5 Commandments of Running
As we’re already a week into the New Year, it’s safe to assume that many of our new year’s resolutions will be as resolved as just about every crossword puzzle I’ve ever started. That’s not to say we lack the ability to see our goals to fruition, but rather, it’s simply too easy to lose sight of what we originally set our minds to.
So a quick refresher on those goals and a highly visible means of motivation may be sufficient enough to fulfill those resolutions. So I’ve come up with 5 commandments to live by in our training that will help us maintain our focus as we buckle down through these dreary months of winter.
1. Honor thy Mother’s Cooking
You don’t have to live with your mother to follow this one, but the rule is simple; home cooked meals are always better than eating out. All too often, I’ve found myself in situations where a meal out is much easier to come by. But knowing what goes specifically in your meals at home, along with the ability to create better portion control (I’ll clean any size plate of wings or mozzarella sticks placed in front of me with too much ease) provide an excellent way to stay on top of your healthy lifestyle, benefitting your training and daily routine.
It’ll also allow for those lacking creativity, such as myself, to find inventive new recipes in the kitchen. Any soup-burners out there may require adult supervision in your culinary endeavors, but I assure you that you’ll be a pro in no time.
2. Keep Munchies Readily Available
Most people believe they have to starve to get to where they want in terms of fitness or physique. But as you ramp up your mileage and overall activity level, you will need to find a way to sustain that energy, and for most, there’s no better way than snacking throughout the day. I’ll say more specifically, consciously snack.
Simply throwing down a bag of Doritos is not going to help your routine. The less processed, the better. Snacks such as carrots, bell peppers, a bag of trail mix will provide the energy you need and allow you to be more productive in your workout as you maintain a sufficient level of fuel.
3. Prevent Injury
Nobody enjoys being injured, and as a professional athlete, time off is money loss, both metaphorical and physical. But nobody needs to be an athlete to appreciate maintaining a pain free routine. This simply comes down to what movements you repeat in rapid succession throughout your training. With running, any of the leg joints (knee, hip) are easy targets if you’re not aware of poor form. These can be taken care of by throwing in a core routine two or more times a week, along with any number of mobility exercises.
There have been far too many times I’ve found myself injured because of my lack of attention to specific areas. It won’t always result in an instant fix, but it will correct the underlying issue, which can get you started down the path of recovery if an injury does arise in your training. Again, form is the key factor. A thousand reps of anything will be completely useless and will end up causing injury if you’re not doing it correctly.
4. Thou Shall Not Covet Others’ Shoes
Find what equipment works best for you. Not everyone requires that sleek new shoe model that retails at $150. In fact, just about any around $100 retail will do the same job so long as it’s fitted to you. As runners, the only real equipment we need are shoes, but unfortunately, clothes are also a must in public.
There is no one size fits all, so go to your local running store and see what they can do for your running by sticking you in a pair of shoes that will limit occurrence of injury.
5. Thou Shall have Patience in Thy Training
Results will not happen immediately following that 10 X 1 mile workout you did on the track. In fact, no single workout will make you, but it can break you. Running requires all aspects of training (core, nutrition, mobility, etc.) to sync together over a relatively long period of time in order to see any benefits, and hopefully that PR you’re shooting for. So if you find your body begging for rest or if something feels off, take the day to review your training and recover, physically and mentally.
What are some tips that you live and train by? Share them in the comments below.