The name of this blog is a bit of an exaggeration…maybe. My intent with this blog is to discuss the quick transition that can happen from injured to return to run to training to overreaching. The definition of overreaching is: ‘defeat one’s own purpose by trying to do more than is possible’. I actually laughed when I looked that up because it sounds so ridiculous. And yet it is the same pattern that has played out for me year after year. I can tell I am at the point now where I am able to be training and the temptation is there to get greedy with it, and tip in to that overreaching state.
Ironically, I started writing this blog before I had to take a few down weeks due to a bit of an injury flare up (so clearly, I should be taking my own advice a little more seriously). This tells me that the intent was there, but the actions were not. I love training and I love working hard. But I know I need to embrace the recovery if I want to truly improve my running. As it turns out this is the hardest part for me.
It was interesting having just taken the down weeks and to be able to really dig in to how my body felt. I find I am particularly good at ignoring and pushing through in order to get the training done. And this can be beneficial for example, when you are running a marathon or in a focused training block for a specific goal (*NEITHER of which I am currently in). Suddenly I was feeling exhausted getting out the door for a morning run that was half the length it would typically be, after 8 hours of sleep. And my body generally was just not feeling good. It is awful that it took stepping back for me to realize that training was not going optimally but sometimes that is what needs to happen. Now I am going to do my best to really take it EASY and to truly reflect as to how I am doing.
So what am I going to do to back up my intents with actions?
- Slow it down on the easy/recovery runs
- call me out on Strava!
- Constant HONEST reflection and writing it down
- Cool I hit the paces… but how is my body feeling? Am I really recovering to my best ability? Was I forcing the pace on that run?
- Adding in more deliberate mobility work.
- Practice what you preach… I tend to get really stuck through my pelvis and I have gotten good at running through it. But it always ends up causing problems down the road (*literally).
- Making sure I am not taking myself too seriously, this is for fun after all.
- Be sure there is an element of play mixed into the training. Make sure there are some smiles on every run!
- Listening to my body and use the indicators from the whoop band.
- Before I had to take those down weeks, I was not able to get #inthegreen which means I was never getting to a fully recovered state despite continuing to train and even in the down weeks it took a solid week or two before I bounced back.
- Put the ego on the backburner.
- I know I will get to my fittest and even surpass it again, I have done it many times. At the end of the day I have nothing to prove. I would not say I have much of an ego but regardless putting that all aside to let myself listen to my body more and have FUN with it! Doesn’t that sound great!?
Of course, the above is all easier said than done. What are some things that would help you to optimize your training and not getting into a state of overreaching? Honestly think about it and then come up with some action items that can help steer you in the right direction.
Why does this happen? Often times we are quick to jump to overdoing it just in running. But there are many things that contribute to injuries flaring up or over doing it when it comes to training. Stay tuned for another blog post on the effects of stress on training. But in the meantime, if you want to dive in a little deeper check out this previous blog post of mine: https://torunningchiro.com/2018/09/25/stress-is-stress-is-stress/
At this point it is not even that we can claim ignorance to this training for nothing scenario. This is now the third run season where the likelihood of IRL races is close to zero. It is exactly what got me in to trouble in the spring and started this most recent injury blip (read more here: https://torunningchiro.com/2020/05/16/taking-a-pause/). SO here is to constantly learning and being better despite it being way harder to do than to say!