…THOSE OF SUCCESSFUL, EFFECTIVE RUNNING/FITNESS ENTHUSIASTS. How many times have you clicked on a link that promised to reveal the “habits” of successful people employed in various worthy pursuits? I do. All the time. Mostly when it comes to running, walking, strength training, or other athletic activities. But, also when it comes to being happy or fulfilled because that’s part of why I love physical exercise. It helps me feel good about myself and life in general.
I don’t expect to find something totally new and life-changing on these lists, but hope the writer’s perspective helps motivate or energize me to take action. The “habit” I most dearly seek to develop involves organization. I KNOW the steps to take to be strong, fit, fast, flexible, etc. But it’s the implementation of these actions in an organized, no-wasted-time-or-effort fashion that proves to be the obstacle to success for me.
Just this week a number of article titles grabbed my attention through email and twitter offerings. They all had one word in common, “habits”. There are a few different definitions of this word; that which seems to best describe a habit that exercising individuals might want to develop is “an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become almost involuntary” from Dictionary.com.
Yes, I want to have exercise “habits” that I don’t need to fret over or to make excuses to avoid. I want them to be as easy and automatic as rolling out of bed in the morning.
So, I looked over the “habits” promoted in 4 different articles. The titles, authors, and sources are identified below, at the end of this post. In ascending order of number of habits there are 5, 7, 8, and 10 listed beneath each title. Can the bits of wisdom from each be merged into a single list? A short list?
I like short lists best because they can be committed to memory and, well, there are fewer life activities that will require changing. Differences and similarities exist within the 4 lists, and all promote the setting of goals. Beyond that, there seems to be a mix of strategies and tactics.
What’s the difference? Dictionary.com indicates that a “strategy is a set of choices used to achieve an overall objective whereas tactics are the specific actions used when applying those strategic choices.” The distinction was made by Jeremiah Owyang in an item from web-strategist.com, “… a strategy is done above the shoulders, and tactics are done below the shoulders.”
Since organizing thoughts about this topic and preparing a mental plan is harder than performing specific workouts for me, this post will attempt to create a short list of STRATEGIES of successful running/fitness enthusiasts:
1. Set a variety of goals, long and short term, that benefit body AND soul
2. Develop a master training plan to reach each goal, stick with it, and use it to track progress
3. Schedule activities to include: running/walking/exercise, strength & cross training, stretching
4. Plan to train long/slow for endurance and shorter/faster for speed
5. Make rest & recovery as important as activity: sleep, nutrition, hydration, socializing
All 5 strategies require using your mind (above your shoulders). It’s still going to be difficult! Finding the physical (below the shoulders) tactics to implement them should be much easier. What do you think? Jason Fitzgerald deserves the most credit in the construction of the Earned Runs list; it most closely follows his recommendations. For more of Fitzgerald's valuable advice in this area, read the entire article.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
“5 Habits of Successful Runners” by Jason Fitzgerald “Make these habits part of your weekly, and you’ll progress as a strong, healthy runner” for MotivRunning
1. Set goals and track progress
2. Run fast
2. Run slow
4. Get strong
5. Recover well
“7 HABITS OF HIGHLY EFFECTIVE RUNNERS” by Mario Fraioli for RunningCompetitor.com
1. Set various goals
2. Enjoy the process
3. Value consistency
4. Run at a few different speeds
5. Take recovery seriously
6. Focus on quality over quantity
7. Recognize their achievements
“The 8 Habits of Highly Effective Runners’ by David Dack for Runningblueprint.com
1. Become a morning person
2. Set a variety of goals
4. Take care of your body (recover)
5. Strength train
6. Run with others
7. Eat healthy
8. Drink lots of water
“10 Habits All Fit People Must Follow” Jennifer Fox for ACTIVE.com
1. Keep a schedule
2. Find your tribe
3. Set and celebrate goals
4.Take rest days
5. Record workouts
6. Mix it up
7. Never miss Monday
8. Get Shuteye
9. Eat Breakfast
10. Make it fun
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
New! Search Box
Earned Runs is now searchable! Check it out...