Endurance Running Mistakes
There is so much information to swallow when you are training for a race. Being an endurance runner means that you are dedicated, committed, and have a passion. Whether your goal is to run your first half marathon, or your 10th full marathon, doing even the wrong thing can sabotage all of your hard work. What is important is to focus on what your goals are and avoid some common mistakes that we all make so that you never have the dreaded DNF.
1. Stop Ignoring Recovery
What you eat and how much you sleep, it all affects you. The intensity you go on easy workouts is also vital. Without recovery, there is no training. The formula for training is Training = Stress + Recovery. If athletes only do the stress part, the adaptations won’t happen, or will soon stop. Yet, we all know an athlete that says, “I’m just going easy today,” and doesn’t really mean it. Don’t be the athlete who trains hard, but then eats a bunch of junk food, stays up late drinking and partying, and yet wonders why they can’t get any faster.
2. Stop Doing Other Athlete’s Workouts
Instead, focus on what workouts YOU need. Sometimes, (in fact many times), that means you need to train alone. Peer pressure is no way to train effectively. If you train with a lot of egos, let them go. Limit group workouts to those which are in line with your goals and specific needs, at the right time. This especially includes recovery workouts. If you can’t train effectively on your own, then you are not addressing the real issue. If you really are committed to your goals, training according to those goals shouldn’t be in question.
3. Stop Sabotaging Your Training
When life gets stressful, skipping workouts because you’re not in the mood only brings about more stress and frustration with training and lack of results. Training is your escape, keep it that way. Skipping that transition run because you think you’re too tired, is a missed opportunity to build confidence with a great run. So many of us value performances in our lives, and to not give yourself the best chance to perform, just sabotages your efforts and investment.
4. Stop Doing the Same Thing Over and Over
The body responds best to variance in training. If you’ve been doing the same things over and over for years, and aren’t happy with the results, or seem stuck at a plateau, it’s time to address the real issue, your training. If you’re not satisfied with what you’ve gotten from your training, then change it.
5. No protein during prolonged exercise
When exercise extends beyond about two hours, your body begins to utilize some protein to fulfill its energy requirements, as you begin to derive glucose from amino acids. This metabolic process helps to satisfy anywhere from 5-15% of your energy needs. If you fail to include protein in your fuel, your body has only one other choice: your own muscle! Called lean muscle tissue catabolism or muscle cannibalization, this process devastates performance through muscle deterioration and also negatively affects the immune system and recovery. The longer your workout or race, the greater these problems are compounded. While carbohydrates are still the primary component of your fuel, it should include a small amount of protein when training sessions or races last longer than two to three hours.
6. Using something new in a race without having tested it in training
The title is pretty self-explanatory; it’s one of THE cardinal rules for all athletes, yet you’d be amazed at how many break it. Are you guilty as well? Unless you’re absolutely desperate and willing to accept the consequences, do not try anything new in competition, be it equipment, fuel, or tactics. These all must be tested and refined in training.
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