I am following (loosely I should add) a running schedule to prepare for my next half-marathon in October and was scheduled for a 6-mile run yesterday. I logged 6.5 miles last week (1.5 miles more than what the schedule called for) and decide to take it easy this week because of the heat. Mother Nature is having a hard time making up her mind. She can’t decide whether it should be winter or summer and has been completely ignoring the fact that we skipped over what was supposed to be spring. With temps in the upper 70’s by 7am, I quickly learned that my body was having none of it and I had to listen to the signs it was telling me- Not today.
In high school, I spent my summers lifeguarding at the local pool. One August, which would be my last time ever lifeguarding, I suffered heat stroke. Since then, I have never been able to handle heat very well. That includes hot tubs, saunas, humidity, etc. This could be a big reason why I took to speedskating so easily! Anyway, I’ve had to learn to compensate during summer training and to recognize when my core temperature is too high & when to take a break.
Yesterday was extremely hard for me. I set out to do 6 miles and could only complete 3 with a lot of walk breaks. The humidity was almost suffocating and energy was spent after the first mile. I tried to eat a GU packet to see if that would help, but as I shared on Instagram,
“The body just shut that party down.”
The best training tip you should have in your arsenal…
Know When to Listen to Your Body.
You need to know the signs that sometimes, it’s ok to take it easy. I’m not saying this should become an excuse to NOT do your workout, but to learn modification is ok. Your signs will be different than mine; but know this:
Walking is ok. You are still moving and that is what matters.
Resting is ok. You are allowing your body to heal- to become stronger for next time.
You are still a warrior- No matter what.
When I hit mile 2, I had to take note that my goal of 6 was not feasible. Fatigue and high heart rate were giving me clear signs that I needed to reconsider the plan; It wasn’t that I was lazy or didn’t want to do the next 4, I knew from experience that if I continued and pushed myself beyond my limits FOR THAT DAY, I would have made myself sick or injured- or possibly both, sabotaging the workouts planned for this week. So, I ran/walked the last mile.
And I was toast for the rest of the day.
Yep. Those 3 miles drained everything I had. Imagine if I had continued?
Today I got up and ran a strong 3.1 miles just as the sun crested the horizon. It was cooler and I was rested. The difference was night and day, all because I listened to my body.
As athletes we tend to think I can run through this or I can gut it out and what ends up happening is we do more harm than good. Remember to listen to your body, train smart and successfully reach your goals, no matter what they may be.