I am fortunate to write a weekly training tip and weekly Q&A for Nike Running.
I normally don’t post any of the content from Nike but I thought this post applies to everyone that reads this blog. So here it is, why you should consider Training Like a Toddler.
I’m the father of a toddler and I’ve come to realize that her approach to life (and the big world around here) is often the approach athletes should take with their running.
Want an example?
Last week she fell and scraped her little nose on the concrete sidewalk in front of our home. There was a decent amount of blood, but not too many tears, and within 10 minutes it was as if nothing had happened. She slept well that night yet the next day she definitely had a runny nose, but on the whole had a good day. That night, however, she had one of the worst nights since she was an infant; up three different times, crying much of the time and just plain upset. Very, very rough night and roughly 36 hours following the scrapped nose incident. The next day she had a fairly normal day and night, but the following day she set a person record…for her morning nap. Three hours. She always takes a morning nap, but it’s usually 75-100 minutes; 180 minutes a record by almost an hour.
So what’s my point? Two points actually.
First is that my daughter’s body, following the scraped nose incident, her runny nose and a bad night’s sleep, eventually made up for the stress with a record long nap. When the body is stressed you often see the stress manifest itself 36-48 hours later; that rhythm underlies this story and is probably why she slept fine the night after the scrape, but then sleep so poorly the second night. So the first take home message is “be mindful of 48 hours post-workout” or 48 hours post-“life stress.”
Second, because a toddler just goes with the flow of life she was out for 3 hours one morning. She was tired and her body was recovering from, in the past 4 days, a tumble, a runny nose and a horrible night of (little) sleep. So she rested more. Obviously adults struggle to find time to train, let alone rest, yet if you trained like a toddler you’d give yourself plenty of rest and recovery to absorb the training from hard days.