Must Have Rules for Runners

Must Have Rules for Runners

Over my reading and talking with other runners, I have picked up a few things that I wouldn't call tips but more "must knows".  Things that some runners may not know.  Things that newbies wouldn't even think of.  And things that experienced runners may forget to do.  Also, just some good things to keep in mind through your training.  

*DO NOT increase speed AND distance in the same run!  This can lead to heightened injury potential.  I know it's hard in the beggining especially, to harness yourself.   This is why periodization is so important and having a plan is a must!  You have seperate days for your speed runs and those for your longer runs, but do not try both together.  Not giving your body enough time to adapt to one change alone, can result in an unwanted mandatory break in training. 

*Ease into new footwear.  Ok, so you're on your 10 mile run training for your half marathon and you want to wear in your new shoes a little before race day.  That's fine, but I wouldn't attempt to do so on your long run for the week.  It is better to break them in on smaller runs, to allow your feet to adapt.  Remember, better safe then sorry. 

*Don't forget to cross train!  I know you want to run, especially if that's what you'll be doing race day.  It is just as important to add in cross training to strengthen your support muscles.  Trail runs, biking, resistance training, and rowing are great ways to work those leg muscles AND then some.  You want to have all hands on deck come race day. 

*Looking for a new race day drink?  Thats fine, just don't do the trial run on the day of your race.  Nothing worse then an upset stomach, or maybe worse, when you're trying to attain that time goal.  We all look for the best support come race day, so test it out on your training runs.  At least you can take a detour if need be without losing race time.  

*Enjoy the process, not just the result.  I have this problem, of focusing on the end of the race/run and not enjoying the run as much.  Problem with this can be several things.  You can end up running to fast of a pace and losing steam for the second half, you can end up getting sucked into negative thoughts on your run, you don't let yourself relax and enjoy the run itself.  If you tend to focus on time, try to do your long run without keeping a watch.  Yes, track the time you start and finish, but don't obsess over it for the entire run! 

*Don't starve your body.  So you're going for your long run and you figure you'll survive on that apple you had this morning.  WRONG!  About 45 minutes in you are going to notice the gradual process of fatigue.  Sure, you can fight it on a short 3 miler or maybe even 6, but anything longer and you better be feeding your body some sustinance.  If you want it to work hard, you gotta feed it!  Try a granola bar on your run, or Cytomax sports drink in your camelbak, or even some Gu or other simple sugar.  I'm not saying stop off for a cheesburger at mile 10, but light sugars will provide you with the steam to forge ahead.  


If you are a runner and have any good tips to share, email me at  I would love to get your feedback and input to share with readers!  

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