How Hard Do We Really Push Ourselves When We Workout Alone?

group run

Being a runner most of my workouts are done on my own. I run with my ipod and wave to other runners that pass by me. But, I’m on my own. No one is there to push me and challenge me to go further, harder or demonstrate more intensity.

On Sunday, towards the end of my 10km run I realized I was running at a comfortable pace when I crossed another runner who seemed to be giving it her all. She was huffing and puffing and sweaty. I, on the other hand, was breathing fairly comfortably. I have been struggling through some leg pain during my last few runs, and as a result I have maybe given into the temptation to take it easy on my runs. Sunday was supposed to be a Tempo run. By my 5km split I was more at a Slow run pace than a Tempo run. Yes it was hot, my legs were hurting and it was my 2nd 10km in 24 hours, but was I really giving it my all?

The running girl who past me in my last 1.5km stretch made me realize that maybe I wasn’t pushing as hard as I could during some of my workouts. Why was it during an organized race 2 weeks ago I ran a Personal Best 10km and now I could barely get past the Slow run pace?

I don’t naturally push my limits beyond their limits. I’m a play-it safe kinda girl. However, the pressure of performing in front of a group makes me give that little extra ounce of energy that makes all the difference – whether it is during an organized race, or a team workout. The lazy part of me sometimes means that I’ll opt for the easy instead of pushing my limits, but in front of others laziness is thrown out the door.

I’m also currently struggling with the toll all of this training is taking on my body. I’ve never worked out so much in my life, and my body is feeling it. A big worry for all the participants in the challenge is to avoid injury before the big 3-day 80+km challenge. How hard should we really push ourselves without injuring ourselves? It’s tough to make the distinction between pushing yourself and preventing injury.

I have an appointment with a physiotherapist later this week. Pending the results of this evaluation I will see if my body can still take some abuse. If so, I will think of the Running Girl I crossed on Sunday and try to make a conscious effort during my next workouts to push myself a little harder.

How do you make the distinction in your workouts between pushing hard and over-doing it?


One Commentto How Hard Do We Really Push Ourselves When We Workout Alone?

  1. Kate says:

    I think as a runner you have to test your own boundaries. The real trick is knowing WHERE they are. And you seem to be totally on top of it. The physio is going to help so much. Sometimes less is more. But sometimes, you just have to go for it!

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