How to Keep Your Runs Stress-Free: Finding the Happy Medium
by Dr. Pouria Taheri
Running is considered the sport to get healthy – after all, the positive effects on your physical and mental health are considerable. It doesn’t take long until you experience success, feel better in your body, and enjoy an overall sense of well-being.
But that is exactly where the danger lies: many people quickly get addicted to running, and they start going overboard with training. Pressure to perform, training too much, and too little recovery time not only damage your body, but also your inner equilibrium. So, how do you find the balance between running as a time out for you and running as a stress factor?
6 tips to finding the happy medium
1. Set goals in stages
Be able to run 5 km, 10 km, or one hour without stopping: set your goals in stages and celebrate each one! Then you can continue with the training plan. Focus on the next goal and enjoy each step in the right direction.
2. Train smart
Establish a routine: it’s not about running six times a week for six weeks. Eventually, an imbalance like this will hurt your performance. Don’t forget about strength and mobility if you want to boost your performance long term.
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3. Optimize your training with a plan
The external and internal pressure created when training goals are set too high shouldn’t be underestimated. A good way to find the right amount is to use an individualized plan to optimize training. This can stop you from overdoing it and, instead, help you work toward long-term success.
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4. Pay attention to how you feel
Feelings of exhaustion, a lack of motivation, heaviness, or fatigue should not be ignored. Do you suffer from overtraining? Take care of yourself and don’t ignore it if you hit low points. Minor injuries are often a sign of more serious conditions that frequently end in longer breaks in running and training. Take them seriously and consult a specialist. Follow your doctor’s advice – even if it means that you have to take a break.
5. Remember: you are what you eat!
A high fiber, balanced diet of natural, unprocessed foods and food supplements (consult a nutritionist) can improve your performance and recovery. Become aware of what you eat.
6. Drink plenty of water
You should always stay hydrated, especially when you do a lot of sports. Enter your data here to find out how much water you should drink each day:
If you work out more than an hour, an additional 0.5 liter is recommended per hour for moderate exercise, 1 liter for intense exercise, and 1.5 liters for extreme workouts.
It is important to reflect on the way you train, ideally before recovery days stress you out rather than reduce your stress. Follow the tips mentioned above and you will have lasting success.