Do you ever think about how the other stuff besides actual running affects your running? Over the past few years I have realized that other things impact our running more than should make sense. For example: stress, eating, getting enough sleep, sitting, and what shoes we wear when we are not running, to name a few.
This past weekend I was in NYC for a bachelorette party. I took the train there on Saturday morning and came back early on Sunday morning, to get the cheapest train tickets possible. This meant a quick trip in which I tried to squeeze in as much as possible! Before I left on Saturday I did an easy 4 miles which felt great. I got some blogging stuff done on the train rides which helped to prepare for the busy back to school week.
When I arrived I walked for about 15 minutes to my friends’ apartment. Then we went to lunch and ran errands- meaning more time on my feet. Usually this is totally fine, but I had worn a pair of flat sandals that I usually don’t do too much walking in. I was also on my feet quite a bit that night (more walking and some dancing), and up welllll past my usual bedtime- but all for good fun and good reason of course! However, when I got home on Sunday my left ankle felt really tight in a similar spot where I have had problems before.
I spent a good part of the day foam rolling and massaging it in any way I could, along with wearing my compression socks. I decided I wasn’t sure if I would run on Monday, depending on how it felt when I woke up. Luckily it felt great and I was able to do my easy run, although I will still be watching out for it (and not wearing those shoes for awhile!)
The point is that something as silly as shoes (possibly combined with extra time on my feet and a lack of sleep) were likely the cause on an issue that had the potential to become an injury. I have a feeling if I did that every weekend it would become a full blown injury very quickly.
A few notes on some of the other factors I mentioned:
-As for nutrition, I think by now most of us know the important role that nutrition plays in staying healthy. Our bodies require lots of nutrients to recover properly! While I know I am still far from perfect in this area, I think I have come a long way and it is an ongoing process.
-Many of us don’t have control over how much we sit at work. Luckily I am up and down throughout the day, but I generally have very tight hips so I make it a point to get up frequently if I have to sit for a while. I touched on this here and here.
-When it comes to sleep, I feel like I have a good amount of control with that and get at least 8 hours almost every night. If I know I am getting up at 5 to run, I get to bed by 9. I like having a routine because I think it helps me sleep better, also.
-The last one I mentioned above is stress- and that is the absolute hardest one for me. Looking back on things, it’s like as soon as I get stressed about something big, I get injured. And I’m terrible and managing stress- so right now it is something I am working on. That is a topic for a whole other post!
What other things in life affect your training?
How do you manage things like sleep and stress?