Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How To Finish Your Workout When You Start Feeling Tired

You were excited to head out on your run, but halfway through you started to feel yourself drag. You struggle picking your legs up, your breathing feels more labored and uneven and your brain starts to tell you to stop running. We've all had this happen. Getting tired during a workout can happen for a lot of different reasons.  And a lot of those reasons are avoidable (think hydration and fueling right, getting enough sleep, pacing yourself...) But what happens when you're already on your run and your feeling that way?  Here are some of the ways that I like to keep myself moving and finish my workout.

- Take a deep breath.  Sometimes we just need to pay a little extra attention to our breathing. I make sure that I'm not holding my breath.  I take a big deep breath in, let it out and try to refocus and clear my mind of negative thoughts (like how much more I still have).

- I have a special playlist that I turn on. I usually run without headphones outside, I almost always still take my headphones just in case though.  I have a special playlist on my phone for running so that when I need a little bit of a push I can turn it on and the beat can carry me the rest of the way. 

- I make smaller goals with myself for that run. I'll pick a point and say "I'll run to that fence post (or whatever) and then I can stop and walk". Once I make it to that point I pick another point to run to. I know a lot of runners who do this one too. It tricks your mind and then by the time you get to that spot you feel like you can keep going.

- I smile! Running is way easier if you smile. Sometimes we don't notice how much our facial expression tells our body.  You will be so surprised how much smiling will help.

- I check my form. A lot of times when you start to feel tired, your form is the first thing to go. And that just makes your run feel heavy and sluggish. So I like to stretch my back out, reset my shoulders and make sure my form is right. Doing this also gives you something else to think about so that your mind isn't thinking about how tired you are.

- I do my best to zone out. I start thinking of funning (or sometimes embarrassing) things that happened, or I'll focus on a project I'm in the middle of. I'll try to think of basically anything except how I'm feeling on my run.

- When my legs feel like they are getting slow and heavy, I pump my arms faster. This is another trick that a lot of runners use. When you move your arms faster, your legs will follow. 

-I repeat "I can do this" or "I can do hard things" over and over to myself. Somehow this helps me find a little more energy to push myself the rest of the way. Half of the workout is for your mind when it comes to running. Breaking down the mental barriers that are telling you that you're not going to be able to finish is a big part of getting stronger.

When none of those things are working (usually I'm done with my run by this point anyway) it's ok to say "today wasn't the best running day" and to walk for some of your workout.  Try to find out why your energy is low. Did you have a bad night's sleep?  Did you hydrate enough? Have you been feeling sick?  Are you running when it's hotter than normal outside?  After you know what is causing the fatigue, try to fix it for next time. If this is an occurring problem, consider going to your doctor for a yearly physical. Some of the things that can cause these problems come from medical issues.

What helps you push through your workout when you're feeling sluggish?

What kind of music is on your workout playlist?

What is your Mantra? (I may end up stealing yours)

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