5 Ways To Overcome Fatigue- On The Run, And In Life
It’s like magic. One second you feel exhausted, as if every ounce of energy and life is drained from your body. Then, from out of no where comes a surge of energy; alive, new, and potent like a rising sun.
You have much more energy in your body than you think. At your fingertips are sources of energy that are untapped, underutilized, or not fully activated.
Here are a few ways to access that energy while you’re running, walking, and living your life:
1. Clear your mind: Negative, repetitive thoughts drain energy, and most of these thoughts have very little basis in what is actually true. Become aware of these energy thieves, especially while running – when you need your energy most.
Running can be a negative-thought generator if you are new to it or if you, like the rest of us, compare yourself to others.
- For a quick solution to negative thoughts, turn your mind to what you would like. “I can’t finish this half marathon” turns to seeing yourself cross the finish line with a huge grin. “I’m overweight” turns to imagining yourself thin and fit. “I’m overwhelmed” transforms into seeing yourself in control of your life with time to exercise and meditate. Notice how much more energy is available to you when you think a positive thought, like you flipped a breaker after a power outage.
- For a deeper solution, underneath your head is the greatest tool in the world to calm and still the mind: your body.
- Do a body scan for five minutes. This is great on the run, or first thing in the morning before getting out of bed. Start by focusing on your feet and then scan the whole body, move up the legs, slowly up the body, and include your face and head. The more time the better. In one T’ai Chi class we imagined nourishing the very cells of our bones and blood. Weird, yes,very effective for stopping the mind and energizing the body.
2. Relax your body. Energy that is blocked and stored in your body is a veritable energy storehouse, but it’s not a good way to store energy. Like a nuclear plant, it can cause a lot of toxic damage. Storing energy takes energy, and depletes resources further.
- The real trick to managing the energy in your body is to let it flow.
- If you work to clear negative thoughts, you’re 75% of the way to relaxing your body. Notice the deep breath that comes when you release or transform a negative thought.
- Gentle coaxing movement is the next best way to release the energy blocked in physical tension. Do body looseners religiously. Shake and stretch after you exercise, practice deep breathing exercises, and get some help via massage or physical therapy.
- Tension makes it harder for you to move naturally. Release the tension in your body and you’ll be able to run faster, further and with less effort.
3. Inspire your spirit: You’re on a run and feeling “blah”. You’re at mile 18 of a marathon, and 8 more miles feels like hell itself. Your spirit needs some inspiration.
- There is no quick, easy fix unless you’re prepared. To get prepared, notice what touches your heart, what you really care about, and what lifts your spirits. Then, put each one into an imaginary champagne bottle. When it gets tough, pop the cork and celebrate that cherished aspect of life.
- Another trick is to be kind to others. When your energy is leaking like a sieve, turn your attention to helping someone else. Give someone a kind word, some positive attention. Heck, give yourself some encouragement as well.
- Nature is another source of inspiration. Go to a place you find beautiful. Run an event in an exotic or exciting place.
- An inspired spirit is the greatest energy resource you have. Cultivate and tend to what matters most to you.
4. The Chi techniques: Every technique in ChiRunning and ChiWalking is designed to make your running and walking more efficient, easier, and more energized. It is based on an ancient practice of energy management.
Feeling fatigue? Practice each technique until you find what gets your energy flowing again. Danny was tired on a run (it happens) and he tried everything. The metronome is what worked for him in that situation.
Here are the best to try if you’re fatigued:
- Work on your posture by engaging your core and lengthening your spine up through the crown of your head.
- Lean gently.
- Shorten your stride.
- Use the metronome to get into a natural body rhythm.
5. Clean fuel. If you’re often tired and fatigued, look at the food you eat. Delete the junk, add in more fruits and vegetables, expunge corn syrup of any kind from your diet, minimize preservatives and hydrogenated oils, and save sugar for special occasions. Experiment until you find what is best for you, knowing that you truly are what you eat.
Good energy begets more good energy, so start wherever you can to clean up your energy sources and get your energy flowing. Stop the leaks and bring in what inspires and delights, and you'll always find energy in you whenever you need it.