Run longs are already taking their toll

I am training for my first London marathon and one of the biggest problems seems to be how exhausted I feel when I get back from a long run. I'm doing a long run every Saturday morning and I'm up to 15 miles but it practically wipes me out for the rest of the day, which is not good with two young children to look after. Is this normal? I do three other training sessions a week, one run, one sprints or hills and one bootcamp but after the long run it takes me all day to recover, I'm getting worried about how I will feel when I get up to 20 mile runs. Does anyone have any thoughts/advice?


  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    How fast are you doing your long runs?

    What is your target time for the marathon.

    What plan are you following for the marathon?

    By the looks of it you are only doing 3 runs a week which. Is often said to be the bare. Minimum.

    What did this weeks training look like in terms of what days did you run, how far and how fast for each one.
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭

    Sarah - I used to feel like that when I was training for my first marathon and my children were small.  Its hard but it does get easier.  Its hard because as soon as you get home you have to become mum again and they're not interested in the fact you've just run 15+ miles! You'll get there - just keep chipping away.   Good luck.

  • yes. it is tiring.......but i would also check that you aren't doing the long runs too fast.....

    for the first marathon and many of the others slower than your planned marathon pace......

     good luck......some days are harder than others

  • I have found a difference now I take on board gels and sports drink - even though a lot of people say you don't 'need' them for up to 15 miles I wanted to practice taking them and it has made a difference to me.  Possibly because I am not depleting my stored energy supplies?  Went to a 'Meet the Experts' VLM training day and the sports nutrionist said 'why wait until you are flagging/tiring to take a gel - take it before that' and it has worked for me.  Also - eat and dring plenty as soon as you can when you get in.

    Also - silly question maybe - but are you getting a good night's sleep before your long run?  Again I have started having riduculously early nights before and it has made a difference as at least I feel fresh at the start. 

  • Bin the boot camp. Bin the sprints. Take the long run slowly.

    You're training for a marathon. A boot camp and sprinting won't be very useful for you. The more you can run - the easier it will be.
  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Do the long run less often. You're not running often enough to be able to recover from such a distance.

    You'll be better off doing a long run only once every 3 weeks.

    Get an indoor bike as well.

    Hydration is an issue, not least for the simple reason its easier for guys to deal with any excess.

  • Cougie, do you think boot camp and sprints etc are not useful because the marathon is such a long distance running event ? Lots of shorter distance programs include them in training ,

    I thought regardless of distance it would help condition muscles and improve strength, particulary core ?

    I am very new to running so interested really , not arguingca case to or for .
  • I well remember being wasted for the rest of the day when building the long runs for my first marathon - but it does get easier. One thing I would look at is your nutrition. I found I recovered much better if I had something instant - e.g. shake, smoothie, peanut butter and banana sandwich - then my shower and then the next meal.

    With limited training time/opportunity and no endurance background I would definitely ditch the non-specific stuff and focus on getting the miles in too.

    If you think you can or you think you can't you're probably right.
  • MinniMinni ✭✭✭
    Ric - London is only 10 weeks or so therefore not really enough time to cut the long runs down to once every three weeks.

    I'd say is Sarah is managing the actual run ok then the tiredness that follows is completely normal for someone who hasn't done marathon training before. Perhaps the long runs should be slowed down a bit (depending on what pace she's running) but I remember in the early days just spending the rest of the day drinking copious amounts of tea and eating anything I could get my hands on just to try and keep my energy levels up for family life.
  • Curly twig - I'd definitely bin boot camp. The ones I've seen are run by barely qualified PTs and there's a good chance of injury and although it's all round conditioning it's just not ideal to the specific marathon training you need.

    Speed work is usually useful for marathons but only as part of a proper plan.

    Running three times a week - (and what's the jump in distances ?) isn't optimal and it looks like a get you round plan rather than in a specific time.

    Sarahs clearly not coping with the long runs and I think it's simply because the long run is too much of a stretch. The other run she does in the week should be ten miles or so - otherwise it's too much of a jump.
  • Sarah- slow the LSR down as much as you can get away with, do some slow running instead on the day where you would be "boot camp"-ing, and cut out the sprint- a little bit of tempo runnig is all the speed work you need.

    I used to crawl back into the house, and just sleep on the sofa after any run longer than 10 miles- doesn't happen now, but it lasted 1 or 2 ytears before I got over the "dead tired" effect.

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    As many others have said, make your long runs really slow.  It sounds wrong, but it works.  You should do them quite a bit slower than your target race pace.

    Make sure you are eating well the night before, and have a good carb breakfast in the morning before your runs. 

    You need to have something with carbs and protein immediately after your long run too, to help recovery - try something like chocolate milk, Slimfast shakes, or a recovery shake.  You should then eat a proper meal ideally within two hours of finishing the run.  This helps your muscles recover.

  • Hi Sarah, lots of great advice.  Only thing Id add is maybe get  heart rate monitor to pick out a 75% of your max of 70% of your woking heart rate [plenty of good books and articles out there] and run within one of these to rates.  You might be running to fast and running low on glycogen in your muscles.

    Keep all but a few runs like this and energy will return and yes ditch the speed work and circuit stuff you need mileage to get round!

  • I have 3 young children and the first time I started marathon training 18 months ago, I would be wasted after a long run.  Turns out, I was running them too fast.  You should feel a certain amount of fatigue but if it is affecting your day, I would definitely slow them down a bit.  Obviously we need to know your pace here, it may not be that which is the problem but I would hazard a guess, it probably is.  Agree with Wilkie re recovery drink, I make a banana smoothie with peanut butter and milk, just whizz it all up, far healthier than a shop bought one and really does help with your recovery too. 

  • Sarah is training 4 times a week.. which is fine.

    Definitely drop the boot camp IMO, replaced by a simple steady run.  One sprint or hill session a week is enough.

    The long weekend run can be way slower than you're perhaps doing.  You are going into your long run quite tired from the week's training, so you really should be doing it long and slow.  When you ultimately get to the last 2-3 weeks, your training will taper off and you won't be tired going into the marathon, so you'll be quicker on the day.

  • Hi Sarah,

    I agree with the others, swap your bootcamp for a mid-distance run (8-10 miles) and slow down the pace on your long runs. You don't have to ditch the bootcamp for good, just until you've got the marathon out of the way.

    Make sure you have a smoothie within 20 minutes of getting home from your long run, and have a proper meal within two hours.

    Depending on how old your kids are, maybe you could run the last mile or so of your long run with them to tire them out a bit image

    Good luck! It does get easier - I promise!

  • Remeber its actually quite hard to run slow enough so if you dont have a heart rate monitor try and ensure its AT LEAST a couple of minutes slower than a good training pace for you.

    Also if you have a shake or carb / protein drink consume one very quickly and then follow up with another within the hour as you need to get as much energy back as you can so you wont feel soooo tired.

    I would be interested to see what you do and how you get on.

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    I would also echo what others have said, make sure you have a good breakfast and gels/drinks during your long runs.  You'll feel tired after, but not wiped out.

    I'm training for VLM and have a 2 year old so I do know how you feel.  Good luck.  It's not that long to go...

  • PG3PG3 ✭✭✭

    Oh and I also do 3 runs a week and a few other sessions (a swim club and sometimes cycle to work).  It's more than enough for me!

  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    Did we ever get a response from the OP?
  • How you getting on are you packing in your post run protein/carbs have you slowed it down at all?

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