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My lesson learned: running when tired may not be worth it!

By: Jason Kaplan, CEO and co-founder of Milestone Sports.

If you are anything like me, you often find yourself making the decision: to run or not to run. You are tired and want to sleep or relax, but at the same time you know that a run could re-energize you.

I tend to err on the side of pushing and going for that run.  But now I have data from my MilestonePod that makes me rethink this strategy.  Here are two recent examples.

Run #1: Adjusting to another time zone.

This run was early one morning after a long international flight.  I was trying to squeeze in a run to re-energize. I was on the hotel treadmill, so there were no elevation factors in play. You can see that my form broke down dramatically as time went on  – my cadence decreased, my stride length increased, and my rate of impact increased.  This is a bad combination! I probably began to land with my foot in front of me (over-striding) which leads to more impact forces on my body and less efficient running.  Was this run worth risking injury? 

Run #1

 

Run #2: Forcing myself out the door.

One Sunday, I realized I would not get to run for the next several days.  So, even though I was tired from a Saturday long run and was not really in the mood to run again, I pushed myself to go.  This run was outdoors. At about the three mile mark (half way) I started to wear down.  First, you can see that I started walking intermittently.  More importantly, you can see that for the last half of this session I was striking on my heels with a higher rate of impact.  I generally don’t worry if my App shows “heel striking,” as long as my rate of impact is low and my cadence is high.  During this run, I lost all form, which is a risk for injury.

Run #2
Run #2

Lesson Learned

Going forward, when I am feeling tired but still push myself to run (because I will!), I will consider running shorter distances. And even during that short distance, I will try to keep my cadence high and land with my foot under my body (not reaching).  

From looking at my Run Log history, I know that when my cadence is above 175, regardless of my pace, it keeps my stride length down and my rate of impact low…and out of harm’s way!

Run safe out there!
Jason

Author: Jason Kaplan

Jason is the co-founder and CEO of Milestone Sports. He can be reached at jason@milestonepod.com.