So you’ve been training well, eating as well as you can but that 5k last night felt like hell on earth, why??
No one like to feel defeatist after a good effort so here’s 3 ideas for why that run felt so bad & how you can get back on track.
I felt like I couldn’t breathe & got far too overheated, maybe I set off too fast??
Your skin can’t breathe
I’m not going to tell you for the 1000th time that you set off too fast, maybe you did, but it’s not always the case.
Have you heard of skin brushing?
Let’s get dirty for a second…
As runners we are a bit filthy. You can smell a runners washing basket from a mile away & yes we all have at one point sniffed a shirt to see if we can get ‘one more run out of it’. But it’s underneath those shirts that matters!
When the body starts to heat up on a run our brains turn on the taps to cool us down, aka sweat. It’s actually the body’s natural way to cool down the rising core temperature.
As we sweat during runs, it lays on our skin, eeeew, but true. That’s why when you finish your run, you get cold. It’s the sweat cooling down & making you too cold as your internal core temperature drops back down to normal.
As your sweat dries we build up layers. Of course we all keep clean, but are we scratching through these skin layers hard enough? Introducing skin brushing!
Dry or wet skin brushing is AMAZING to get rid of the build up dead skin, dried sweat & collective muddy miles. Scratching this away, even once a week helps runners skin breathe with ease & sweat more efficiently.
Hint: Try this the night before ParkRun for a sneaky PB!
My stomach was heavy & it’s allI could think about. I feltlike I had a brick in my stomach!
Your carb load was too heavy last night
Don’t worry this is not an attack on carbs! Carbohydrates are the preferred fuel most runners use to power their runs. In most cases is a quick way to fuel up & ensure you have the juice ready for race day. But we overlook one thing…
As great as carbohydrates are, they also sadly don’t have a lot of insoluble fibre. Often people go for simple carbohydrates which can soak up a lot of water to get processed plus they have little insoluble fibre. Basically you get bunged up & your bowels slowww down.
Foods like pasta, potatoes & rice can sit heavy on your stomach with nowhere to go. Blood pools in the bowels to help with digesting leaving your poor legs with little to keep them going. But we love carbs! So what can we do?
If you are on a carb load adding complex carbs like grains with insoluble fibre will help you…well..go. Given that all veg contains water, upping these in your meals will not only up your water content helping your digestion but seriously up your vitamin content too.
Hint: These these fab ideas fromRunners World.
I just hated every moment of the run. From when I set off to finishing. I keep feeling like this, I’m sick of running!
You’ve fallen out of love with running
If you’ve reached this stage, I saw whole heartily from experience, poor you!
Whatever’s happened, running & you are just not getting along. You’ve thrown those shoes in the shed, instead of cleaning them. Your shorts are at the bottom of the washing basket & you don’t care. The Garmin can wait to get charged & you’re ignoring everyone’s Runbook race updates.
If you’ve got the point you just don’t see a way forward then that takes time to repair. But what if you’re just fed up but you think there’s still hope?
The fact is if you’re in this state you knew it was happening. You felt that niggle, you had a bad couple of runs & just brushed it aside but you just didn’t listen.
I burned out after running & I fell deeply in love during my weight loss. 100 calories per miles, erm yes please I’ll take 10!
Fact is I raced too much, I didn’t test up enough & I ignored what my body was telling me. Why? Because everyone was in pain, everyone felt exhausted & sore. Their toe nails were dripping off too, so it was ok, right?
Nope. Dial it back. What are you doing? At what point was a single PB enough? Never, once you worked so hard to get it, it was on to the next…next…next…BLOW OUT!
If you’ve had enough, take some time off. I can only ever advise clients but when they don’t stick to good training or run on injury, guess what. Yeps. Burnout city. I’ve ran with clients to slow them down & even taken my shoes off & handed them over just to prove how to avoid injuries. But I can only do so much.
When you burn out, people tend to blame everyone else. Bad diet, bad kit, over training, under training, lack of sleep, whatever the reason it’s for you to be honest to yourself about it.
If you truly want to get back to your running then go back to the core of why you started.
It was never truly about the weight loss. Yes it helped but I wanted to lose weight to make me feel happy. I wanted to feel in control of my body. I ran to help with my anxiety. I felt empowered by what my body could do. It made me feel good.
Take off the Garmin, grab some gorgeous peeps & go find an adventures. I’m serious. Stop chasing the miles & get back to falling in love. Having all the kit & still hating your runs is pointless. Get back to basics. When’s the last time you saw a horse on your run, or found an apple tree like we did last month?
If your heart cannot even get the shoes on, find a good friend & talk it out. Dealing with disappointments helps us to move past them. Until you get to that point don’t lose your fitness. Get to the pool, the gym, on the basketball court, on a bike anything. Just don’t give up on your health.
Hint: Turn your pace off & turn on calories burned. Track your runs to a minimum of 100 calories per mile with your heart rate monitor on. If you’re burning less then your hearts working too hard so it increases stress hormones to make you stop running. This is why you start disliking running.