As some of you know, I’ve been training for a half marathon over the last few months (you can see my posts about this here and here). And one of the aspects of training in middle age, I’m discovering, is that I have to pay way more attention to things I totally ignored when I was in my 20s.
Like nutrition. And sleep. And hydration.
Last weekend, for instance, I set out on a nine-mile run. But around mile 5 I discovered I was feeling pretty bad. My head felt like it was full of fluff. My stomach hurt. And I didn’t have an ounce of bounce in my stride.
I stopped the run short at mile 7, feeling sure I had finally hit my limit and that my dream of running a half marathon had come to its natural end. But when I sent a note in to a local running website, asking for advice, I discovered I hadn’t hit my training limit. I had hit a self-care limit.
Here’s the thing: The night before I set off on that long run, I went to a cocktail party. I didn’t drink a lot of alcohol but — here’s the kicker — I didn’t eat a lot of food either. Nor did I drink much water. Then I went to bed late, rose early, failed to eat much food, and set out on a long run.
Not so smart.
As it turns out, eating right, drinking right, and getting enough sleep are key to training for long distances. And self care is key to your optimal work performance, too.
Next up: How knowing what you need helps you get to where you want to go.