Stressed And Running….Not A Good Combination!

Dealing with stress is something we all go through in life and we all handle it in our own ways. In my particular case I tend to go for a run, it helps clear the mind and replenish my energy supplies (ironically) in order for me to deal with things in a more calm and composed manner. What happens though when the stress levels get too much for running to be able to help deal with it….thats what I am experiencing now… or I should say “was” experiencing over the last week or so.

I use my videos to deliver content in a shorter snappier way, although for those of you who watch them will understand I tend to fail on that and ramble on far too much! However I wanted to delve in a bit deeper and share a bit more as to how I got into this situation and what I did to get myself out the other side!

Being self employed puts a huge pressure on a work life balance, especially when you have a family as well. It’s something my wife and I have dealt with for a few years now and 9/10 we get it right….but on the odd occasion we don’t. Work is going really well at the moment and I can’t complain, it pays the bills and allows us to be flexible….what it doesn’t do though is provide time off!

Over the past 2 weeks I have been eating uncontrollably and have put on half a stone….the first few days I just thought it was my training causing me to eat in excess but as the days progressed I realised it was way over normal, even when I am in the height of marathon training. I brushed it under the carpet but other little signs were creeping into the picture, low patience levels, limited attention span, the mind flitting from one thing to another.

Last Friday it all came to a head when my wife and I took some time off to go to a music concert, we had an amazing time, loosened up and enjoyed child free time. We got home in the early hours of Saturday morning and I managed to muddle my way through the day feeling really tired, however I still managed to get up at 5.30am Sunday morning to get my 20 mile run done.

Once home, that’s when it hit me. I felt like I had been hit by a bus….it seemed that Friday night was my bodies chance to finally let go of all the stress and tension I had been carrying around and Sunday’s long run emptied my body of all its remaining energy.

Due to this, my weeks training has been thrown out due to me having severe energy level issues. Monday I couldn’t even contemplate a run, Tuesday I had a gym induction, which is positive but that sucked my time and energy to get a run done and so Wednesday was my only day to get some running squeezed in. I approached Wednesdays run with caution, wanting to do a session or some kind of workout but with the understanding in my mind that I couldn’t even contemplate running at any sort of intense pace.

It was at that moment when I pushed the reset button and just ran. The camera was playing up so I stuffed that in my pocked…dialled into my running form and zoned into enjoying running. I can safely say it was the best run of the year so far! Completely revitalising and re energising, not having to worry about hitting splits, running certain distances and what time I had to be done by.

That run opened my eyes as to what I need to do in the future when I am encountering such issues again…throw away the plan and embrace the enjoyment of running again. I am so lucky to be able to run on the trails where I live and sometimes we forget about our surroundings and focus too much on goals and targets.

Now I feel ready to tackle the upcoming marathon challenge that faces me on the 5th May 2018.

If you ever feel like it gets too much for you…just remember why you started running and go back to basics. Its great to dial into that feeling of enjoyment again.