With a new pair of Nikes and a Spotify playlist locked and loaded, all signs show you’re ready to run. Kudos to you for taking up a seriously tough workout that promises to reduce stress, boost mood, take you to incredible places, and even save you cash.
But let’s pause for a sec before hitting the pavement. From your form to your mental state, certain running techniques can set you up for success, while others take you down the wrong path. Here are 14 of the most common mistakes beginner runners make—and even some veterans too.
1. You look down.
“Many people when they first start running tend to stare at their feet because they’re trying to see what’s going on down there,” says Cat Fitzgerald, DPT, CSCS, a physical therapist and running consultant at New York Custom Physical Therapy. Put some trust in your coordination and set your eyes on the horizon straight in front of you, Fitzgerald says. “It’ll protect your neck because when you’re looking down your neck is flexed and then your posture collapses.”