Stressed/training hard? Release tension with a long slow run

Tim Allen
The Shadow
Published in
2 min readJan 26, 2021


Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash

I’m into Crossfit. I also have a young family and work full time as a Software Developer. Whilst I don’t have the most stressful circumstances in the world, I often get to the weekend overstressed, grumpy and tense.

Just when it’s time to hang out with the family and enjoy some down time, I find I’m much too close to the ‘highly stressed’ side of the spectrum.

Part of my regime for staying mentally in the game is by using my Crossfit as an outlet for stress. And it is. My time in the box lifting weights and grunting through fast paced workouts is certainly a mental de-stressor.

But I started to realise that something like Crossfit, being almost always a high intensity training modality, and with a lot of ‘time under tension’ for the major muscle groups, actually tends to store tension in my body.

You’d think that the solution to this could be to do less… and for some people, this would be part of it. But I’ve actually found that by doing more, I can feel better. The trick is to make sure you do the right kind of ‘more’.

For me I’ve benefited immensely by adding in a run at low to moderate intensity on the weekend and sometimes even midweek. It seems to just loosen everything up and gets the muscles working. It generates some endorphins from the exercise without generating tension, and leaves me feeling a whole lot better.

The key though is not to push yourself. You really just want to think ‘slow and loose’ while you’re doing it, enjoy being where you are, try to make it about wellbeing more than about how fast or how long. If you do it right, it can almost feel ‘mindful’.

I’ve felt like it really helps me to release the tension from me body. Then I can enjoy the weekend with the family and be there for them.