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Can taking a break really help?

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Can taking a break really help? Empty Can taking a break really help?

Post  Reina Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:34 am

I'm one of those people who typically runs every day ... and loves it! I regularly run 10-12 miles, no walk breaks and have been getting faster over the last couple of years.

Over the last 3 days ... I can barely run for 30 minutes without needing to take a walk break because my heart is racing and I'm a bit lightheaded. And I'm not running all out ... quite the opposite.

So, I'm planning on taking a few days completely off ... which I don't like to do. But is it really going to help? Has anyone else had that experience of just suddenly not being able to run anything like they have been running?

I'd appreciate any experiences, advice, sympathy (haha) ... anything!

signed,

not feeling like a runner Reina


Last edited by Reina on Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:35 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : correction)
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Post  Julie Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:58 am

Are you sick? Are you sleeping and eating enough? I would definitely take a few days off and not worry about it affecting your running but I would be concerned that something is wrong. I just ask about the eating since I know you've been losing weight for quite awhile and have no idea if that is all going well or if you're fueling your body enough. It's happened to me before (being lightheaded from low blood sugar).
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Post  Mike MacLellan Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:11 am

This happened to me almost every day after Boston (almost 4hrs in hellish heat) for about a month. Not bad, but yep, 30mins and I was TOAST. I think it was general fatigue. If a few days doesn't do the trick, a month might.
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Post  T Miller Wed Aug 29, 2012 10:46 am

Reina,

It sounds like over training to me. I think it is important to have rest days built into your schedule. The way your body improves from workout to workout is through the recovery process. If your body is never given a chance to recover then your progress will likely be stunted and you're at a higher risk for injury. Your body becomes broken down to the extent that it can't sufficiently recover in preparation for the next workout. I would probably take a step back week where I ran reduced mileage in an every other day pattern.

I've heard it said that over training is simply a matter of under eating and/or under sleeping. I think that eating, sleeping and exercise all play a part in this puzzle.

I typically try to keep an eye on my resting heart rate to monitor how my body is responding to the training that I'm putting it through. If your resting heart rate remains elevated for several days on end then you are at risk and should back off of your training a bit to allow your body a chance to catch up.

Just my two cents

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Post  fostever Wed Aug 29, 2012 11:05 am

It's like everything else, it's called burnout. Yes, taking days off helps, absolutely. I'm sure you read extensively on the subject of training to know pushing and pushing the body leads to injury, fatigue, and worse. Hopefully you run recovery type efforts on some days as well as cross training (cycling ect.) 10-12 miles per day seems excessive for a non-elite athlete. Take step back days, step back weeks, and yes, days off occasionally. Your body is definitely trying to tell you something.
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Post  Michele "1L" Keane Wed Aug 29, 2012 6:49 pm

I would agree that it is most likely over training and some burn out. If; however, after a few days off you still don't feel right, then make sure to get a checkup. Make sure you get your iron and serum ferritin (iron stores) checked as well. Having low iron stores is very common for women athletes and it will lead to fatigue and malaise.
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Post  JohnP Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:19 pm

I don't know - you regularly run 8-10 miles and now suddenly your heart is racing within 30 minutes? It seems like a sudden onset thing which is not overtraining. have you made any diet or life changes in the last week? This just seems to have happened too suddenly to be over training to me.
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Post  Reina Wed Aug 29, 2012 8:53 pm

Thanks for all the thoughts and suggestions so far ... keep 'em coming ... I appreciate them!

It is interesting that I don't feel burned out mentally... which is often what seems to get people.

And to clarify ... I don't run 10-12 miles every day! A couple of times per week ... with a trail run on the weekend. I've been doing the same overall mileage for some time now ... but I have added the trail running (or in some cases walking!) in the last couple of months - that is more strenuous in some ways.

And I know I've been sweating a lot so i wondered about dehydration and electrolytes. And yes, I do watch my weight ... but I really do think I've been eating enough ... and been trying to make sure I get enough protein.

It's just such a surprise to go from feeling good to unable to run 30 minutes ... it did/does seem sudden to me!

Thanks again!

--Reina
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Post  T Miller Thu Aug 30, 2012 8:58 am

It's starting to sound like there is something else going on here. Has there been anything else bothering you lately? Hopefully a couple recovery / rest days will help resolve the issue. Don't worry, it's not because you're losing fitness. I don't know about you but in our household we have to remind each other of that all the time. Smile
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Post  fostever Thu Aug 30, 2012 9:45 am

When was your last medical check up? I'd schedule one if you haven't had one recently. A complete blood profile can reveal a lot.
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