fight me irl, brah
A running related topic for a change, because looking at the front page, I haven't found many.
I came across this blog entry from a fairly well known distance running coach. In a nutshell, the author suggests that excessive emotional stress, like excessive running stress, can cause a runner to break down and fail to make adaptations to training.
Looking at the anecdotal evidence provided by my own running history, this make sense to me. I have struggled in times of high stress caused school, work, and other such stress inducers. I would also say that I run better under a similar training load when I get a break from my typical daily routine and am able to relax and take my mind off everything.
Has anyone else made any observations regarding how emotional stress affects their training?
I'm at work, I'll read that later, but I am not really an emotional person perse so the stresses I deal with; bills, relationship crap, problems at work or home etc. are more in my head. Or to put it another way, they affect my thoughts more than my feelings.
For me, running provides a means to organize or discard things that are hanging over my head. So the more problems I have when I begin a run, strangely, the better that run will likely be, or the clearer my head will be : : most times : : after it.
Or, if I am not going through problems at the time of a run, I run free and get great ideas for projects at home or work or other things I may be involved in.
"You see an agent, you do what we do. Run. You run your ass off!"
Cypher to Neo - The Matrix
Yes. In times of high work or personal stress, my training can go either way. Sometimes a hard day in Court or a bad day at the office translates into an excellent interval session, while other bad days (personal or professional) make the run go horribly run.
I've also found that when I am stressed about my asthma, my training and races go a certain way. For example, if on marathon week I'm coughing from asthma and I stress too much about that, the race usually gives me an asthma attack. Other times, if I don't let that stress worry me too much, the marathon goes well. Same goes with training.
DamarisMarathon Maniac, Ultra Runner
PRs: 24:57 (5K); 51:25 (10K); 42:46 (5 Miles); 2:04:31 (HM); 4:34:09 (Marathon); 8:00 (Trail 50K)
Next: San Francisco Marathon * Chicago Marathon * MCM * Ft. Myers Beach Marathon * Philadelphia Marathon * Space Coast Marathon * WPB Marathon
Damaris Runs with Asthma
PRs: Marathon (2:56xx; '13) Half (1:25xx; '12) 10k (40:26; '11) 5mi (29:23; '13) 5k (18:31; '11)
I guess I am strange. I typically dont stress about anything. If I cant control it, I dont worry about it. There is a whole lot in life I cant control and I dont pay much attention to that stuff.
I kinda wish I was that Peter from office space - "It's not that I'm lazy; it's that I just don't care." I do attempt to take this attitude with many things.
I also run before work or family has a chance to ruin my day.
”Failing to prepare is preparing to fail.”
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can't--you're right.”
that's your problem.
It's physically difficult for me to run when I'm overly stressed. It never goes well at all and it's usually worse than normal.
She Runs, She Eats
I definitely find this to be true for myself, although the kinds of stress, to me, seem to have an effect. I find that short bursts of high stress don't have an adverse effect, but long periods of higher-than-normal diffuse life stress definitely seem to. It doesn't seem to be just because I don't have as much time to devote to running when my life is stressful.
This past spring/ summer I was going through an extremely stressful time with a major relationship and living situation change, and though I had enough time to run, I was pretty much stressed all the time and (to my mind at least) not progressing very much in my running. Now, though my life is more time-crunched than ever, I am seeing a decent amount of progress, and since October have set big PRs at the 5-mile, 15K, and HM distances.
(I know some here discredit the ideas/methods of Maffetone; his book deals a lot with this subject and, like Magness' blog post, also suggests that all stress is stress and that an overload can cause you to stop adapting to training, and suggests that if you're going through a stressful period of your life you may be better off cutting back on your training)
yeah, that's me.
I wonder what the direct connections and effects are. For me, stress makes me sleep poorly, and I think that is hard on my running. But generally running is a relief from stress, for me, and I don't relax well unless I get to run.
PRs: 5K 21:03 (4/2012) 10K 43:06 (12/2011) 13.1 1:37:01 (3/2010) 26.2 3:29:13 (1/2012)
Definitely true. I had a few situations of extreme stress in the past 2 years and in all times i felt a lot weaker in my running.
I'm pretty even keeled and don't tend to carry much stress. I don't worry about things I can't control (which is most things). I don't find that my emotions/stress affects my running much at all.
Bless your heart.
That's interesting. I don't think I've been running long enough to have much input, but I can see how there might be a correlation.
Stress and negative emotion positively effects my running. I have an extremely low stress threshold and I have a very hard time translating emotional stress, especially guilt and sadness. Example, on Tuesday we found all our chickens massacred by a raccoon, and scheduled a surgery for next month. That night, I had one of my fastest and easiest runs. Probably not the best idea to sacrifice chickens before every race to find that place in my mind though, lol.
PR- A Run Through History 5K - May 5th 33:24
Next: Camellia Crossing 5K- November 27th.
It depends. When it negatively affects either my sleep or my appetite, my running suffers.
Races So Far
Cambridge CityRun 5-Miler 04/01/12 - 50:57.9
Newton 10K 06/10/12 - 1:06:14
Mass Ave Mile 07/22/12 - 8:08.1
Lynne's Kids 5K 11/22/12 - 25:22
Jerusalem Marathon 03/01/13 - 4:53:34
Cambridge CityRun 5-Miler 04/07/13 - 42:21
Boston's Run to Remember Half-Marathon 05/26/13
Newton 10K 06/02/13
B.A.A. 10K 06/23/13
Firecracker 4-Mile 07/04/13
Baystate Marathon 10/20/13
Bill's Pizzeria 5K 10/27/13
Fattman Chilly Cup Half-Marathon 11/10/13
Jerusalem Marathon 03/21/14
But my eating rarely suffers. I'm predisposed to eating. I'm sad; I eat. I'm angry; I eat. I'm happy; I eat. Gah.
This ties in nicely with an article I read today about how much presidents age while in office. In one of the iconic photos of Lincoln taken late in his term, he looks 75. He's 56. He is not the striking lawyer that left Springfield, Illinois. It all has to do with the fact that they are under extreme stress constantly which causes their bodies to produce a lot of stress hormones. The only treatment is exercise. Still, it is beyond question that emotional stress has physiological impacts so it should be beyond question that a high level of emotional stress has a negative impact on your training. I don't see how it could be otherwise.
Here's a link to that article.
Why Presidents Age
Short term goal: 2:59:59 (November, 2013)
Mid term goal: Any race over 80% of top AG standard
Long term goal: To say I've been a runner half my life. (I started running at age 45).
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