- Anxious or over-active mind
- Continually fatigued, sore or tired
- Digestive issues
- Craving for carbs
- Startled easily
- Forever busy
- Reduced libido
- Difficulty sitting still (can’t “relax”)
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Poor or decreasing athletic performance
So what is the significance of this to someone trying to improve their running? Well, firstly, self-awareness is big step in the preferred direction. Having an acute awareness of your own emotional, mental and physical state is unequivocally important to living well and performing optimally in whatever you wish to do. Secondly, being aware that a state of sympathetic dominance – reflected by the symptoms listed above – is obviously an instrumental step in ensuring you have appropriate balance in your life (this includes your training!). Finally, acknowledging that you’re falling into the above category and that it’s having a detrimental effect on your overall progress is of the utmost importance!
As we’ve touched on, sympathetic dominance is super common. The ironic thing is that the personality type that is most likely to develop such a condition is the same kind of person to read that list, identify with it but ultimately ignore it with a nonchalant “nah, that can’t be me”. I’d advise that you think again, this time a little harder.
In taking the next step and doing something about it, there is plenty we could suggest however that’s outside of the scope for this particular article. It’s true that – for many – the hardest part to getting out of a chronic state of sympathetic drive is to first recognise it and accept it (this has a lot to do with the personality type that comes with the territory).