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350: Avoiding Training Mistakes: Fueling, Injury, and Loving the Run with Dr. Lisa Mitro

Mar 14, 2024

The Transformative Journey of a Runner: Lessons from Dr. Lisa Mitro

Running isn’t just a form of exercise; it's a journey laden with ups and downs, learning, and self-discovery. In an enlightening episode of the Real Life Runners podcast, we had the opportunity to dive deep into the world of running with Dr. Lisa Mitro, a dedicated physical therapist, run coach, and avid runner herself. Her story and insights shed light on common mistakes, fueling strategies, the importance of slowing down, and the inherent strength we tap into when running with intent and knowledge.


Running Is More Than Just Putting One Foot in Front of the Other

Running, for many, begins as a way to relieve stress or achieve certain fitness goals. Dr. Lisa Mitro narrates how her journey began in grad school as a simple method to clear her mind and relieve stress. It quickly transformed into a love affair with increasing mileage and the community spirit found in races like the Marine Corps Marathon. Yet, as Dr. Mitro explains, this passion brought with it its own set of challenges, particularly when it came to properly fueling the body and understanding the mechanics of running without incurring injuries.


The Common Pitfalls of New Runners

Lisa’s candid sharing of the mistakes she made early on, such as going from zero to a hundred in training and improperly fueling, resonates with many runners. These experiences highlighted the significant gap in knowledge for many recreational runners, especially regarding proper training and injury prevention. Lisa’s story is a testament to the learning curve involved in running, emphasizing that even with a background in physical therapy, there was still so much to learn about the sport.


The Epiphany of Slowing Down and Proper Fueling

One of the pivotal points in Lisa’s journey was the realization of the need to slow down her runs and correctly fuel her body. This shift not only improved her performance but also changed her relationship with running. It allowed her to enjoy the process more, recover better, and truly appreciate the joy of moving at a pace that felt good rather than pushing towards an arbitrary metric of speed.

Lisa delves into the specifics of fueling strategies for running, noting a significant change in her craving patterns and energy levels when she began fueling correctly. By prioritizing nourishment and understanding the body's needs during long runs, Lisa found herself more energized and capable of tackling distances she never thought possible, culminating in the successful completion of a full marathon injury-free and stronger than ever.


A Call to Rethink Running and Fueling

This conversation with Dr. Lisa Mitro serves as a powerful reminder for runners of all experiences and ages. It sheds light on the importance of approaching running with a focus on health, performance, and enjoyment rather than just metrics and speed. The journey of a runner is unique and filled with lessons that go beyond the track or trail; it's about understanding our bodies, respecting our needs for rest and fuel, and ultimately finding joy in the movement.

As Dr. Mitro aptly puts it, movement is medicine, and with the right approach, runners can enjoy a long, healthy, and happy running life. Whether you're just starting out or you’ve been running for years, taking a moment to assess your training and fueling strategies could be the key to unlocking a whole new level of love for the sport.


Connect and Learn with Dr. Lisa Mitro

For those looking to delve deeper into the world of running, injury prevention, and performance enhancement, Dr. Lisa Mitro continues to share her wealth of knowledge through her Instagram (@Dr.Lisa.DPT) and her podcast, Rehab for Runners. Join her as she guides runners through the intricate dance of pushing limits while caring deeply for the runner's most valuable asset: their body.

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