I run often. I run over a hundred miles a month and have been doing so for the past three years. So as a runner you would expect a number of things from me… And many of things you expect are true. I wake up early. I drink a lot of water. I buy quite a few shoes during the year. I sign up for races and follow running plans. However there are six running habits I do not follow.
1. Stretch. I don’t stretch. When I start running, I just start running. I don’t jump up and down or stretch my muscles. I just lace up my shoes and go. Now over the year I have begun to implement slow warmup miles and slow cool down miles, but I have not used any time before or after a run to stretch. Okay… I am at times a social stretcher. I remember before a marathon all my friends were stretching so I faked stretched to fit in.
2. Rotate shoes. I have used the same shoes Asics GT 2000s since I began running in December of 2011. Well to be fair the 2000s were upgraded about two years ago and replaced an older model of the same shoe. I don’t use different shoes for different runs. I use the same pair for streets, trails, sand, and track. I have not bought a different brand or style in over four thousand miles of running. Spoiler alert…. I am buying some Brooks Cascadias in a few months for my Dublin Marathon (Because they come in green in my size) – stay with what works, unless you are going to Ireland.
3. Foam Roller. This is similar to stretching I suppose, but I wouldn’t know. I have never used a foam roller after a race. If my muscles are sore I normally just do a recovery run or throw in a rest day. I can’t see Kenyans using rollers, but they may. I’d love to have a foam roller fight. I do want the “This is How I Roll” shirt with a big foam roller on the front.
4. Music. This probably surprises most people. Out of my five hundred plus runs I have listened to music three times. Many times I am running with other people, but there are hundreds of runs I have run solo with no music. I do like music and maybe because I drive for hours on end day after day for work I feel no need for music on my runs. The real reason though is I enjoy listening to the outdoors. I enjoy hearing the sounds of nature and the sounds of the city. I also enjoy focusing on my breathing and my pace. I bought some Yurbuds, but they seem to just sit in my car unused. The voices in my head keep my entertained.
5. Naps. Naps and long runs seem to go hand in hand for many distance runners. I get up early to run (usually 5am), but I never nap in the afternoon after a long run. There are two reasons for this. First… a run in the morning actually fires me up for the rest of the day and I actually have more energy. Second… If I tried to sleep my wife and/or my three young kids would wake me up. Our Saturdays are usually full of activities, birthday parties, get togethers, and running errands. Now that is not to say I don’t fall asleep at times while watching a show or sitting down, but no napping.
6. Ice Baths. The last thing I want to do after a long run is get in freezing water…. Unless it is a polar bear dip in the ocean. I ran the Tough Mudder and jumped in the Artic Enema obstacle and I was fine with that since it was part of the event… But I am not addin one post run. Get me a hot tub.