Burnt out or what?

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!


  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭

    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?
  • 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.

  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    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!
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • SticklessStickless ✭✭✭
    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.
  • 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!
  • SticklessStickless ✭✭✭
    Glad it went well!
  • MinksMinks ✭✭✭
    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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