Are there days where you feel that you are just dragging your legs through a run? Perhaps you get breathless more easily or your timing just isn't where you want it to be. You might dismiss it as a bad day, blame it on the lack of a good night's rest or even attribute it to psychological issues. However, if this problem has begun to pop up more frequently, perhaps it is time to pause and think about the factors that could be contributing to your lapse in performance.
Your body is overexerted and burnt out
Just like any other exercise and activity, running accumulates stress and physical fatigue in your body. Without the proper rest and recovery, your body might end up being pushed past its ability to perform. If you have been running every day without fail or worse still, participating in multiple physically draining activities, you might have a problem on your hands. Make time for recovery days in your exercise regimen – not only will your body thank you for the much-needed break, but you might find that your performance sees a significant improvement once your body gets rested up.
You did not warm up
Warming up is emphasised by all physical trainers and yet, many people today often overlook it or take it for granted. If you have not warmed up properly, you might get cramps or feel prematurely fatigued in the middle of your run. A thorough warm-up is extremely crucial in preparing your body for a physically intense training session; ensure that all of your crucial muscle groups are primed before your actual run. A comprehensive dynamic warm-up shouldn't take more than 15 minutes, and it's time well invested!
Your body is used to your running schedule
Yes, running is fun and enjoyable. If you're an avid runner, there's a slim chance that you might be guilty of sticking a little too close to your tried-and-true exercise regimen (regarding running duration, frequency or distance). You might enjoy your regular runs but it is important to push yourself out of your comfort zone if you want to improve! Apart from running, you should get involved in other forms of training that will complement it. Strength, power and mobility are all essential aspects of athletic performance, so investing in these areas in a holistic fashion will feed back into your runs and make them better than ever.
Yes, bad days might be inevitable but don’t let it become an excuse to accept bad runs. Don’t overlook the small things; they can go a long way in making your running experience more enjoyable and productive. Don't just run to get fit; get fit to run!