How Stress Stuffs Up Your Run Performance + 3 Top Tips to Manage Stress

By Rachel Grunwell

(AD) Stress can stuff up your run performance. Too much stress can also increase your tiredness and fatigue and leave you with poor cognitive (thinking) ability. Hello fuzzy brain!

Some stress is normal in every day life. It helps you to get tasks done. But when you get overly stressed for long periods it can lead to burn out over time, poor sleep quality and put you into a real “run funk”. Stress also leads to elevated cortisol which decreases muscle mass – and muscle mass is handy to hang onto as a runner because this helps you to be strong when trying to power up hills! And the Rotorua Marathon event does have a few hills…

In simple speak, too much stress slows your run journey down. So here are some tips to manage stress…

5 Tips to Manage Stress

  1. Sleep well to feel at your optimum and have the energy to run well. Get 7.5 hours-8 hours nightly. Kids need more sleep and highly active individuals and athletes can benefit from even more than the standard hours of sleep. Sleep helps your with having sharper concentration, more energy, improves your memory, improves muscle regeneration, is good for your immune system and also increases your ability to manage stress! Sleep is a free recovery tool to optimise your performance. Sleep deprivation can also exhaust you faster, Getting less than eight hours’ sleep can also increase the likelihood of injury. So sleep like a baby, so you can run like a beast! ps 10pm-2am is the golden hour for sleep. So tuck up tight early on.
  2. Try having tart cherry juice (about 50ml) before bed to help you sleep after a hard and long training run. These berries pack a punch of antioxidant power, which supports joint mobility and helps protect your body from free radical damage. The berries also contain Vitamin A and beta carotene. There is research too that claims. the juice enhances immune system function, has a potent anti inflammatory effect and may increase melatonin levels to help people sleep well…. So it’s worth a try….
  3. Stretch or do yoga for 20-minutes to wind down and feel more in balance in your body and mind. While you stretch, use diaphragmatic breathing (deep belly breathing) which helps to calm your nervous system. Meditation is an element of yoga and helpful too for feeling happier. If you are new to trying meditation, then just do it for one minute. Here is a one minute meditation to try via my instagram page that’s easy, quick and I hope it helps your to unwind. Click HERE

This post was sponsored by the Rotorua Marathon event, which is being held on May 7, 2022. To enter a distance (full marathon, red stag timber half marathon, Go Media 10km or 5.5km) ENTER HERE

Rachel is the Rotorua Marathon ambassador (she has run 25 marathons including the Rotorua Marathon event five times). She is a wellness expert, and qualified coach. She’s the proud author too of the book Balance: Food, Health + Happiness which is full of lots of running, nutrition and wellness advice.

One Minute Meditation

Find a cosy spot, sit or lay down, close your eyes… & let me guide you through this one minute meditation, which can help to calm your nervous system. – Rachel x Click HERE

Sit, pause, be in the moment…

Rachel Grunwell plank yoga pose

We tend to know how to re-charge our batteries, but not ourselves.

I want to inspire you do these simple things to relinquish stress:

Pause.

Breathe.

Re-set.

Find space for thoughts, and the people you love.

Be in the moment. You know, just “be”.

Live more in balance.

Have gratitude for the beauty of what you have in the present.

Do things that you love, & that make you feel alive.

Forgive yourself and others. This gives YOU the freedom to move forwards too.

Choose to be brave, dream big ad live life fully. I beg you not to waste years feeling stuck. Open your mind and be willing to see and learn from others much wiser than you. Be teachable. Always.

Choose. To. Live. Love. And laugh.

Stress is a choice. There are other ways to look at the world without compromising your immune system.

  • Rachel is a yoga + meditation teacher in Auckland. You can find her book Balance HERE