Be ExtraOrdinary

Navigating the Edge

Finding Balance Between Pushing Limits and Avoiding Injuries in Ultra Running

When pushing the boundaries in ultra running, runners often dance a fine line between triumph and the risk of injury. As a Mindful Runner coach, I recently had a detailed discussion with one of my athletes, Diana, that perfectly exemplifies this balance. Here’s what we can learn:

Diana’s Unplanned 80km BYU Adventure: Last Woman Standing

Diana’s BYU experience was indeed remarkable. She had planned for only 5 or 6 laps but went on to complete 12, becoming the last woman standing. Everything went well, and she felt fine throughout the event. However, the last lap turned out to be quite tough, leading to soreness in her shinbone. The aftermath left her unable to move her foot, raising questions about whether this pain was normal after so many kilometers.

“I did the BYU. Last woman standing πŸ™ˆπŸ˜‚ everything went well. Felt good and did good. Planned for 5/6 laps. And did 12 cause I felt fine πŸ™ˆ. Not sure if it was stupid. The last lap was kinda tuff and shinbone sore. And now I can’t move my foot. Normal after so many kms?” Diana shared, reflecting her uncertainty and concern.

While her achievement is applaudable, the injury serves as a sobering reminder of the need to balance our ambitions with the understanding of our bodies.

Finding the Edge

In ultra running, how do we find our edge without going past it? The answer may lie in understanding our body and recognizing the signs it gives us. Diana’s experience in the BYU event showcases the fine line between pushing for personal bests and overextending oneself. It’s an art form that requires experience, understanding, and a willingness to learn from each run.

Dealing with Injuries

Injuries are part of the journey. The key is to approach them not as setbacks but as opportunities for growth and understanding. Embedded in every injury is a gift, a chance to ponder the WHY and the HOW:

  • Why did you get injured? Is it highlighting a specific weakness?
  • How can you make it stronger? If it’s not a weakness, how can you prevent it next time?

Sometimes, the answer may be that it’s neither a weakness nor something to fix. It might just be a step too far at that stage in physical development.

Being Mindful of Our Bodies

Listening to our bodies, adapting training plans, and learning from each experience is vital. It’s essential to remember that every training session is a step towards a personal goal. Whether it’s running a long mountain run, a BYU, or something else that lights up our hearts, understanding our body’s needs and limits is crucial.

Onwards and Upwards

Ultra running is a journey of self-discovery and resilience. Diana’s BYU experience teaches us that pushing our boundaries is both rewarding and risky. Being mindful, learning from our experiences, and not being too hard on ourselves is key to moving forward.

The weekend might be worth the injury for some, while for others, it might be a sign to reevaluate training methods and strategies. What’s most important is the growth that comes from these experiences and the understanding that we’re getting better every step of the way. The path to success in ultra running is indeed a mindful one, filled with opportunities, lessons, and the chance to reflect on our inner strengths and weaknesses.

Thank you, Diana, for sharing this valuable BYU experience with us and inspiring us to think deeper about our approach to ultra running. Here’s to onwards and upwards in our running journeys! πŸƒβ€β™€οΈπŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ

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