37 Mistakes Runners Can’t Stop Making

In a perfect world, we’d train hard, race smart, recover well, and live a balanced, healthy life. In reality, we fall prey to the same errors over and over. Among them:

1. Going out too fast.
We’re flying! We’re flying! We’re…crashing and burning.

2. Forgetting the Anti Chafe cream.
Innocent bystanders hear the screams when hot shower water hits raw, chafed skin. Rub some Calmmé on those troublesome areas to prevent chaffing.

3. Overdressing for a long run.
We obsess about the “real-feel” temperature for hours and still end up with three jackets around the waist halfway through a run.

4. Not warming up.
Going straight from commute or desk chair to running repeats seemed like a good idea. Our legs had different thoughts.

5. Skipping the stretching and foam-rolling afterward.
Then: “I don’t have time before Walking Dead.” The next day: Moves like a zombie from Walking Dead.

6. That new burrito joint the night before an important workout.
I thought there was a porta-potty around this next corner? Or was it back there?

7. Forgetting sunscreen in the first race of spring.
Burn, baby, burn.


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8. Going out too fast…again.
Hitting the wall once just wasn’t enough.

9. Using negative self-talk.
Who needs a mean coach when you can call yourself slow, fat, and stupid?

10. Running too hard on easy days.
If it’s not hurting, you’re not doing it right. Right?


11. Cramming for a race.
Oh, it’s July?  (Looks at calendar.) Marathon’s in September? Sure, that 16-week training plan can squeeze into 8 weeks.

12. Not charging our phone or GPS watch.
Nothing conveys energy like a blank screen.

13. Pushing through an injury.
I’ll just get this one more run in and then I’ll take some extra days off.

14. Overtraining.
If it’s not hurting, you’re not doing it right. Right? Right?


Image courtesy of LZF


15. Ignoring the core.
Planks. Who needs ’em?

16. Skipping strength training altogether.
I’m a runner. I run. I don’t want to look like Arnold.

17. Forgetting a post-run snack.
The runger is real.

18. Followed by…bingeing later in the day.
Why am I gaining weight during marathon training?

19. Going out too fast in an interval workout.
Don’t mind us, we’re still working on our pacing…

20. Running too much, too soon.
If it’s not hurting, you’re not doing it right. Right? Right? Right?

21. Making up missed kilometres on the weekend.
Sure, if I do 6K on Saturday and 8K on Sunday, I can still get to 20K for the week in my training log.




22. Trying those new shoes/shorts/hat/socks on race day.
Forgot to do laundry, so here, do me a favor and rip the tags off of these for me quick…

23. Spending hours at the race expo.
Energy gel samples. Beer samples. Coffee samples. What could possibly go wrong?

24. Skipping rest days.
Rest is for wimps.

25. Wearing our shoes into the ground.
Really, they’re fine. They still look good!

26. Doubting ourselves.
I suddenly have absolutely no memory of the training I did to get here. And therefore, I’m slow, fat, and stupid.

27. Not taking water on the trail.
You mean “stay thirsty” was not meant to be taken literally?

28. Not practicing our fuelling strategy.
Eh, guess I’ll take a gel or two somewhere between 5Ks and 15Ks, no biggie.



29. Doing group workouts on recovery days.
Do stair climbing and burpee competitions qualify as a break from the stress of running?

30. Always heading out along the same route.
Last week I was at 22:38 at this light post and today I’m only at 22:47. Better pick it up.

31. Comparing ourselves to other runners.
My only competition is myself. Oh, and the 5,000 people I follow on Strava.

32. Buying too-small shoes.
Toenails are optional, right?

33. Poorly timing our pre race bathroom breaks.
“Runners, you have three minutes. Please make your way over to the corrals.”

34. Being a slave to our training plan.
Just because I was up with a vomiting kid all night doesn’t mean I can’t do my kilometres. Right?

35. Not sleeping enough.
Five hours is only two hours less than seven, which isn’t too bad.

36. Going out too fast in a long run.
Why limit the pain of bonking to race day?

37. Going out too fast in a race.
After all, it’s what we practised!

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