Warrior Distance Running Commandments

Warrior Running Ten Commandments
by Coach\Sensei Joseph Sheader

The following ‘commandments’ are both inspired and informed by observation of elite distance runners, championship programs, personal experience, and in particular the work of Olympic Coach Joe Vigil PhD and the 20 Commandments of Kenyan Distance runners by Owen Anderson. These are the most common attributes to success and elevated performance.

1) Live a ‘Runners Lifestyle.’ Avoid distractions, live disciplined and simply. Break the addictions to comfort, entertainment, mediocrity, and material possessions.

2) Eat simple whole foods. Vegetables, fruits, lean protein. No fast, junk, manufactured, or processed foods. Eliminate grains, especially wheat from your diet. Drink lots of water. Consume carbohydrates/protein at a 4:1 ratio within 40 minutes after working out.

3) Train year round with appropriate periodization and recovery periods, sleeping 7-9 hours a night as a rule. Be serious about fitness 24/7/365

4) Train on trails, hills, and grass limiting concrete or asphalt as much as possible.

5) Do speedwork and ancillary training year round. Strength training, barefoot training, plyometrics, yoga, dynamic drills, and cross training are all examples of solid ancillary training.

6) Participate and contribute to a true team, not just a collection of runners, who share the values of excellence, encouragement, and a strong work ethic. Be selective in the company you keep that your ‘friends’ practice values not contrary to your own.

7) Cultivate a “unshatterable belief in yourself, your coach, your team leaders, and your philosophy of life.” Develop positive, calm, alert mental toughness. Be a soul on fire. Have the courage to go ‘five more minutes’…to ‘ run 60 seconds of a minute.’

8) Warm up into every workout. Do 10-15 minutes of joint mobility and dynamic stretching before, and drain legs after every run or race.

9) Make adversity your friend. Periodically train at high altitude, in heat, cold, and high winds. Welcome all weather as good. There are no problems, only challenges to make you tougher.

10) Transform struggle into confident effort. Be present and pay attention. Be pleased and patient with your performances yet never complacent. Gather fulfillment from your training. Let the benefits, courage, and strength gained radiate out into all areas of your life.