>General Running>Experienced runner feeling exhausted, sluggish, having to take breaks -- why?
I'm 25 years old and have been running since late 2004/early 2005. I'm not a terribly fast runner -- I would say that my average pace is 8 min./mile. I initially began by running about 5 miles/day, but for the last year and a half, I've been running a little over 7. I run essentially the same routes on the same days of the week, and I'm conditioned to running every route without having to take a break.
However, for the last ~1.5 months, I have felt exhausted, sluggish, and just all-around "slow" when running practically any route for the usual distances I'm used to. In the past, I might've felt like that for the first 15-20 minutes of a run, but I would always "get in the mode" and feel great after that point. However, I have lately been feeling like that not only at the beginning of my runs, but throughout their duration, from the moment I hit the pavement to the second I'm finished.
Also, as I mentioned above, I'm usually able to complete my runs without having to take any breaks, but ever since "it" started, I haven't been able to finish a run without taking 3 or 4 breaks. I will just feel totally exhausted and feel like I have no choice but to take breaks. Sometimes, I will sense a feeling of nausea that seems to build up and peak until I take a break. Also, sometimes, my heart rate measured right after stopping for a break will feel very fast (as if the running routes that I've been doing for over 7 years now are somehow forcing my heart to work much harder).
Does anyone know what could be going on? Does it sound like overtraining, or could be some kind of vitamin/mineral deficiency? I have been taking 56 mg. of iron per day for the last few days but haven't noticed any changes. I'm getting really tired of feeling like crap and having my runs take significantly longer to complete because I'm being forced to take these breaks.
Has anyone experienced anything like this before?
Any insight as to what could be going on would be greatly appreciated....
TL;DR version: I have been running since 2005 (started out doing 5 miles/day but have been doing 7/day for 1.5 years), am conditioned to run for over an hour and never had a problem finishing my runs, now I feel exhausted and slow and have to take breaks after 30-40 mins. worth of running. Trying to figure out what is going on.
I had similar issues ten years ago and it turned out to be Lyme Disease. Fatigue was the only symptom I had. Worth a blood test, I say. Good luck.
Yeah, well...sometimes nothin' can be a real cool hand.
This is not normal. See a doctor for a full physical: Blood tests, ECG, etc.
Thanks for the responses. McSpartan85 -- did you notice fatigue symptoms when you weren't running? Also, were you able to cure the Lyme Disease?
agree with the others. Look, don't be afraid to go to a doctor. These things are symptoms, and the body is a genius at telling your brain that something is wrong. The first step to recovery is finding out the problem. Good luck and let us know what happens
My father in law had Lyme disease a few years ago. He is healthy as a horse now.
I think I probably will go to the doctor. I just ran a 5k earlier today, and it took me almost 24 and a half minutes... a year or two ago, I was running them in almost 20 minutes flat (still not really impressive, but relatively much faster than my current times).
This sounds like a definite reason to see your doctor for some tests. A co-worker had a mysterious illness for quite a while. Turned out to be Lyme disease and it damaged her heart. It's worth getting checked out.
Feeling the growl again
It could be a lot of things; overtraining is near the top of the list. Currently you feel like you have to take breaks; this tells me you are pushing to try and hit some certain pace and not running easy at all. If you were running easy and it felt that hard you would just run slower. It reads like your habit has been to always run pretty hard, and over time this typically leads to overtraining.
It could be a lot of things. You could see if the doctor could find anything wrong. The iron will not do anything for you in just a few days; it will take at least a couple weeks to feel the effects. If you get bloodwork done be sure to request a serum ferretin. If it is in the 20s, and certainly if lower, you need the iron.
"If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does. There's your pep talk for today. Go Run." -- Slo_Hand
I am spaniel - Crusher of Treadmills
To be honest, I really don't run fast at all -- I have always been a very "slow-twitch," 8-ish minutes/mile kind of person, which is why I'm wondering why I'm feeling run-down (since I don't run fast anyways). I honestly don't think I can get any slower, LOL. I guess it could still be overtraining.... the reason I don't *think* it would be Lyme is because I'm not experiencing fatigue outside of running, or muscle pain at all.
It's not about how FAST you are running, it is about how HARD you are running.
What are your PRs? If your regular "easy" runs are 8-ish minutes per mile, you are not slow at all. In fact your PRs should be quite solid, 44-45min 10K. If your fastest 10K is slower than that, you are racing your "easy" runs.
There are plenty of people here whose easy runs are 9, 10, 11 minute miles.
I think you are over-training, and maybe even running too fast, or it might be something with your form. The only expertise I have is over 20 years of running experience, but a lot of times my friends will run, and their form will be off, and I have tweaked some of the things they are doing and it fixes the problem. The only muscles that should be actively engaged (besides your legs when you run) are your core muscles. Tightening up your arms, or chest can cause fatigue. Lower your shoulders and relax your upper body, engage your core. You should almost be falling when you run, and catch yourself in the fore foot. Check out Chi-Running by Danny Dryer-- best book EVER-- I knocked a good 1:30 min/mile off my pace. Before I started practicing good form, I was getting exhausted, cramping, etc. I started using his form about 3 years ago, and I swear it helped me. Let's just put it this way, prior to Danny Dryer/Chi Running, my marathon PR was 4:35. My subsequent marathons have been: 4:26, 4:16, and today I ran a 4:05. Poor form can fatigue you.
Half: 1:48 (March 3rd, 2013)
Full: 4:05:40 (March 17th, 2013)
Sub-4:00 hour Marathon
Sub- 125 poundsSub- 1:45 hour half.
You should almost be falling when you run, and catch yourself in the fore foot. Check out Chi-Running by Danny Dryer-- best book EVER
Good form is important. I should know, I am currently rehabbing from months (years?) of compensating for a weak hip flexor through unconscious bad form which finally made me complety quit running.
That said, there is no such thing as "falling forward". It's simply physics.
It was summer '03 and it got to the point where half a mile was a slog. Clearly something wrong. I recall being generally fatigued but it was most pronounced when I exerted myself. Doc put me on antibiotics and got rid of it. No lingering effects but what was worrisome to me was I didn't have any early symptoms like the rash.
I'm not an expert but I think Lyme Disease has to go untreated for a long time for it to have permanent effects. If someone knows otherwise, please correct me.
In regards to form -- ironically, I transitioned from heel-striking to forefoot-striking in early December and have been forefoot running ever since. Maybe the extra calf muscle involvement is making me exhausted? I was able to run like that without any issues until late January/early February, though.
I think it's also worth mentioning that the exhausted seems "focused" in the middle of my chest. There isn't acute muscle pain, but it just feels like the exhaustion kind of radiates from there. Also, I've noticed that it will sometimes feel like a small something is "caught" directly in the space under my sternum, like a small piece of tissue.
A significant question that I have to ask is, why didn't I notice these symptoms until the last couple of months? If it's overtraining, then why didn't I feel anything between 2005 and the last few months?