All runners have different goals and motivations for taking up running. Whether your goal is to run a new distance, hit a faster pace, or lose some extra weight, these 10 habits of highly successful runners may help you get there faster. What are the secret ingredients to a happy and healthy running lifestyle?
10 Habits of Successful Runners
You’ve heard the phrase “in it for the long run” but what does that really mean? Happy and successful runners practice many of the same healthy habits that help keep us up and running for decades. Let’s take a look at what some of them are.
Wearing the right gear
Getting fitted for proper running shoes and monitoring their wear and tear is an important first step. We tend to have a favorite brand/style of shoes. Wearing the right sports bra and moisture-wicking apparel helps keep us comfortable and blister/chafe free.
Having a routine
Whether you are an early bird runner or an afternoon mileage seeker, successful runners tend to have a routine and stick to it. In fact, for many of us, nothing comes between us and our run time. It’s a sacred part of our day. We have a plan for how many days a week we run and approximately how many miles. We know what types of runs we are going to do on which days. (speedwork, hills, long run).
The runner’s lifestyle places huge demands on our body and we know the importance of sleep. We know we perform better when we prioritize sleep. Experts recommend that runners sleep 8 hours per night and add 1 extra minute per night for each mile run that week. (source)
Related: Peloton sleep meditation app review
Warming Up before a run
Performing a short dynamic warm up before a run primes your muscles for the workout ahead and helps to increase blood flow. This routine can enhance performance and reduce the chance of injury. Think you don’t have time? Check out this quick 5 minute dynamic stretch routine.
Healthy, happy, and successful runners respect how important rest and recovery are to their performance. We know rest helps our muscles repair themselves, prevents burnout and mental fatigue, and also helps to keep injuries at bay.
Embracing recovery and stretching
What we do post run can have a huge impact on how our body adapts to training. Incorporating static stretches and or foam rolling post run can help reduce muscle soreness and improve flexibility. See here for more info.
Enjoying a balanced diet
Healthy runners enjoy eating a balanced diet of fruits, vegetables, proteins, and carbohydrates. We pay attention to pre-run fueling and know which foods help us perform better. We are aware that eating a nutritious snack with protein and carbs post run helps us begin the recovery process faster. See here for post run snack ideas.
Making time for strength training
We get stronger with regular strength training. We know pumping iron helps us to build muscle and improve our balance which helps us in our everyday lives and in our running shoes.
Watching warning signs
Healthy and successful runners know that sometimes our bodies or our minds need a break. We look out for early warning signs of overuse injuries or mental burnout and take those as signs to back off a bit and get some extra rest. We understand that it is better to take a few days off to recharge than be forced to take a few weeks or months off for an injury.
Finding our tribe
Joining a running group or socializing with local (or virtual) like minded runners helps us to feel a sense of community. We embrace the welcoming and goal oriented running community and rely on each other for support and advice,
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No matter what your running goals are, adopting some of the habits of highly successful runners will help you achieve them faster. After all, we are in it for the long run.