Exhaustion after Running

Hi all,

I am now in training for the 2012 VLM (I ran it last year in 4:42) but have found myself absolutely shattered after my long runs.  I don't remember this happening when I cranked up the mileage last year.

I run 4 times per week and have a comprehensive programme drawn up by the coach at our club (great low-key, friendly club).  My runs incorporate a training session which is usually hills, an LSR, a tempo run and what  call a recovery run.

Anyway, today I upped the mileage to 14 miles (ave 9.45mph) from12 miles last Sun, I last ran on Thurs (hill session)  and will do a recovery run on Mon.  This afternoon I feel absolutely SHATTERED!!  I drink lucozade light when running and had a gel at about 6 miles (for the first time this season).  When I got in I had a cup of tea and then a Heinz Big Soup and slice of seeded bread within 45 mins.  I do have a young family so sitting down for the afternoon is not an option.  I walked to the shops (not far) and had a punnet of blueberries on the way home.  Dear hubby took the youngest to football whilst I made cakes with my 8 year old, that was the easy option.

Since this afternoon I have felt shattered and have no energy whatsoever. I gave in and cracked open a vino about and hour ago and obviously since then have had even less energy.

 If anyone has any great advice I am more than willing to listen and give it a go.  I don't rememnber feeling THIS tired when training last year and have a long way to go yet so I don't fancy feeling like this for the next 3 months!!

Thank you in advance.  Liz


  • You don't mention drinking much (wine doesn't count, or a cup of tea really!!) You could be a bit dehydrated which definately will lead to fatigue. Aim to drink 2L of fluid (water/cordial etc) every day, not just on the day of your long run and when you get in from your run continue to rehydrate slowly throughout the day. It could help!
  • Similar thing here Liz
    Upped the mileage the last couple of weeks and feeling so tired all the time. After long runs i just wanna fall asleep in the afternoon. Know ive got a long way to go yet but this tiredness is starting to get me down!!!
  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭

    Did you really mean 9.45 mph ie 6m34s per mile? If yes no wonder you're shattered...

    if you meant 9m45s per mile then I think you're still running your long runs too quickly.  You should be picking a reasonable goal and then running your long runs 20% slower than that, increasing to 10% slower by the end of the run.

    I agree with Tigerlilly re dehydration...which itself could be a symptom of glycogen depletion, which is the result of running anaerobicilly...slow down and improve your aerobic base!

  • TeknikTeknik ✭✭✭
    aaaaah typo...anaerobically.   Soz
  • Liz said that was her Long Slow Run. Her others are tempo / hill / recovery work; so not four 14 milers.
  • Might be worth going to the doctors for a blood test to check your iron levels.  As a busy mum these could be low and require a boost.  You must get it checked first though, as the amounts you can buy in over the counter supplements are too low to make a significant difference if your levels are very low.  I am on a 400mg dose daily to combat low levels.
  • Just to chuck in my bit - if you're only doing 4 runs a week and they are :

    1. Hills
    2. Tempo
    3. LSR
    4. Recovery

    . . .it might be down to overtraining.  Hills and tempo will take it out of you, LSR should be slow, but if you're doing it too fast, then you're running hard 3 out of 4 days.  From what you said about last year's race, it seems as if you've upped the pace and intensity at the same time, possibly before you're physically able to cope.  Either way, though, if you're running pretty much at a similar effort for each session (even if they're different - hills / tempo), the physical result to your body is the same - resulting as Teknik says in glycogen depletion.

    Check out what you're eating and drinking (as TL says) but also drop your LSR pace as Teknik says - at the end of it, you should feel as if you could do another mile or two.

    If the programme has been put together by a coach, talk to him / her as well and see what s/he says.

  • Hi guys,

    Thank you so much for your replies.  I would prob agree that I do not drink enough water during the week.  I work in a school and can only fit 'loo breaks' around breaks at school so I am conscious as to how much I drink so I'm not popping to the loo all the time.  Perhaps I should just drink what I want regardless of the consequences!!

    Teknik - I am inclined to agree with you that perhaps I am running my LSRs a little too fast. I have a different training partner this year from last year and she is a faster runner than me - although I do keep suggesting she should slow down on our LSRs as you need to conserve your energy for those really long runs.  This is her first marathon and she is finding it hard to slow down whereas I am happy to plod along for hours on end and feel I can keep on going.

    I really do appreciate all of your advice and when I look at it on here it makes a lot of sense - I don't drink enough and think I AM running too fast on the LSRs.  Tomorrow morning I am looking forward to a recovery run of 5 miles on my own at my OWN pace,!!!

  • Lizzee, go to the training thread and look up HADD training.It might open your eyes to a few of your problems. If not you will be wiser.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    By my calculations you've just burnt about 1200-1400 kcals just running. Added to the tick-over rate of 75 kcal per hour, by afternoon you've created a demand of around 2200 kcals. Meanwhile you have had a cup of tea 25kcal, tin of Heize e-numbers 225kcal and a slice of bread 120 kcal. Thats 20g of carb, which is worth one brisk mile of running. Next to zero protein which is required for muscle repair. Fruit is just volume, next to no kcals worth noting. You are quite likely a couple of pints dehydrated too. There's a fuelling deficit that would make anyone tired. I'm surprised no-one else really thought it a factor.
  • "I'm surprised no-one else really thought it a factor"

    I don't agree - if you are fully fuelled before a run of 14 miles particularly if you've had breakfast I think she has consumed plenty. You're right in that I didn't think to ask if she'd eaten well the night before or had breakfast - I tend to assume everyone operates on common sense! For me personally 14 - 17 miles at an easy pace (though Liz does admit she probably runs her long runs too fast) I do not need to consume anymore than I normally would on a non-running day which is pretty similar to what Liz has.
  • I agree, TL.  I always do my LSRs early in the morning, before eating and can easily manage 15 - 17m without having to either fill up beforehand or take anything en route.  I take Shot Bloks and water with me, just in case I do need them, but generally bring them home, unused.  I just eat a normal diet too, don't eat any more the night before.
  • I think I would weigh about 6 stone if those calculations worked... sadly I'm still half a stone over weight... image
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Well I never eat anything before I run either though I tend to go out quite early and for anything up to 20 miles. But after I've finished, that is a different matter. My post was directed at someone called Liz EE who I believed wasn't eating well enough for recovery purposes. I know also that a diet not specifically geared towards athletic performance will result in less than optimum performance, recovery or weight loss.
  • Vet51 - not having a go at you just disagreeing. I suspect that a tin of big soup and some fruit is not ALL that Liz eats for the rest of the day. I expect she would have a proper dinner and quite possibly supper too. I still suspect her fatigue is more due to dehydration than lack of calories.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    Tigerlily- if you read the original post you'll notice that Liz EE's post run diet is itemised quite carefully. I made no assumptions at all. No suspicions, no expectations. Just a face value solution based on face value information.
  • Yes.. well you're probably right then.. I stand corrected.
  • Hi Guys,

    Thank you for all of your advice - I actually had a sneaky Chinese takeaway on Saturday night so that would add to me feeling shattered.  Durr!!!  How foolish am I.  We then had a dodgy meals on Sunday which is completely out of the ordinary.  As I have a young family I am usually really on top of our meals and ensure we all get a balanced diet with a few treats here and there.

    Looking at what I had overall on Saturday then that would add to the lethargy.  I have another LSR this Saturday so I'm going to go by the book and eat really, really well on Fri, Sat and Sunday and see if it makes a difference.

    I really do appreciate all of your advice and take it all on board.  Thanks guys.  Liz xx

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