Runners are a unique bunch. We wake up before the sun rises, run sometimes again late once the sun sets, and frequently sacrifice social gatherings in order to get in our weekend long run. But we are runners, we are part of a great group of dedicated individuals and most of us (including myself) enjoy nothing more than a great run each day! BUT, Runners make mistakes. Mother nature is undefeated and we are NOT invincible. I know, a total shock. 😉
1. We are mostly type triple A
• We obsess and we thrive on structure. We get frustrated when training runs and races don’t as planned. We sometimes complain (frequently silently to the pillow in the AM) when training gets tough and complain when our body’s are taking to much time to recover. We pull on compression sleeves over our calves, recovery tights, roll on the foam roller, and sit in freezing ice baths trying to speed up the recovery process.
The Fix: Teach yourself to plan what you can control. Realize some things you have no control over. Take a deep breath and remember that you love this sport and want to be doing it for a long time. Sometimes, you just have to deal with it. Soreness is a constant, fatigue will occur, and somedays it will take every ounce of motivation and will power.
2. We forget the law of averages
Run 20 miles on a Saturday and 8 miles on a Sunday, then an easy 10 miler on Monday. Yep that’s 38 miles in 3 days (average of almost 13 miles a day). You might say, “well Sunday and Monday were not too long” BUT you have to remember that it is still 38 miles in 3 days. The body doesn’t understand individual days mileage but understands and reacts to accumulated stress.
The Fix: Listen to your body. We all need a periodized and progressive plan. There needs to be building weeks and down weeks. Accumulated stress catches up to us and will sideline us if we try to defeat “Mother Nature” …
3. We lack patience
When results come slower, we assume we are not doing enough or are slacking on our training intensity. Runners believe that if some mileage is good, higher mileage is better. Sometimes that is the case BUT there is a fine line that each of us have. If we cross that line, we break down. Consistent training is what creates success. I should be a spokesperson for that… 10 years of constant set-backs due to a broken back in 2000 could represent my last 10 years of training. Fingers crossed we are FINALLY on the right path.
The Fix: Training is a gradual process to prepare us for peak performance. You must believe in your coach(es) and trust the plan. DO NOT try to add or build on the plan just because you are not at the level you want to be at that moment. Faith and trust in those that guide you is crucial.
4. We ignore the signs
All of a sudden you are having problems sleeping, you are unusually sore, crabby, short-tempered, without motivation, and feeling generally under the weather (sore throat, headaches, body aches, cough, stuffy nose). Yes it is true that when you are training really hard, you will have some of these symptoms. It can be part of the process of training BUT you have to listen to your body and know when to shut down.
The Fix: Stop thinking you are invincible. Listen to your friends, family, and coaches; sometimes they see what you do not. You should be getting 8+ hours of sleep and a daily diet of lots of fruits and vegetables (antioxidants) and plenty of lean protein to help repair muscle damage from training. Hydration is key too. When you are sore, make sure to flush your body with plenty of water and green tea. Just be smart. Overtraining syndrome can land you on the couch and off the roads for weeks.
My name is ____________________, and I am a Runner 🙂