running traditions + superstitions: what are yours?

running traditions + superstitions: what are yours?

Running, as simple of a sport as it is, can become quite detailed and complicated as you get more experienced and more passionate. Simple running sneakers get traded out for snazzy minimalist running shoes (or whatever trend you happen to currently love), and GPS devices get downloaded or strapped to your wrist. Energy gels, goos, jelly beans, raisins, whatever, are tossed in your running shorts that have pockets built especially for that purpose. You throw on your ID bracelet or stuff your license into your zippered pouch on those shorts. You may even strap on a hydration belt with water or Gatorade for the long haul. If it’s sunny you have to don your best running hat or sunglasses and slather on SPF. If it’s cold, layering is key and items built especially for winter running are vital. Then there’s the issue of music versus no music, phone versus no phone… Sounds complicated, doesn’t it?!

Runners, and I understand I’m generalizing here, become quite ritualistic in their ways. If something worked and that runner PR’ed that day, you guessed it–a superstition is born. Lucky socks, favorite energy gel flavors, early-morning breakfasts…anything is fair game.

There are so many quirks to running that you (and other runners) develop over the years. In the September issue of Runner’s World magazine, the editor gives us a peek into his running rituals and superstitions. What I found to be especially key to share with you all is his pre-run warm-up ritual:

  • 10 lunges
  • 10 leg swings–front-to-back and side-to-side
  • 10 squats
  • 10 seconds of downward dog

His post-run cool-down ritual? Check it out:

  • toe touches
  • calf stretches
  • 10 seconds of downward dog
  • water
  • chocolate milk (click on the link to see why chocolate milk is suggested when recovering after any workout)

I was pretty psyched to see his traditions because it now will help guide me when I finally break back into running. Miami has been so dreadfully hot that I’ve started treadmill running and indoor spinning with my regular elliptical sessions. Even though these are all great cardio options, I still feel like I’m losing my running mojo. I can’t wait to get back outdoors, but I think there may be a ways to go until that happens down here. *cue sad music*

One of his best suggestions? Wherever you’re running, if there’s a softer surface available to run on, opt for that over the hard pavement. You may not want to do it, but think of all the less pounding you’ll do over your lifetime of running. I know I’m going to start running on the grass next to the street when I’m back into my golf course loops. I don’t want wrecked knees EVER!

If you’re a runner, what are your rituals? Do you have any really bizarre quirks? Any sage running advice?!

photo credit: BeezusKiddo