Dedicated and passionate runners come from all walks of life. There is no set group of people that are more likely to start running than others, and no criteria for who can and can’t decide to take it up if they so choose. In short, running is a diverse and much-loved sport that can even be taken to a professional level. Nevertheless, despite the diversity within running, there are some habits that all passionate and professional runners share that can help keep them in top condition. Whether you’re a runner yourself and want to pick up a few healthy habits of your own, or you’re curious about the life that your favourite professionals lead, here are 13 to get you started!
As much as passionate runners are, well, passionate, running each and every day can become repetitive and perhaps even a little dull. Mixing it up from time to time is not only ideal for preventing things from getting a little dull, but having a more diverse routine can help keep your body in shape, promote the exercise of muscles that might otherwise not get much of a workout, and even improve your running overall. Swimming, weight lifting, yoga and cycling are ideal for giving your body a break from repetitive motion, and stimulating your mind between runs.
Consistency is the key to efficient and effective training and it’s no secret that runners swear by this ‘method’. While consistency doesn’t necessarily mean running every day, having a set routine that you stick to as much as you can, is ideal not only for your body, but for keeping yourself motivated to keep up with your runs. You and your body will know what to expect, and running will become a regular and integral part of your everyday life.
3. Try New Things
Given the fast-paced world we live in, the words ‘research’ and ‘innovation’ are pretty commonly used in a variety of different areas. Running is no exception. Like every sport, research is constantly being conducted into the benefits or the potential harm that could come to you from the activity and it can be difficult to keep up. However, being open to trying new things is ideal for professional and passionate runners who might be looking for better and more effective ways to keep themselves going.
It’s a truth that most people accept and grip onto with tired, aching hands that sleep is important. Getting enough sleep can seem like an endless battle between work, a social life, general relaxation and actually getting 8 hours a night. Runners, however, know just how vital it is to give our bodies the time to recharge, but the benefits don’t just end there. You can concentrate better, shed pounds, maintain weight loss and muscle gain, and most importantly you canheal. In short, if you don’t have enough time for sleep, make enough time!
5. We Have Goals
Having a goal is the best thing that a runner can do for their own sanity. Running without a purpose can quickly start to seem pointless, and with no motivation it’s easy to just stop completely. Passionate runners always have a goal, whether it’s a race, a marathon, a weight loss goal or something else entirely. Make a goal, remember that goal, and work towards it. You’ll thank yourself when you reach it.
6. Take An Interest In Other Runners And Major Running Events
There’s nothing quite like having an idol to aspire to be like. It fills you up with the right motivation to get you going when you feel like you don’t have it in you anymore. Running events on the other hand are the perfect occasion to not only learn about new techniques, equipment, and technology but also about new runners on the field. Whether it’s attempting to predict an athlete’s performance at the races, or to soak up all that energy, athletics events will rekindle anyone’s fighting spirit.
7. Embrace Tan Lines
Unattractive and awkward tan lines are a fact of a runner’s life so it’s time to embrace them. Put away the bronzer – you’ll only make it worse! – and accept that these tan lines should be a mark of pride rather than something to hide from view. You got out there, you ran long enough to get a great looking tan on some of your body and you’re ready and raring to do it all over again!
8. Have A Favourite Shoe
All professional and dedicated runners have favourite shoes. Whether it’s a particular brand that work best with how your foot falls, or you’ve had great experiences with another for their durability, or maybe you’re even dedicated to environmentally friendly brands, there is a shoe out there for everyone and once you find it, you’ll find yourself with the strangest urge to bulk buy so you never have to be without them.
9. Listen To Your Body
The aches, pains, groans and creaks that your body gives off can’t be ignored, and this is especially true for athletes. If your body is tweaking or aching in a way you aren’t used to, don’t ignore it. Ignoring these signs could result in devastating injuries. Don’t run through pains and twinges – this almost always results in painful damage that can take a long time to heal.
10. Take A Day Off Or Two
It’s okay to take time off and dedicated runners know this better than anyone. At the end of the day, we’re only human and if you do decide to take a day or two away from your routine for recovery or simply because you want to, there’s absolutely no harm in doing exactly that. In fact, days off can be beneficial to your training regime by giving your body a chance to heal injuries you may not realise you have, and to recovering your mental as well as physical health!
11. Run In The Moment And Not By Stats
Running by stats is the biggest mistake that new runners can make. Instead, you need to run in the moment or you’ll find yourself either losing the passion for the sport completely, or becoming obsessed with the numbers rather than the activity itself. While this might seem harmless at first, finding that you aren’t quite reaching the numbers you want can have devastating effects for those only looking for weight loss or muscle gain. Enjoy the run, not the results.
12. Understand That Recovery Is Important
As much as we might wish they were, our bodies aren’t machines. They need time to recover, and an athlete’s downtime is vital for this exact reason. Training can be intense and we’re only human. As tempting as it can be to get right back out there after an injury or after a period of intense training – don’t. You could do more harm than good!
Hydration, hydration, hydration – you’ve probably heard this one a million times, but you truly can’t live without it and you certainly can’t run without it either. Keeping yourself hydrated before, during and after your runs is paramount for a healthy athlete, so make sure to get drinking plenty of water, juice, or anything that can get you that hydration and the electrolytes that you need!
The above habits are just 13 of plenty more, and as you build up your running habit and your passion for the sport, you’ll find yourself building up a fair few of your own. If you’re already out there pounding the pavement, how many of these habits do you already have, and how many do you think you should pick up? Happy running.