5 Lessons Learned from a Terrible Training Run

Adding to this pile is going to be a LOT harder than I originally anticipated.

On Saturday I got myself out of bed at 5:30am and reported to my first half marathon training run at We Run San Antonio. I did terribly.

I ran/walked/struggled through 6 miles on a day when I was probably prepared to run 2. I was sleepy, under fed, and our coach saved me by lending me a hand held water bottle for the run. I got injured. My IT band on BOTH legs started hurting early on but instead of turning back I kept going, only to hurt myself even more. I hadn’t faced the heat yet this summer, and on a day with heat and incredible humidity I paid the price. I even got stung by a bee.

From terrible experiences, especially those that come as a direct result of your own actions, come great lessons. I’ve had a few days to stew on Saturday’s run and I’ve come to realize that the lessons learned in this case apply to more than just running. Here are 5 that I think are most important:

1)      Sleep well. This applies everywhere. A terrible night’s sleep is a recipe for a less than stellar day. Had I gone to bed instead of getting hooked on game 5 of the NHL finals it’s likely that none of this happens.

2)      Eat well. While watching the NHL finals, I ate half a sandwich and a cup of yogurt. Normally this isn’t a big deal, but this ended up being my dinner. I woke up tired (see 1) and crucially low on fuel for any kind of physical activity. My legs felt heavy the instant I stepped out of bed.

3)      Prepare well. I overslept. I hadn’t prepared anything ahead of time (thanks again NHL), so I rushed out the door. I ate a granola bar on the way, and didn’t even bother to check what mileage I was assigned to run for the day. I didn’t check the weather. And worst of all, I forgot to bring my own hand held water/nutrition.

4)      Know Your Limits. Our coach assigned mileage based on the amount of running we stated we were doing when we signed up. I was given 6 miles. What I didn’t take in to account, was that I hadn’t worked out in 2 weeks, and the stifling humidity of that morning was more than I was prepared to handle. He said that if we feel bad (due to the extreme heat) we should turn back and not risk injury. Did I? No.

5)      Trust the Experts. To get myself out of this mess I have only one choice, trust our coaches. They are pulling back my mileage to let me heal up and want me to take it relatively easy even when I feel better. This isn’t the time to act like a tough guy (see 1 – 4), it’s time to trust the people who know better.

So there you have it, my five lessons learned from the terrible training run I had on Saturday morning. In reviewing them, I’m thinking I could write an entire post about each if I really wanted to. In fact, it’s not much of a stretch to say that all of the above be applied in the workplace!

More to come…

2 thoughts

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