Insights Into How You Can Develop Positive Training Habits

By Coach Dan Browne | Dec. 04, 2017, 12 a.m. (ET)

Colorado Springs, CO - During this time of year with the domestic qualifiers coming up soon, I wanted to share with you some insights into how you can develop positive training habits. These habits will help you during your training season and when it comes time to compete. 

Physical training habits, both good and bad, are actions that we all undertake on a daily basis in our training programs.  Deciding not to stretch after running, drinking enough water to optimally perform, not getting enough sleep and developing a systematic approach to the pre-race warm-up are all examples of training habits.  These seemingly small daily actions over time have a cumulative effect on the accomplishment of your athletic goals. 

The key to a successful running program is to first clearly identify your goals.  Next, identify the actions (habits) that are going help you accomplish your goals.  Finally, resolve to make these habits very important as you prioritize your daily time and energy.  Goal setting and proper time prioritization are topics that I will talk about during a different session.  Today I want to focus on how you identify and incorporate positive daily training habits.  This will set conditions for a successful running campaign and career in Pentathlon.

One of the most important things to consider is figuring out what right looks like.  Look around and find the most successful people you know.  My guess is that they would be more than willing to share with you their insights into why they are successful.  These insights could be as simple as drinking plenty of water, to as complex as some specific running workout that will revolutionize your training.  At the end of the day, we are what we do daily. So if you want to be successful at running, then you need to establish good habits that, over time, will help you reap great rewards.

I’ve trained with a lot of very successful runners throughout my career.  Some of them were US National Champions, American Record Holders and even Olympic Medalists.  I can tell you with certainty that talent wasn’t the only common-denominator of why they were successful.  The training habits that they formed over years and years of hard running and competing, combined with an iron-work ethic shaped them all as they became the best in the business.  Learning to imitate what these successful runners do daily is your key to improving your running.

The following is my top list of daily habits that will guide you towards successful running:

*Have a plan and defined purpose for each time you go out to train.

*Develop a routine for daily recovery maintenance that works for you and helps keep you healthy.

*Develop good running mechanics through proper incorporation of running drills.

*Allow enough time in your workout to warm-up and cool-down properly.

*Finally, refine your routine for the pre-race warm-up and practice that routine prior to your workouts to the point that it becomes second nature. 

Remember that practice makes permanent.  Developing good practice habits will bear good fruit and aid you in accomplishing your goals.  Similarly, developing bad practice habits will bear bad fruit that will inhibit you achieving your goals.  One thing that I can tell you with absolute certainty…. the big secret that every real runner knows…. There are NO secrets in running.  Hard work and good training habits are the best foundation to help you reach your goals. 

Best wishes to you all this upcoming season,

Coach Browne