Common Mistakes Runners Make

Some common mistakes new runners make and advice from our Physio team on how to fix them


Whether you’re completely new to running or an avid marathoner, it’s important to establish an appropriate training program. By effectively training to run, you reduce the strain on your muscles and joints which minimizes your risk of injury. Properly training will also help you achieve better results.


Here are a few common mistakes that our Physiotherapists see people make when they start running or training for a race:


  • One speed only


A lot of runners will instinctively run at the same pace each time they run. Often those who are just starting to run will run at a slow, steady pace in order to achieve a certain distance and those trying to improve their pace will push for a faster run each time. 

In reality, we see the most improvements in aerobic capacity when runners vary their training to include a shorter faster distance (tempo or speed run), a steady push pace, and a longer slower distance. If you’re just starting out, that could mean doing one session with a further distance goal at a slower, steady pace, an intermediate distance a bit faster, and a shorter distance of faster bursts, even if it means incorporating a run/walk in the early stages.

**You can easily track your speed using your phone or smartwatch

  • Ignoring strength training


Those focused on building their running often neglect strength training, which is an extremely important part of any good running program. It is recommended that runners start out with a base level of muscular strength in order to prevent common running injuries like tendinopathies or joint pain. Strength training also helps to build your power which improves your capacity to run. Speak with a physiotherapist if you experience any sort of running related pain, as they can help you develop a targeted exercise program to address these issues.

  • Inadequate recovery 


Giving your body time to recover post-exercise is crucial to achieving the system adaptations that help you become a better runner, and helps to prevent overuse injuries. This means resting between sessions and incrementally increasing your training load each week which often becomes an issue when runners try to “cram in” training to achieve a particular goal. The suitable recovery time for you will depend on your fitness level and training load, however it is typically recommended that runners increase their training load no more than 10-15% every 1-2 weeks.

  • Nutrition


An upset stomach or running out of energy are other common challenges that runners of all levels face. Optimizing your diet and hydration pre, during and post run will help you achieve the best results.


If you’re wondering whether your running load is appropriate for you, speak with one of our experienced physios today