With the huge increase in the popularity of running, vast numbers of predominantly beginner runners are discovering the addictive pleasures of running. However, they will quickly learn that improving also involves resting! Are you one of these people?
The pleasure you will experience when running can also play tricks on you: when you get used to running on a regular basis, you can become a little too dependent on your love of the sport and find it difficult to listen to what your body is telling you. Without going to the point of "bigorexia" (an excessive dependency on one or more sports), this craving to run at all costs will eventually lead to a physical or mental weariness, which can be difficult to accept. What is the key to improving and ensuring your well-being, without moderation?Knowing how to listen to your body!
2. What Are The Causes Of This Sudden Fatigue?
Excessive training remains the main cause of periods of fatigue and there are many reasons for this. Increasing the number of training sessions too quickly is a particularly widespread cause of physical weariness, which occurs frequently among beginners who get caught up in their running training too quickly or too soon and do not give their body enough time to adapt to the sudden change. In addition to this, inadequate recovery times, a training regime that is too intensive, a cluster of competitions that come too frequently one after the other, can all trigger a period during which your body is overtrained.
Although these are the main causes for runners, the reason for this accumulation of fatigue may not necessarily have a sports-related reason. A change in the circumstances, whether it is sociological, climatic or nutritional can trigger psychological and physical fatigue among sportsmen and women.
3. What Are The Signs Of Fatigue That Your Body Gives You?
When running, you may feel as if you are not making any progress or even getting worse, the physical after-effects of running are more painful, you keep feeling a slight joint or muscle pain after exercising, you find it more difficult to complete a sequence of runs, the pace at which you would normally run comfortably becomes more challenging, etc. You generally feel less pleasure running and less motivated when putting on your running shoes. On a daily basis, you are not sleeping as well, you feel less energised, you are eating less and your mood is changeable, etc.
It is probably time to take a break from running for a few weeks during the so-called annual break! Even if you had planned to take a break at another time during the season, don't hesitate to reschedule this break in your calendar when you feel the fatigue is getting to you in order to reduce any risk of injury and resume running on the right foot…
4. Total Or Active Rest?
During your first few years as a runner, give yourself enough time to discover how your body reacts to this discipline and force yourself to take one or two rest periods during the year. Just like those who practise team sports, there is a break between seasons in order not only to recover, but also to regenerate the appetite and motivation for the sport through the feeling of loss!
Give yourself two weeks – three if necessary – without running and make the most of the time you save during this period to take care of yourself. Massages, saunas, yoga and other means of relaxation or soft sports can be used to gently regenerate your body and your mind. Stop feeling guilty, your body will thank you for it!
For those of you who are more hyperactive, you can opt for the seemingly contradictory "active rest", if you are incapable of dropping all sports during this period. Walks or cycling outings with the family, or even swimming, are the kinds of activities that will stop you feel as if you are going round in circles, provided that they are practised at a leisurely pace! Given the lack of violent impacts on your joints and the cardiorespiratory rhythm, your body will still remain in this phase of regeneration.
5. Gently Resume Running
When you are fully rested, you need curb your enthusiasm as you manage the restart. The first two weeks should be used as an opportunity to reawaken your body without doing too much: cycling outings or fast walking outings interspersed with some mild core strength exercises in the first week. Then start the second week by including some jogging sessions at a comfortable pace for no longer than 45 minutes.
You can then restart your varied running sessions, including interval training, as part of a training programme that is specific to your new objective!
Managing fatigue during the sports season is just as important as the quality of your training sessions. Planning one or two breaks during the year will help you to recover physically while maintaining a certain mental freshness that is essential for your ongoing enjoyment of the sport!