I had another post all ready to go about how to recover from the most horrific running week. I think I'll save it for another day. Running is complicated and involves so many factors. I ran 26kms last week and spent the last 10 kms begging God to send a friendly face to offer me a ride. I'm not joking or exaggerating. I think I would have crawled if I wasn't on a busy road.
How did I recover??
I had to assess a few things. Instead of explaining the why's of all I'll just list them here to show you how many things can affect a run. These things don't only apply to the day before and day of your run. They apply to the week prior as well.
hydration going into the run
hydration during a run
Glycogen stores in my muscles
vitamin and mineral stores in my body
Protein consumption prior to and post exercise
Fuel while running
Pace of the run
rest prior to the big run
Alcohol and coffee consumption
Physical Stress (cortisol levels)
Time of day I ran.
So these are a few things I have had to take a second look at. Since my pee was pretty much brown the day after I ran I figured something had gone wrong.
I made a few changes and I had a MUCH better run this week. As you can see there are MANY factors that can affect your run. I just evaluated all of them and made some changes here and there.
The biggest change was my diet. At this level what I eat everyday is becoming crucial. Not only that but when I eat it. Training this much seriously stresses my body. I need to focus on packing in the nutrients and antioxidants to help my body recover.
I will admit that I was pretty bummed all week. I had only one good run, but went into today's run better prepared to take on the challenge. The effort I put into all the above during the week paid off because I did it, and can now move on to 29.
So if you have a bad day or week try not to sweat it. Take a couple of days off and evaluate all the factors and make changes where they are needed. If I can do this crazy running stuff so can you ;)