10 Mistakes New Runners Make

Where are my new runners at? You know who you are, you found me after countless hours of pinning "How To Make Running Easier" articles or reading millions of "My First Half Marathon" race recaps. How you feeling new runners? Excited? Annoyed? Pre-Occupied? A little hesitant? Yeah that's all normal. Been there! (Still go there.) Let's discuss some of the common mistakes new runners make:

1. Worrying About Pace.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

Am I to fast? To slow? What pace should I be at?!?! WHAT'S NORMAL? Stop worrying about your pace! Stop it! Do I care if you're clocking a 6 minute mile or a 12 minute mile? No. No I don't so why are you? If you're a slow runner guess what, you're only going to get faster. If you're already a fast runner, well, I've got nothing for you because I don't know what that's like. Set small, manageable weekly goals and take it one step at a time. Don't worry about anything except working towards being able to run from start to finish without walking.

2. Over Thinking It.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

Are you heavily invested In online articles? Do you spend your spare time reading every single article Runner's World has to offer? Take a step back and snap out of it. Will being informed help you? Yes. Will obsessively consuming every piece of running information help you? No. You are holding a one way ticket to overwhelmed-ville USA. Take a step back and just focus on the basics. You have to walk before you can run right?

3. Message Boards.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

I have a personal vendetta against message boards because I don't believe anyone should be allowed to hide behind anonymity online. If you want to make any sort of comment you should have to identify yourself. And I've yet to see a message board that wasn't full of people complaining or ripping people apart. If you want to become a member of a supportive online community of runners, I love it. Do it on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or some social platform where you engage and build friendships with real people who you'll eventually meet because that's what runners do. We meet each other online and try to meet up at a race. Join the #RunSelfieRepeat movement or the amazing #WeRunSocial movement. There's no reason to be anonymous in the running community. Just don't you dare go on a message board. Don't you do it.

4. Taking It A Little To Seriously.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

This is your reality check new runner. Snap out of it. Are you out for a world record? Is your career running? No? Then find the balance between pursuing your personal best and having the time of your life. All work and no play makes for really tiresome runners. Aint nobody got time for that. Pump the brakes super serious runner.

5. Running In The Wrong Shoes.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

Yes it is possible you are wearing the "wrong" shoes. Will it kill you? No. I ran the first two months of my running life in shoes that were a size and a half to small. I didn't know any better! Go to a really good specialty running store to get analyzed and fitted. And don't spend more than $125 on shoes. For more information on how not to spend a million dollars on shoes, CLICK HERE.

6. Relying on Energy Gels and Sports Drinks.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

Running supplements and fueling is very confusing. Here is the best piece of advice I can give you, everyone fuels differently and you have to find what works for you. But a general rule of thumb is that you shouldn't use sports drinks if you're running less than 60 minutes and you should only use energy gels for runs longer than 90 minutes. We use energy gels because your body depletes its' glycogen stores after 60-90 minutes of running so energy gels help your muscles stay fueled. For more fueling and supplement 101 CLICK HERE.

7. Not Having Fun.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

This is self explanatory. You have, have, have to have fun. Will every run be fun? No. Most runs are not going to be fun. But you have to schlep through the tough runs to be able to enjoy the fun runs. You have to have fun! And if you're not having fun, surround yourself with fun runners.

8. Doing To Much.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

You're not invincible new runners and you have to take care of yourself. Remember slow and steady wins the race. I know you want to go far and fast as soon as possible but one thing running will teach you is patience. You have to be patient with yourself, patient with your running, and patient with your training. Good things come to those who wait. Stay injury free. Go slow.

9. Running For the Wrong Reasons.

10 Mistakes New Runners Make

Tie your running to a goal. It doesn't matter if that goal is being able to run 1 mile without stopping or to run a marathon, run for a goal. A goal can be to clear your mind, to run 3 days a week to maintain your health or to find that 30-60 minutes where you can escape your significant other and/or kids. Goals will hold you accountable when the going gets tough and the last thing you want to do is go for a run. 

New runners this is a list of goals you need to hold close to your heart.

  1. To Not Quit.
  2. Have Fun.
  3. Self Improvement.
  4. Get fit and healthy.
  5. Build confidence.
  6. Get Stronger.
  7. To feel like a runner.
  8. Make someone jealous. (OK maybe not this one...but I'll be honest, a part of me stuck with running so I could be like "Yeah, I run marathons now. So if you want to make someone jealous you have my support.)

The hardest part about becoming a new runner is sticking through those really shitty first couple of weeks and/or months. But set a goal, try to have fun and remember that it's in pain and discomfort that change lives. You're limitless and if you don't believe me, running will prove it to you. It only get's easier. (Kind of...)

What's some advice you would give to new runners? Until next time, #RunSelfieRepeat.


Kelly Roberts

It all started when a silly joke made headlines back in 2014 when I took selfies with hot guys “hottie hunting” my way through the New York City Half Marathon. But ironically enough, I haven't always been a runner. As the self-proclaimed former President of the "I f*cking hate running club", I spent most of my life finding ways to avoid physical activity. Growing up, I missed over 70 days of PE my senior year. Working out was something I thought I had to suffer through in order to lose weight. 

Then, in 2009, my younger brother passed away unexpectedly and struggling to manage my grief, I gained more than 75 pounds. With the weight gain came a new fight to regain my sense of self and learn to love the body I saw when I looked in the mirror. Then one Thanksgiving morning, drowning in grief and self doubt, I decided to go for a run. I didn't make it half way down my street before I had to stop to walk but for some reason, struggling forward made more sense than getting back into bed. It turns out that running is a lot like grief, neither ever really get easier, you just get stronger. 

Over time, I realized that while some people are in fact born runners, others are made. I created this blog Run, Selfie, Repeat and my new podcast by the same name with the hopes to inspire others to say yes to themselves while making them laugh hysterically because laughing, in my opinion, is the solution to everything. 

Named by Women's Running as one of twenty women who are changing the sport of running and by Competitor Magazine as one of 12 Influential and inspiring runners under 30, my mission is to inspire others to get embrace a healthy lifestyle and pursue the strongest version of themselves possible.