Marathon training continues: Battling physical and mental fatigue

There are less than thirty days till the Niagara Falls International Marathon and the marathon can’t come soon enough.

This week I have come to the realization that I am battling fatigue. I am tired both physically and mentally from training. It isn’t the training that has drained me. It is the combination of work, training, family and everyday responsibilities. Working upwards of fifty hours a week, in addition to my responsibilities as a father and husband are enough for the average man. Then throw in five days a week of training, and finding time for the other aspects of my life (rehearsing in the band, cooking, baking etc) that I like, and that creates a recipe of trouble, especially for those who lack some serious organizational skills or time management. Not to say that I am not organized or can manage my time, but still, I am tired.

I am tired. Physically tired yes. And that comes to be expected when training for any athletic competition. But this is not training for hockey or baseball or football. I am training my body to do continuous constant exercise for four hours. I am training my body to respond to running on tired, sore and overused muscles. I am training my body to do something that it has never ever done before (I haven’t even run 42 km ever! Yet I am training to run that distance and even in my training program, I don’t hit running 40 km at all). I am essentially training my body to run while tired and fatigued. Isn’t that irony!

Another key reason for being tired, beyond training, is the lack of sleep. I used to be a sleeper. My mom sent me to bed at 7:00 when I was young, but now realize she just needed the break!!! Due to the fact that I do most of my running late in the evening, after the kids are in bed, makes for a difficult wind down. When my wife is ready for bed, I am eating, stretching or just winding down from my run that I just completed. So, going to sleep right after exercise is a bit more of a challenge, causing me to sleep less, which compounds into making me more tired.

Mental fatigue comes with my job, but it also comes with running. When training, I spend a lot of time by myself and my thoughts. Self doubt, negativity and the mental wall provide excellent obstacles to overcome. But because my body is tired and I am tired, my mind is more at risk for blowing off exercise or using excuses not to exercise. Without my own personal motivation to run the Niagara International Marathon (running for Brian the Great. Read my other blog post, ‘the Moral Purpose’), I doubt my success in achieving my goals and my commitment to my training program.

I will be happy in thirty days for having achieved the accomplishment of completing a marathon, raising awareness of the legacy my Uncle Brian left and raising money for the Niagara Falls Children’s Museum. Then, I take a well deserved break from exercise and return to normal…whatever normal is (or was). But that is a story for another time!

Andy

ps, Thanks Niagara This Week for the press. Check it out! http://www.niagarathisweek.com/news-story/4117100-a-marathon-effort/

—————————————————————————————————————–For more information on Andy running the Niagara Falls Marathon in October 2013 in memory of his uncle, Brian the Great, or to make a donation, please see the link on the homepage of the museum website at http://www.niagarachildrensmuseum.ca/. Help Andy keep Brian the Great’s legacy alive!

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