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High Stress Poor Running

Stress may be internal or external and can impact the body physically, psychologically, emotionally and behaviourally. Stress is also known to result in poor running performance with a higher risk of injury and poor recovery from training. In this episode we illustrate the body’s reactions to chronic stress and the signs and symptoms to observe for. Finally, we provide some nutrition and lifestyle hints and tips to help you ‘de-stress’.   


Stress can impact us physically, psychologically, behaviourally and emotionally. Here we focus on the definition of stress and how the body reacts to it with an emphasis on chronic stress and the stress hormone cortisol. 


Thinking about some of the symptoms associated with chronic stress including over/under eating, muscle aches and pains, loss of motivation, and poor running performance. 


Delving into the consequences of chronic stress on running performance with a focus on immunosuppression and its influence on recovery and injury from training.  


Some “stressors” are outside of our control, so it is important to acknowledge the ones within our control and address them. By minimising and/or eliminating the controllable stress, we help the body deal with the stressors outside of our control. Here, we discuss some TIPS to help relieve stress with an emphasis on food, caffeine and alcohol. 


Lifestyle factors are also key in helping people deal with stress. It is important to remember that running training could be a STRESSOR. This is addressed alongside other lifestyle factors that may add to or help reduce the body’s stress load.  


Key Takeaways:

  • An appropriate amount of stress is supportive to health…it is what gets us up in the morning, what stimulate us
  •  It is the chronic unremitting stress that can be detrimental to health and affect our running performance
  • Remember that stress can affect us physically, psychologically, behaviourally and emotionally
  • f you are struggling with your recovery from training – consider the stressors in your life and address them
  • Remember there are some stressors that are outside our control, so address the ones within your control eg. diet, stimulants, training load
  • Take time for you…..enjoy a bath, a walk, reading, yoga
  • Learn to say “No”
  • It is important to take care of yourself in order to be able to look after others…make YOU a priority.


Female Factors:

In this episode we did not highlight the female factors, however they are very similar to the ones discussed in Ep18 Intermittent Fasting and the Female Runner. The focus is on an imbalance of female sex hormones and the health and running performance implications of this.

Related Episodes:

Intermittent Fasting for the Female Runner

Endurance Running and Immune Support


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell met at as nutrition students (Institute for Optimum Nutrition, London) and became lifelong friends and nutritional buddies! Both have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living.

Together they host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

We are excited to be able to share our expertise, experience and short cuts with you. We hope you’ll join us again. If you’d like to know more about us and She Runs Eats Performs please check out our TRAILER.

If you’re ready to make learn more about how you may introduce easy nutrition into your running and training plan join our Easy Nutrition For Healthy Runners Online Programme for short videos, recipes, downloads and LIVE training and Q&A.

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Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen