Many people say that they are too tired to run. But, after interviewing many who make this claim, I’ve come to believe that most of the reasons for this sensation is laziness (most will admit this) or low blood sugar. One of the best indicators of real fatigue is your resting pulse, taken in the morning. Your journal can track this (although some runners use a piece of graph paper).
Recording morning pulse:
- As soon as you are conscious – but before you have thought much about anything – count your pulse rate for a minute. Record it before you forget it. If you don’t have your journal by your bed, then keep a piece of paper handy with a pen.
- It is natural for there to be some fluctuations based upon the time you wake up and how long you have been awake. But, after several weeks and months, these will balance themselves out. The ideal would be to catch the pulse at the instant that you are awake, before the shock of an alarm clock, the thoughts of work stress, etc.
- After two weeks or so of readings, you can establish a baseline morning pulse. Take out the top two high readings, and then average the readings.
- The average is your guide. If the rate is 5% higher than your average, take an easy day. When the rate is 10% higher, and there is no reason for this (such as waking up from an exciting dream, medication, infection, etc.), then your muscles may be tired indeed. Take the day off if you have a walk/run scheduled for that day.
- If your pulse stays high for more than a week, call your doctor to see if there is a reason for this (medication, hormones, metabolic changes, etc.).
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