Use these rules, or make your own, to improve your running
I rarely overthink my running. I know what I want to do and I have an idea about how I can accomplish it. This is because I’ve spent years honing into how my body should feel and I’ve set guard rails that prevent me from going crazy.
Running is a Lifelong Endeavor
Running is a great way to stay in shape and improve your quality of life. But if you’re new to running, or if you’ve been running for a while and just don’t feel like you’re getting the most out of your workouts, it can be hard to know how to make sure that you’re doing it right.
There’s no reason to dread your next run! In fact, if you follow these simple rules – or make your own similar goals – running will become so much more enjoyable that you might even start looking forward to it.
The running rules I’m going to outline below are the rules I’ve created for myself that help guides my training. Some of these rules will not apply to your situation and might even leave you with more questions than answers. That’s okay. These are the rules that help me and my running.
Why Rules Anyway?
I’ve been a runner since 1999 – my high school freshman year. There hasn’t been a time in my life since March of that year that I haven’t identified as a runner. It’s literally who I am. Running is such a big part of my life – and really, my family’s life – it’s important that I make time to get my running done.
I created running “rules” as a way to not overcomplicate running. If I follow my rules – the rules I created – then I should always be happy with my running. While running fast is fun and important to me, even more so, is just having the ability to run. Sticking to these rules helps keep me healthy, happy, and motivated to log miles each and every day – during all aspects of difficult parts of my life.
What you should take out of this post is a framework to create your own rules that help you with your running, especially when the going gets tough.
This post is all about giving you a framework for long-term success in running so that you can stay motivated and keep your body moving forward.
I’ve put together our best advice for how to make running a part of your life—and I want you to know that I understand where you’re coming from. I’ve been there too!
- No big jumps in weekly mileage
I know I can’t go from time off (which I strongly suggest) to big mileage. I have to get back to running slowly and build momentum over time. A big jump, for me, is a recipe for an injury.
- My watch does not dictate how I will feel on a run
No matter what my watch says, I rely on my body to tell me when to push and when to chill. I use my watch for tracking details (distance, time, pace), but don’t stress about nitty-gritty numbers.
As soon as I get pain around my lower ankle on my shin, I know that my shoes are dead. I track mileage, so I know when I’m getting close, but my shins are the canary in the coal mine.
- I can get in shape just by doing easy, slow running
If all I do is easy running, I know that I’ll eventually get in shape. I don’t stress if I don’t do workouts, just plain running will get me most of the way to fit.
- A missed day of training is better than a missed week
Sometimes a run just doesn’t happen and I have to be a-okay with missing it. I’m lucky that my wife is forgiving and accommodating (she won’t read this so it’s okay that I brag about her) and allows me to get my crazies out with some mileage.
- My daily recovery is essential to running well
I am terribly bad at recovering from hard days. I’ve always been and I continue to recover slower than teammates doing the same work as me. I adjust and adapt by getting sleep, massaging, hydrating, and taking care of myself.
- Run through discomfort is okay, running through pain is not
Running is inherently tough and that’s cool with me. But pain is not. Pain leads to injury and injury leads to time off. Not cool with that.
- Runs should be: mostly slow, occasionally upbeat, and rarely all out
I have some of the worst Strava-worthy runs because my pace is usually crap for where I am as a runner. The first mile of my last long run was over 10 minutes. My recovery runs start out at 9:25 pace. Sure, I build into the runs and get faster, but I really don’t care what my first mile is, I care about the race days. And because my mileage is consistent and mostly easy, I’m able to run fast on race day.
When you think about getting up and going for a run, do you feel excited? Or overwhelmed? If you’re one of those people who dread going to the gym or hopping on the treadmill, we’ve got some tips for you! These rules will help you from flying off the handlebars and keep you from overdoing it or from losing focus on what’s really important.
How do you make sure that you’re getting the most out of your training? And how do you avoid common pitfalls like injury, burnout, and overtraining?
Which rule do you think you can use and adapt as your own? Leave a comment and let everyone know!
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Gear I Love
My Favorite RUNNING gear from Amazon ⬇️
Feetures socks: https://amzn.to/36gNRjU
Tifosi Sunglasses: https://amzn.to/349OuJx
Garmin 235: https://amzn.to/2YgXJ9M
Garmin heart rate monitor: https://amzn.to/2JUun8a
Current Running Shoes ⬇️
Brooks Levitate: https://amzn.to/2GazmUh
Brooks Revel: https://amzn.to/3ndnwcO
Nike Pegasus: https://amzn.to/36htGlX
Running Recovery Gear I use daily from Amazon ⬇️
Sonic X Percussion Massage Gun: https://amzn.to/2S87qTt
Foam Roller: https://amzn.to/2MzrAly
CEP Compression socks: https://amzn.to/30gZLGY
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