The 10 Golden Rules Of Running

The 10 Golden Rules Of Running

1. Introduction

Running seems to be the easiest form of exercise out there. But most people don’t understand that it has its own scientific basis.

Individuals often make common mistakes while running which hinder their progress. They fail to notice what’s wrong and get discouraged quickly if their bodies show no obvious benefits from running.

2. The 10 Rules Of Running

To be persistent in your running, whether for any marathon or exercise, there are ten basic rules that you must bear in mind. These rules can prevent you from becoming discouraged by making the entire process more convenient.

2.1. Make Sure To Warm Up And Cool Down

No matter what the circumstances are, never forget to warm up and cool down your body before and after the run respectively. These simple steps can make the running process simpler and efficient.

  • Why is it important?
    • An effective warm up is mandatory for preparing the body’s muscles for exercise. It dilates the blood vessels and increases both the heart rate and body temperature. These factors work together to avoid any injury or fatigue and enhance overall performance.
    • Cooling down, on the other hand, helps your body systems to return to their original norms. It brings down the heart and respiratory rate to normal levels to ease your body.

  • How to follow?
    • A Good 5 minutes of stretching, brisk walking or slow jogging etc. before and after the run are sufficient to satisfy your warm up and cool down needs

2.2. Keep It Sweet And Simple

Try to keep your running procedure easy and simple. This is crucial, particularly for the beginners, so that they don’t get distracted.

  • Why is it important?

Running can become complicated if people keep on loading themselves with all sorts of running equipment. No doubt these gadgets can make your experience enjoyable, but they soon turn into a barrier if you start to depend too much on them.

  • How to follow?
    • Try to run without GPS or headphones every other day to feel the actual joy of running.
    • Make yourself flexible in a way that does not stop you from running even on days when no gadgets are available.

2.3. The Ten Percent Rule

One of the most essential rules of running is the 10 percent rule.

It became popular during the 80’s in the Runner’s World Magazine after experts found that runners who quickly increase their training miles get more injuries.

The rule is quite simple yet effective. It reduces the risk of injuries by preventing you from running too much too soon.

It states that:

‘A person should never increase his weekly training mileage by more than 10 percent every week.’

  • Why is it important?
    • Running too fast too soon does more harm than good. Making big jumps in your mileage or speed in the beginning can lead towards serious injuries.
    • People usually get excited at the start and end up adding too many miles quickly. This is where this 10 percent rule comes handy. It can halt most injuries that arise from straining the body.

  • How to follow?
    • Never raise your weekly miles target more than 10 percent. Start slowly and gradually build up the pace while sticking to your routine.
    • Make sure not to raise the distance of your long run above half of the weekly total.

2.4. Wear Proper Shoes And Clothes

A common mistake that people make is that they fail to choose suitable shoes and clothes for running.

Individuals often buy shoes on sale without checking their level of comfort. Such shoes fail to properly protect their feet and make running extremely difficult.

  • Why is it important?
    • Being properly dressed is essential for turning a run into a relatively pleasant and enjoyable experience.
    • You won’t be able to continue a run if you are feeling uncomfortable the entire time. Injuries and discomforts are frequently caused by wearing the wrong type of shoes and clothes.
    • For instance, incompatible running shoes can cause knee, hip and back pain. The friction from these shoes can also result in blisters and calluses. Similarly, wrong clothes can lead to sunburn, overheating and cold injuries. Therefore, always be careful when selecting your running outfit.

  • How to follow?
    • Make sure to buy shoes that are specifically designed for running. Your preference should be the comfort of your feet instead of the outlook of the shoes.
    • Don’t forget to replace them after a certain period of time. The fabric and material used to make them loses its quality and deteriorates over time.
    • Wear loose trousers and shirts that allow the free movement of the body.

  • Pro Tip:
    • Replace your shoes every 400-500 miles run as most shoes lose their support after that period.
    • For clothes, try to anticipate the weather beforehand through mobile apps or weather forecasts so you can prepare accordingly.

2.5. Strength And Cross Trainings

Most runners are guilty of just running. They avoid doing specific training sessions as they don’t find them enjoyable.

However, a comprehensive training plan should include both cross and strength training.

  • Why is it important?

A mix of diverse training prevents you from getting bored and helps to sustain your stamina while running.

These training sessions are crucial for enhancing your body’s endurance over time.

  • Strength Training builds up the body’s resistance by toughening the muscles. It fixes the muscle imbalance and shapes your body. Weight rooms are best for strength training. Do different weight exercises that focus on your body’s core.
  • Cross Training is equally important to provide a break for the muscles used in running. Instead of running the entire week, engage your body in other activities e.g. dancing, cycling etc. every once in a while.

  • How to follow?
    • Strength training even for a few short sessions (20-30 minutes. per week is enough to make muscles stronger and free of injury.
    • For cross training, do activities like walking, cycling and swimming etc. at least twice a week.

  • Pro Tip:
    • Avoid intense training sessions if your body is already exhausted from running.
    • Try to pick alternating days for running and training to avoid the stress.
    • Another way is to do a running workout in the morning and a short strength workout in the evening.

2.6. Adopt A Conversational Pace

Runners often go too fast to meet their time specific goals even on the easy days. Running should be done at a conversational pace to maintain stamina over time. Take your time to find an ideal conversational pace instead of rushing towards the goal.

  • Why is it important?
    • Running too fast for too long does not allow the body to repair its muscles. Consequently, it stays exhausted throughout the runs.
    • Therefore, maintaining a comfortable pace in the initial runs is extremely important. Running out of breath at every step indicates that you’re pushing your body’s limits.

  • How to follow?
    • The best way to achieve this is to follow the conversational rule,also known as the Talk Test. It states that,
    • “You’re following the right speed if you can speak in complete sentences without panting for air.”

  • Pro Tip:
    • Don’t hesitate to alternate between running and walking if you fail to carry on a conversational pace. Slowly increase your running time by reducing the recovery period afterwards.

2.7. Focus On Your Own Goals

Stay focused on your running objectives instead of trying to imitate others. The urge to copy others is common especially in this time of social media. People can easily get discouraged by comparing their goals with others.

  • Why is it important?

Focusing on others' goals will make you lose track of your own progress. Always remember your running experience is unique like you.  What works for others may not work for you.  Therefore, don’t get distracted by what other people are doing.

  • How to follow?
    • Don’t compare yourself with others.
    • Set your own goals that serve your interests and continue improving your running performance.

2.8. Feedback And Recovery

Most runners continue their intensive workout without giving their body sufficient time to recover. They don’t bother to rest and don’t pay attention when a little pain begins to set in.

It should be kept in mind that pain that persists during and after the run could be a sign of injury. If you believe that you have suffered an injury, get it looked at by a medical professional.

Therefore, always pay attention to the body's feedback and take actions accordingly.

  • Why is it important?

Ignoring the body's feedback is a big mistake. Never ignore small pains since they can result in big injuries. Listen to your body and give yourself a proper recovery time. These resting periods allow your muscles to adjust to the new challenges and help you become fitter.

  • How to follow?
    • The key to being persistent is to not overdo it.
    • Get at least a 2-days break from running every week.
    • Take a couple of days off if something hurts for two straight days while running.
    • Get an ample amount of sleep before and after the run.
    • If you feel any sharp pain or discomfort during a run, either slow down or end the training until it has been looked at.

2.9. Maintain Proper Diet


Running can be affected by the frequency and duration of your diet. No doubt, food is crucial to energize the body. But it quickly becomes a hindrance if eating habits are not properly managed.

  • Eating before a run gives the body energy to run but make sure to maintain proper timing. How long you want to wait after eating is a matter of your own preference.
  • A general rule (3 Hours Eating Rule. is to wait for a minimum of 3 hours after a meal before you begin running. It is ample time for food to move through the digestive system for most people.
  • Eating after a run is equally important as it replenishes the spent glycogen reserves and gives the body enough energy to recover. Skipping a post-run meal can cause lethargy and sickness. Therefore, make sure to have a healthy well-balanced diet within one hour after running.
  • Take food that contains both proteins and carbohydrates within 30 minutes after completing your run.
  • Hydration: 

Hydration is equally important when you plan to go on a long run. Try to keep a water bottle with you in such cases. Proper hydration helps to avoid health issues related to heat stress.

The chances of dehydration becomes high if you go on a run for more than 30 minutes without drinking water. Hence, runners are usually recommended to drink when their mouths are dry and they feel an urge to drink.

2.10. Bring Variations In Your Workout

  • Never follow the same routine of running for consecutive days. If you stick to the same routine, not only will you start getting bored, your body will not be able to receive the full benefits of running. Hence, it’s important to vary your workouts to make your body adaptable to new challenges.

  • Try to make small variations in pace, mileages or terrain according to your own preference. These variations will help you enhance your speed, tolerance and strength over time.

3. Conclusion

Whether you are a beginner or a pro, your purpose of running is to prepare for a marathon or daily workout,these ten rules will definitely help you continue your journey in an easy and efficient manner for years to come.

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