Fight Fatigue - Five ways to handle being tired when running.

To fight fatigue, you have to be tough. Running or racing fast requires you to push yourself even when you feel bad. It’s hard to do, but there are different things you can try to make dealing with fatigue easier. Races or hard workouts where you feel great are very rare. I hope one of these five tips will help you the next time you run.

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1 – Have a plan. Decide when and where you are going to push the pace. When you reach that point, you are probably going to be tired, but commit yourself to fight fatigue. If you are part of a team, tell your teammates your plan. If it is a road race or in cross country pick spots to really push the pace.

2 – Use the course or other runners. Cross country is easier than track mentally sometimes because of the bends, turns, and hills that can break up the monotony. Extend downhills by using your momentum. Round turns and keep your speed. Crest the top of a hill.

If it is a track race, or even in cross country, try to stick with someone. When I don't think I can push or pass anyone, I just stare at someones back and pretend I am being pulled by them. This sometimes offers me a mental break in the middle of a tough race.

3 – Relaxed is fast. The best sprinters and distance runners in the world race extremely fast while making it look effortless. They are feeling tired, but they run as fast as possible while staying relaxed and fluid. Focus on relaxing any tension in your body while keeping your form together. Running relaxed requires less energy which equals faster times!

4 – Get emotional. Want to beat someone bad? Remind yourself during the race. I always had a target to chase or to bury in my tracks. The best high school race of my life happened when another runner bragged about how fast he was going to run. I decided to try and beat him and improved my best time by over 10 seconds.

5 – Talk. Talk to your teammates “Lets go… Come on…” Talk to other runners. Talk to yourself “I’m tough as nails…” Keep a constant positive dialogue going in your head. Negative thoughts will instantly slow you down. Fight fatigue by telling yourself positive things. You should expect to be tired in a hard workout or a race. How you fight fatigue will determine how successful you will be as a runner.

Try one of these tips out. If one works, that is great! If one doesn't work for you, try a different strategy. The more things you try to do gives you more chances to succeed. Knowledge is Power. Now get out there and put together a fast race.

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