Yes!!! Everyone has some or all of these. They provide structure, drive, and insecurity! I have been racing for many years and seen many many different approaches to competition and training. Observing some is a learning experience in both positive and negative aspects.
Routines are specific orders of events that you go through to be ready for the day or a race. Routines have macro and micro steps. A macro or high level routine helps you to have structure in a fast moving lifestyle so that all of the details are attended to. Micro routines are things like how you get your kit ready for a ride or race, when you make or organize your nutrition, and the order you do things in your day.
I have a race day routine that works for me. I know after hundreds of races the tangible things that have worked and what I have time for. When to arrive, when to get my number, when to pre-ride, when to get to the line. Enough routines and they allow you to adapt when the curve comes. Traffic, car trouble, bad directions, etc. You will know what you absolutely need to do and have the muscle memory to do it, even if you need to skip a few steps. My truck once died on the way to a race. I limped it to the house where I was picking someone up. Changed a flat on their truck, drove to the race, had time to ride from the start to the first pit. Crossed my fingers and got fifth with most horrible no-warmup legs. But I lived!!!
Habits are learned behaviors that usually result from a desire to change. They take some time to develop and can sometimes come and go. We all know there are good ones and bad ones. Good: eating a healthy varied diet a good portion of the time, good sleep patterns, getting workouts done in a part of your day that works. Good habits are generally lifestyle driven with a long term goal in mind. Things like progressing to a Cat 3 cyclist, competing at a high level in age group racing, or even maintaining a healthy weight and blood chemistry.
Habits are linked with routines at their start sometimes. I remember 20+ years ago I really wanted to do my workouts early in the day. Get them out of the way before work so a changing work schedule—read crazy boss!!—didn’t force me to ruin my plan. It was hard. But then I bought a new car. I had a tandem driveway and I didn’t want my landlord to have to move the car. So I would get up early, move the car and then go for a ride. It’s funny to think that initially, the desire to ride wasn’t all it took to get going. Add one more thing and the motivation kicked in. Look for these added catalysts to help yourself out.
Superstitions are somewhat illogical behaviors we carry out to create a perceived advantage through their existence. They don’t often have a real basis or history. But, in most cases, they provided some response in a particular case and the success or failure was pinned on that behavior. An example is a former teammate of mine who had to have three chocolate munchkins from Dunkins before every race. Regardless of how late we were arriving to the race after driving around trying to find Dunkins. Think about that. He had to have this snack counter to all good ideas about nutrition and it stressed him out to not have it. Analyze the true benefit/reward of your preface or routine activities. Do they make sense? Are they illogical? Reevaluate based on your answers to these questions. When in doubt, bounce it off your coach or a friend.
Oh my, think about how often streaks come into play. Zwift gives you a badge for 14/28/76 straight days. You want to ski or ride for seven straight days in the winter. You want to get 365 racing days before you complete 10 years of racing. These all have a patina of cool, but have a foundation in an external stress that you don’t need any more of. If you are tired or have another priority, a streak may push you to make a poor decision. Yes, there are cases when say you are at a camp and you want to maximize work, but life is life. Keep it in balance and make sure the streak doesn’t share some of the bad behaviors of superstitions above.
Racing and/or succeeding in a healthy lifestyle are the culmination of many factors. The training, the nutrition, and the balance. Get into good habits and routines, and they will complement your training. If you struggle with metrics or results evaluate not just your training, but the whole lifestyle and look for areas to make incremental changes with leveraged rewards.