Hitting a wall with your training is frustrating, but there are easy solutions to help you get back on track. Learn more about the most common issues runners of all levels face and how to overcome a training set back.
The Problem: Too Much, Too Often
If you find yourself out of breath or completely drained after every run, you could be pushing your running training too hard.
It’s something known as overtraining and it happens when your body is pushed beyond its capability to recover.
If you run too fast you can push your body too hard, going beyond the body's capacity to deliver oxygen to your muscles. And if you’re putting in too many miles your body can tire, meaning you need more time to recover for your next run.
The result? Your performance can plateau or even worsen. In more extreme cases, overtraining can cause injury, sleep disturbance and even depression.
The Solution: Take a Step-by-Step Approach
The first step is to know your pace. You can do this with a simple stopwatch and it helps you to identify a comfortable level for your training and then factor it in to your training schedule.
You also need to manage your distance. If you’re looking to run a long distance, you need to build up gradually over time. Having a running plan with a phased approach can really help – it sets milestones and gradually increases the distance to help you reach your goal without overtraining.
The Problem – Getting the Right Fuel
Diet is essential not only in providing the energy you need when you’re running but also in helping you to recover and build muscle.
Complex carbohydrates help your body produce glycogen which delivers energy to your muscles while proteins are essential to help repair and build muscles as well as produce hormones. Then there are fats, vitamins and minerals to factor in.
The Solution – Balance Your Diet
Think carefully about what you’re eating. As well as vitamins and minerals, your diet should be made up of:
10% saturated fats
10-15% unsaturated fats
The Problem – Too Much Strain When You’re Not Running
If you’re working hard, stressed or playing lots of other sports,
the body still needs time to recover if you are going to run at your best.
The Solution – Take it Easy
It might sound obvious, but you need some rest and relaxation.
It gives your body time to repair itself and recover in order to build up your strength and be ready for your next run.
The Problem – Not Enough Sleep
Tiredness is another factor that can affect your performance. Again, it’s all down to recovery – if you’re not sleeping properly your body doesn’t have enough time to recover.
The Solution – Wind Down Before Bed
Take a warm bath just before bed and try to relax. Another great way to wind down before sleep is to read a book or listen to some relaxing music.
And if you’re suffering from severe sleep problems, consult your doctor to see if they can help you get the rest you need.
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