Runnin', Runnin', Runnin', Runnin'

If you haven’t noticed I like to theme my blog post titles to music, that’s just a little quirk of mine. Anyway as you can tell this blog post is about swimming, kidding. Of course it is about running. Anyone that knows me or has read my blog is probably aware that I have a very up and down relationship with running. I feel like I never get to the point of consistency with my running no matter how much I try. It also doesn’t help that my mental capacity for running is pretty much non-existent. If anyone asked me if I’m a runner I would almost be appalled “oh no, definitely not” and yet why not? I run a few times a week, I go to run club on a Wednesday with Nike religiously and I’ve done plenty of 5km & 10km races and have completed 3 half marathons, two of which were this year.
So why do I think I’m not a runner? To be honest I’m not sure, may be it’s because of the above, that I cannot get consistency and that if I don’t run for a while even if that’s just a week I’m starting from scratch again. Whereas swimming it doesn’t really matter how long it’s been since I last swam I’m usually pretty comfortable. As I write this I’m thinking there’s going to be people that find this happens in reverse, that swimming or cycling is the one they struggle with. I am training for my first Ironman 70.3 in the summer and whenever people ask if I’m scared about the swim I’m like no that’s the least of my worries it’s more the run I’m scared of, which to me makes sense as it is post a 1.2 mile swim and a 56 mile cycle. However I am starting to get the feeling that this is unusual for triathletes or perhaps more running focused athletes, yes let’s call ourselves athletes here. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Mine is certainly running and this came to a bit of a head for me last week.
The story goes like this, I went to my usual Wednesday night Nike run club. I joined the 7km group at 8:30 minute mile pace. It was pretty muggy outside and my running hasn’t been my best of late. I have come to realise that running two half marathons in March within a week of each other was actually a really bad idea, especially when I think truly I did not train enough which isn’t good when you don’t consider yourself a runner. Anyway I was running with the group and just like it has been for the last few weeks I was nearing the 5km mark I hit a wall. My legs didn’t want to move, I could hardly lift my knees and my breathing was hard and heavy. I got so far behind and had totally lost my confidence that I told the group to carry on without me. I really had given up.
Since then I have been thinking about why my running has been so feeble of late and what I can do about it as I’m not sure that the mental and the physical change completely over night. So below are a few reasons why one might be feeling deflated…
Dehydration: This might not be the case for all of you around the world but in London we’re starting to see some warmer weather. It’s so important to keep yourself hydrated in general but especially when it’s hot and you’re sweatier than usual and losing all those essentials salts in your body. Keep yourself hydrated not only on the day of your run but before and after the day of training.
Over-training: Listen to your body. If you think you have over trained or every time you exercise you have no energy then take some rest. Sometimes that’s not just the morning off or a day it can be a week, for some even more than that. If you do not feel like you could possibly miss a workout then try a lower impact exercise like swimming or yoga.
Take it easy, you will be back on top in no time, rest days are an important part
of your overall training, you may even come back and smash a PB post your recovery time!
Nutrition: Are you eating correctly? I sometimes find how well my session goes can really depend on what I’ve eaten that day. I’m not saying cut out all bad things, I have a sweet tooth like no other, but sometimes you really are what you eat. I know we’re not all cooks, and don’t always have the time to make gorgeous meals but there’s plenty out there that’s simple to cook and nutritious. I think if you’re cooking from scratch and staying away from processed foods then you really can’t go wrong and everything in moderation that’s my motto.
Mentally Strong: This one has me written all over, well in the case of running anyway. I give up on myself quite easily when I run and I find it hard to differentiate the physical with the mental, so I need some techniques to get better. I hear visualisation is one tool when running but you could apply this to any sport. Breaking your run down into segments, when running up hills I break these into really small segments like the next bin, tree or car just to get me through. I have also printed out my whole Ironman 70.3 training plan and already I feel like it’s far more manageable and can plan it along with my social activities too. Another is thinking about why you’re doing this and what you’ve done so far to get here, keep your thoughts positive, no negativity here šŸ˜‰
Sleep: Are you getting enough sleep? I love to sleep and I know that if I go to bed much later than 10:30pm I will find it hard to to get a workout in the next day before work. If you find getting to sleep in the first place a task then a regime should help as you start to get used to the routine and your body is ready for bed. Sleep is your body recuperating from the day both physically and mentally so don’t miss out.
#preparedtotri x


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