Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Runners--Don't Overstress!

Overwork,not listening to your body--the two things that can lead to the burnout or breakdown of a runner.Avoiding them means the athlete can continue on his path to distance running excellence with fewer injuries and delays in achieving his goals.
Tom Osler,writer,veteran runner and racer, has the credentials that command respect. We've referenced Tom before on this site,for those who don't know him,take a moment do a search and you'll see that he is someone you should pay attention to.Here he offers some suggestions on what habits athletes should incorporate into their training program to reduce the likelihood of what he calls overstress.As usual,I will offer a few comments after some of his suggestions.
"1.Frequent easy days---Some athletes train hard every other day,running easily on the remaining days.This makes good sense,as it tends to insure recovery."
"2.Flexible mental attitude--there is no surer path to injury,poor health and bad racing than a stubborn dedication to a strict training schedule. Common sense must always prevail and a schedule must be abandoned or altered as the need arises."
As I have said many times before--the athlete who won't back off when all the signs are pointing to the fact that he should,is most likely succumbing to uncontrolled anxiety about the impending race.
"3. Good Diet--The runner should attempt to get his nourishment from fresh natural sources."
Fresh and natural are the keywords--if you wouldn't put a low quality gasoline in a Rolls Royce,then why are you putting junk food and other foods with ingredient lists that go on for 4+ lines in a body that you want to perform at its best?
"4.Wear good shoes---A poor shoe is a sure source of injury.The shoe should have a soft flexible bottom to absorb road shock,the elevation of the heel is critical."
Forget the fads,the trends with an agenda,a light flexible shoe has always been the way to go.Avoid the 'gumboots' and the shoes that claim to 'correct problems' the runner has.
"5.Quit races when exhausted--Long distance races can be brutal on a runner's health."
I believe this fact is most commonly overlooked by those who race.Races are very stressful and not healthful to the runner.By not healthful I mean racing a 30k or say a marathon is more destructive to the body then constructive.Of course, if you prepare properly and take the time to recover you can facillitate a healthful recovery.Gutting out a marathon after going out too fast in the beginning and suffering the last 10 miles is just plain stupid.Maybe for some it is missplaced machismo.Use your head--respect your body.
"6.Watch your weight--A gain in weight of even a few pounds places a heavy additional strain on the runner."
Another fact that is often overlooked.More weight,more stress on every part of your body,bones,heart,.....
Call the above preventative medicine for the runner.

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