Cortisol, Anxiety, and Training

I get very anxious in  unfamiliar surroundings, or on long (to me) runs where I’m not near a place to stop.  For example, if I’m running around Gray’s Lake which has 3 water stops, 3 bathroom stops, and is only 1.9 miles around, I know I have plenty of options if I need to pause and mentally knowing the option to quit is less than a mile away at any given point is super for my high anxiety level.

If I’m running in unfamiliar areas, high heat, or running several miles out and back, I tend to start getting panic attacks (cold sweat, stomach cramps, heart racing, shaking).  After runs where I was anxious, I got really sick and my training partner Braxton (a chiropractor) mentioned I could look into the relationship of anxiety on my workouts to help me recover better.  It made sense!

Of all of the articles I read on the effects of Cortisol (related to Anxiety) during a workout and vitamins and foods to help recover after a workout, this article was the most helpful.  I took advice from the  article and coupled it with things that have worked for me in non-exercise anxiety inducing situations (namely, stick with a few familiar routes that have different attributes so I still get good variety in training) and make sure I’m good with electrolytes and B vitamins.

Have any of you experienced workout anxiety or illness after workouts?  What has helped you?


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