Mistake #1: Running in the wrong shoes.
When I started running (at age 26) I didn’t realize the importance of running in shoes that were a good fit for ME. So I put on any sneakers I had and started to run. I was able to complete my running goal to build up to running a full marathon, but along the way I developed plantar fasciitis. This resulted in many painful mornings, many painful runs, physical therapy, and visits with the podiatrist. I didn’t know I had a high arch and needed shoes with high arch support that were designed for a runner with a neutral stride. It’s worth it to see an expert and get an idea of what kind of shoes you need for your feet.
I had this great running outfit I knew didn’t chafe. It was perfect for me. But race day I decided I would NOT wear it. Why you ask? I’d already been photographed in it before. I didn’t want to wear the exact same thing for every race photo, right? So I ditched my comfy clothes for a cuter but less comfortable outfit. I’m sure you can tell how this story ends. I was uncomfortable the whole race. I hated it and really, really, really wished I had picked comfort over fashion.
Mistake #3: Not bringing glide to race day.
Glide is this amazing substance that creates a barrier to your skin so if fabric or other skin touches it, you won’t chafe. Usually I only have to glide my hot spots which for me are my toes, my thighs between my legs, and where my arms would touch the arm hole of my tank top. The day of my first marathon I couldn’t find my glide so I ran without it. It was a horrible idea! I had worn shorts I had already tested on a long run. I just hadn’t realized how important glide had been for those shorts. By mile 15 I had a raw, bloody chaffed spot right between my legs that was so incredibly painful! I should have remembered the glide!!
Mistake #4: Changing things up on race day.
I’m sure you’ve heard the golden rule NOT to make changes for race day! Don’t do it! I’m telling you! I heard this one, everyone tried to warn me, but I thought I knew myself better. I ditched my fuel belt/hydration pack the day of the race, even though I had been training where I could take sips of water whenever I wanted. Even though I was taking sips on the hills and drinking on demand… I thought the race-provided water would be enough. I was wrong. Instead of floating along happily to each water stop I was a mess. I would get so thirsty and focused on drinking water at the next water stop I’d forget to take my nutrition too while I was there. I completely messed up my nutrition and hydration plan for the race and as a result the race wasn’t good for me mentally or physically, and didn’t produce a performance that was a good demonstration of my athletic abilities.
Mistake #5: Eating crackers on a long run.
One time I was heading out for a long run and for whatever reason decided to bring crackers. Bad, bad idea. I should have left them at home. I’m the kind of runner who can chew on the go but can’t drink on the go. So as I’m running along I took a bite of cracker. Crackers by nature crack and lots of little itty bitty pieces fall apart from it. So as I took a bite little particles fell off and when I breathed in, I breathed in all of little pieces right into my wind pipe. I turned into a coughing, hacking, horrible mess, and I could NOT stop coughing for the rest of the run. It was terrible. Take my advice, leave the crackers as home and stick to more run friendly foods like raisins or baked potatoes dipped in salt!
Share some of your running-gone-wrong mistakes with us!