Running Rambles #6 [Pre-run Rituals]

Tuesday evening, when I was preparing for my long run the next morning, I began to search for my favorite socks. Ones that I like to wear for long runs, races or hard workouts. Socks that I am confident will not slide down or give me a blister. Socks that are comfortable and make me feel good. Socks that add a layer of confidence.

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After finding said socks, which I placed above my dresser, next to my Garmin (already on) and gum (pack opened), I began to look for my tank top, one that I would wear during the same long run. A top that doesn’t chaff (for reasons I do not understand because it’s not an athletic top). A top that I’ve had great runs in before. A top that is clean.

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Finding and putting on my top, I then went to my shorts drawer and found a pair of comfy athletic shorts, with a built in liner and string to cinch the waist so they don’t fall or ride. Shorts that are also clean and I find make me look like a runner.

After putting on these shorts, I filled up my bottle (practicing hydration today!) and put two gels in the pockets of my running coat and zipped them up. I placed these things on the chair near the door next to my hat and gloves.

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I made sure my shoes were next to the dresser with my Garmin and I had a good hair tie near the sink that my cat will hopefully not find and steal.

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Ok, breathe out anxiety, breathe in confidence. Tomorrow is gonna rock!

This seems like a lot of steps writing it down. I honestly go through this process once a week (for my long runs) and have it down to almost a science. I don’t do this in a particular order or freak out if my shorts aren’t washed, but having the “right” stuff makes a small difference that gives me some comfort before I wind down with food and blogs for the night.

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This process, however easy it is, seems a bit ridiculous to me when I write it down. Who cares about the right socks or top? Isn’t running, in the purest sense about getting out there? Aren’t I losing enjoyment by adding all these specific requirements?

Maybe, but humor me a bit.

What I enjoy about having the right stuff is the peace of mind. I’ve had many running accidents simply because my hair tie broke or I chaffed so bad I cried the entire run. On easy days or little mileage days, the attire I wear has less of an impact because the point is to recover from a hard workout and repair my legs. I can stop more easily and fix my socks or shorts. My hair is short enough (sort of) so that I can run for a few miles without a hair band. My run will get done and it’s ok.

For long runs though, especially when I am focused on a workout, I am looking to decrease the amount of potential fails in any area other than speed or effort. A wardrobe or nutrition fail is detrimental to the harder part, the pace I am trying to hit. By having the appropriate attire and making sure I have all the gear the night before, I give myself the peace of mind that I can not worry about anything other than running effort.

A ritual, if you will, gives me peace of mind. I don’t think it’s obsessive or I’m losing the point of running with all the extras, I’m adding satisfaction and enjoyment.

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I don’t get a blister from bad socks that compromises the run and the next day’s workout.

I don’t forget my nutrition so I potentially bonk or not recover as fast.

I wear clothes that I’ve had good workouts in to remind myself that I am a good runner and I can take down this workout too.

I find this ritual to be therapeutic and set myself up for success.

What do you think of pre run ritual So?

Do you have any good/weird ones?

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15 comments

  1. So many people in my running group just grab whatever the morning of a run. I don’t get it.

    Not only do I usually put out my clothes (because my husband is still sleeping when I get up), but I’m usually putting out like 3 different tops or jackets because the weather is notoriously hard to predict!

    It always makes me feel better not to have to scramble in the morning though.

  2. I think its great to have rituals, because they kind of set the mood and get you in the mode for whats about to happen! I used to do it with soccer too, and still have rituals when I play today! It just helps me get my “game face” on.

    • Oh the pre-game stuff we used to do in basketball was so funny! We’d yell and say our goals and all that stuff. So much fun and definitely got me in the zone.

  3. Once I get through all the things that I need to do for a run, I always feel a lot more prepared. Eating something, praying, gazing at the stars (if it’s dark), getting my watch on, and maybe putting some good songs, etc. on my I-pod are some of my favorite ways to get ready.

  4. I can’t imagine not having some sort of ritual/routine in the morning. I have to set out everything and have everything done in the order I like. It lets me focus on the run.

  5. I don’t so much have any rituals related to running, but I can 100% relate to what you’re saying because I do that for snowboarding. I have things I eat, things I wear, and orders I do things in, and I like it like that. Nothing wrong with being a little OCD about some things 😉

  6. Look at that stride!!
    As long as they aren’t unhealthy, having little rituals is more than okay I think. Grounding, even. I most definitely have mine. I think we all deserve to have our own little things that may seem odd to anyone else – they make us who we are so who cares!

  7. I like wearing my most comfy (and cute!) running outfits for races, too. During an easy run, it’s no big deal to stop to have to adjust something once or twice, but if a headband is constantly falling out or shorts are riding up during a race, it definitely throws you off!

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