I was recently asked to write a blog about “running rules”. The number 7 xc runner who requested this may have only asked me to do this to receive a public shoutout in my very popular blog, but no one knows for certain.
So here are my rules to run by:
1. Never tell yourself that you aren’t fast enough, that you are too slow, or that you aren’t good enough. No one likes a whiney runner. In fact, people may run faster just to get away from your self loathing criticism and then you’ll have even more to complain about.
2. Don’t go out for a run alone without telling someone where you are running and how long you should be gone for. Don’t be stupid. Let the world know how and where to find you if need be.
3. If you never run in neon you are doing it all wrong. If you don’t understand the power of running in neon clear your watch and start over.
4. Do not ask other runners how far a 5k, 6k, 8k, 10k, 1/2 marathon, marathon, Ect is. This is annoying and makes you look like a fool. If you don’t know this Google it.
5. When running with others don’t leave them or lose them in a trail. Unless you are just a horrible person you need to turn back and help them get out of the woods, off the trail, back to where the run started, or to a place where they will be able to find their way back.
6. Never wear the race T-shirt until you have finished the race. Do you really want to take credit for something you haven’t accomplished yet??? If there is one thing in this world that annoys me more than anything else it is people wearing the race shirt before or during the race. It’s also a motivating factor for me to finish bad races.
7. Remember where you started and never forget how far you have come.
8. Expect to loose toenails and when this happens to you embrace it. You need to understand that this means you are training correctly.
9. Never feel threatened by a faster runner because chances are there are plenty of runners who feel threatened by you. Let’s just all support each other and get along.
10. Find the good in bad races and bad runs.
11. Take advantage of the days you can wear running clothes under your work/regular clothes. This is your one and only chance to feel like a superhero.
12. Don’t be a moron. Eat, drink water & sleep on the regular. It’s not fun to be 4 or 5 miles away from home on a hot summer’s day dehydrated, exhausted and underfueled.
13. Run at night sometimes because it will give you a new outlook on everything.
14. You are going to meet your best friends through running & they will know everything about you & you will know everything about them.
15. Getting injured isn’t the end of the world. It just lets you see what it is like to be normal for a while.
16. Don’t compare yourself to other runners unless you want to fail.
17. When you do something good don’t be afraid to brag a little but obviously don’t brag about it in front of someone who is injured or in a running slump–that’s just rude.
18. Don’t be a sore looser. (See the later part of #1)
19. Accept that non runners will not care about your long run, 5k PR, the sale you found on compression socks, your new neon spandex, your weekly mileage, or that USATF follows you on Twitter. Actually, assume they don’t know what those things are.
20. All runs are fun until someone runs a bad race. Cheer up the person who had a bad race. Don’t let your friend, teammate, or training partner suffer or struggle.
21. Don’t run in old worn out shoes. Do you want to get hurt?
22. When you find a good training partner do all that you can to keep them. Drive to them, run at odd times, run with them in the worst conditions on the worst days of your life & they will do the same for you. Together you will achieve all of your goals.
23. Set goals.
24. Meet goals & set new goals.
25. Fall short of your goals and work harder. Goals do not have to have a strict timeline. You can always keep aiming for them or adapting them as you develop as a runner.
26. Help new runners learn the joys of the sport.
27. Do not let running define you as an individual, let it be a part of who you are not all that you are.