Using incorrect kit
Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, and this sentiment is especially true when it comes to your fitness preparations. To really get the most out of your training, you need to have the right kit. It’s surprising how many people attempt to train for a marathon in an inapropriate pair of shoes and wonder why they are suffering more injuries than most along the way. If it’s a running challenge you are taking on then make sure you invest in a decent pair of running shoes to support your feet, prevent blisters and improve your overall performance. Depending on your chosen sport, it might seem like a lot of money to spend on kit but your investment will be crucial in helping you achieve your fitness goals.
Allowing training to get boring
They say variety is the spice of life and that goes for your training too. Boredom is the enemy of every fitness plan and once your motivation wanes, there is the danger that you will give up on your training completely. A study by The University of Florida found that the best method for a training plan is to include a combination of structured but varied sessions. For example, as a runner, you should keep your routes fresh. A swimmer? Give outdoor swimming a whirl. Or try a new sport altogether to keep your training interesting and exciting.
Not resting sufficiently
Another common workout mistake is not allowing enough time for rest. Many people fall into the trap of thinking that they need to train constantly to achieve their fitness goals, but rest and recovery are a crucial part of any training plan. According to a study published in the Journal of Neurological Science, intensive training without adequate rest can cause inflammation and sometimes muscle fibre necrosis, which in turn can negatively impact muscle power and strength. The rest periods you take will vary depending on the length and intensity of your sessions, but if you are frequently in pain or are exhausted at the beginning of your training session then it’s safe to say that you need to be giving yourself more time to rest.
Not eating right
Fitness and diet go hand in hand and if you want to get serious about your training then your diet should not be overlooked. To expect your body to deliver the demands of your training plan, it is vital that you fuel it correctly. You need to ensure that you’re consuming a healthy mix of carbohydrates, protein, fats and micronutrients to get the best out of your training sessions. It’s also important that you don’t make the mistake of replenishing your depleted stores with junk food. A post workout binge won’t make you feel any better and will only slow down all of your hard work.
Skipping the 10 per cent rule
Many people are guilty of this training mistake - you find what works for you and stick to it, without making any changes. Sure, your training will become easier and your confidence will increase as a result, but before long your progress will slow down and eventually plateau. This is where the 10 per cent rule comes in. To avoid the unwanted fitness plateau, increase the amount, distance or intensity of your training by 10 per cent each week. You don’t have to follow the 10 per cent rule to the number, just as long as there’s steady and consistent progress in your training then your fitness will continue to improve.
Ignoring safety precautions
Following on from the previous point, there’s a fine line between challenging yourself and being irresponsible in your training, and unfortunately for beginners, they all too often find themselves on the wrong side of that line. Whether it’s lifting weights that are too heavy, not carrying out the correct form on machines or trying to run a marathon in your first training session, all of these mistakes can cause injuries that bring your training to an abrupt halt. It’s your body so only you can really know your limits and what demands you can place on your body, but once you have the balance right then your training will progress much easier.
Not using training gadgets
For beginners, the wealth of fitness based apps and gadgets can seem a little confusing - if not overwhelming. However if a study carried out by Buena Vista University is anything to go off, they should be an integral part of your training plan. The study found that the addition of heart rate monitors and other such gadgets consistently improved training sessions across the board. Training with a heart rate monitor allows you to carry out interval training, optimal recovery sessions and threshold workouts that most people would struggle to complete accurately going of their rate of perceived exhaustion (RPE) alone.