I've been running for more than 20 years (I feel old, but look young!) and have many miles, countless marathons and ultramarathons under my feet. (I'm also a RRCA Certified Running Coach.) Needless to say, I've gained a lot of experience in this wonderful sport we call running. I've also had the privilege of coaching and helping many runners and marathoners over the years. Along the way, I see five common mistakes they make. No matter where you are in your running journey, there is always room for improvement! Have you made any of the mistakes below? Share in the comments below!

Mistake #1) I can eat whatever because I burned x calories

This is probably the number one mistake runners make. Especially if they are training for a marathon. Most people become frustrated when they don't see weight drop like they thought they would. Very few people will lose weight while training for a marathon. Running doesn't equate that you get to eat more or whatever. It actually means that you need to eat more quality nutrient-based foods. Skip the donuts and opt for a superfood protein recovery shake. You will feel so much better, increase recovery and help prevent injury.

Mistake #2) I will lose weight training for 26.2 miles

If you are trying to lose weight, lose weight first and then tackle training and running a marathon. Both are stressful events on the body and doing both at the same time will stress your body out even more. Now, yes, you've probably seen TV shows where people run marathons and lose weight. This is neither safe nor effective. There is no prize to forcing yourself to run 26.2 miles. The marathon will always be there. Lose weight first, then run the marathon.

Mistake #3) I run, why should I cross-train?

Running is only part of the game. Imagine if you never gave your car an oil change? What happens? The engine will eventually fail. The same with only running, you will eventually get injured. By incorporating cross-training (TRX, BodyPump, weights, Zumba, body weight exercises, burpees, yoga, Pilates, Barre) into your weekly running schedule, you will find that your running will improve greatly.

Mistake #4) Why do I always get dehydrated?

Hydration happens way before a run, race day or a long run day. Drinking water throughout the day and week keeps you hydrated. Carry a reusable water bottle with you at all times and you will notice a vast improvement in your running. When you are dehydrated, you will actually slow down. Want to run faster? Stronger? Drink water! And please avoid toxic, disease-promoting sports drinks like Gatorade, Powerade, etc.

Mistake #5) I keep getting injured, what gives? 

Nutrition plays a huge part in staying injury free. What you eat will either help you build a strong body or a weak one. Enjoy a donut or a cookie once in a while, but remember you are what you eat. And you can't out run a poor diet. If you are eating a lot of processed food from boxes, cans, wrappers, take a step back and start incorporating fresh, real food into your diet. Quinoa, bok choy, sweet potatoes, avocado, coconut oil are one of my favorite meals. Plant-based foods are some of the best sources of nutrient-dense foods you can eat. Change what you eat and you will find huge improvements to your running!


Have you made any of these mistakes? Have you changed anything? Are you viewing nutrition differently? Would love to hear from you in the comments below!


photo credit: Shawn McCready