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Controlling your Running Too Much

Are you monitoring your running to the point where you are becoming obsessive?, asks Nandini Reddy. 

Passionate runners will run because they love the feeling of exhilaration they get when they are running and the sense of achievement they experience after they finish a run. But if you are running by schedule and more for a plan instead of enjoying it then you might be controlling your running a bit too much.

If you want to know if you have become obsessive or a controlling runner then look for these signs.

Your Motivation

Do you feel a sense of joy when you want to run or do you feel like its a task you need to achieve? If you are more motivated by factors like fear of gaining weight or reaching running targets then you are an obsessive runner who has only superficial factors that are motivating you to run and not ones that fuel inner joy. If you find that your alarm and running schedule is what gets you to run everyday then you need to revisit your motivation to run.

Importance of Running

Passionate runners always want to run because it is an activity that they want to indulge in by choice. If you are feeling compelled to do a run and are trying hard to include running into your schedule then you are forcing yourself to do something that you are not naturally attuned to do. You are trying to prove a point to an external factor instead for your own benefit. While some form of exercise or activity should be part of your life, it doesn’t mean you need to take up one that lets you talk about it on social media and declare the number of finish lines you have crossed.

Core identity

A lot of people call themselves runners today. There are numerous opportunities for people to try their hand at running a marathon today or join a running group. But many of them get carried away to a point where they believe that being a runner is their core identity. This means you are getting obsessive with your running habit. Running needs to be a part of your life but making it your core identity doesn’t make any sense.

Feeling angry or sad

Any form of exercise releases endorphins and makes you feel happier. If you are feeling angry about not hitting goals and are constantly stressing about achieving a target then running is controlling you instead of you controlling your runs. There is a psychological gain to exercise and being obsessive doesn’t help. Over-training can lead to burnout both mentally and physically.

Ultimately running should be an experience that enhances your life. It is good to be dedicated to an activity but its never pleasurable if it becomes obsessive.

 

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.

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The day before a marathon

The best way to prepare for race day is by putting your feet up, writes Deepthi Velkur.

Running a marathon is an endurance game and requires extensive training, focus, and dedication. To be able to tackle one requires you to break it down into a three-fold process. First, make a commitment to enter and give your best to the marathon. Second, dedicate time and effort to the training involved for the grueling challenge ahead and finally enjoy the most worthwhile and gratifying phase of the marathon – the event itself.

As you get closer to race day, it is natural to have some rattling nerves and mounting questions but if you want to calm yourself down and aim to achieve your personal best, it is important to give yourself that special care during the last 24 hours before the marathon.

Follow these simple tips to better prepare yourself on the day before a marathon:

  • Hydrate well and eat clean – Fueling your body with good food and ensuring you drink a lot of water a day before the marathon is recommended. Sipping on water through the day and having a sports drink or electrolyte supplement also helps in boosting electrolyte levels in the body. Boost your food intake by eating lean protein like paneer, beans, lentils, nuts, chicken or fish and adding carbohydrate to each meal in the form of vegetables, fruits, pasta, bread or rice. Stick to foods that work well for you and do not try anything new before or on the race day.
  • Layout your running clothes and gear – Keep it all handy to avoid a last-minute rush. Some essential items to keep in mind before a marathon or to carry to the race include – race bib, GPS watch or wristwatch, comfortable running outfit, cap, shoes, socks, energy gels, sunscreen and petroleum gels to avoid chafing.
  • Keep calm and relax – Stay off your feet as much as possible. Watch a movie for extra motivation or listen to music as this is a good way to ease your mind. You can try doing a 15-20 min run on the treadmill or a short run of 3 to 4kms to loosen up your legs at best.
  • Think positive – While you have prepared well for the grueling task of running the marathon, keeping your mind sharp and staying positive is extremely crucial. The mind gives up before your body does so ward off any negativity by surrounding yourself with positive people.
  • Map your run- Familiarizing yourself with the course map and the actual course itself a day before the marathon aids in building your race strategy. Set a realistic goal and stick to it. Do check for weather conditions a day before or on the race day as this helps you prepare yourself mentally as well as physically for the race.
  •  Early rising- Keep an alarm so you’re up early and have ample time for yourself to get ready.

The above steps go a long way in ensuring your race day readiness and calming those nerves. After the marathon, it is important to savor your success, think about what worked and what didn’t and this will help you plan better for your next race.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

 

Deepthi Velkur is a former sprinter who is trying her hand at various sports today. A tennis fanatic, who believes that sleep should never be compromised.

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