Running is an amazing form of exercise but it can also be a cause of stress, writes Nandini Reddy.
Training for a marathon requires dedication and planning. But at times looking at the long drawn schedule can seem overwhelming. A marathon training calendar is what runners would follow in order to achieve their personal best at the big race. These calendar’s tend to be long and detailed. Looking at this calendar alone can cause anxiety to many.
You need to watch for a few signs to know if your running has become stressful for you:
Right Head space – Generally they say the best way to prep for your day of running is by preparing the night before by laying your gear, setting the alarm and also getting a good night’s sleep. But at times this routine alone can cause anxiety and you might end up waking up several times during the night. The whole routine might become a mental block to running itself.
Getting too emotional about goals – Runners tend to get very attached to their goals. Not achieving their weekly distance target or goal timings leads to runners getting upset and making mistakes during their training in their emotional state. Your running attitude will determine how you approach your run.
Hormone induced positivity – Any form of exercise releases endorphins. But the positivity about the exercise stays only for a short while. The moment the effect of the endorphins dulls, the feeling is replaced by sadness. Ideally this doesn’t happen to all runners but to the ones who are over-stressing about their goals.
Runner’s Guilt – Runner’s have tight schedules, especially when they are training for the big day. That means sacrifices on a number of fronts such as missing dinner parties, spending more on gear and strict diets that mean missing even birthday cakes. The idea is to balance all of these with running but many find it hard to strike a balance instead they are caught in a stressful situation.
Low immunity – Even with your diet and exercise in the right amounts, stress can cause your immunity levels to drop. That means you will be susceptible to colds, flu and other illnesses that are fueled by stress.
Increase in injuries – Stressed runners will find themselves injured more than normal runners. They don’t pay attention to their body and this can lead them to push their body beyond its limit thus causing damage that might prevent them from running altogether.
Bad time management – Race training needs time commitment. If you are already stretched then signing signing up for a big race is not a good idea. Trying to squeeze out time can cause undue stress and fuel negative emotions. Running becomes an obligation instead of a pleasure.
Peer pressure shouldn’t be a reason for your to accept a race. Set your own goals and ensure that you run while listening to your body. Do not make it a tedious to-do list task.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An irregular runner who has run in dry, wet, high altitude and humid conditions. Loves to write a little more than run so now is the managing editor of Finisher Magazine.