Seven Mistakes to Avoid Before a Long-Distance Race

22nd July 2019
Follow a healthy diet, prepare your body physically, get enough rest and more. Today, read about the common mistakes runners make in their long-distance training.

In long-distance races, participates cover a significant number of miles on foot. They require special preparation, which demands concentration and discipline.

Long-distance runners need to be prudent, patient and in top shape. In addition, each participant should work out a good strategy to be able to perform physically and prevent mistakes.

Seven long-distance running mistakes

1. Skipping stretches, warm-up, and relaxing exercises

You need to stretch your muscles prior to a workout session because they need an initial warm-up before handling all of the physical stress that’s to follow. Skipping your stretches will increase the likelihood of injuries such as muscle tears.

When you finish a workout, taking the time to stretch out your muscles is, once again, crucial. You need to stretch your muscles to relax your muscle tissue and release all the tension that results from running long-distance.

2. Long-distance running: working out too much and too fast

As with any other competition, making it to the finish line is the ultimate goal in long-distance running. The drive to be first (which is an honorable goal), can push athletes to lose control and speed up impulsively.

Running too fast pushes physical limits while establishing an exaggerated pace for workouts. Athletes push themselves to finish faster, but in many cases, the results are quite the contrary because the uncontrolled physical effort ends up throwing everything off.

long distance running too fast

Prevent injuries and maximize your physical performance by taking the time to train your body and strengthen it over time. Whether you’re training or running a race, play it safe and steady.

3. Zero to max speed and nothing in between

The third mistake on our list is closely related to the previous point. Similar to how some runners want to hit their ideal cruising speed on their second day of training, others want to build endurance overnight.

To prepare themselves, they tackle miles and miles instead of easing into them. But you actually build endurance by starting small and adding on as your body strengthens. Respect the time your body needs to adapt and grow.

4.

Long-distance running: the area

Running in an area that’s sea-level with a low population isn’t the same deal as running in one that’s 2,000 meters above sea-level and densely populated, such as Mexico City. Similarly, racing in the mountains is completely different than racing on a paved road that stays flat throughout the entire course.

In light of the potential differences, you should train specifically for the conditions that you’ll face in your race. Failing to do so will set you on the path to failure and can even compromise your intentions of finishing honestly.

5. Not resting before long-distance running

This is another common long-distance race mistake: skipping rest is a terrible error.

Your body needs between seven to eight hours of uninterrupted sleep to recover from the physical stress of training sessions. Resting is a part of a healthy routine of any good athlete.

If your body doesn’t rest sufficiently, it won’t be able to repair damaged tissues nor reconstruct muscles. Without healthy tissues or muscles, your body lacks the energy it needs to face everyday life.

6. Not enough hydration

This next mistake might seem pretty obvious but many runners actually chronically lack hydration. Drinking water is essential to anyone, and athletes are no exception.

Besides resulting in athletic success or failure, staying hydrated also has a direct impact on physical health.

But don’t overdo it. Hydrating in excess can also have negative consequences for you. It can actually be quite dangerous and in some cases, life-threatening.

long distance running water

7. Poor diets lead you downhill

Do all athletes follow perfectly balanced meal plans? Not necessarily. In fact, the numbers of incidents where runners have collapsed in the middle of their races as a result of a nutritional deficiency are far higher than you might imagine.

So, make sure you keep your glycogen levels in check because long-distance races demand a lot from your body. In addition, avoid eating high-calorie foods before running. High-caloric foods are difficult for your body to digest and when exercising, can translate into negative consequences.

Keeping these long-distance race mistakes in mind will help you train better. And after you meet your goals, you’ll enjoy the resulting motivation to keep improving.

  • Corre Montevideo. Consejos básicos para el entrenamiento y para enfrentar una carrera. Extraído de: http://corremontevideo.com.uy/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CONSEJOS-PRODEPORTE.pdf
  • Ana Ogueta-Alday, Juan García-López. Factores que afectan al rendimiento en carreras de fondo. Extraído de: https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/710/71046278006.pdf