ABCs of Running


Some runners have been able to continue to race during the Pandemic, or at least in the last few months. Some haven’t, and some have chosen not to. I think a lot of us are/were rusty when it comes to training and racing.

Here’s a little reminder of some of the ABCs of running & racing

A is for Attitude
A lot of runners have just been running — or maybe not running as much as they used to. Maybe you’ve let go of some of the things you did when you were “seriously” training to run/race.

Maybe you’ve lost a little running fitness, and maybe that’s frustrating to you.

Maybe you haven’t had to fuel for anything and you either forget to do it or the things that worked no longer work. It’s almost like you’re beginning over again!

Where ever you are, the most important thing you can bring on your run is your attitude. It can make or break your run/race!

B is for Balance
If you’re looking to start training again, don’t forget that your runs shouldn’t all be hard. Or all the same pace. Or distance!

You want a balance of speed, or distance, and most importantly — truly easy runs.

A little balance work wouldn’t hurt, either.

city man people woman
See? Even Coach is Hula Hooping! | Photo by cottonbro on

C is for Cross Training
All running all the time is the reason at least 70% of runners will experience an injury this year. Running is a very forward motion. It’s a repetitive motion.

Get on your bike, get in the pool, heck hula hoop if you enjoy it (it’ll work that all important Core, which could also be what C is all about).

D is for Distance
One run a week — even if you’re only training for a 5k — should be longer than the others.

Don’t go from 3 miles to 6 all in one jump, though, unless you’re a really experienced runner. Keep in mind the 10% rule: don’t increase your runs by more than 10% per week.

D can also stand for Don’t go out too fast!

E is for Elevation
Some runners embrace the hills and other runners do their best to avoid them at all costs. If you live in a flat area, you probably don’t have to worry about hills unless you’re going out of state to run/race. Hills will still make you stronger, though.

If you know your race will be hilly, it’s best to train on some hills maybe once a week. Otherwise your body could be angry with you during/after your race.

No matter what, hills will make you a stronger runner.

F is for Fun
No matter what, running should be fun — at least the majority of the time. Some runs are gonna suck, let’s be honest, but they make you a stronger runner — physically and mentally.

The temptation might be to be very dedicated and serious about your training if you haven’t raced in a year (maybe longer). Nothing wrong with that! Unless it leads you to burn out and running becomes a chore.

If that happens, ditch the plan (if there is one) for a week. Heck, take a week off running completely! I promise you you’re not going to lose a lot of fitness in one week. You might just fall in love with running all over again after a break.

Final Thoughts
It has been so long since I’ve raced in real life, I have no doubt when I do, I’ll make a lot of rookie running mistakes. Or maybe it’s like muscle memory? It’ll just all come back on its own?

No matter what, don’t forget what F stands for — and it’s not finishing (although that’s pretty awesome too).

Pick a letter and give me more Running Basics


Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with the new Runners’ Roundup linkup.


22 thoughts on “ABCs of Running

  1. This is a great idea, Judy!
    I’ll go for “V” as in “Variation”. Vary your runs: flat, hilly, tarmac, dirt, pace, distance, frequency, time of day. It keeps your body guessing and prevents injury and boredom! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. P is for Pace. It’s an individual thing. What’s fast for me maybe be slow for you.

    R is for Races. Sign up for one whether it’s in person or virtual. They keep us motivated and support many important charities.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Love all the ABC’s, especially B for Balance. I’m not ready to return to races or training, but when I do, I know I will need to remember to keep balance in my training. I tend to overtrain but I want to make sure I don’t do that anymore!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Clever post, Judy!! My letter would be P – for Personal. Running (and fitness in general) is very personal for each of us. It’s hard to sometimes embrace our own gifts if they’re not the same as someone else’s…but that’s what makes all of us special. I used to feel “less of a runner” because I never had the desire to run everyday (except for streaking, but those miles are low & easy-paced and only for a short term). I also have ZERO desire to hit that “magical” 100 miles/month or 1,000 miles/year. I sometimes DO hit those numbers, but it’s usually by accident and not because they’re a priority LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Great reminders! I think since I’ve continued to “train” over the past year I will be ok with some of these things. For me it will be harder to actually do well on race day in an actual race since I will probably be nervous. I will also need to adjust my fueling plan before actually racing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh darn! I was looking forward to seeing what you came up with for X 🙂
    I like all your points, and I like what people left in the comments (Personal! Grateful! So good.) I guess I would add J for Joy, because that’s what I feel every time that I’m able to get our there and run.

    Liked by 1 person

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