It’s always handy to learn some hacks to make things more efficient.
If you want to be a successful runner, you will need to develop a routine with some good hacks. Getting into a successful running routine is done with consistency (running often, to a schedule) and perseverance (pushing through it when the going gets tough). If you want to read about the personality trait for successful running, click here.
Consistency and perseverance are great for the physical running, itself. But what about before and after the runs? What do you need to make this time effective, and well spent?
Are you not as organised as you’d like to be?
Ever searched helplessly through your wardrobe to find some running clothes? Ever found it hard to decide what to eat afterwards? Do you spend ages tying your shoes, every single run?
If you don’t have proper processes in place for organising before and after your runs, you will probably run into some of these cumbersome issues. Facing issues before or after your run isn’t ideal. It’s not what a runner wants, and it gets in the way of precious progress.
Introducing some pre and post run hacks
Sure, you should work hard to be a successful runner. However, working hard without working smart is a recipe for frustration.
Hacks are powerful shortcuts
We all need a shortcut from time to time. Humans have evolved to look for shortcuts to make life lives easier.
Think of all the keyboard shortcuts which make copying and pasting text, refreshing a page or controlling the brightness and volume, 10 times quicker.
Hacks can make your running routine more convenient, and it’s only right you learn and implement some.
Set your running clothes out the night before
Those who procrastinate with running see more barriers than those who run regularly. There are no two ways about it. The idea of going running can quickly be thwarted by the obstacle of not knowing what to wear and having to decide immediately before you go.
The more decisions you make, the less willpower you have. It’s to go for your run. Before you know it, you “don’t feel like it today” or you’ll “definitely go for one tomorrow.” Without a hack in place, runners face the barrier of “not knowing what to wear.” Don’t let that be you!
“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge, but rather a lack of will.” Vince Lombardi
Hack number 1: Be organised. Set two sets of clothing out the night before: running clothes and post-run clothes. Setting them out the night before promotes automation in your routine. No conscious thought required. No need to deplete your willpower.
You simply get up, throw your pre-selected clothes on, run, shower, then throw the post-run clothes on you’ve already set out. Setting clothes out the night before is a useful hack for running success.
Prepare your post-run meal before you set out
Making a meal after your run can be an arduous task. Whether you’ve gone 2 miles, 5 miles, or even 10 miles, you’ve put in some work. With sweat dripping, heavy breathing and burning skin, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea to make a meal from scratch.
Hack number 2: Prepare as much as you can before the run. If you’re having an omelette, break the eggs and leave them in the fridge. Put instant coffee in a mug, ready to go when you’re back. Chop vegetables up and into bowls.
You don’t have to cook the entire meal beforehand, just do something to take the load off when you return from your running travels. One of the worst things you can do after running is not eating. Like a car, you need to refuel after movement. No two ways about it.
You won’t be tempted to skip the meal. You’ll think “I’m already halfway there, I may as well finish it.” Prepare as much of your post-run meal before you set out. It makes life easier.
Choose and layout post-run clothes by the shower
Having to make a conscious decision about what clothes to wear after a run is one hurdle. The next comes when you must find the clothes, which are often hidden in the endless depths of a Narnia-like wardrobe. Unsurprisingly, an exhausted runner’s patience runs out quickly.
Hack number 3: Be smart and set your clothes out the night before when you’re winding down for bed. In the evening, time is on your side and you can leisurely trawl through your clothes to decide what you will wear. Don’t leave it till after the run; hack your running routine and do it the night before.
Leave your shoelaces tied up
Shoelaces serve a useful purpose. They strap your shoes to your feet. If you’ve done it right, it’s almost impossible for them to come off mid-race. As much as these thin pieces of string are to be trusted, they can be incredibly time-consuming.
It may sound trivial but shaving a few seconds off your pre-run routine not only saves you time but makes you feel more time efficient.
“I quit shoelaces a long time ago.” Harry Styles
Hack number 4: Find the sweet spot when tying your shoes then take them off without undoing the knot.
It might take a few attempts to work out what’s comfortable, but it saves time and supercharges your routine.
You’ll stroll through your pre-run routine, slip your shoes on with ease, and head out the door into the world.
Put your key in your phone case
Unless you have someone to let you back into the house, you will need a key.
Don’t risk your house’s safety by putting it under a flowerpot, or under a loose slab in your front garden.
Hack number 5: Take the case off your phone and place the key on the back. Replace the cover and wedge the key into the phone case. Putting the key in your phone case is an efficient, easy way to guarantee your key won’t be lost or worse, stolen.
Note- There’s also the added benefit of having to deal with an angered partner after your enthusiastic knocking wakes them up from a lie in. Thank me later!