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Let’s face the truth: running has some unattractive moments. From blisters and chafing to clothing malfunctions and stomach issues, we’ve all been in the midst of humiliation from running gone wrong.
Even if you try to prevent pain or embarrassing moments, it’s bound to happen. These are six common things runners do wrong. Take these lessons and run with it—pun intended.
Doing the pre-race pasta dinner
Drowning your face in endless amounts of pasta and sauce—aka carbo-loading—the night before your big race is a thing of the past. Yet so many races still hold pasta dinners. While carbs are essential energy boosters for race day, too many can lead to stomach issues—the horrifying case of runner’s trots! Instead of carbo loading the night before your race, eat your carbs the morning 24 hours before your race. This will give you plenty of time to digest your food, avoiding any issues.
Trying new gear with too many miles
There’s something about wearing new gear when out for a run. It’s a boost of confidence and a little extra bounce to your stride. New shoes, tights or tops are fun to show off, but wearing something brand new on race day, or even a long run, is an open invitation to blisters, chafing or injury. Instead of logging 20 miles in your new kicks, head out of an easy low-mile jog to break them in. After a few test runs, then feel free to wear them during your normal training days.
Running too fast too soon
You want to set a new PR for your race, so you pick up your pace—and you keep picking it up. Before you know it you’re zooming by people, but then hit a wall, get a cramp or burn out. Too many times people think adrenaline will carry them to the finish line, which can help you shed a few seconds off of your training pace, but interval training is where it’s at to help you build speed and endurance.
Forgetting to lube up
There’s nothing worse than stepping into a shower after a race or long run when you have chafing. It feels like someone is attacking you with fireballs! Chafing pains last a few days, but I guarantee after that painful shower, you won’t forget to use glide or lube for your next long run.
Looking at GPS too much
When GPS watches and apps came out, many did a little victory dance knowing their exact distance would be tracked. However the issue with GPS devices is that you don’t get a “feel” for what the pace really is. You can tell what the distance and difficulty is with GPS, but you don’t really have a control for your pace. Runners shouldn’t live and die by their watches. Go out without it once in a while to truly enjoy your run. Don’t worry about distance. Just enjoy the feel.
Hanging out with the wrong running partner
Running with a friend makes the miles go by a bit faster, but if you’re training with a slower runner or someone who’s a bit too fast for you, then you risk not successfully accomplishing your goals. If you’re running for time and your partner is running for weight loss, then your training plans should look different. You may fall behind your goals if you stick with that running partner. Find someone who has the same goals as you and stick to that plan with them to stay on track.