Here are some common pitfalls many runners fall into -- and how to avoid them.
Stop running in the wrong shoes.
Wearing the wrong type of running shoes for your feet and running style can lead to running injuries. If you've never had a running gait analysis done, go to a running specialty store, where they can do one and recommend the right running shoes for you. You also need to make sure you're wearing the right size shoes -- you should get shoes that are at least half a size bigger than your street shoe size. Your feet swell when you run so it's good to have some extra room in the toe box to avoid black toenails and blisters.
Stop ignoring pain.
Some runners assume they're invincible and push through a run despite some pain that's not going away. Don't make the mistake of thinking that missing a few runs will ruin your training or prevent you from reaching a goal or finishing a race. Pain is a signal from your body that something is wrong and rest is usually the best treatment. Taking some time off from running when an injury is in its early stages will prevent more time off later. If you push through it, the injury will most likely get worse.
Stop giving yourself a license to eat whatever you want.
I'm not guilty of this all the time but, often after long runs or a big mileage week, I find myself going a bit overboard at meals. I justify some junk food binging by telling myself how many miles I've run. This is an easy way for runners to gain weight, despite all the exercise they're doing. Keep track of your exercise and calorie intake in a journal -- you'll get a better picture of how many calories you're actually burning and taking in. And tracking everything will make you think twice before eating lots of high-calorie, high-fat foods after runs.
Time to take a walk.