Running Superhero Power and Kryptonite

Regardless of who you are or where you are in your running stage, everyone has their own running superhero power and kryptonite. Running Superhero power is whatever trait or skill that is your strongest one in terms of running. Kryptonite is your weakest.

There are all sorts of running  superheros powers: sheer talent, ability to withstand high mileage training, speedy recovery, never/rarely gets sick, mental fortitude, ability to train in heat and humidity, nailing a pace without a GPS watch, etc. And there are many kryptonites: injury prone, mentally gives up too easily, lacks discipline, bad racing strategy (e.g., positive splits), poor diet, overwhelming life/work responsibilities, not enough sleep, etc.

My running superhero power is that I’m injury resistant. In the six years that I’ve been running, I’ve had only one major running injury and that was five years ago. After my first year of running, I had plantar fasciitis, so I had to lay off running for a couple of months. I had a touch of plantar fasciitis a year after that, but it wasn’t as serious and I just had to reduce mileage for about a month. Since then, I haven’t had a single major injury. No stress reactions. No IBS. No sprains. Nothing. Once in a while I feel a niggle here or there, but it literally goes away in seconds. I feel quite lucky in the fact that I can train without worrying if I’ll get injured.

My kryptonite, however, is slow recovery. It seriously takes me a long time to recover from hard races and hard training runs. I just don’t bounce back as quickly as some people. And I don’t mean this in comparing myself to younger runners. I recover more slowly than runners my own age too. It took me about a couple of months before I felt like myself after CIM (I don’t mean that I couldn’t run or even start doing some speed work again. I could. Nothing hurt, but I just didn’t feel 100% like myself.). Work and stress take a toll on me and I don’t recover well enough from a night of sleep that I’m able to put in the same type of hard effort as I could if I weren’t experiencing a ton of stress or working long hours. As mileage increases, I fatigue more quickly than the average runner and I need more recovery days/time than the average runner. In past training cycles, as I feel myself lagging, I’ve asked Leah to give me more recovery by either reducing mileage or giving me an extra rest day.

This was a fun little exercise to think about when assessing my strengths and weaknesses as a runner.

Tell me what your running superhero power and kryptonite are. 

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17 thoughts on “Running Superhero Power and Kryptonite

  1. I don’t know if it’s a super power, but I always feel more energized during a race and am able to run much faster than I thought possible. I’ll then look back at my times and wonder how on earth I pulled that time off. LOL. Kryptonite would probably be my my legs post race. I don’t get extremely injured, but my legs stiffen up really quickly and I’ll just hobble around for the first day post-race.

  2. I’m jealous of your super power. I consider myself a medical journal of running injuries (that could be a super power – lol). I think my super power is knowing my pace without needing a watch. I’m a metronome. My kryptonite is slowwww recovery and I get ravenously hungry while running. Like so hungry I freak out.

      • I eat a vat of oatmeal before my long run on the weekend. My friends laugh as I eat as much as a family of four eats. I still get hungry after an hour. I eat Prima bars to keep from chewing my leg off.

  3. My kryptonite is an easy one. My weak stomach before races. I remember throwing up in the parking lot before a race in Missouri and a concerned nice man (after asking if I was ok) commented to someone with him how that “often happens with new runners.” Little did he know I was far from a new runner at that point! I guess my super power is being able to judge distances when I’m running, from anywhere from 0.1 miles to x number of miles.

  4. ooh, I’ll play! My superpower is a cast-iron stomach; I’ve eaten a burrito and then taken the toddler out running in the stroller. (Okay, my expectations for those runs are low.) My kryptonite is always pacing, but I guess that gets better with practice?

    • My husband totally disagrees with me about what my kryptonite is. He thinks it’s my stomach because I have to be careful about when I eat before races. Even if I run slow, if I have anything more than some light white carbs, I get heartburn even with gentle jogging.

      Definitely pacing can improve with practice. Mine totally sucked when I started. Now, it’s not completely horrible and sometimes I’m even proud of the pacing.

  5. I have the same super power as GCA, which is an iron stomach. I can’t think of anything that ever upsets my stomach (I mean, I’m not about to run right after a Thanksgiving dinner, but I can tolerate literally any pre-, during- or post-run food/drink/gel). As far as kryptonite, maybe it’s not having enough faith in my own abilities? I seem to consistently look back on races and realize “oh, I could have run that faster, I was just afraid to because I thought I might burn out and collapse,” even though I’ve never collapsed.

    • The mental aspect is a kryptonite for many. You’re not alone in that.

      Having an iron stomach is a very useful superpower. While my stomach isn’t overly sensitive, I do need to watch when I eat (as opposed to what).

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