Runfessions : Routines

I am linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice for December’s Runfessions.



I know the value of going outside my comfort zone. In work and in my personal life I like to think I make an effort to push the boundaries. I am the first to raise my hand to manage a new project at work, I will take on a volunteering project at my daughter’s school, I will try a new restaurant, or go to a party where I don’t know many people. Having new experiences, meeting new people, traveling to a new country, trying new foods… anything to challenge the daily status quo is important to me. It helps me be a better, more tolerant, open minded person, not to mention my constant need for variety.

However, if I have to admit it, deep down, I thrive on routine. I think this is even more true when it comes to running. Because I have been injured in the past, I am superstitious about changing things up too much, afraid to be “out for the season”.

Concretely ?

I don’t change my shoes (make / model) often. I have been running in Brooks GTS for 3 or 4 years now and have been injury free. As I am in the middle of marathon training and am so totally obsessed paranoid with staying injury free, I just bought my third pair of last year’s model, to have them, “just in case” my two other pairs are run down.


I do the exact same dynamic warm up exercises before I run. Butt kicks, high knees, ankle circles, lunges… It kick starts my joints and has helped in injury prevention.

After my dynamic warm up I faithfully stretch my shin, calf and soleus muscles. I am plagued by a tight right shin, so even if I have very little time, those 3 muscles always get attention. Prevention or paranoia ?

I start off my run in the same spot every time. Because I live in a city, my GPS watch can be finicky with picking  up the signal, but I know one spot where it will pick up the signal 9 times out of 10. So I always start there. The height of the sidewalk is also perfect to stretch the previously mentioned calf.


I start off my run with 15 to 20 minutes of alternating run/walk to warm up. If I do not do this, guaranteed my right shin muscle will tighten right up (am I sounding like a broken record ?)

The one thing I vary regularly is my route. I am lucky to live near a huge park / wooded forest and since I get really bored running the same route, I have lots of routes to choose from.


However, I usually finish my run around the pond (on the left) as I know the distance around it, the distance to home, so it helps me finish off my time / milage.



Are you a creature of habit when it comes to running ?


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Comments: 26

  1. Marcia December 18, 2015 at 12:31 pm Reply

    I was the same as you, stockpiling shoes, until Mizuno changed my favorite model and I ended up with a mega blister at NYCM. I had to change brands for my long run. For speedwork I’m all over the place with shoes. You have a lovely park to run in! Thanks for linking up!
    Marcia recently posted…Runfession Friday: Holiday EditionMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 18, 2015 at 2:40 pm Reply

      I loved Asics Nimbus for years, until they evolved the model and now they just don’t work for me.

  2. Coco December 18, 2015 at 12:45 pm Reply

    Hey, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it — especially with running shoes! It sounds like your routines have served you well. I really should add a dynamic warm-up. I do when I think about it, but I’m used to my routine of just going!
    Coco recently posted…December Runfessions–Not Too NaughtyMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 18, 2015 at 2:41 pm Reply

      I don’t have a choice. I will definitely pay for it if I don’t warm up…. but the stretching afterwards is more hit & miss.

  3. Megan @ Meg Go Run December 18, 2015 at 2:34 pm Reply

    Hey I think those are all GREAT habits to have! My “creature of habit” things is ending each run with a 5-10 minute walk and then 10-20 minutes of stretching. I also love just running circles around my neighborhood. I rarely get bored!

    • Karen - Fit in France December 18, 2015 at 2:42 pm Reply

      I’m with you on the walking ! but stretching ? I often have to get to work, so that’s the thing that gets cut short.

  4. Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner December 18, 2015 at 2:56 pm Reply

    I thrive on my routines also especially with workouts. It’ s hard to get out of my comfort zone.
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Holiday Lights & Generous FriendsMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 19, 2015 at 7:22 am Reply

      But sometimes if we do change things up, we would see faster results….

  5. Darlene December 18, 2015 at 5:46 pm Reply

    Not me. I like to try different routes. I don’t warm up nor do I cool down…always too rushed.
    I have Hokas, Nike, Brooks. Right now I’m liking my Nikes.
    Darlene recently posted…Friday Five: Favorite Winter Actvities & Runfessions DecemberMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 19, 2015 at 7:23 am Reply

      Which model ?

  6. Tricia@MissSippipiddlin December 18, 2015 at 6:46 pm Reply

    Hey what’s the ol saying, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. If it’s working for you that’s great right! I do change up I guess after thinking about it maybe more than I should.
    Tricia@MissSippipiddlin recently posted…MealEnders Review + GiveawayMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 19, 2015 at 7:22 am Reply

      What ever works for you, I say stay with it.

  7. HoHo Runs December 18, 2015 at 10:11 pm Reply

    I find comfort in routine. People ask all the time, “Don’t you get bored always running in your neighborhood?” No! I say do what ever works for you, even if it’s more on the superstitious side. I buy the same shoe over and over, but always a different color so I can distinguish between the ages of them.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Runfessions (Holiday)My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 19, 2015 at 7:19 am Reply

      I wish Brooks would come out with more colors. How is your foot feeling ?

  8. Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home December 19, 2015 at 2:14 am Reply

    There is something really comforting about routine. I run on the same days most weeks…I do change up my route depending on the weather conditions. And I’ve run in the same shoes for about 10 years–those Asics Gel Nimbus.
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Runfessions for DecemberMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 19, 2015 at 7:18 am Reply

      I change my days depending on work. But definitely prefer my long run on Saturday so I can enjoy the sense of accomplishment and naps the rest of the weekend.

  9. Kelli December 19, 2015 at 3:01 am Reply

    I get the creature of habit thing. Totally. And since I really love the Hoka One One shoes I just bought I ordered another pair already. I hate when I find shoes I love and the new model isn’t the same!
    Kelli recently posted…10 weeks with my new coachMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 19, 2015 at 7:18 am Reply

      The evolution of the model caused me to change from Asics…

  10. Kim Hatting December 19, 2015 at 3:21 am Reply

    I’m a little of both…Creature of Habit vs. Out of the Comfort Zone. And, I have recently become a Brooks gal…the Adrenalines GTS are SO comfy! I did a short stint in Mizunos (loved the first pair, but the second & third pairs were good, but not as great as the first ones), and I was a die-hard Nikey person before that.
    Kim Hatting recently posted…Stressed? Nah…..I call it priority-challengedMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 19, 2015 at 7:15 am Reply

      I have evolved nicely with the GTS 13, 14 and 15, not too much of a change. Haven’t yet tried the 16 but I think they are out.

  11. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy December 19, 2015 at 12:40 pm Reply

    Because I am sleep deprived & Chester gets a lot of supplements/meds, I have to have routines: putting them in the cabinet in the same place, putting them on the counter in a certain order, putting Lola’s (chipped) bowl on the left because left = Lola & then when I’m giving them the food I can double check I’ giving the right dog the right bowl.

    And God forbid I talk to my husband while getting their food ready like I did last night!

    I have the same dynamic stretching routine before I run, too, & the same quickie stretches immediately after.

    Routine can be very good for some things — even life saving!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…Runfessions, End of Year 2015My Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 20, 2015 at 7:53 am Reply

      I have noticed that as I get older I like routine more and more…

  12. Tina@GottaRunNow December 19, 2015 at 1:26 pm Reply

    I’ve noticed that my Mizuno running shoes don’t feel like they need to be retired yet even though I’ve run over 500 miles in them so I may just keep running in them even though I usually change them out by 500 miles. It would be nice to change my running routes, but I don’t mind running in the same park most days since it’s close to home.
    Tina@GottaRunNow recently posted…18 Mile Run and Race Day Carb TipsMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 20, 2015 at 7:53 am Reply

      Close to home definitely has its advantages !

  13. karen December 21, 2015 at 5:02 pm Reply

    If the shoe is working that is great 🙂 I think it is good to stock up they always change the models a bit each year. Your dynamic warm up sounds great! I always feel better doing one. I am calf paranoid as well…I started timing my stretches after my run so I know I hold my calf poses a minute or more – it is good prevention 🙂 being on the injury list is no fun.
    That is nice you have park area so close!
    karen recently posted…Crazy TrainMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France December 22, 2015 at 7:02 am Reply

      Definitely lucky for the park… miles and miles of paths, road and trails, 95% closed to traffic.

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