I saw this question asked on another blog and it got me thinking. Approximately 25 years ago was the first that I started to take running seriously. By serious I mean racing. I have stopped and started back up so many times since then that I lost count. The first step is to look at why I’m a better runner now then I was 25 years ago.
Stretch every day
Schedule training and track previous runs
Keep motivated by always having the next race scheduled
The following is a short list of some of the things I would do differently 25 years ago if I knew then what I know now.
1. Always have a scheduled race on the calendar
When you only run for fitness it’s easy to skip a workout or two. It doesn’t take long to fall out of your routine and before you know it you have gone weeks without running.
Since getting back into running 3 years ago, I’ve always had the next race (or races) that I was training for. I usually look forward to running but on those days that I would like to just skip the run I just think about how that will effect my performance in the next race and will usually end up running.
2. Don’t wait to run a marathon
I thought about running a marathon for a long time but was intimidated by the distance. It took a few marathons before I knew how to prepare. It would have been nice to not have to learn those lessons the hard way.
3. Eat better
Compared with the average person I’m a fairly healthy eater but I still could have eaten much better. Way too much fast food and beer in my earlier days. It’s amazing how much more energy you have when you eat right.
4. Stretch, stretch, stretch
I never did much stretching early on and this lead to many injuries. Now, I never run without stretching before and after and I will even stretch on days that I don’t run.
5. Treadmill running
It wasn’t always easy to find a good place to run or a good time to run. This made for an all too easy excuse to skip a run. Until 2 years ago I never considered running on a treadmill and now that’s where I do most of my running.
6. Pre-plan my training runs
I’ve done a much better job of sticking to my training and mixing up the workouts when I plan them at least 1-2 weeks out.