We sure do learn several lessons along the way as we evolve into better more experienced runner’s. Some lessons create speed, some increase mileage, and some enlighten the mind. As we plan our goals for the long-term, the best runners will intensely focus on their short-term goals as well. These short term goals are accomplished by their daily rituals, or habits.
There are many habits that the best runners tend to repeat. They know that every small effort will eventually lead to one giant success. So here are 8 habits to adopt NOW that will better your running!
1. Run In The Morning
To become a better runner, a morning training run should be as much of a routine as getting dressed. It takes tremendous self discipline through multiple training sessions to break new personal records and the morning is the most convenient time to do so. Don’t have time to run? The best runners will sacrifice sleep. They will wake up hours earlier to run to prevent conflicts in their daily schedule. Nothing like catching the morning sunrise on the run!
2. Make It A Priority
To become a better runner you must make training a priority. It’s like brushing your teeth, simply a must. When you make running a priority, excuses fade. If a training run is missed you must own it, exclude the excuses, and stay committed. There’s always time available to run, but if you do not give it importance then there will never be time at all. The best runners know this instinctively. So make training a MUST not a SHOULD. We all eat when we’re hungry and sleep when we’re tired. We shower when we’re dirty and we turn on the heat when we’re cold. And the best runners run when it’s time to train – period.
3. Active In The Running Community
Its important to be socially active in the running community. Whether it’s joining a club, a class, coaching, or involved in social media, try and stay socially active. The running community is not just about social interaction but it’s also about learning from others. It opens the mind to new perspectives, innovative strategies, and helps with avoiding common mistakes. When you learn from someone else it saves much wasted time. It helps skip unneeded trial and error while learning new strategies and techniques in the process. The running community is there for support and will certainly better your running.
4. Maintains A Strict Diet
To become a better runner you must have a better diet. Your body doesn’t have the ability to turn poor nutritional choices into ones of higher quality. Our cells, muscles, skin, and bones are built by the food that we supply it. We literally are what we eat. There are many types of runner diets that saturate the industry all claiming to be the next big thing but whichever diet you live by, stick to it. Remember, it’s not a diet change but a lifestyle change that’s needed most.
5. Spends Time At The Gym
Although running is done on the road, track, and the trail, it’s essential to train other muscles of the body preferably at the gym. A balanced exercise program is essential to becoming strong and healthy to improve your running. Strength training and cross training is an important part of a runners overall development and every day is a good day when you train.
6. Lives For The Long-Run
The long run is what it’s all about. The best runners understand the importance of pushing yourself to run faster and farther. These lengthy miles are the best preparation for upcoming races. It places a runner on their feet for prolonged periods of time. For the best runners, the weekend is all about the long run. It’s what they wake up for, it’s what they run for, and it’s what they live for. It’s the closest distance to race day and the most important run of all.
7. Stand Up And Move
Spend the majority of your day on your feet to better your running. Understand the importance of placing a demand on the body. Remember, movement creates more movement! So try walking to stores instead of driving, standing up to eat, or running to work. Continuous movement provides momentum, and this can be powerful, a secret the best runners understand. They move and they move and they move, leveraging this momentum to their favor throughout their entire training schedule.
8. Competitive Edge
Competition is a prime motivator for many runners. The best runners tend to be competitive while demonstrating their spirit on race day. Let’s face it, most of us are competitive one way or another. If it’s racing against others or racing against yourself, and your past run times, a competitive edge is always present. It’s used as fuel for motivation and so use this fuel to your advantage to better your running.
In the running world there are numerous races to choose from. Anywhere from a 5k fun run, to a prestige marathon, or even an enduring ultra marathon. The best runners know which strengths to leverage, which weaknesses to improve, and are excited for each new challenge that comes their way. Running can be so much more than moving your feet forward, and it can be just that, moving your feet forward. The best runners know this but are driven to become increasingly better than the day before, no matter what it takes, and it sure takes a whole lot of running.
REMEMBER…Every small effort will eventually lead to one giant success! And be sure to check out The Complete Beginners Guide To Running Gear!
Now it’s your turn to share. We’d love to hear some effective running habbits of your own. Leave a comment below!
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