Sometimes I work up lists for tips and tricks for specific types of workouts or specific body-part movements; and sometimes I create lists for tips on how to accomplish a specific portion of training.
For today’s awesome list of tips, I am bringing you the 4 tips for running that you must obey: so I guess that you could call them 4 RULES for running that you must obey. That is because these tips or rules will not only help you in your running efforts, but they are actual MUSTS to get the most out of your training and to frankly not feel like crap after doing it.
Here’s the rundown:
1) Protect your joints, your calves, your feet, and your knees!
Everyone can start out running slowly by building up both their distances, their form, and also their speed. However, in the end, this slow type of smart training will get you no where if you fail to protect yourself. Running is a great sport for fitness and cardiovascular work, but it is also hell on the joints. If you plan on making this a career or a passion for a lifetime, get a knee brace that supports knees for mobility, get shoes that are fit to your stance and needs, wear compression for your calves for circulation, and consider taking fish oil and glucosamine for fluidity in your joints.
2) Eat appropriately before and after your race or training!
Ever seen the carbo-loader prepping for a short 5k with a huge pancake or granola bar just five minutes prior to the race? Yeah, that does not work. Understand your body’s ability to process both simply and also complex carbohydrates and the time it takes to convert the nutrients into energy or store them in the body. Make sure to wait at least 90 minutes post-meal to go for a run and if loading for a race, make sure the distance warrants it (as in 5 or more miles). In addition, do all the complex carbohydrates (spaghetti, anyone?) loading the night prior to the race so the body has actually had time to process the nutrients.
3) Take time off as often as you train for running!
Simply put: if you plan on running 3-5 days per week, take at least 2-3 days (or more) off from running as well. Not only will over-doing the running portion break down your body over time, but it will also do you ZERO favors for your thyroid functioning (your metabolism). In addition, the increase frequency of the same amount of cardiovascular workout will actually yield fewer calories burned over time as your body gets used to the routine and also becomes more physically-fit in regard to aerobic capacity. Increase your training intensity, but then also take time to rest and heal: you will become a faster runner for it.
4) Don’t expect too much out of yourself after a run career of running!
It is a common misconception that runners continue to improve and get better with their race times year over year. In fact, the majority of running reach their peak / plateau after 7 to 10 years of running. No matter what age one starts running at, within a decade or so, it is quite typical that the best times have been reached and the best days are behind them. However, there are expectations and there are stories of runners going well into their 70’s, 80’s, and even 90’s and getting better and faster with time. Don’t count on that as the universal truth though: if you are going to be a competitive runner, get in there and make the most of your training and time while you can and be the best version of you for that first sweet decade of improvement.
I am hoping you enjoy my list of 4 tips for running that you MUST obey. Again, these are more overall rules rather than specific tips on form or running types, but I believe these items to be utterly NOT replaceable and non-negotiable in regard to being the best long-term runner you can be.
Disagree or have things to add? Well, that’s what the comment boxes are for below: leave your best tips, tricks, and RULES that must be obeyed in order to be the best runner one can be. I look forward to seeing some of the feedback. Thanks! 🙂