5 Things I Wish I Knew as a New Runner

Just one session of barefoot strides per week and a good pair of minimalist running shoes can reduce your risk of injury. You'll be able to strengthen your feet and lower legs while reinforcing a more efficient running stride.

Just be careful—ease into your new minimalist shoes. They're very helpful, but only if you gradually introduce them into your training program.

More: How to Transition to Minimalist Shoes and Barefoot Running

Limit Your Super-Tough Workouts

"Going to the well" or "seeing God" are phrases used to describe workouts that are practically harder than races. You might vomit after them or lose your appetite for a few hours. They're tough.

These workouts should be a rare occurrence in your training plan. They increase your injury risk, and make you reach your peak fitness level quickly. Do too many and you'll feel stale or flat. You should avoid them for most of your training, and only do a few in the last four to eight weeks before your main goal race. 

More: The Art of Peaking

Stop Running on the Roads

OK, not all of your runs. There's nothing wrong with running on the road, but every runner can benefit from some trail running. Trails can help you recover more quickly from faster workouts because of the softer surfaces. 

The uneven terrain also helps you build coordination and strength in your stabilizing muscles. Coupled with properly scheduled strength workouts, injuries will definitely be a rare occurrence.

More: How Runners Benefit From Sport-Specific Strength

The Kenyans say, "Roads kill fresh legs." They do a majority of their training on hilly, dirt roads that are easier on your legs and build more strength. 

So move some of your runs onto trails instead of the roads. Besides, the sounds of birds and leaves are better than traffic, right?

More: How to Reap the Rewards of Trail Running

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