30 Key Rules for Runners

30 Key Rules for Runners

Quality requires a solid foundation. For quality training this foundation is scientific knowledge and years of experience to keep the training process safe and effective. You can build strength and endurance only with the help of proper knowledge. Today we are going to speak about 30 most important rules of running.

30 Rules Every New Runner Should Know

  1. Rule of gradual approach. If you decide to start running or if you are back in sports after a long break, there’s no need to rush off the bat. Increase the load gradually.
  2. Rule of individuality. Somebody else’s training plan is not guaranteed to meet your needs and goals. Each athlete has their own story, fitness form, injuries, body parameters etc. Personalization of training is the key to success.
  3. Rule of Hermes. Talaria sandals were worn by the Greek god Hermes. They quickly carried him by air and were an indispensable attribute. The same for a real runner’s shoes - this is the object of worship. Very old and worn running shoes may lead to injury. Depending on the model, your bodyweight, and the surface on which you are running, the life of each pair may vary. Do not forget to change your running shoes every 700-800 km (450-500 miles.) It is best to have a few pairs of running shoes, for each type of training.
  4. Rule of stabilization. If you have hyper- or hypopronation, you should choose running shoes with internal foot support. This will protect you from a variety of injuries.
  5. Rule of the training plan. If you have made a long-term personal training plan, you need to be able to stick to it, seeking for opportunities to carry out every workout in the given format and volume.
  6. Rule of the first kilometer. Do not start the distance on your maximum possible pace. This will quickly lead to muscle acidification and a sharp drop in speed.
  7. Rule of five sentences. If during the run you can’t say more than five sentences to your running partner without losing your breath, then, most likely, you run at the anaerobic threshold (that is, with competitive, and not with the cross speed).
  8. Quality over quantity rule. If during the exercise performance you realize that at the end of the series you keep going with improper form, then it is worth to reduce the number of sets while preserving the form.
  9. ‘Do not harm’ rule. This rule is important not only in medicine, but also in sports. You don’t need to exhaust yourself with excessive training, even if you want it, but not functionally ready for it.
  10. ‘Before-and-after’ rule. Always make a warm-up and a cool-down in each workout and especially at the competitions.
  11. Rule ‘30+’. When preparing for a marathon, experienced runners need to do the last long training (about 30 km or 18.5 miles) no later than a month before the upcoming start.
  12. Rule of heart rate. It is very important to monitor the heart rate during the running exercises. This especially applies to beginners. By working in the right heart rate zones, you will make your workouts effective and eliminate the risk of overtraining.
  13. Rule of nutrition. Proper nutrition is one of the most important points for effective training process. Avoid bedtime overeating, junk food, sugar, fatty and salty foods. Proper nutrition is the key.
  14. Rule of carbohydrate loading. A few days before the marathon or half marathon, make a special emphasis on carbohydrates in your diet. To increase glycogen reserves to a level that would be enough for a full marathon, there is a special diet called "Carbo Loading". The essence of the diet is to first reduce the glycogen stores to a certain minimum limit, which will then force the body to accumulate it for future use. Do not confuse carbo loading with gluttony during regular exercise.
  15. Rule ‘Avoid the unknown’. Avoid new supplements, sport nutrition or foods before a responsible start. This can lead to gastrointestinal tract problems. All your long efforts will be in vain.
  16. Rule of quality sleep. If you train hard, you need to sleep for at least 8 hours. If you work out every day, but sleep well from time to time, it will significantly reduce your potential.
  17. Rule of restoration. Be very attentive to the recovery process. If you conducted an effective high-intensity training, then it is recommended to make a rest day after it, even if it seems that you are ready to keep going the next day.
  18. Rule of high-grade fever. Doctors will recommend patients to avoid any kind of physical efforts during cold or flu. However, professional athletes often train, even if they have a light cold or weakness. Exercise is not recommended, if you have high-grade fever (38.5 °C or 101.4°F and above).
  19. Rule of ‘Dr. Rest’. If you are seriously injured, you do not need to try to continue training. It is better to take a break and take the necessary measures to get better, so that the injury doesn’t progress.
  20. Rule of H2O. At high physical loads, the body loses moisture very actively. It must be replenished timely. Therefore, it is not only recommended, but necessary to drink before, during and after training. The athlete must consume 2.5 times more water than an ordinary person of the same weight.
  21. Rule of systematization. If you train with a coach, and he or she writes you a plan, you shouldn’t adjust it on your own, if you missed a few workouts. The system is extremely important here. And the training plan is the correct sequence of actions.
  22. Rule of intermediate goals. Don’t strive to reach all goals at once. Before you reach your main goal, target and try to achieve smaller and more feasible ones.
  23. Rule of intervals. Practically for every runner who wants to achieve great results in running, it is important to increase aerobic performance and speed over long distances – due to VO2max interval training.
  24. ‘Slowly but surely’ rule. A long distance (over 80 minutes) needs to be covered a quarter slower than your tempo run at a 5-kilometer (or 3-mile) distance (read also "Pick Your Perfect Running Pace").
  25. Rule of rest after the race. After the competition, you must have rest for a few days. Avoid heavy workouts during the first recovery week after the competition.
  26. Rule of right equipment choice. Dress for running out according to your feeling in the middle of the workout. In the cold season, remember the rule of "three layers".
  27. Rule of diversity. Swimming, cycling or CrossFit will help to involve those muscles groups you cannot target in running. Including weight training will make you a stronger and healthier runner. Unskilled sports such as cycling, or swimming will help form the auxiliary muscles used in running and give rest to key “running” muscles.
  28. Rule of consistency. The results of each athlete, no doubt, will progress during any training process. But you need to understand that it will take more than one month and even more than a year. Professional athletes practiced for years before reaching the top.
  29. Rule of pleasure. Training should not take place, if you hate it. You should enjoy the training process, not only the results.
  30. Go hard or go home!
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