Runners love running, which is why any training rule that isn’t about running more than they already are usually falls into the category of guideline. It isn’t until a runner gets injured that they start to pay attention to the category of their brain titled: all of the little things I was supposed to do. Life gets busy, and there certainly aren’t enough hours in the day to be the perfect runner. However, if you’ve found yourself with a little more time on your hands than usual, you could consider revisiting some of these training guidelines, and turning them back into training rules.
Rule: do your strength exercises
Runners do their strength exercises when they’re injured and completely forget about them once things are good again. Consistency is a great way to ensure that you stay healthy, balanced, and trending upwards in your training.
Rule: it’s not all about mileage
Mileage is almost always quality over quantity (except possibly if you’re training for an ultra). Since runners love running, more usually feels better. But for the sake of your running longevity, take a day every now and again to cross-train, because crushing miles for a short period of time isn’t the key to success–consistently accumulating mileage over the course of many years is. We know that weekly Strava totals look impressive, but good race results look even better.
Rule: eat a nutritious snack within 30 minutes of exercise
Most runners eat food within 30 minutes of working out, but the nutritious part is sometimes thrown out the window. We’re all about balance, but make sure that post-workout doughnut is coupled with a source of protein.
Rule: get seven to nine hours of sleep at night
Life is busy, and sleep is the first thing that gets overlooked when someone has a lot going on. Naps are a good way to make up sleep, so if you’ve got some time on a Sunday afternoon, try and have a snooze. Even 30 minutes can make a big difference.
Rule: some days should feel easy
Hammering runs every day is one of the most common mistakes runners make. Your easy day probably oscillates between easy and hard, depending on how you’re feeling. Even if your legs aren’t feeling too beat up, remember to have a couple of chill training days a week. Your body will thank you in the long term.
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