Just remember that you need to eat enough food for recovery but also that your nutritional requirements are dynamic and may change throughout your program. I suggest you regularly reevaluate your needs based on performance and how you feel.
DON'T BE AFRAID TO REST
Many people, especially serious athletes, have an all or nothing mentality. We feel guilty when we miss a workout for any reason. But the reality is that sometimes, it’s good to take a day off or dial things back when we need it, even if it feels like the wrong thing to do.
Remember that taking rest is when the body adapts and improves. If you feel you need extra rest, there are few reasons not to do so. Indeed, you'll need to fight through fatigue and pain, as any athlete does but recognizing when it's ok to take extra rest can benefit your performance.
ANECDOTAL EXPERIENCE WITH RESISTANCE & ENDURANCE
One of the reasons this topic is of interest to me is because I've lived it. This past year, I transitioned from being a powerlifter to a marathoner, and I used every piece of information in this article to do it successfully. Here’s what I did.
I STARTED RUNNING A LOT
Exercise performance demands specificity, so I began running as often as possible. I did this first to improve my ability to run or my running economy, while also enhancing my cardiovascular ability. Just as with resistance exercise, to improve my running ability, I needed to get better at the movements associated with running specifically.
Regardless of the event, you're participating in, just getting started is usually the best first step.
I REDUCED RESISTANCE TRAINING
When I added endurance training into the mix, something had to give, and since heavy resistance training was less specific to my needs, this type of training was the first to go. At first, I only reduced how much I was doing per workout. But under a periodization model, the variety of exercises I used was tapered as the marathon approached to make way for additional running workouts.
By reducing exercise variety and resistance training volume, I used only exercises I felt would benefit running performance while allowing for additional endurance training and recovery.
I FOCUSED ON HIGHER REP RANGES
After nearly a decade of heavy resistance training, improving strength and muscle size wasn't relevant. Instead, I needed to focus on increasing fatigue resistance, removing metabolic byproducts, and enhancing the ability of my muscles to contract for long durations.
As the marathon approached, I made sure that the exercises I used were completed for high repetitions sets to match the demands of running at a faster pace more closely. Since heavier resistance wouldn't provide much performance benefit, I removed it from my program.
Training with higher rep ranges more closely matched my needs during the marathon, so that became the priority.
I HIRED A MOBILITY COACH
As an athlete training hard, you’re going to experience pain, discomfort, and even injury but a mobility coach might help. During my training, I began to develop overuse injuries and pain, so I hired a coach to help guide me to better movement and flexibility.
By working on mobility with someone that had more expertise, my running economy improved, my overall pain was reduced, and I potentially avoided additional injury. As a result, I felt good while running and performed better during the event.
I finished the race! But really, I didn't just finish it; I felt amazing and performed better than I could have imagined. During the race, I felt confident in my ability and also felt powerful and able to run at a good pace throughout. I felt, in particular, that focusing on higher repetitions with resistance helped improve my fatigue resistance and ability to remove metabolites during the race.
What did happen, however, was a marked reduction in my strength ability. While unfortunate and saddening to me, this was a reality that is to be expected. My training involved endurance running and high repetition resistance workouts while avoiding heavy resistance training, so a loss of strength was to be expected.
I also lost a considerable amount of body weight during this process, which alludes to the fact that I didn't eat enough. Fortunately, this lack of food didn't impede recovery as much as expected, but it's still something that should be considered.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER