Welcome to Getting Fit at Fifty

My name is Art Davis and I started running in 2007 to lose weight. Check out my before and after photos at the bottom of the page. I ran my first 5K and 10K in 2007 I went on to run my first half Marathon and full Marathon in 2008.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

6 Big Mistakes Runners Make


“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” – George Bernard Shaw

I saw this article on the Internet and realized at one point or the other I have made most of the mistakes listed here:

1) Doing too much too soon. I ran my first 5k in August of 2007 and my first Marathon in May of 2008. I made it, I did it, but I paid for with back to back injuries that kept me sidelined for close to a year. It is important to gradually increase your speed and mileage by not over 5 – 10% a week. Your body will also need breaks in the training especially after your first half marathon.



2) Ignoring recovery. How many of us after a run just jump in the shower take off to dinner? Your body needs 5 minutes to cool down after a run and that includes stretching. I want to add that I have been guilty of ignoring the recovery period after a half marathon and immediately jumped into training for a marathon.


3) Not wearing the correct pair of running shoes and equipment. When I first started running I had absolutely horrible shin splints. I was shocked to learn that the $50 pair of running shoes that I had bought at the discount shoe store were not the correct pair of running shoes for me. I purchased a pair of running shoes at local shoe store that specialized in running shoes and the shin splints went away


4) Having no goals or plan. I have been accused of always being in training for a race. I have not done enough Yasso 800’s or Fartleks to increase my speed. My goal is to qualify for and run the Boston Marathon. I need to get serious and accomplish this goal.


5) Learning to pace properly. It is a lot easier to pace properly for a half marathon than a full. Early on in a marathon I am having to fight to hold my body back, my body feels like a race horse wanting to charge ahead. At the end I am having to push myself to keep going.


This is me during the Chicago Marathon

6) Not varying your training. That is where a good training plan comes in handy. You need interval training, hill training, long runs and short recovery runs. I have also used a personal trainer to assist me in cross training.You need days off from running for your body to heal.


Do you have any mistakes to add to the list?


  1. Listen to your body. If something's hurts it is saying DO NOT RUN... Rest

    1. True very true.
      I had to learn that the hard way.

  2. Hi Art! I'm not a runner, but so very glad you write these posts. Many runners avoid these posts like the plague because they don't want to imagine that they could injure themselves, but that denial only sets them up for needless injury.

    I have heard that there are special running techniques that can be learned to reduce running injuries. Have you ever been to a session about those techniques? I have a bunch of followers who are runners and I'd like to direct them toward more safety rules for running.<<That is the wisdom of my age, I guess. :D

    :-) Marion

    1. I have never been to a session that dealt with running techniques. I can tell you that it deals with stride, a lot of runners tend to take to long of a stride and strike with their heal. Also gets into the proper posture, they are saying today run relatively straight but lean slightly forward. It also gets into arm movement and placement. Finally you need the correct pair of running shoes. A lot of people today are recommending to gradually transitioning to barefoot running, that barefoot running will improve your stride and reduce your chance of injury. I personally have not gotten on board with minimalist running.