over after a long break, start with walking, and then moderate with jogging.

Pay attention to your aches and pains. If the pain persists when you run, it is a warning to your body that you must stop. Listen to your body for these warnings and you will know when you may be running with ailments.

Take at least one full day of rest per week. Don’t ignore the rest days, they are important for your recovery and especially for injury prevention.

Your muscles are built and repaired during the rest days. So if you run every day, you are not increasing your strength effectively and you are increasing your risk of injury.

3 The over stretches

The Problem: One of the most common causes of running injuries is overstretching, or landing on the heel with your foot in front of your body’s center of gravity.

Some runners assume that a longer stride increases their running speed and efficiency, but this is not the case. Over stride expends energy as you brake with every step. It also leads to injuries like periostitis.

The solution: Make sure you don’t bounce forward with your feet. This is especially important when going down a hill.

Focus on landing in the center of your foot, with your foot directly under your body with each step. A short, low swing of the arms is the key to a short, low stride to the ground. Try to keep your steps fast and light, as if you were running on coal.

4 losing control over the hills

The Problem: When going down a hill, some people tend to lean forward, overstep, and lose control over their run.

The Fix: The best way to run down a hill is to lean forward slightly and take small, fast steps. Do not try to lean back and brake yourself.

Keep your shoulders a little forward and your hips under you. Although it is tempting to run fast, avoid taking long strides to reduce the shock on your legs.

5 poor body posture

The problem: Some runners swing their arms from side to side, causing you to arch and not breathe effectively.

Many beginners tend to keep their arms high towards their chest, especially when feeling tired. You are now going to be more tired of holding your arms this way, and you will feel tension in your shoulders and neck.

The solution: Try to keep your arms level with your hips, close to where they could touch your hips. Your arms should form a 90-degree angle, with your elbows at your sides.

You should swing your arms out from the shoulders (not the elbow), so they can swing back and forth forward.

Imagine a vertical line dividing your body in half, your hands should not go beyond it. Keep your posture straight and erect.

Your head should be straight, your back straight, and your shoulders level. When you’re tired near the end of your run, it’s normal to lean a bit, which can lead to neck, shoulder, and lower back pain. When you feel this fatigue, pull your chest out.

You can always try wearing a posture corrector while running to help keep your back straight.

6 not drinking enough

The Problem: Many runners underestimate how much fluid they lose during their runs and don’t drink enough because they fear cramps. As a result, they suffer from dehydration, which is dangerous for your health and performance.

The Fix: Runners need to be careful about what and how much they drink before, during and after their workouts. Here are some simple rules for drinking and running:

An hour before you go for a run, try to drink 2 to 3 cups of water or other non-caffeinated liquid.

Stop drinking at this point to prevent yourself from having to stop using the toilet during your run. To make sure you are hydrated before your run, you can drink another cup of water before you set off.
Use your thirst as a guide so you know when to drink while you run.

This varies with conditions, but in general, a fast runner should drink one cup of water every 20 minutes, and a slower runner may take half a cup every 20 minutes.

During longer runs (90 minutes or more), you can add a sports drink to your fluid intake to replace lost sodium and minerals (electrolytes).


Remember to hydrate yourself with water or sports drinks after your run. If your urine is dark yellow after your run, you have to drink it. It should be pale yellow.

7 bad clothes

The problem: Many runners wear the wrong type, too much or not enough clothing for the type of temperature, which can be uncomfortable or be at risk of cold or heat related illness.

The solution: Wearing the right kind of fabric is essential. Runners should stick to technical fabrics like Dri Fit , Thinsulate , Thermax , CoolMax , polypropylene or silk. These will soak up the sweat from the body, keeping you dry.

It is very important not to wear cotton, because when it is soaked, it stays so, which is very uncomfortable in hot weather, and very dangerous in cold. Your skin is more prone to scratching with cotton.

In the winter, make sure you don’t overdo it. You should add 10-15 degrees to the temperature to determine how much clothing to wear, which is how much you will warm up when you run. In summer, stick to loose, light clothing .

8 overtraining

The problem: Some runners who train for specific races or certain goals run too hard, too many miles and don’t give themselves enough time to recover.

They assume that running every day will help them get fitter faster. Overtraining can cause injury and burnout.

The solution :

Here are some ways to avoid overtraining:


Gradually increase your mileage. Don’t increase your weekly distance by more than 10%.
Give yourself a periodic “week of rest” by decreasing your weekly distance by 50% every fourth week.
After a long run, take a day off. It is important for your recovery and performance.
Add cross-fit activities to your schedule.

Doing activities other than running can prevent boredom, work different muscles, and give your ligaments and joints rest.

9 start too quickly

The Problem: When it comes time to go for a long run, one of the biggest mistakes a beginner makes is starting a run too quickly.

Several runners have at least one story about a race where they felt in good shape and after a few kilometers of fast pace hit the wall and we fell before the last kilometers.

The Solution: Here are a few ways you can avoid getting started too quickly:

The best way not to start too fast is to deliberately run your first mile slower than you planned to run your last.

It’s hard to do, since you feel very strong at first. But keep in mind that for every second that you run too fast in the first half, you lose double that time in the second half of the race.


Make sure you start in the correct starting position. Don’t start with the faster runners because you will be trying to keep up with them.


Start your run at a comfortable pace and be sure to check your pace at the first marker. If you are faster than your expected pace, slow down. It is not too late to correct a rhythm after a few kilometers …


You can used a smart sports watch to help you calculate your time.

10 poor nutrition

The Problem: Many beginner runners underestimate the importance of nutrition to their performance and overall health.

What and when to eat before, during and after your runs has a major effect on your performance and recovery.

The solution: Try to eat a snack or light meal 1:30 to 2 hours before your race. Choose something high in carbohydrate and low in fat, fiber, and protein.

Some examples of a good pre-race meal: bagel with peanut butter; a banana and an energy bar; a bowl of cereal with a cup of milk. To avoid intestinal distress, stay away from foods high in fiber and fat.

If you run for more than 90 minutes

You may want to replace the calories burned. You can have carbohydrates in sports drinks and easily digestible foods, like energy gels and bars, or even jujubes designed for long runs.

A rule of thumb is to consume 100 calories after an hour of running and then 100 calories every 40-45 minutes.

If you can run early in the morning, your best option is with a high carbohydrate meal the night before, like pasta, potatoes, bread, etc. You will have all the necessary energy stored in your muscles for a long run.


Refuel as soon as possible after a workout. Studies show that muscles are more receptive to rebuilding glycogen storage (stored glucose) within the first 30 minutes after exercise.
If you eat early after your workout, you can minimize aches and pains in the muscles.

You’re going to want to eat carbohydrates, but don’t ignore protein. A rule of thumb for post-workout food is a ratio of 1g of protein to 3g of carbohydrate. Ex: peanut butter sandwich with jam, a fruit and yogurt smoothie or chocolate milk.


Don’t follow a low-carb diet during your workout. You need a certain amount of carbohydrate in your diet because it is the most important source of energy for a runner.

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