Running Group University of Mannheim

Running Tips

The 10 most common mistakes runners make are:

Mistakes are there to learn from. If you avoid at least two of the following mistakes in the future you will get twice the fun from running. Furthermore your performance will benefit significantly.

1. Running pace too high

Risk: be prone to injuries, overfatigue
For this type of runner each training is a competition, but during competition he gets tired early because he is already exhausted by the training.
Remember: The dominant share of a performance-enhancing training consists of calm, relaxed runs, where a conversation is possible. Experts call this running in the aerobic zone where you run at a pace at which oxygen uptake and consumption keep the balance. While running the heart rate should not exceed 75% of your maximum heart rate.

Conclusion: Who is constantly running to fast, always runs at the limit and cannot increase performance in competition.

2. Too many running kilometers

Risk: overfatigue
An appropriate training effort depends on performance, age and running distance in the competition. An ambitious 40-year old who wants to finish a marathon within 3 hours has to run more kilometers than a 65-year old who wants to finish a marathon within 4 hours or a 10km runner. Running distance and the tentative timeframe have to be in the correct proportion.
The following information is intended to provide a framework for the training effort per week:



Conclusion: Running more kilometers makes tired and no fun. Furthermore that wastes energy and costs time.

3. Lack of regeneration

Risk:: be prone to injuries, overfatigue
Regeneration is very important. This rule is dictated by the body and is also valid for the most ambitious athlete: On physical stress must always follow a recovery phase. Otherwise there is no time for refueling the body's energy depots (carbohydrate and fat), for endurance sports this takes about 48 hours. The more exhausting the physical stress is the longer must be the recovery phase. This is in particular true for the time after a competition.

Conclusion: One resting day per week should be planned (unless you belong to the world top runners). After a marathon you should easily rest for a week.

4. No diversification

Risk: Problems with motivation
1. You are running always the same course? No wonder you do not have fun running. New routes will bring variety to running and create more fun.

Conclusion: Only if running is fun, it makes sense and is performance-enhancing.

2. You alway run in the same pace? So you will never get faster. A constantly recurring, uniform training stimulus caused no improvement in performance. Vary running distance and pace every day.

Conclusion: Long and slow runs or short and fast runs - variation is important.

5. No balancing training activities

Risk: be prone to injuries, monotony
Fish swims, bird flies, human runs - at Emil Zatopek's times this might be true. Today we know: Who only runs is more often injured and does not have fun. Alternative forms of training are recommended: Cycling, strength training or swimming are ideal forms of training that also support running. Only in this way muscles can be trained, which will not be used while running. So the running economy and the stability of the entire muscle and tendon system is improved.

Conclusion: Variety prevents injury and makes you fit.

6. No Stretching

Risk: be prone to injuries
Stretching makes muscles more supple and motivated. Only 30% of runners strech regularly. Many are unaware that they could run better when their muscles are loose and flexible. Stretching increases the elasticity of the muscles, improves joint flexibility and overall body awareness.

Conclusion: Stretching is the easiest way to a more casual jog.

7. Too many races

Risk: be prone to injuries, overfatigue
People who start at too many races seem to have too much money or too few friends. You run here on Saturday and there on Sunday, you are on a different location each weekend. This not only cost money but also lot of energy. Competitions are not only a physical but also a mental challenge.

Conclusion: The principle is "less is more".

8. No training plan

Risk: Waste of energy
Anyone who wants to improve his running performance, needs to define a goal and plan the steps to the goal. This is also true for runnning beginners and fitness runners. The goal could be to run 30 minutes without a break or to run a marathon in less than 3 hours. For both you should think about: How can I most quickly reach the goal? A training plan requires the knowledge of one's own performance level and makes it clear what can be achieved in a specific time frame. Keep a training diary. It motivates and facilitates the analysis.

Conclusion: Using a training diary, you overlook the training better.

9. Wrong nutrition

Risk: Waste of energy, overfatigue
The best training is useless if the diet is wrong. Carbohydrates instead of steak and fries is the motto. The proportion of carbohydrates should be 60 to 70 percent. With typical German home cooking this will not work (even it is delicious). The motto: enough but not too late. The last meal before running should be at about two to three hours.

Conclusion: Only if the fuel fits also the performance is right.

10. Grim attitude

Risk: No fun
Running should be fun. Flexibility is required. Make the most of every run, whether it is good or not. Besides, you do not have to run every day, just because it was planned that way. Let's hang sometimes, walk, spend time with friends. And do not feel guilty. Do not let sports stress you.

Conclusion: Do not worry about training plans. If you once do not like to run, then let it be.