The past 4 weeks or so my body has been TIRED! And niggly – first there was a sore knee, sore hips, sore Achilles. Then there was a sore shoulder. Now some of it is understandable since I’m training for a marathon, but I wanted to write a post about listening to your body because I didn’t and I ended up quite run down, in physio and spend more than a couple of days unwell. As a part of this, I’ve had 3 weeks of training interrupted – 2 weeks on light training and a whole week and a bit off training!
Now if I’d been smart about it, I would have listened to my body and gone to physio after a few days of being in pain, rather than trying to run through it. I would have not gone for a run when I felt really tired and had no energy a few days after being unwell. Part of being able to listen to your body is being able to decipher when you just can’t be bothered doing something, from when you really should give your body a break. I kept thinking to myself I was just being lazy and I wasn’t really run down.
Just as an aside, that’s one reason why I’m not a fan of fitspiration pictures (I wasn’t before this happened either!). Umm the pain of discipline causes regret of not listening to your body I think would be more realistic…
Anyway, here’s some key things I wanted to share when it comes to staying well and listening to your body when you’re exercising.
1. If it hurts, get it seen to
Ok so this doesn’t sound like rocket science, but it can be hard to tell if something is just a little muscular niggle that will heal on it’s own or if it’s something a bit more than that. My downfall in training was not listening to the niggle. While I’m no expert in this area, you should see a dr/physio if you to change the way you run to ease the pain (that was me!), it’s hard to continue your usual exercise because of the pain or pain continues for more than a week.
2. Get enough sleep
If you’re doing a lot of exercise, you also need to get enough sleep. Sleep helps revive and strengthen the body. Without enough sleep, you won’t recover as well from your training sessions and you’ll also be more likely to become unwell.
3. Rest if you feel you need to (and even if you don’t!)
Rest days are so important for your body. When you work out, you’re actually breaking down muscle tissue, so rest is important to let those muscles strengthen so you become fitter and stronger. Be sure to have a rest day or two in your training. Sometimes the line between feeling tired and just can’t be bothered get blurred and you need to talk through if you should work out or if you really do need a day off training. If you’re feeling exhausted from not enough sleep, unwell, or super sore from training then taking a day off is a good idea. Your body will thank you for it.
While I’m not an expert, from experience, rather than pushing through niggles or jumping straight back into hard training after being unwell, listen to your body, rest and nurture it and get the treatment you need from a professional to feel better.
* Note always consult a health professional for injury or illness and advice around returning to training.