The Tired Runner


I have been running now for about a year now. Over this time I have been focussing on changing posture, getting good shoes and really nailing tecnique/ fast times.

I have improved my 10K time from 1 hour 10 to about 50-55mins and have shifted well away from heel striking. training usually consists of 5-6 days a week with runs ranging from 30 mins to 1hr 30 at varying paces.

The problem I am encountering has occurred over the last 3-4 months. I am tired.. even if I feel ok when I start a run, very soon my legs are heavy.. my breathing comes 'stridor-ish' and my posture goes to hell. I feel like my back and hips are weak.

I have tried having a few days off, I have tried eating more carbs/morr in general, I have even started taking multi-vit tablets. None seems to be working!

My life has been pretty stressful lately (University exams and general life stresses).. not sure if this is a reason.


Anyone got a magic cure?? or if not, some advice/suggestions?


  • Overtraining ?

    A few days won't be enough. I'd take a week off. Your running won't suffer in a week.
  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    Iron depletion?

    That stress probably doesn't help either.

    Have a week off running and just chill - see if that helps.

  • Thanks guys.. I hate resting! I feel like I am ready to run forever and then I start and feel pooped.

    Ill take your advice and ease up for a week. I swan tonight and it felt nice.

    I will also go get my bloods done, see if I need some iron.

  • To be honest it's probably in your head.

    I get the same, when I'm motivated and "up for it" runs feels easy and I can push myself. When life is stressfull or I'm a bit bored with running it suddenly feels harder and I feel heavier / sluggish.

    My advice is find some motivation, train for something or alternatively take some proper time off. Say 2 - 3 weeks maybe a month.  Do something else, cross train or just stop.  You won't lose too much fitness but when you come back you will be fresher than ever.

    There is a chance it could be physiological so bear that in mind but with me it's normally mental when I'm having an off day.


  • I agree with the big cats above.

    Running is suppose to be fun. It is a hobby. If you are not enjoying it stop doing it for a bit. You'll take the pressure off and find your running mojo again and with it feel less tired. Use the time to try some new hobbies - bake a cake, go rock climbing or take a dog for a long walk up a big hill.

  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    also - do a bit of weight training and core exercises  - that might help your posture etc.

  • Hi,


    thanks for the replies.

    Essexlion- I'm sure some of it is psychological. I have had some big exams within the last few weeks as well as a few 10k Races.

    I am trainining for a half marathon in September and I am a motivated runner. I usualy enjoy running and look forward to doing it. It has just been the last few months that I am feeling I'm not hitting my targets and feeling sluggish.

    I am taking the week off running, been doing more swimming and cycling and I am feeling a lot better (actually tempted to go for a run!). But Ill leave it and let you khnow how I feel.


    15West- what type of core training do you usually do and how often?

  • How much stretching are you doing? Regular stretching would help to relax muscles and aid recovery after running, or any sort of training.

  • To be honest mate.. not a lot. I try and stretch after a run but I usually have to run out the door to get to other places. I will start doing more!!

    I also think I pulled my piriformis.. my hip hurts when i put it in a certain position.



  • Year and years ago - when I was good at running, every year (normally September time I think) my coach always advised a 2 week  break with no running what so ever, and no other exercise)... Quite often I'd come back to race and run a PB, so rest shouldn't be looked at as detrimental. Sometime the body needs it. Listen to your body, if your tired, rest!!!  

  • It might also be that your just competing runs at a set distance? Are you doing any short fast efforts? As mad as it sounds sometimes using a different energy system will work wonders and get the blood flowing!! 

  • Hey Sportylass-


    What you say makes a lot of sense and I will try to do as you advise. I went for a run today and it was just a short enjoyable one. I did feel a lot better apart from my hip still niggling a little bit. I am def a set distance runner, I try hard to miz it up but I always get caught up in the 'beating my last time' thing.. but I will be stern with myself!!


  • 15West15West ✭✭✭

    I try and do these...but probably not as much as I should...

  • Thanks 15 west!


    I have been doing some running this week, because I have felt back to normal (and less stress going on in daily life!). Today I did a 16.3K in 1hr 37min.. which inlcudes 2 hills that I walked/stumbled up.

    I wore my camel back and found the maintaining hydration was good. I need to look into what energy gel to take on longer runs.. my tank runs out after 1hr 15 ish I feel.

    My goal is do to the Bristol Half in under 2 hours. My record race for 10K is 55mins and my own record has been 52mins. So fingers crossed!

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