Our lazy bodies

About seven weeks ago, I ran the Atlanta Half-Marathon. Given my training leading up to the race, I was happy with my time and felt good about the shape that I was in.
Fast forward to two days ago, and I was struggling to finish a 5-mile run, even though I was going over a minute per mile slower than I did in the half-marathon. What gives?


The short answer is that our bodies are lazy. Not the “sitting on the couch, reaching for another cookie” lazy (although that was certainly a big part of my problem over the holidays!).


Our bodies are lazy when it comes to adaptation. We only adapt to a stimulus that’s consistently there. Without that consistency, our bodies are not going to do us the favor of staying fit just to be nice.


It’s a good reminder that every thing we do or don’t do has an impact on our bodies. It can also lead to some painful runs those first few weeks back in the routine. Here’s some tips if you find yourself in the same situation:


  • Cut back on your mileage — don’t jump in at the same mileage you were running before your time off. Make sure each day you finish wanting to run a bit farther.
  • Progress slowly — a good rule of thumb is to add 1 mile per week for each day of the week that you run (4 days of running = increase 4 miles/week).
  • Run slowly — don’t worry about your pace or compare it to what you were doing before. Just run relaxed the first few weeks back.