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Question
Posted by: Miriam | 2010/08/10

Exhaustion after Ladies'' Walk

I''m a bit embarassed to write this message, as I''m sure many marathon runners read your webpage, and will laugh at my problem. But I''d appreciate your advice,nevertheless. Yesterday, I did a 5 km walk as part of a Ladies'' Race, together with my 6-year old granddaughter (I''m 55). Up to about a year ago, I regularly walked, but over the past months, became very unfit. I was recently also diagnosed with fybromyalgia, which had me in an almost permanent exhaustive state. I enjoyed the walk yesterday very much, and thought we walked at quite a pace (finished the 5 km in about 48 minutes). However, it feels as if my body took a knock of 100 km. I''m not stiff, but I cannot recuperate. My whole body feels as if it is filled with lead. It is terrible feeling like this, and I don''t want my family to know, so it is an effort to keep up appearances. Could you please tell me what''s wrong with me and what I can do to pick myself up? Since I enjoyed the walk, I would like to get back into the habit of walking, but the way I feel now, I can''t see myself even walking around the block.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Miriam

Nothing to be embarrassed about, don't worry! It's far more common than you'd think, and given that you have fibromyalgia, it's more complex than most marathoners might appreciate!

I think this is a big part of the problem. As you no doubt know, and have experiened in the last few months, fibromyalgia does impact on how your muscles and body will adapt and recover from exercise. And 5km in 48 min, off basically no training or no preparation, is not a walk in the park, if you'll excuse the pun. I think most people who exert themselves above their current fitness level will experience some discomfort - add fibromyalgia to this and you have your symptoms.

Unfortunately, there's little you can do about the current fatigue, apart from riding it out. In the future, I think you can build a level of fitness that will allow you to walk, and maybe even run 5km without worrying about this. It's a matter of improving our fitness levels - I think we tend to underestimate the challenge of exercise when we are unfit!

So my advice is to give it a few days, eat well, rest up, don't worry about keeping up appearances - you can rightly say that you're a bit tired as a result of fibromyalgia and muscle pain. The condition does have phases, it kind of comes and goes, good and bad patches. You'll have to learn to judge and back off when it's bad.

But I hope that by the time you read this, two days later, you're starting to feel less leaden! By the end of the week, hopefully back to normal. Then, if you're still inspired to walk (which I hope you are!), I'd check out the following page on this site:
http://www.health24.com/fitness/Programmes/16-1347.asp

there's a programme in that list for walking 5km in 6 weeks, and I think that would be a good place to start. If it's too challenging and if you feel excessive fatigue after say week 1, don't panic, just rest more and give your body more time. It can be difficult, but once you improve your fitness, then you'll cope far better and get increasing gains over time!

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

1
Our users say:
Posted by: fitnessdoc | 2010/08/12

Hi Miriam

Nothing to be embarrassed about, don't worry! It's far more common than you'd think, and given that you have fibromyalgia, it's more complex than most marathoners might appreciate!

I think this is a big part of the problem. As you no doubt know, and have experiened in the last few months, fibromyalgia does impact on how your muscles and body will adapt and recover from exercise. And 5km in 48 min, off basically no training or no preparation, is not a walk in the park, if you'll excuse the pun. I think most people who exert themselves above their current fitness level will experience some discomfort - add fibromyalgia to this and you have your symptoms.

Unfortunately, there's little you can do about the current fatigue, apart from riding it out. In the future, I think you can build a level of fitness that will allow you to walk, and maybe even run 5km without worrying about this. It's a matter of improving our fitness levels - I think we tend to underestimate the challenge of exercise when we are unfit!

So my advice is to give it a few days, eat well, rest up, don't worry about keeping up appearances - you can rightly say that you're a bit tired as a result of fibromyalgia and muscle pain. The condition does have phases, it kind of comes and goes, good and bad patches. You'll have to learn to judge and back off when it's bad.

But I hope that by the time you read this, two days later, you're starting to feel less leaden! By the end of the week, hopefully back to normal. Then, if you're still inspired to walk (which I hope you are!), I'd check out the following page on this site:
http://www.health24.com/fitness/Programmes/16-1347.asp

there's a programme in that list for walking 5km in 6 weeks, and I think that would be a good place to start. If it's too challenging and if you feel excessive fatigue after say week 1, don't panic, just rest more and give your body more time. It can be difficult, but once you improve your fitness, then you'll cope far better and get increasing gains over time!

Good luck

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