Fitness Friday: Breaking Routine

Those race day jitters have started to stop. I think I found out the best routine to remove them. That routine is to break the routine. Until as of late, I would get restless sleep starting 2 nights out from bigger (target) races. Obviously this is not good for the body and mind. Most people say that the 2 nights before a race is the most important night of rest that a runner needs.

Prior to my March marathon where I ran a personal best, I would have a specific routine starting 2 nights out before toeing the line. I would eat only certain things, I would in fact try to replicate the same meals each and every time, and even watch the same movie the night before. Now don’t get me wrong by doing so I was able to look forward to race day, but I also felt that it was a root to my anxiety on race day as well.

In March along with spending 14 weeks training differently than I ever did, I also told myself it is time to break this routine to try to get better rest and feel more relaxed at the start line. I dumped the “must do” list and went with what was around me. I did schedule a few things like earlier bed time and making sure I avoided anything I knew that would upset my stomach in regards to eating. Everything else was about just going with the flow, treating my race like I would a long run.

The result of breaking routine the night before races since March … I ran a personal best in the marathon distance as well as I have ran a personal best and top 2 times in 10-mile races, and ran my 2nd and 3rd fastest times in the half marathon distances.

Do you have a routine that you stick with? Have you ever thought of breaking routine to get better results? Sometimes change is good …

11 thoughts on “Fitness Friday: Breaking Routine

  1. I try to follow a routine, but I always think it is A-OK to change things up a bit. 🙂 Variety and spontaneity make life awesome!

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  2. In your case, I completely agree with breaking your routine, sounds like you started associating those pre-race traditions (ie watching the same movie) with the nervous feelings which may have been psyching you out.

    It's good to try other things to find something that might work even better for you too.

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  3. I'm a creature of habit, but I'm also flexible. One of my best runs came after a night of drinking wine!! Happy Friday!

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  4. I try to just watch what I eat since I tend to have stomach issues when I run. I also try not to do 'too' much a few days before a big race.

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  5. I love this idea! I definitely need to implement something like this into my routine…I get way anxious about races when I shouldn't!

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  6. variety helps me take away from anxiety.

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  7. I think there can be too much of a build up which I ended up doing with my routine.

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  8. most of my friends have had killer races after going out the night before … I think no expectations creates for no nerves sometimes.

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  9. i think the meal choices might be the best for setting a routine. can't chance too much when it comes to that.

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  10. maybe the routine is to not have a routine 🙂

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  11. Some times routines can cause bad habits, ok not necessarily bad habits, but it can have a negative stressful effect on us…. does that make sense… i'm feelng a bit under the weather at the moment, so i could be talking gibberish.
    But as the saying goes, if we do what we have always done, we will get the same results. Sometimes change can be a good thing.

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