For many runners, training is a way of relieving stress.
However, it’s important to look at how your body deal with stress and how training affects it. Failing to pay attention to this process may be detrimental and can contribute to an increased risk of injuries, illnesses, and poor performance.
How Does Stress Work?
Stress is a hormonal process in the body, caused by stimuli that the body register as threats. While stress may be necessary for survival, being in a prolonged state of stress can be detrimental to our health and impact sport performances.
Stress are often divided as acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). While our body tend to be great at recovering from short-term stress, research has shown that chronic stress has been linked to poor health, depression, reduction in sports performance and increased foot injury risk.
Stress is a response to both external and internal stimuli operating through the “slow” hormonal signaling processes. This means that you’re going to experience stress relative to your training volume and intensity, meaning that running less (either as a reduction in volume, intensity or frequency) can improve your health and performance.
Stress has a general effect on the body, having negative effects across a wide variety of systems and domains. Some key markers that are affected include :
· Plasma glutamine levels
· Plasma creatine kinase activity
· Plasma Urea
· Plasma hormones (especially in the antagonism between catabolic and anabolic hormones)
· Blood lactate profiles
· Immunological markers (especially serum leukocyte subset counts)
· Heart rate
· Blood pressure
· Neurotransmitter saturation and uptake