Running Mistakes I’ve Made (So You Don’t Have To!)

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Running Mistakes I’ve Made (So You Don’t Have To!)

Running is a journey and I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way.  Today I’m sharing some of those mistakes, so you don’t have to make the same ones.

5 Running Mistakes I've Made (So You Don't Have To) - Fresh running advice from a girls who's made them all!! / Running in a Skirt

Hi friends!

Happy Wednesday.  While I was going through the motions of my morning run the other day, I started thinking about how far I’ve come as a runner in 6 1/2 years.  Part of me still does’t believe I’m a runner who’s ran three half marathons and one full marathon.  Sometimes I feel like that girl who could barely run a half a mile at a time!

Through trial and a lot of error, I’ve find my running happy place.  So today I thought I’d share some of the biggest mistakes I’ve made along he way, in hopes that you don’t have to make them too!

6 Running Mistakes I’ve Made (So You Don’t Have To!)

1. Getting race fever.

I used to get serious cases of race fever.  I’d HAVE TO fill my calendar to the gills with races.  I’d sign up for four more races the Monday after a big weekend race.  There is nothing wrong with racing, and it is still one of my great joys in life, but you don’t have to run ALL the races to be a runner.  Sometimes taking a break from racing can allow you to train harder to hit a PR or run for the joy of it.  There are ebs and flows in your running career, and it is ok to not race all the time.  You are still a runner.  With that said, if you aren’t racing there are plenty of good reasons to sign up and switch up your routine.

2. Coming back too soon and too hard after an injury or illness.

Getting back to running after being forced to take a break is hard.  I always feel like I am starting over from scratch and used to not account for that when planning upcoming runs post injury or illness.  Unless you are supergirl, you will not run the exact same way initially.  I used to even sign up for races BEFORE I was completely recovered from an illness or injury.  This race is the perfect example.  I thought I’d finish sub-30.  Yup- totally delusional!


Not giving yourself the time to get your groove back can lead to more injury and illness.  And if you push yourself for a race before you’re ready, you can end up right where you started- injured again!

3. Assuming that I will get faster by just running more.

I used to think that as I trained for longer races, I’d naturally get faster at shorter distances.  In fact, the opposite happened!  My body got accustomed to running the slower marathon pace and I struggled to really push myself in the 5K distance. It took taking an entire spring focusing specifically on increasing my time for the 5K to really hit that long awaited PR.


If you want to get faster, try speed work and tempo runs.  Once you hit that plateau, it’s the best way to break it.

4. Just running.

Healthy running involves more than just running.  I’ve learned that I get fewer injuries and run healthier when I only run three days a week and never back to back days.  I will do yoga, cross train and exercise videos with strength training on the other days.  It allows my body to not get too beat down by doing the same thing all the time.  I’ve also discovered yoga and running go together.  If I’m running and don’t want to hurt all the time, I must commit to doing yoga.

5. Not having time for a warm up and cool down.

Not warming up and cooling down is a recipe for disaster.  The older I get, the more this proves true.  I try dynamic stretching and walking before I start to run and continue to walk at least an additional quarter mile after I stop.  It’s a pain sometimes, but it helps keep away injuries.

6. Being too hard on myself.

I am my toughest running critic.  A bad run has ruined my day before.  That should never happen.  Running is a gift no matter how fast or slow you go.  If you have to to take a walk break, no one is going to actually be hurt.  Life will go on.  Stop being so hard on yourself, and appreciate that you CAN run.  There will be a time and place that you might not be able to, so appreciate it while you can!

Finally just remember, you will make running mistakes along the way.  Learn from them and know in the long run you are a better runner because of it!

Thanks for stopping by today!  Tomorrow I’m so excited to share a recipe for a Cajun Shrimp Burger inspired by one of my favorite restaurants on Hilton Head Island.

I’m linking this post with Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday.

Your turn!

What running mistakes have you made?

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:07-04:00 October 14th, 2015|Fitness, Newbie Running, Running|53 Comments


  1. Missy October 27, 2015 at 10:30 am - Reply

    I am guilty of all the mistakes on your list. Right now I am working heart rate training to get faster and adding strength in as cross training. Since I started with my new coach, I am not making these mistakes anymore, she won’t let me! ;o)

    • JulieWunder October 29, 2015 at 6:21 pm - Reply

      That’s awesome!! I bet a coach would be awesome!

  2. LINK LOVE 5 | Running Dietitian October 18, 2015 at 11:42 pm - Reply

    […] Running Mistakes I’ve Made (So You Don’t Have To!) via Running In A Skirt […]

  3. Mary Ellen @ VNutrition October 18, 2015 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    These are great recommendations! I’ve been injured for a while now and I’m trying to go slow but I re-injured myself a few times by pushing too hard so I totally feel you on that one.

    • JulieWunder October 19, 2015 at 9:19 am - Reply

      It’s so easy to do! I always want to get back ASAP!

  4. Kerri Mcgrail October 16, 2015 at 10:39 am - Reply

    I’m a culprit of going too hard/too fast after an injury or illness. I am a chronic over trainer & need to learn to rest more! I also have learned to warm up & cool down with stretching/ yoga- it pays off so much! I’m with you in not just running-I swim, bike, do yoga & lift weights!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 8:41 am - Reply

      It’s so easy to think you can pick up where you left off! I never can though!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:52 am - Reply

      That’s a great combination! One day I’ll figure out how to add swimming!

  5. Jess @hellotofit October 16, 2015 at 9:18 am - Reply

    I used to not drink enough water, or I would CHUG a whole lot and water would be sloshing around during my runs. Now I sip frequently but not a lot at once ๐Ÿ™‚

    Thanks for the tips!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

      Ah yes! Done that… that’s a good one ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Angelena Marie October 15, 2015 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Those are all really great tips! I don’t run as much as I used to, I mostly do intervals now. Distance running isn’t for me! I used to do 5ks all the time. My body just isn’t built for running…I enjoy weights and HIIT cardio over running these days. I tried to get back to it, but just didn’t have the motivation for it that I used to.
    Thanks for linking up!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:51 am - Reply

      That’s great! I think each person has to figure out what works for them!

  7. Chelsea @ SimplyChelsea October 15, 2015 at 10:33 am - Reply

    These tips are great! Thanks for sharing. Number 4 and number 6 are definitely mistakes I have made. I can’t wait to begin running again in a few weeks.

  8. Michelle October 15, 2015 at 5:56 am - Reply

    Those are all such great tips….I think we’ve all been there, and it’s so easy to fall back into those mistakes every so often! Thanks for linking up!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:50 am - Reply

      It is! I’m sure I’ll make more down the road!

  9. jill conyers October 15, 2015 at 4:41 am - Reply

    Yes. I’m pretty sure I’ve made all of these mistakes at some point in my running life. Happily. Much less likely to do so now. It’s about time ha!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:49 am - Reply

      haha! Yeah– I feel ya!! I guess getting older comes in handy sometimes.

  10. Farrah October 14, 2015 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    These are all really great points! I think (back when I ran…) I had a tendency to do 3, 5, and 6 a whole lot. ๐Ÿ˜ก

  11. Emily Smith October 14, 2015 at 9:24 pm - Reply

    This article couldn’t have come at a better time for me as I am currently nursing a running injury and have been down in the dumps because of it. Fortunately, I discovered that I can still do yoga, which is also a 3x a week thing for me, so even though I can’t run right now, I have yoga to look forward to. And I can still walk and ride a bike, so I keep reminding myself to practice gratitude and learn from my mistakes, just as you have!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:48 am - Reply

      What a bummer! I’m so sorry. Thank goodness you can still do yoga. Be patient.. the injuries I’ve been patient with have made me stronger runner in the end. Best of luck.

  12. Mary Beth Jackson October 14, 2015 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    I like a 3 runs per week too- easy to manage and it just feels right! I do get on a roll and sign up for a bunch of races but they are usually spread out by a week or two – LOL! Good points!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:47 am - Reply

      That’s good at least! 5K’s are manageable too!

  13. [email protected] October 14, 2015 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    I misjudged how much water I’d need in a trail race and ran out before making it to the aid station. It would have been better to have had too much and to carry the extra weight in a bigger hydration pack. Live and learn!

  14. Tara October 14, 2015 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Sweet post! I find myself familiar with your mistakes…it’s almost like they’re each a right of passage on the way to finding who you are as a runner!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:46 am - Reply

      It is! People can tell you stuff but you have to really figure it out on your own. It helps to learn from others though!

  15. Mandi Korn October 14, 2015 at 3:57 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing, these are some really great points to think about.

  16. Annmarie October 14, 2015 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    Such awesome points- I could not agree with you more! I still get race fever a lot- takes some restraint to hold back and not sign up for them all! Thanks for linking up ๐Ÿ™‚

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

      I know!!! Especially the Monday after a race. For some reason that is SIGN UP FOR ALL THE THINGS day for me ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. heather October 14, 2015 at 1:16 pm - Reply

    I think I have made all of those. Definitely being too hard on myself. I am hard on myself no matter what I am doing. Thanks for sharing

  18. Gretchen | Gretchruns October 14, 2015 at 11:19 am - Reply

    So many great tips here! I think a big mistake I had was trying to be like everyone else and copying their training. Once I realized I had to find out what worked best for me, I saw huge improvements! It takes lots of trial and error, but getting to know your body is a huge tip I learned!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:44 am - Reply

      That’s a great one too! What works for your friend may not work for you at all!

  19. Jamie October 14, 2015 at 10:07 am - Reply

    I have to really focus on taking a good amount of time off after a race. I have fallen into a cycle of training where I was training and racing hard for over 18 months. My body (and mind) just couldn’t take it any more! Now I look forward to those few weeks off of running and focusing on cross training. Mixing it up definitely helps me stay healthy!

  20. Andrea October 14, 2015 at 9:45 am - Reply

    My biggest mistake was changing shoes to something completely different without easing myself into them. Definitely injured myself a few times doing this!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:43 am - Reply

      That’s a really good one too! You have to be so careful with shoes!

  21. Dan Steadman October 14, 2015 at 9:32 am - Reply

    I think I have hit about all of those…scheduled 10 races this year and a marathon January and it is about to do me in….main one is coming back too soon after injury…thinking a small dinner (like a bowl or two of cereal) will give me enough fuel for a 20 mile run the next morning…um, no

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

      Oh!!! That’s a good one! I totally messed up fueling in early days too.

  22. Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections October 14, 2015 at 9:30 am - Reply

    Really good points! I feel like you in that I could barely run so I feel like wow, I ran a full marathon – crazy!

    Number 3 and 6 hit home for me. I am not a fast runner and running more doesn’t really make it any better! Being hard on myself about that doesn’t help at all either. With time, I’ve learned to let go of thinking I’ll ever get faster. I’m okay with however “slow” I run. It’s better than no running!

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 9:42 am - Reply

      It is better than not running! And no one is judging… and if they are that is their problem, not yours!

  23. This is all great advice. I have been running for about 25 years, and I probably have made almost all these mistakes. I’m pretty good about holding back on signing up for a ton of races. I’ve been injured enough to know not to push it. Plus that gets mighty expensive!

  24. Yup I’ve made all of those mistakes too! I can also only run 3x week and not on consecutive days to stay healthy. Good tips

    • JulieWunder October 18, 2015 at 10:00 am - Reply

      That realization has been a game changer for me.

  25. [email protected] October 14, 2015 at 8:01 am - Reply

    These are great tips! I so want to be a ‘runner’, but I tend to get over enthusiastic about things. Thanks for reminding me that I might need to take it slow!

  26. Susie @ SuzLyfe October 14, 2015 at 7:40 am - Reply

    Agree! I think that the best runners are not the ones who have done everything perfectly, but have learned the hard way a few times–they know where the ice is thinnest!

    • JulieWunder October 14, 2015 at 8:20 am - Reply

      So true!! We learn from mistakes (or at least I hope we do!)

  27. Blane Sherer October 14, 2015 at 5:27 am - Reply

    I think all of these advice items are excellent.
    It’s often more about running ” smarter ” and not just
    about running harder and harder.

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