In our burgeoning quest to log kilometers, post PB’s and earn another medal for the shoebox at the bottom of the closet, we runners are forever living dangerously close to the knife edge between Superhuman and dead legs, flu, injury and PW’s (yes, you got it, Personal Worsts!)
So what are the things that we can do to remain on the side of Superhuman?
Take a REAL Rest Day
Runners have this strange perception,(probably because most runners only regard running as real sport), that any sporting activity other than running, a.k.a “Cross Training” is rest. Cross Rest? I think not. The conversation usually goes something like this,
Runner 1: “What did you do for training yesterday?”
Runner 2: “I took a day off and went spinning.”
Now there is nothing wrong with incorporating other sports activities into your training. In fact there are many great benefits. What is important to be aware of is that these are training sessions which do put a load on your body and must therefore be built into your training schedule as such and should never replace rest.
Make a point of dedicating one day a week to being a Couch Potato or if you must get out, nothing more strenuous than feeding the ducks in the park.
Destress Your Running
In the same way that work stress can makes us tired and ill, so can to much intensity in our running. We can become so fixated on reaching those monthly pace and distance targets that we neglect to listen to our bodies and back off, take a break or get that nagging injury seen to. We also tax ourselves mentally trying to get the perfect numbers. (Especially those A-type personalities out there!)
All of this not only puts us at risk of going over the edge to dare I say, “Overtraining”, but can also take away from the simple joy of “Just Running” – the reason we started in the first place?
So…every once in a while:
- Ditch the watch
- Stop logging K’s for a week
- Do a fun adventure run
- Stop to enjoy the view
- Share your running with friends and family (Even the slow ones!)
Plan Your Recovery
We read a lot about the importance and benefits of following a good recovery routine. Recovery drinks, recovery massage, recovery tights, recovery gels, recovery stretches…we can even buy all sorts of nifty tools that can help us be our own Sports massage therapist, but how many runners really put planning and time into recovery? Just a little each day will go along way to maintaining your Superhuman status!
Happy and Strong running!