Posted by: Claire | 2004/11/15

Tired when running

Please would you offer your opinion? My husband and I started exercising at the beginning of the year. We started by walking, had a 2 month break during the winter and then started again in August. We have progressed to running with 2 stops to walk in between. We run 4 km’s on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and 5km’s on Saturday and Sunday. We go out at 05h30. We have been extending the running and shortened the walking distance to about 100m. The trouble is over the past week I have felt exhausted. I have had to stop earlier than normal to catch my breath and each run feels like a battle. Do you think my body is tired and I am pushing myself to much? I am also stressed as my little boy has a blood disorder and he is not doing well at the moment. Could this have an effect? Or could I be lacking something? I really don’t want to give up on the running how can I improve my stamina and still enjoy my run?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Claire

Your development in the programme sounds very very good, you have done everything in the right order, though the only thing may be that you have either progressed too quickly or too rapidly. So, it could be that your 4 km run now may be a little bit too much. Alternatively, it may be that having dropped down to only 100 m walking is a little too much at this stage. These are things that I can't tell you because everyone responds so differently to exercise. Some people might have found it impossible to come down as fast as you have, others would have been able to do it twice as fast.

What I can assure you is that the emotional stresses and 'life-problems' that you face over and above doing your daily exercise are maybe more demanding than you realise. To get the most out exercise you probably need to be 100% physically, mentally and emotionally. If you aren't then exercise can frustrate you because you may feel a little tired or drained. Now, exercise is actually a vital part of dealing with these things, and many many people find exercise the biggest stress reliever. That's true, up to a point, but when the exercise becomes hard and stressful too, then it might pay to back off for just a short time - perhaps you can take the Wednesday session out, just give yourself the day's rest in the middle of the week, address other things, take care of 'life' and then hopefully Thursday will be better.

That should hopefully help - I really think that you should keep exercising, the only problem is realising where the line is where exercise goes from being helpful to being another stress, and look at the whole picture 'holistically'.

Good luck

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