The 8 Running Rules That Guide My Training
Use my rules (or create your own) to help improve your training
I love Ramit Sethi. He has a great book and his podcasts are great. In both, he talks about his Money Rules.
The premise of his money rules is that no matter the situation, he has rules that guide his spending and saving. He doesn’t have to think or overthink about his money.
I like to think that my own running has rules as well. And because I’ve set up principles/rules that I adhere to, I don’t have to overthink my training.
These are the rules that guide my running and training. They aren’t in any particular order - like most important to least important - just as they came to me.
Big jumps in mileage are not okay
I know that I can’t go from zero to hero. I’ve never been able to and still can’t. I accept it and work around it.
My watch doesn’t dictate how I feel on a run
No matter what my watch says, I rely on my body to tell me when to push and when to chill. I use my watch for tracking details (distance, time, pace), but don’t stress about nitty gritty numbers.
Shin pain is a direct indication that my shoes need to be retired
As soon as I get pain around my lower ankle on my shin, I know that my shoes are dead. I track mileage, so I know when I’m getting close, but my shins are the canary in the coal mine.
Easy running can get me in shape
If all I do is easy running, I know that I’ll eventually get in shape. I don’t stress if I don’t do workouts, just plain running will get me most of the way to fit.
Run through discomfort is fine, running through pain is not
Running is inherently tough and that’s cool with me. But pain is not. Pain leads to injury and injury leads to time off. Not cool with that.
A missed day of training is better than a missed week
Sometimes a run just doesn’t happen and I have to be a-okay with missing it. I’m lucky that my wife is forgiving and accommodating (she won’t read this so it’s okay that I brag about her) and allows me to get my crazies out with some mileage.
Recovery is essential/paramount to running well
I am terribly bad at recovering from hard days. I’ve always been and I continue to recover slower than teammates doing the same work as me. I adjust and adapt by getting sleep, massaging, hydrating, and taking care of myself.
Mostly slow and leisurely, occasionally upbeat, rarely all out
I have some of the worst Strava-worthy runs because my pace is usually crap for where I am as a runner. The first mile of my last long run was over 10 minutes. My recovery runs start out at 9:25 pace. Sure, I build into the runs and get faster, but I really don’t care what my first mile is, I care about the race days. And because my mileage is consistent and mostly easy, I’m able to run fast on race day.
Will all of these rules apply to you or fit in your training? Probably not. But they’ve worked well for me and I believe that following your own rules helps you with your training.
After this weekend’s race - a “5k” where I averaged 5:50 pace, I’m now looking for a 1-mile race to continue my goal of breaking 5 every year in the mile.
If you know of a race within the next 3 months that has a competitive mile in it, let me know. If you want to rabbit me (running or on a bike) and want to link up, leave a comment or an email so we can plan.
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Friday’s Action Plan
Create a guide for how you’ll do your training. Having running rules allows you to keep your running simple.
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