Going to the well
A few subtle ways to replenish your reserves
One of the running cliches I love the most is the idea of going to the well. During the heat of a race or a difficult run, you go to the well to drink from the reserves you’ve stockpiled during training. Conversely, when you’re cruising along with no issues whatsoever, you’re adding water back into the metaphorical mix for use at a later date.
Most of the time we’re unaware of just how much water is in the well. We know that we prosper when it’s full and that we bonk when it runs dry, but those are extreme states.
Where we get in trouble is when the well isn’t as full as it needs to be to sustain whatever it is we’re doing. When we constantly tap into those reserves (sometimes unknowingly) and don’t allow them to replenish, they begin receding to dangerous levels.
Lately it feels like the well is running a bit dry. That’s undoubtedly one of the after-effects of a difficult race under strenuous conditions, but it’s also related to any number of life-related circumstances. Running may be an oasis, but it doesn’t exist on an island apart from your daily activities.
The best way to fill the well back up is with rest. If you’re feeling burned out and/or exhausted, take a few days off and focus on getting more sleep. You won’t lose any fitness, and you’ll probably even gain some while your body recuperates.
If you’re reasonably well-rested and just kind of blah, it might be time to switch things up and get creative. By altering your perspective ever so slightly, it may allow you to tune in to what your body is trying to tell you, which will help you refill the well.