4 Healthy Habits Every Athlete Needs

Races are off. People are running out of their doors (literally!) and it’s a scary thing!

This is how injuries unfortunately happen.

But wait, what on earth are we supposed to do about this? How do we even know what else to do besides, well, run?!

To our advantage, the majority of us are working from home these days without any accountability whatsoever. We’re moving from our chair to the fridge and back from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Obesity rates are higher than EVER and these may lead to lifelong health issues if it’s not addressed. It could only get worse going down this route – But there is hope!

Let’s face it: Coaches are pricey and few have the time or knowledge to create a training program. So, let’s chat about smart training.

Training Methodologies

Periodization training is one of the most efficient and effective ways to get any runner, or any athlete, to their ultimate goal. Not only that, but this method allows an athlete to do so in a customized manner that’s tailored specifically to a structured program that facilitates adaptation, which is needed to achieve a specific individual’s end goal. So what is periodization training?

Periodization training is the process of physically stressing the body, balanced by recovery, to allow the body to repair and strengthen for the next stress cycle. Repeat.

So how does this fit into a real-world scenario? A great base to start from could be having a focus on overall general health and fitness. However, it’s important to recognize each individual’s needs. People get sick, life gets in the way and when these occurrences arise, it’s important for the Coach and individual to collaboratively work together to figure it out. Or, for that individual to create a game plann to get back on track! COVID-19 has gotten in the way of so much this year. But we can all bounce back safely with a little planning! This strongly ties in with my own Coaching philosophy.

I believe that keeping the lines of communication open and collaboratively finding ways to make things work to meet each individual where he or she is at always breeds success.

During a time like now where all races are at a standstill, it’s best to keep any athlete well conditioned by placing a focus on cross-training. Another alternative could be to focus on overall weekly endurance if that athlete is specifically a marathon runner and cares about running for life as their goal.

Stopping a training program abruptly (if he or she were training already) would bring any human being back to square one. That’s why it’s important to stick with the training as it applies but to think about maybe shifting the focus of the training by refocusing it on a different area. For example, placing an emphasis on recovery and nutrition while staying in a holding pattern for a runner, or an individual looking to stay fit will help to reduce the risks of any injuries while staying both healthy and fit!

Activities To Do Anywhere

1.) HIIT low-impact workouts for 20-30 minutes daily will not only keep your endurance up and your heart healthy, but it’ll keep you fit. This is a great alternative to running without jamming on your joints while revving up your heart rate. A sample workout can be found right here. Try performing whichever one you choose 2-3x/week in conjunction with your runs and your recovery days. This workout is friendly for beginner, intermediate and advanced runners and athletes. A variety of injury prevention workouts, low-impact HIIT workouts for all fitness levels as well as how-to movement, running, mobility, and wellness tutorials can all be found on my YouTube channel. All of these can be easily performed in the comfort of your own home, at the office, or outside on your own time. Pick your poison!

2.) Remember that rest is ESSENTIAL for being able to work out. Let’s create a small, new habit of trying to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep daily by trying 3 daily tasks listed here. As a result, you’ll see your energy, your productivity, and your mood improve. Watch the magic happen!

3.) Mobility, mobility, and more mobility my friend! To keep that body strong and injury-free, we need to ensure that we’re getting that full range of motion in all of those muscles and major joints in our bodies. Sitting and being sedentary for most of the day hinders our ability to move. Simple movements that you can do literally anywhere, such as 90/90s, leg swings, and knee hugs are easy and free. Perform 20 reps of each movement daily twice a day. Let that be your game changer! We were meant to move. Reference my favorite mobility video from my YouTube library that houses over 50+ videos right here! The world is your gym.

4.) Food is FUEL. As a Coach, I nail it into my runners’ heads to get down that nutrition before and after those runs. Especially during the training process! Protein helps to repair all of that wear & tear done during that strenuous exercise. Proper fit fuel allows your muscle to heal and to adapt to the training. For more intense sessions, including HIIT & low-impact exercises, carbohydrates that are packed with nutrient-dense ingredients are key to helping you fuel for a successful workout!

Some of these examples include complex carbohydrates that take little time to make! Try whipping up some gluten-free chickpea pasta with broccoli, or simply get into the habit of having an RBar Energy bar with you everywhere you go. There you have it! One easy to make gluten-free friendly whole food, and one go-to protein & carbohydrate bar that can be eaten about 1 hour before and/or after your workout. Athlete’s choice is my famous motto!

Program

A sample program employing all 4 habits to keep you healthy, conditioned, and fit could look something like this:

Monday: Run / Walk for 20 minutes

Tuesday: Cross-training workout

Wednesday: Rest day

Thursday: Run/walk for 20 minutes with the run including a hill of some sort

Friday: Running straight for 10 minutes and keeping track of pace (5-10 seconds between each mile would be the goal here to instill consistency and the opportunity to keep building up total mileage safely!)

Saturday: Rest day

Sunday: Strength-training using a TRX, or resistance bands, both of which can be used at home! It’s totally workable

SO, did we learn something about Structured Training? Cross-Training? How to Train smart? Recover? Fuel?

My guess would be: YES!

Save this post to reference back to! Better yet, share it with your friend. If you have questions, please just reach out to me via email at runwithalli@runwithalli.org. I’m always open to answering your questions. If I can help you become a better YOU through fitness, through functional movement, and through running, I will! I hope you enjoyed reading my post and learned something new!

Until next time ✌,

Coach Alli

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