TRAIL RUNNERS EDITION: Pushing past your physical and mental limits
On the never-ending journey of pursuing faster race times, beating personal records, and qualifying for renowned races, die-hard runners are faced with physical and mental barriers that affect performance more often than not.
Communication is key
Trail runners require healthy communication between a functional nervous system and compliant muscles. This interaction and accurate feedback from your feet is what allows you to scale the terrain without blowing an ankle. When this communication circuit is out of balance due to internal or external stresses such as dehydration, self-doubt, or a persistent runner tailing you, your coordination can be affected and your rhythm can be thrown.
Kinesiology helps restore this communication between the nerves and the muscles, allowing for a body to run like a well-oiled machine.
Don't Over React
Muscles are constantly alternating between active and inactive states in order to execute fluid motion. When this intrinsic function becomes out of sync from repetitive use of a muscle or an unexpected movement such as a slip or missing a step, muscle reactivity can occur. This untimely reactivity is a primary cause of musculoskeletal pain and imbalance. You can imagine the detrimental effects to a runner’s health and performance when their leg muscles become overly-reactive or are inhibited by other muscles over 10km, let alone 100!
Is it over-training or training ineffectively? Through clearing inappropriate muscle reactivities, we can increase flexibility and stride length, while reducing muscle tightness and injury risk.
Train the Brain
It is well-accepted that running is as much mental as it is physical, yet runners tend to spend much more time preparing physically. Constant negative self-talk, consciously or subconsciously, such as “I will probably cramp again”, “I won’t make that time”, not only hurts physical performance but the mentality needed to complete a gruelling race.
With passion and competition comes emotion, and in the field of sports, emotion can be beneficial as much as it can be harmful. So much so that the “Individual Zone of Optimum Functioning” model has been developed to predict athletic performance from emotion intensities and anxiety. Learning how to manage your thoughts and redirect your emotions can make a huge difference.
Kinesiology can identify limiting self-beliefs or any destructing thought patterns getting in the way of your next PB and replace them with enhancing affirmations. Beyond confidence boosting, we can also help rid subconscious anxiety that may be preventing your injuries to heal or inhibiting your best ability.
Having ample rest is sometimes more beneficial than doing another hill workout. During recovery time, your muscles get rid of lactic acid, repair muscle fibers, and rewire neuromuscular connections to allow for stronger and more efficient motor sequences. Having a balanced diet can replenish the nutrients used during exercise, such as magnesium, calcium, iron, and various vitamins.
Kinesiology can help determine specific supplements that may benefit you and help you attain a state of rest-and-digest so your body can recover quickly and deeply.
So the next time you catch yourself worrying about cramping or bonking, frustrated with plateau-ing, getting a cold before a race, or struggling to manage work life, home life and run life, book a kinesiology session and help yourself go beyond your physical and mental limits.
A specially discounted rate of $550HKD (originally $1350HKD) per one-hour session can be redeemed if you are a member of an AIA trail running group. Please contact us directly for this offer.