Am I doing too much running?
10 Mar 2016
Should I include more rest breaks in my running plan?
With marathon training in full flow and the miles ramping up niggles naturally start to become part of the daily struggle; alongside getting the kids to school, work, cooking dinner, chores, training and then squeezing in some stretching. BUT if you don’t take time for proper recoveries, your body won’t adapt to the stress of your training, which defeats the point of it. If you neglect recovery for too long you will start to lose strength and speed and therefore perform poorly.
So what markers should you use to know if you’re over doing it?
- PAIN: You’re sore or carrying an injury.
Whether you’re aching from overworked muscles or you’re suffering an injury, your body needs more energy to prioritise for repair, therefore increasing total recovery time. Give your body what it needs.
- SLEEP: Not sleeping well – or aren’t getting enough.
Consistently good regular sleep boosts production of growth hormones, which are required for rebuilding and repairing muscle fibres. Several nights of bad sleep in a row will decrease reaction time along with immune, motor and cognitive functions.
- PERFORMANCE: Your workout went poorly.
Obviously this is a very subjective measure; don’t necessarily focus on quantity or intensity. If you felt great on your run, you’d say that was good. If you felt sluggish on the same run, you’d count it as poor. Multiple ‘poor’ runs in a row is an easy way of identifying the need for more recovery.
- ENERGY: You’re run down.
If your energy levels are low, there’s something amiss. Come on now, be honest with yourself. You can block out signs of fatigue and push through it thinking it will make you stronger; but more often than not it won’t work that way. Unless its race day, then block it out and smash a PB!
- HYDRATION: Your urine is dark yellow.
This can be an indicator of dehydration. A rough guide is- the darker the colour, the more you’re struggling to retain fluid because there’s not enough for the whole body.
- BODY MASS: You’ve lost weight since yesterday.
A 2% fluctuation in weight from one day to the next indicates a body fluid variance. It’s most likely that you didn’t hydrate enough during or after your last session, particularly if it was hot or a brutal one. Dehydration will negatively impact both physical and mental performance, and is likely to compromise the quality of your next run.
If 2 or more of these are you, just take a short break from the running.
Listen to your body then crack back on.
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