You work hard to get fit and build speed.
Yet still, there are plenty of little things that can creep their way into a tired runner’s workout, stealing speed, wasting energy, and generally fouling up a run. Here are three things that will slow you down for no good reason (and what you can do about each of them).
Tension. A locked jaw, clenched fists, and tight shoulders can all tire you out without giving you anything in return. Don’t waste precious energy grinding your molars or keeping a death-grip on your phone. Relax and focus on the job at hand. Tension inhibits speed. Loosen up and go faster.
Hyperventilation. Hyperventilation really just refers to whenever you are breathing so quickly that your body can’t process the air properly. It doesn’t have to mean you’re going to pass out and collapse into a heap, just that you aren’t quite firing on all cylinders. Shallow, labored breathing can sneak up on you during a workout. If you feel like you’re huffing and puffing but not getting enough air, slow down your breathing and take in long, deep breaths as you run. You should feel a difference right away.
Dehydration. Your body can’t perform at anywhere close to full capacity if you’re dehydrated. Drinking water is easy enough, but one thing to keep in mind — whether it’s the middle of the workday or the middle of a workout — feeling thirsty means you’ve already waited too long. Thirst is a sign that you are dehydrated…not “getting dehydrated” or “almost dehydrated,” but already there. Make sure you are drinking enough throughout the day that you don’t get a chance to actually feel thirsty. Slugging a drink when you have a dry mouth just doesn’t do the trick.
There are a million energy-bandits out there, some large and some small. These are just three examples of things that are easy habits to get into, but will slow you down and rob you of some of the benefits of the hard work you’re putting in. Push back on them and you’ll get more bang for your buck when it comes to your training.