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7 top lessons for running to avoid training mistakes [Article, Video]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

May 26, 2017 10:00:00 AM

7 top lessons for running to avoid training mistakes

This is a write up of my biggest mistakes with running after I did three marathons. Enjoy the read and you might take something away from it and leave a comment.

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Did not start early enough

I hated running when I was a teenager. When we had our Judo summer camps the 10k morning runs were what I despised the most. Our trainer even found a route which went uphill in a very steep way and then down a long slope in a half circle back to the start. His favourite thing to do was to stand at the top of the stairs at the end of the climb and watch how our faces melted with each round we did. 10k was three rounds on that course. I never was a fast runner and to add insult to injury the good runners started about 15 minutes behind me and overtook me.

If I had started running and did it regularly outside of summer camp this would not have happened. And believe me, if you want to be an athlete, you must run. So just get it over with and start. 

Too much too quick

When I started running after my fiancée told me I am too fat and that she will leave me if I do not do something about it I did too much too quick. Same happened with her after I lost 15kg preparing for a marathon and she wanted to imitate that result with minimum effort. If your lungs burn, you are doing it wrong. Slow down and keep at it at a slower pace.

My hill was not steep enough

I did my hill runs at a bridge because I was too lazy to find a proper hill. If it says hill run in your plan find a proper hill or do interval runs instead.

Not enough interval training

Interval runs are great and easy to do. I recommend a Garmin watch in case your phone annoys you or you do not want to wear a stopwatch around your neck. Do them at least once a week if you want to become faster at races.

 Avoided the long-distance runs

If you want to be good at long distance races like half marathons and marathons you must practice long distance races. Do not be a fool like me and believe that you will run a great marathon if you do not do your two 30km preparation runs (or whatever your program has in there to torture you. You know exactly which runs I mean since you first had a look at your training plan).

Ran in the evenings instead of the mornings

Running in the evenings does not make sense unless you are too lazy to get up in the morning. Your family will want to have dinner with you, all your business associates are awake and annoy you with requests (mostly non-purchase related at this time of day), there is homework to be done and you will be expected to spend some family time. Get the runs done in the morning.


Running was the best tool i found for losing weight in a controlled fashion. I did it for two years and at first, I did not enjoy it whatsoever. Over time I got to grow to like it and then became too ambitious leading to me quitting and focusing on lifting. I still want that 3:30 Marathon time and I am sure I will achieve it before I turn 40. In the meantime, you can take away some of these insights and make them your own to successfully do your first marathon or any other longer distance race. 

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Topics: Run Faster