Want to unlock your full running potential? Ready to smash those personal records, conquer new distances, and kick those extra pounds to the curb for good? Well, you’re in the right place because we’re about to dive headfirst into the world of the best runner’s habits.
Now, I know what you might be thinking—building habits sounds daunting, right? Fear not! I’m here to show you that it’s not rocket science, and it can actually be kind of fun. So, lace up those running shoes and get ready to transform your running lifestyle one habit at a time.
In this article, we’re going to break down each habit, sprinkle in some practical tips, and guide you on how to seamlessly integrate them into your running routine.
Excited? You should be! Let’s hit the ground running and discover the secret sauce to becoming the best runner you can be.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 1. Become a Morning Runner
Our lives are a whirlwind of activities, from work commitments to social gatherings and family responsibilities. It often feels like there’s barely enough time to maintain a consistent running routine. But what if I told you there’s a simple solution: become a morning runner?
Embarking on a morning run has two significant advantages. First and foremost, it allows you to check off your run before the chaos of daily life takes over. Studies even suggest that people who exercise in the morning tend to stay more committed to their fitness regimen in the long run.
Secondly, starting your day with a run sets a positive tone that can enhance productivity, alertness, and overall energy levels. It’s like a shot of espresso for your body and mind, minus the caffeine jitters.
Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. If you’re a night owl and have successfully maintained a consistent running schedule in the afternoon or evening, kudos to you! But for many of us (myself included), transitioning into the “morning runner” lifestyle has been a game-changer.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 2. Set a Variety of Goals
Goal setting is the cornerstone of a successful running journey, but it’s not a one-size-fits-all concept. To truly harness its power, I encourage you to embrace a variety of goal types that will keep you motivated and consistently progressing.
Let’s explore the key goal categories every runner should consider:
Life (Long-Term) Performance Goals:
Think of these as your ultimate running aspirations—the crowning achievements that define your running journey. It’s your lifetime running legacy. Examples include conquering a marathon, earning that coveted Boston Marathon qualification, or triumphing in an ultra-distance trail race. These are the goals that make you say, “I did it.”
Annual Performance Goals:
These mid-range objectives serve as stepping stones towards your life goals. They provide the roadmap to your ultimate running dreams. For instance, it could be breaking the 20-minute mark in a 5K race by June or completing a local marathon in under 3 hours and 30 minutes. Annual goals keep you focused and moving forward.
While life and annual goals set the direction, short-term goals define your day-to-day and weekly actions. They are the building blocks that prop up your larger objectives. Short-term goals typically span one to four weeks, depending on where you are in your training cycle.
Other goals to consider:
Here are other goals you might consider setting:
- Increasing your running mileage/distance.
- Improving your speed
- Booking a running vacation
- Walking 10,000 steps every day
- Eating more greens,
- Getting at least 8 hours of high-quality sleep every night,
- Start trail running,
- Becoming a barefoot runner,
- Learning to bike and swim for a triathlon
- Run with a training partner and/or group at least once a week
- Or just make running (more) fun.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 3 Do a Dynamic Warm-up Routine Before a Run
Ah, the dreaded warm-up miles. We’ve all been there, right? But fear not, my fellow runner, because I’m about to let you in on a game-changing secret: dynamic warm-up exercises.
Dynamic warm-ups are like your running BFF. They not only get your blood pumping and your heart racing but also make sure your joints and muscles are all geared up for action.
So, without further ado, here’s the idea dynamic warm-up routine:
Start with a leisurely 5-minute walk. This is like your warm-up for the warm-up.
Now, get ready to shake things up. Spend 20 to 30 seconds on each of the following exercises in the order listed:
- Leg swings: Channel your inner pendulum and swing those legs back and forth.
- Skips: Yes, you read that right. Skip like you’re a kid again. It’s fun, I promise.
- Squats: Drop it like it’s hot (but controlled) with some squats.
- Lunges: Step into greatness with some lunges. Alternating legs, of course.
- Inchworms: Feel like a mini-giant as you inch your way forward and backward.
Now that your body is awake and raring to go, slowly transition into your regular running pace. It’ll feel like a breeze, trust me.
After your invigorating run, don’t forget the golden rule of running: stretching. Show some love to those hardworking muscles – calves, hamstrings, quads, and hip flexors. Give your shoulders and chest a little TLC to release any built-up tension.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 4. Take Care of Your Body
Oh, running, the beautiful agony of it all! It’s a love-hate relationship, isn’t it? On the one hand, you’ve got the thrill of the open road or the soothing rhythm of the treadmill, and on the other, there’s chafing, cramps, blisters, and the ever-looming specter of more serious injuries.
But here’s the deal, my fellow runner: to keep those running shoes laced up for the long haul, you’ve got to embrace the art of recovery. It’s not just a nice-to-have; it’s an absolute must. Why, you ask?
Well, let me drop a truth bomb on you: you’ll never unlock your full running potential if you’re constantly nursing injuries or feeling like a burnt-out candle.
In the grand scheme of things, I’d say you’re only as good as your recovery game. For the elite athletes out there, recovery isn’t a side dish; it’s the main course. So, my friend, it’s time to get serious about your recovery. Ignoring it or trying to outmuscle it is a one-way ticket to a world of trouble.
After all, those personal records and that runner’s high are waiting for you on the other side of a well-executed recovery routine.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to speed up recovery and staying injury free:
- Schedule recovery runs, recovery days, and recovery weeks into your training program.
- Never run through pain—especially in the hips, knees, shins, or feet.
- Stay within your fitness level at all times—but stretch it gradually.
- Get at least 8 hours of high-quality and uninterrupted sleep during the night’s time.
- Change your running shoes every 400 to 500 miles.
- Take care of your running feet.
- Use a compression garment while running.
- Cross train—preferably low-impact activities, such as walking, biking, strength training, and yoga. This can also be a form of “active recovery.
- Keep listening to your body and adjusting your training program accordingly.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 5. Strength Train
Ah, the weight room – the secret haven of many a successful and joyful runner. It might sound counterintuitive, but believe me, resistance training is your running BFF.
Let’s break it down: hitting those weights does wonders for your running game. It’s like the Swiss Army knife of workouts for runners. First off, it tackles those pesky muscle imbalances, and when you’re balanced, you’re less likely to wind up on the injury list.
Nobody wants that, right?
But that’s not all – resistance training is your ticket to building power and speed, two things that can turn you into a running powerhouse.
Plus, it’s like a crash course in improving your running economy, which is a fancy way of saying you’ll use less oxygen when you run. Efficiency is the name of the game.
Strong muscles working in harmony, proper form locked in, and you are gliding like a gazelle (or at least feeling like one). That’s the gift of a well-rounded athlete.
So, here’s the deal – make those weight room dates at least twice a week. Give your muscles the love they deserve, and they’ll reward you with strength, resilience, and endurance.
Now, I get it – not everyone’s besties with the gym. No problem. You can start right at home with some classic bodyweight exercises like push-ups, squats, pull-ups, lunges, and planks. These bad boys will whip you into shape and boost your total body strength in no time.
And hey, if time’s not your friend, don’t sweat it (well, maybe a little). You can squeeze in some strength exercises post-run. Imagine this: you’ve just crushed your run, and now you’re topping it off with a bonus round of 25 push-ups, 30 squats, 20 lunges, and a 90-second plank.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 6. Run With Others
When it comes to achieving success – and I’m talking about success not just in running but in every nook and cranny of life – the people you surround yourself with are like secret weapons.
Here’s the deal: if you want to crush your running goals while having an absolute blast, there’s no better way than to run with others, especially those you genuinely enjoy hanging out with. Why? Because you are the company you keep, plain and simple.
But don’t just take my word for it; science has our back on this one. A nifty study by the Society of Behavioral Medicine spilled the beans – those who exercise with others are way more likely to stay true to their training.
But wait, there’s more. Running with your crew isn’t just about clocking miles together; it’s about building a support system, a cornerstone of long-term health and fitness success.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 7 Eat Healthy
Whether you’re pounding the pavement or taking it easy, a healthy diet is your ultimate sidekick – and trust me, it’s not up for debate.
Here’s the deal – even if you could run from sunrise to sunset, you’d never outrun an unhealthy diet. Period.
So, let’s make healthy eating a lifelong habit, shall we? I know it’s easier said than done, but hey, it’s not rocket science.
Now, let’s break it down.
The “when” is key.
What you munch on before, during, and after a run directly impacts your performance and how much you enjoy that workout. So, here’s the game plan: chow down something light and easy on the stomach one to two hours before your run.
Think carbs – they’re your energy buddies. And don’t forget to refuel right after you wrap up that run. Your body will thank you.
Now, let’s talk “what.” Proper nutrition isn’t about stuffing your face; it’s about fueling your engine with the good stuff.
So, load up on veggies, fruits, lean proteins, healthy fats – you know, the A-team. Kick the junk to the curb. It’s time to level up your plate game.
Running Lifestyle Habit – 8 Drink lots of Water
I can’t stress this enough – you need to make guzzling water a daily habit. Not coffee, not iced tea, and certainly not soda or sugary drinks. We’re talking good old H2O.
Here’s the game plan: aim for at least 36 ounces of water per day. That’s about six six-ounce glasses. But, if your body’s hankering for more, then drink up. But here’s the catch – don’t go overboard. Too much water can actually upset your stomach and mess with your sodium levels. So, be smart about it. Know when to say when.
Now, here’s a pro tip for you – your pee is a hydration indicator. If it’s clear throughout the day, you’re nailing the hydration game. But if it’s looking pale and yellow, you’ve got some catching up to do in the water-drinking department.
Building A Better Running Lifestyle – The 8 Running Habits You Need – Conclusion
Last but not least, I want to hear from you, guys and girls.
Which of these eight habits do you think is more crucial?
Which one(s) do you need to start working on?
And please, do you have any habits or running practices you feel like sharing?
Leave your suggestions and questions in the comment section below.
Thank you for reading my post.