Restorative Rituals for Runners
Women and in particular mid-life women often feel they just don’t have enough energy …. they are spread thinly and running on empty.
Female runners want to run more often and for longer distances, train more, be faster, get a PB, cook healthy meals, focus on nutrition for running performance, look after their families, have time to socialise and do their jobs well.
Phew - It’s exhausting just listing out all those desires! But great aspirations and all entirely possible.
Finding optimal energy balance may feel elusive and that’s why we focus on this as part of Healthy Woman Healthy Runner Method. When nutrition, hydration and hormones are reset, if low energy is still an issue, we must zone in on the other things in life which may be energy drains. Often these energy drains may be aspects of lifestyle, like quality of sleep and rest or how they are managing their stress load or emotions.
Our solution is to identify the energy drains and use restorative rituals to plug the energy drains to restore and feel rejuvenated again.
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Why is Energy for Everything so important for a Healthy Woman Healthy Runner. Examples of typical energy drains.
- SLEEP – are you getting enough sleep, what is the quality of sleep like, what is your bedtime preparation like, is your sleep hygiene good
- REST – do you take regular days off work, from run training, for meal breaks and rest breaks during the day
- STRESS – what is your stress load, do you regularly empty your stress bucket, are you TIRED and WIRED or flat lining
- Is your SOCIAL life draining you?
- Is your RUNNING and exercise schedule tipping into overtraining syndrome
- Having a 24/7 business and personal lifestyle
- Being available to everyone all the time
- Sometimes it’s your emotions which are draining you – you may be feeling sad and low or maybe you are always on a HIGH
We also take a look at what a Restorative Ritual is and why women resist this step in their well-being plan.
What distinguishes a Restorative Ritual from a healthy habit or routine?
For example, a ROUTINE may be that every Saturday morning you do a long endurance run and you have a specific breakfast before your run.
HABITS may be what time you eat breakfast every day or that you always drink 1.5 L of water during your working day.
A RITUAL is described in the dictionary as being a series of actions performed in a prescribed order. Others have described a ritual as being performed with intention, meaning and mindfulness, and being infused with enjoyment, beauty and pleasure.
How do you go about creating a Restorative Ritual?
The steps we suggest are:
1. IDENTIFY what is draining your energy?
2. Set your INTENTION
3. PREPARE for your Ritual
4. INFUSE your ritual with beauty, pleasure and enjoyment for you
5. Finally EXPERIENCE your ritual
A Restorative Ritual for a woman who doesn’t make time for breaks during the working day …
A restorative ritual for a runner who is surviving of 6 hours sleep a night (or less) ….
Thinking about Restorative Rituals to support your running
Why is it important to use Restorative Rituals?
If we were to look at using Restorative Rituals from a physiological viewpoint – what we are creating is an opportunity for our stress hormones to rebalance and to give our body an opportunity to rest and restore at various points during the day and the week. If we don’t allow rest and restoration we run the risk of nutrient depletion and imbalanced hormones and poor levels of energy.
What every woman wants …… is to feel refreshed after sleep and have a day without energy dips
So they can…….
Ö Feel energised for daily life and for running performance
Ö Cope with the demands of family/work AND their running training
Ö Recover sufficiently and efficiently for their next training session
Ö Reduce the stress in their lives giving space for appropriate recovery and recharging energy
Key Take Aways
1. There are many potential reasons for low energy e.g. what you eat, when you eat, potential nutrient depletions, your sleep and rest, your exercise and run training, stress load and emotions.
2. Identifying your energy drains over and above nutrition and hydration is key to resolving low energy.
3. Using Restorative Rituals can be transformative to plugging your energy drains
4. A ritual involves setting an intention, preparation and infusing with pleasure, beauty and enjoyment.
5. We suggest the following steps to creating and experiencing your ritual – Identify your energy drain – set your intention – prepare – infuse with pleasure – experience.
6. Restorative Rituals are ESSENTIAL and if you feel they are indulgent – all the better you’ll enjoy them even more.
The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and
advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.
If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact
your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.
Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.
Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.
We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you'll join us again. If you'd like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.
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Aileen and Karen