Monday, January 28, 2013

What To Do When You Have a Bad Run. Literally.

On Friday, I was fooled. 

Outside, the sun was hibernating. It was overcast and there was a slight cool breeze, and what I felt were pretty damn good running conditions. I made up my mind there and then to go for a longer run, around 8km rather than the shorter 5km I normally do on a warm day. 

Ohhh.... how wrong I was. (< -- insert wide eyes and ominous music here)

Very messy graph... and a completely exhausted self. 
As you can see, the day was deceptively hot and when the sun came out at the 5km mark I was toast. Total jelly legs. However, here's my advice for what to do when you're having a bad run. 

Listen to your body. If you start feeling excessive pain, feeling light headed or finding it difficult to breath then stop running and ease into a gentle walk. It should help you recover. If symptoms don't improve, call someone to pick you up. 

Don't stop moving. If you find you're too exhausted to run, slow down into a slow jog or brisk walk. Moving means you're still burning calories and keeping your heart rate up.

Continue the distance you'd already planned to do. Don't shortcut it home (unless you're on a strict time frame). It may take longer than normal, but who the hell cares? You'll feel better for sticking it out in the end! 

Set mini goals for yourself. Run for a minute, then walk for 90 seconds. Short bursts are better than no bursts! Interval training is still a great way to burn calories. 

Don't get disheartened or see it as a failure. You're exercising and pushing yourself to do the best you can do. There's definitely no failure in that!

Once you're home, rehydrate. Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate. 

Plan to attack the distance again another day. Change up whatever didn't work for you. If it was too hot, start earlier or later in the day. Blisters? Grab Evolution socks and bandaids. Too thirsty? Carry a drink bottle. No energy? Have a piece of toast with peanut butter or a banana 45 mins to an hour before you run.    

Every day is a slate wiped clean. Keep reaching for your goals! 

*disclaimer- I am not a health professional. After 2 years of running, this is merely what works for me, and hopefully it will for you too. 


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