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May 9, 2011
There's a lot to know when preparing for a marathon, bike race or other athletic event, and it's not all common sense—especially if you're a beginner. But amateurs aren't doomed to bungle the first go. Here, fitness experts share seven novice training missteps to avoid.
1. Training too much, too soon. "Most people get excited about their goal and go all out," says Bellingham, WA-based personal trainer and former Penn State running coach Carol Frazey. But overdoing it can quickly lead to injury and burnout. One way to prevent covering too much ground in the first weeks of training: follow the 10 percent rule. Increase your mileage or minutes each week by no more than 10 percent. That means if you currently run a total of 20 miles per week, you can step it up to 22 miles the next week. Follow this rule of thumb until you reach your maximum pre-race goal mileage, Frazey says. And as a general rule, don't increase distance and intensity in the same week.