Burnt out or what?

14 messages
30/05/2003 at 08:01
I've been training for my first 1/2 marathon (8th June, St Albans) and I've just really hit the wall. A couple of weeks ago I was great, felt fast and could run for miles. Now as I've been tapering back to fewer runs that are not quite as long, I just feel terrible. My whole body is heavy and even had to stop and walk for a bit last night. I'm giving myself quite a hard time and just wonder if this is normal? I've trained up from running three times a week for about 45mins to five times a week for various lengths of time, the longest being 2 hours. I really slow so covering the distance has been taking a while.

Any comments on how to overcome the lead legs symptoms currently being experience would be great!
30/05/2003 at 08:36
It's something that happens to many, many people and can come simply from the need to take a break, particularly if you haven't scheduled enough regular rest days into your training recently. Take two, or even three days off. You won't get less fit in that time.
Another possibility is that you are carrying a bug. Again, the cure could be a couple of days off and some vitamin A,C,D tablets.

When you do get back into the swing of things please make sure you take an easy day (by that I mean nothing more than a few gentle miles) after particularly hard or long training sessions and at least one day a week when you do nothing at all.

Hope this turns out to be helpful.
30/05/2003 at 09:08

So glad I read this thread! I've been building up to a 10K (which regretfully I had to miss). From an average of about 11 miles a week I gradually built up to 20, with my longest run being about 1 hour 15 minutes (9 miles).

Last week I tapered a bit in preparation for the race, which was on Monday (as I say, for medical reasons I was unable to take part). This week I just can't seem to get back to where I was before the tapering. I'm running like a slug. I'm wading through treacle. Can't understand this as I'd have thought that the reduction in mileage last week would have meant I'd be feeling refreshed this week, but I'm not!

Perhaps we've both being overdoing it a bit?
30/05/2003 at 09:35
Thanks for the replies, all very good, ta. Minkin - I think the increase in miles might have been a bit steep in my case, even though I followed a reputable schedule. I think I am going to suffer through until the race though and then do a few weeks real easy and make sure I get in some rest days - as Jonny J suggests.

How did you, or anyone else, determine their running 'base' after an event? What I mean is after training up for an event surely one doesn't stay running at the speeds/distances of the peak weeks of training! However, I have improved quite a bit (yay!) and don't want to go back to my 3 X 45minutes.

30/05/2003 at 09:59
Another pointer or two for you. The first is that everyone's different in how they react to training and what their running ambitions are. So, anything you read and hear about you must take as a general guide only and adapt it to your own best advantage.
The second is about what happens after peaking for an event. Some people would take that as their new base level and aim to get even faster. Other would lapse back into just keeping fit but I have a feeling that the majority set themselves a new goal to achieve (a particular race or a time or a distance) and after a short period of reduced training will start working towards their new goal.

For example, after running the FLM. I have halved my training but am now picking it up again (and doing a different type of training with more speed work) with the objective of running specific, faster 10k and 1/2m times by Easter next year.

The final point to make is that you must make haste slowly. You should not increase the speed, or distance, of your training by more than 10% at any one time and never until you are comfortable at your present level of training. If you keep on pushing up the effort too quickly you could simply end up with overuse injuries or burnout. I'm afraid there's not much around in the way of quick fixes to get you to the Paula level. It's just steady hard work.

30/05/2003 at 10:41
This could be where I've been going wrong, JJ. Although I've built up my distance gradually (no more than 1 mile per week) I haven't necessarily felt comfortable at that level before I've automatically gone ahead and increased the distance again the following week.

9 miles is my furthest run to date, and I probably ran it under less than ideal circumstances. I was tired (bed at 3:30 am the night before), hung over and had eaten burger and chips for lunch, and drunk probably no more than half a litre of water that day. Managed the run OK - probably too fats, in fact - but have been suffering a little from shin pain ever since.

Moral of the story: listen to my body!
30/05/2003 at 10:57
Johnny J - great advice - thanks heaps! You are so right. I hadn't really got comfortable with the level I had got to before going for more miles. I thought I was doing the right thing just following the training schedule come rain or shine! My commitment has been 100% and haven't miss a run in 4+ months. It was easy in a way because I just did what it said and didn't really think to much. I've just got a few negative consequences to deal with at present : (

Thanks also for your advice about the what next question. I am keen on another half in July (Burnham Beeches) but I'll have to see how I'm doing. I had vaguely thought about working on my speed a bit so that next time when I am training it doesn't take me so long to cover all the miles the training schedule dictates. I'm going to loose some weight too as I think it might help (only about 6kg).
30/05/2003 at 12:50
Well I'm glad if it helps. You certainly not going to lose anything by giving it a go. I always reckon we're in it for the long haul. We want to be exercising sensibly right through life so there's no rush.
Losing weight is a big help too. In my simple terms, they use weights of 3, 5 and 7 pounds to handicap racehorses. If that can have an effect on something as powerful as a racehorse you can imagine that it doesn't help us mere mortals!
Again, don't be fanatical about the weight loss. Take it steadily. You must have a sensible supply of carbs to fuel your running and you need protein to repair the damage to tissue that occurs naturally every time you run. I guess you know all about the need for vitamins and minerals.
30/05/2003 at 15:35
Johnny J. Funny you mention about race horses - I kind of equate having a little extra weight to running with a backpack on that weighs 5kg. That is prettty heavy really. I know its not quite the same due to the weight being carried centrally on the body but it is quite a motivational thought when you're considering how to get a bit quicker.

I've been running for about 5 years so I definitely feel like I'm in for good now. The 1/2 marathon is my first event though, which in hind sight was a bit stupid and goes against all the advice I've read since registering. I just did the same old thing, year after year, but in different locations and really felt I needed something decently hard to jolt me into getting a bit better. I do intend to make my progress a bit slower from now on though.

Really helpful advice today, thanks.
30/05/2003 at 15:49
Always a pleasure to help. If you want to keep in touch you can find me on the 'Mature' runners thread under general. Nice bunch of peeps. Age is irrelevent.
30/05/2003 at 21:29
Check for anaemia. Can sneak up on you.

The heat, as we are not accustomed to it, more or less pounces on everybody. No way round it, just have to accept it.

There's usually a reason for feeling tired, and it usually doesn't get better for pressing on and disregarding the evidence.

Read the training thread - you'll see lots of people are sort of taking it easy, one way or another.

Good luck.
09/06/2003 at 11:13
Update: Took it really really easy since I posted and took the last three days before the race off. Although I felt really guilty it did the trick nicely. I did the race in a time I am really happy with and am keen to do another race as soon!
09/06/2003 at 12:06
Glad it went well!
09/06/2003 at 12:54
Think it's worked for me too, Hazel - took a few really easy days then re-started training proper last week ... to find that I've done all my training routes a good minute or two faster over the last week.

Bodes well for the races I have planned and has also made me more relaxed about taking the odd few days off every now and then. Doesn't necessarily mean you lose fitness.

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