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Handling running fatigue

Tomorrow’s Take It And Run Thursday is in reverse.  Instead of dropping off your thoughts on a topic, leave a question.   No question is too basic or too advanced for everyone to consider.  After all, we're runners--tenacious, resourceful, and helpful. You’ll have the collective wisdom and experience of dozens of runners.  Just leave what you’d like help answering.

Flat_tire_2 My question: How do you battle fatigue? 

Remember when we first started running and what it was like to conquer the first distances?  When running a partial mile turned into a full mile, and then two miles gave way to three, four, and more miles?  Our bodies adapted to the fatigue and soreness and became capable of more mileage, faster paces, and easier recovery.

My mileage these days is a fraction of what I’ve been capable of for many years, and it feels like way too much effort and fatigue for what I’m accomplishing.  It feels like I'm running on flat tires.  Worse, it feels like I’m starting all over again. 

I'm not opposed to working hard at my running, and I suppose it’s healthy to re-experience the challenges of ramping up my running mileage and speed.  Maybe I'm still getting the kinks out from winter running and still carrying those winter pounds. But some of the occasional ease or cruising down the road and even the sensation of "floating" is missing.

Looking forward to the questions everyone drops off tomorrow and for any insight and tips on handling the fatigue of running.

Flat tire on flickr.com by timpgh

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Comments

CoffeeBetsy

Tom, I think you should try a new running route. Give yourself some challenging hills or a pretty trail.

Tom

Thanks, Betsy, that's a great idea!

I tend to repeat the same routes day after day. Change of scenery could do me well.

It's simple ideas like yours that can make a profound difference.

rambn

I would look into fasting. It's the very best kind of rest one can get, and is actually quite easy to do. Check out Paul Bragg's book, you can get it from Amazon.

Nancy

Tom, I had flat tires a couple of months ago, and had my bloodwork done finally--my thyroid was to blame! I'd become hypothyroid, and now that I'm on thyroid hormone replacement, I'm bouncing along the roads again. All that was exhausting is new!

Nat

Good questions. Some good answers too I think.
Have you taken a break from running? A few weeks in order to learn to miss it again... focus on other things. Once in a while makes me find the happiness in running again. (Physically, I feel healed as well.)

John

Tom, try a fresh pair of running shoes and make sure you are getting enough sleep! I agree with Nancy in the above post, if this is a chronic problem I would consider a physical with bloodwork.

William carter

Hi Tom


I think the thing that works best for me is to add something new to my training. For me, that usually means some kind of new interval training, fartleks, Yasso 800s, etc. I also think there is a lot to be gained from swimming and biking, but I am hydro- challenged and a completely inept biker. So just running for me. I think it is really important to try and keep things fresh in whatever way you can.

Best of luck.

Bob Allen

I would echo many of the same things above. Perhaps the most important things in my (limited) experience is proper rest and proper hydration. If I'm on empty in either of those ways, I can tell it almost immediately I start running.

I really don't like running the same route or distance day after day after day. In fact, I try to vary my route as much as possible on every run in a given week. I think that helps keep running fresh -- different hills, different lengths, changes in foliage, somebody's painted their house, etc.

I feel almost silly even mentioning this but it's a hard lesson for me to follow -- cut back on mileage and intensity every 3-5 weeks. It does seem to help the body recover.

Sandy

There was a really good article in either Running Times or Runner's World (sorry! Can't remember which) about runners experiencing anemia. Being anemic, I am intimate with the dreaded feeling of fatitgue that washes over me when my blood count drops. Maybe you should have yours checked?

Also, you did have a stretch of time where necessity mandated that you run less. But now you're running more - that's great - and you'll improve with time. Isn't hard to be patient? It's like you remember where you were and in your mind you feel like you should automatically be there. Immediately.

You'll get there, Tom. Your body just needs to catch up to where your mind wants you to be. Let's encourage one another to back to where we once were.

Sandy

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