3 Rules That Will Make You a Better Runner

Three Rules That Will Make You a Better Runner

I have decided to take some time off from running and seriously address my runners knee issues with the RunnersConnect Strength Training Program. Although I’m bummed about putting the 30 Minute Runner program on hold, I’m using my pent up energy to catch up on some reading.

One book that has caught my attention is “Win Forever” by the Seattle Seahawks football coach Pete Carroll.

The book has some great information on Coach Carroll’s philosophies on coaching and success in football and life in general.  One chapter that really has caught my eye is on the “Three Rules” that Carroll requires all of his football players to follow.

As Carroll states these three rules apply not only to football players, but to any situation where the goal is to get the most out of people.  I believe that the rules are highly applicable to runners. The three rules are:

Rule 1: Always Protect the Team

Carroll explains:

We wanted [the players] to be fully aware of what they were doing at all times and to understand that for every decision they made there would be a result that affected the team…

Although running is individual sport, it is helpful for runners to view their bodies and overall training plan as part of a “team.”  Runners need to understand how each choice they make can affect their ability to maximize various components of their training.

For example, by choosing to watch that extra television show at night, you will make it tougher on yourself to get up for your morning run.

Another example: By choosing to stubbornly run on that painful knee, you will risk further damage to the knee and other parts of your body that are forced to compensate (this one applies to me).

Rule 2: No Whining, No Complaining, No Excuses

One of the great destroyers of any promising training program is the excuse. “I don’t have enough time to run,” “I have no one to run with me,” and “It’s raining,” are just few examples of unacceptable excuses that prevent runners from achieving their goals.

Consistently whining and complaining about running also leads vicious cycle of negative self-talk that includes motivation killing thoughts like “I’ll never be a good runner,” “I just don’t have the right body type to run,” and “I can’t do it.”

Runners need to be conscious of the inner dialogue they have with themselves.  A negative, self-destructive dialogue can create the expectation of negative results from running and a total lack of confidence.

It is critical to replace this tendency for self-sabotage with positive, affirming statements, such as “I will be a good runner,” “I will run relaxed and with confidence,” and simply, “I can do this.”

Rule 3: Be Early

Obviously it is important to be early for races, but this rule has a much broader purpose. “Be early” means to approach running in an organized and constructive manner.

Don’t just aimlessly jog a few miles a few times per week with no purpose. Study training plans, understand how incorporating certain kinds of speed work can make you faster, and think about signing up for races and taking them seriously.

By approaching running with respect, commitment, and with an attitude of learning you will be rewarded with increased fitness and an enormous sense of satisfaction.

By following these three rules you will put yourself on track to maximize the benefits of running provides.  You will learn the key concepts of avoiding bad choices that could harm your training, stopping the destruction of negative self-talk, and approaching running with a sense of discipline.

What are your rules and guidelines for running?

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