Continuing what we started in Part 1, here’s a bit more detail on the next couple of training mistakes, and how we should correct them.
Training Mistakes Reminder:
- Training on limited sleep
- Being addicted to fatigue in your workouts
- Training at the same pace day in and day out
- Not eating enough, or even eating too much.
- Recovery and/or Complete Rest Days & Protocols disregarded
- Focusing ONLY on the end goal, and expectation to get there in a few months or weeks
- Allowing your EGO to control your workout
- Running hard or working out hard too many days in a row. (This includes all forms of exercise.)
- Warming Up & Cooling Down too fast
- Not keeping a training log
- Neglecting Drills, Stability, & Strength Work
- Not wearing proper footwear
- Pain that lasts more than 72 hours, and continuing to train.
Fix Your Training Continued:
5) Get Your Nutrition On!
Nutrition and diet are critical for runners. We need to get adequate protein for recovery & energy, along with good carbs for energy, and healthy fats to keep our brains & body operating smoothly. A lot of runners cling to sugar, especially for their endurance events. One caveat is: keep it only during your training, NOT your meals! Sugar creates an inflammatory environment, and we already create enough inflammation as it is with the stress running places on our bodies, why create more with something so unhealthy?
Eat enough for your body, don’t over eat either. Some runners think that they can stuff their face with everything, because they are training for long distances, and this is true to a degree, but if you are getting your calories by eating an entire pizza, or massive junk food, I’d say you may want to take another look at your eating habits. Eat all the colors of the rainbow with fruits and veggies, lean protein – grass-fed meat and wild caught fish, and healthy fats like olive oil, avocados, and nuts. Keep in mind that before, during, and after an intense workout, or a workout that is over an hour, you can have a quick digestible sugary carb source, along with protein. All other times steer clear as much a possible!
6) Take Your Recovery/Rest Days!
Recovery Days and Rest Days are sometimes completely disregarded. I’m not ashamed to say it, I fitness walk on my low intensity days. It promotes blood flow and helps with recovery, along with grooving a pattern for better running mechanics. I also take rest days, where, wait for it…I DO NOTHING! The body is taxed over and over, it needs time to heal, and that’s what these days are for. Along with good nutrition and sleep! Also, I like cycling as a form of cross training. I’m not a big swimmer anymore, but this is another good form of cross training to add to the mix to get you off your feet.
My Recovery Protocol:
- Warm Baths with Epsom Salts
- Compression Socks; NOT sleeves – sleeves have been linked to DVT’s.
- Ice when necessary and if I feel ultra-achy
- Foam Roll & Stretch (but not in excess) – Goal is to adapt your tissues to your training, not constantly roll away your pain. If I have tightness that persists the next day after my workout, I will foam roll. Sometimes people tend to roll too hard on the area that is in pain and it could make things worse.
- Self Massage on my shins and calves – My calves take a beating, because I’m a forefoot runner, and I run on a lot of hills here in PA!
- Lacrosse Ball on Feet some days
- Tiger Balm on sore muscles. Works for me!
- I try to eat as anti-inflammatory as possible. I use Turmeric, and tend to stay away from NSAID’s.
7) Choose The Long Road Approach with Training
Think about longevity with your training, not the 8 week, 16 week, 20 week approach. Running is a sport I would like in my life until I am no longer on this planet, don’t approach running with an end goal of training, start slowly, and build, that’s the way to achieve your goals. Right now I’m on a 5 – 10 year plan! Rome wasn’t built in 8 weeks, so don’t force your body to run a race perfectly in 8 weeks. Give it time, train smart, and progress at a rate which your body can handle.
8) Check Your Ego at The Door
Here’s an example of how my ego came into play, and I was feeling quite well invincible. I’ve had the most consistent strong training since October that I feel I ever have in the years I’ve been training, and a few weeks back I screwed it up a bit, because of this pesky thing called Ego! Long story short, I ran 3 X 400’s on un-warmed up legs at about 5:50 – 6:00 min pace, and I felt my quads get annoyed, on top of that it was cold and rainy out. The next day I did my workout which was 5 miles at 6:49 pace, and 1 mile at 6:14 pace, I felt great! The following day my quad was tight, but nothing a good walk, light stretching, and massaging couldn’t cure; however, pesky ego came in and I rushed to catch up with the HS girls for their warm up, and I was probably under 7 min pace, and I just felt like yea you just did a number on yourself Nat.
It was too many days in a row of speed, un-warmed up legs, and this feeling that I am unbreakable. We are breakable, that’s why it’s important to go slow with training, and whatever stay on course with your prescribed program, do that, don’t go on a tangent with other things, or if you are suppose to run 8 miles, but are running with a friend who’s doing 12, bow out at 8, do not do the extra 4 miles.
Stay tuned for Part 3. Happy Training!
Natalie Johnston has been running since she was 13 years old, and has been a competitive athlete since the age of 3. She competed in sports ranging from horseback riding, competitive swimming, to dance. However, running was the one sport that stole her heart! She says,”Running frees my mind and soul, you can just grab your shoes and run anywhere!” Through many ups and downs in her life, running was the one place for her to let go, meditate (aka release her emotions), and grow as a person. She believes running is more than just getting fast times, it’s about connecting to something deeper in yourself; She believes that running saved her life in many ways. Through High School and College all Natalie thought about was being the best and getting fast, since then she has changed her way of thinking, and believes that you should train like you want to run until your 100. With that mindset, she has been able to run faster, be less stressed, and enjoy her runs even more now than she did before! Learn more about Natalie and her coaching at RUN F.I.T. Coaching.