Rules for runners

by lachicaruns on

I previously shared tips from Bianca Guess, a Lansing, Mich., based fitness instructor and certified running coach through the USA Track and Field Association, on how to become a warm pretzel before you go out for a run.

You thought those were awesome? (I know I did!) Well, here are her rules for runners, interspersed with some of my commentary:

1. Know your body. Pay attention to what works and how your body responds to your movements. It may take some trial and error before you find what makes sense for you.

2. Know your schedule. If you’re not a morning person, perhaps you should schedule your runs for later in the day. But make sure to try different things until you find what works best for you.

3. Warm up with dynamic exercises. I shared photos of Guess demonstrating 10 easy dynamic stretches for runners.IMG_3728

4. Have a running plan. Decide whether you’re going to do walk/run intervals (such as the Galloway Method), how long you’re going to run, when and where. But be flexible. Real life may get in the way. Also, include easy days to allow time for recovery, especially after a race or a tough workout.

Don’t forget to include some cross training (I like yoga, walking and Jillian Michaels DVDs) to balance your body and avoid over-use injuries.

5. Keep it fresh. Whether it’s spending time with running buddies; changing your route, scenery or music playlist; or even getting new gear, invest in something that will keep you motivated.

I know that I can’t wait to get out on the road when I have new gear, especially if it’s something that I’ve had my eye on for a while, whether that’s a new watch or a running skirt.

6. Know your pace. It took me a couple of years and lots of looking at my Nike+ app, but I now can keep a relatively steady pace, depending on whether it’s a shorter, faster run or a longer, slower run.

Many races have official pacers who can keep you honest, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.

7. Strength train. Runners who only run often get hurt. That’s why Guess recommends both cross training and strength training, especially core work.

Another bonus is that all of this work will help make you a better runner. When she trains her clients, Bianca uses compound and body-weight movements.

8. Practice. Know the secret to running faster? Running faster. Yeah, Guess suggests speed work to get our bodies used to it and to build endurance.

Same thing goes for running farther. You have to include some longer runs in your training. You can find many running plans online; I used the Hal Higdon half marathon training plan for novice runners, which takes your long run from four miles to 10 miles over 12 weeks.

There you have it. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced runner, Guess gives great advice to stay fit, motivated and moving. If you want to work with her, or want to learn more about her services, contact her at

Have you ever worked with a running coach? What should be added to this list of rules? Which rule do you break the most?

Written by: lachicaruns

My name is Gisgie. It's pronounced geese (like the birds) and gee (like the letter). Now that we've met, I'm glad you're here. I'm an injury-prone runner who manages to find reasons to keep coming back to the road despite ongoing challenges. Most recently, I've struggled with piriformis syndrome. I'm currently winning. Most days.

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