Life is like music; it must be composed by ear, feeling, and instinct, not by rule.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Recognize mental fatigue

Just some quick and obvious advice.  Don't ignore mental fatigue because if you do, it can lead to a long host of problems.  The first step is recognizing when you are mentally fatigued and, in fact, you may be physically fine and that's why folks ignore the mental side but it's a mistake.  I bring this up because I'm suffering from it right now but I'm addressing it.

After 97 consecutive days of running, I noticed that it was "mentally" tough to run for just 40-45 minutes.  I took note of this and also took into account external factors, including the bad weather (5 straight days of snow and below 10F temperatures), inability to run outdoors and especially on the trails I love, being regulated to the treadmill due to bad weather, heavy load of work, and early morning kids activities.  My body felt fine but not my mind.  So, I've dedicated this week as a "back off week," or call it a "recovery week."  This week, all my runs will be 20-30 minutes (likely on the treadmill, barefoot) . . . heck, maybe just a 1 mile run (we'll see how it goes).

It's time to recover and heal, more mentally than physically.  When you suffer mentally, it can turn into a physical thing and you can even get sloppy with your focus which can directly or indirectly lead to bad form and technique and ultimately injury.  I have friends who don't see the connection between mental fatigue and potential injury, but it's real . . .

Trust me . . . when you feel off, start to take literal notes of what's going on inside and outside . . . don't ignore the signals . . . acknowledge and address it!!!


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