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Running Commandments: What Are Your Rules?

20 July

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ian W Scott

There are plenty of great discussions on our member message boards, and some of them are just too good to pass up. This thread on the commandments of running, the things you need to do before a run so that it will be just right. Some are fun, some are superstition, some are safety-oriented…but they are all really good. I personally picked up a few good tips here and I think you might too. If there’s anything we missed, please let us know via the comments!


~ Coach Patrick

  • Lace my shoes standing up.
  • Run easy the first 15 minutes of every run.
  • Do hills of some kind 1x a week.
  • Say hi to at least one person on my run.
  • Keep a dollar in my shoes (never know when you’ll pass a kid selling lemonade).
  • Stretch after each run.
  • Indulge in the ipod only once a week.
  • Sprint from the sign to the drive way.
  • Wear my Road ID.
  • Walk first 1/4 mile and last 1/4 mile.
  • Only put on mp3 player/headset if I’m at least at the 1/2way point of my workout.
  • You have to get the run done. Schedule a time that’s realistic and do it.
  • If there is any way to do it without inconveniencing the rest of the family, that’s the time to do it. (e.g., can it be done during a kid activity?) That matters more than weather.
  • If putting it to late in the day threatens that it won’t get done, you have to choose between running indoors or running early.
  • Allow for sufficient warmup, especially if I’m tired from previous workouts. If I need to warm up an extra 10 minutes or whatever, that’s better than trying to run super fast on legs that aren’t ready for it.
  • Spend at least some part of each run focusing on form. I switched to fore/midfoot strike less than a year ago, and I have to keep thinking about it. Fatigue, especially, makes it important, and it seems to make a big difference.
  • Usually always tie my left shoe first.
  • Chip for races always goes on the right shoe.
  • 99% of the time do a 1.5 mile warm up & 1.5 cool down.
  • Coffee before…Always eat before, too.
  • Heart rate strap & Garmin watch w/ foot pod.
  • Be clear on what the workout is for the day beforehand.
  • Commit to sticking with & completing entire workout.
  • Ipod Shuffle (sorry)…sometimes I don’t feel like wearing it, but I do enjoy running to music.
  • Be ON TIME when meeting others.
  • Turn Garmin on and sit by window while I lace up.
  • Wiggle toes to see if socks are too tight once in shoe if so, repeat until socks feel just right.
  • Put on Road ID.
  • When dark out in winter, wear Fuel Belt with blinky light attached, reflective vest, and headlamp.
  • Leave note on dry erase board of my route.
  • Grab Garmin and HR strap.
  • No looking at watch until 1/4 mile into warm up (I have distance landmarks for all my routes).
  • Minimum 1 mile warm up/cool down.
  • Stretch, strengthen, and foam roll legs first thing in the morning the day after any hard workouts or when any pains exist.
  • If you made the time in the schedule, then you do it.
  • If you are ‘in training’, then you must run in any weather to prepare for the weather on race day except if there is lightening (the race will be stopped too).
  • Tell someone the planned route and expected time of return.
  • Remember Road ID.
  • Body glide if more than 6 miles.
  • Say hi and try to smile to everyone I see…that’s usually 0 to 3 people; otherwise I look too serious!
  • While running, make it look easy…regardless of pace.
  • Post run is ice wraps on the knees, legs up the wall and then foam roller/stretching.
  • Have Fun!

PS – Some late submissions for the early AM runners:

  • Check out door thermometer from my bedroom monitor ( moot point lately, it reads HOT).
  • Drink 8oz water while garmin is outside picking up satellite.
  • Wear ID.
  • Wear blinking safety light.
  • Walk first 5 minutes, reviewing side walk breaks to avoid face planting.

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