You are in your bed at night…
Your spouse is happily snoring beside you…
You are trying to fall asleep for the last 2 hours…
But not able to…
You have to go for the morning run…
at 5:00 AM…It is already 2:00 AM…
Also, the same training is getting harder and harder to perform everyday…
You cannot figure out a reason…You are a total mess…
What do you do? Could you be suffering from Running Fatigue?
Running Fatigue Symptoms
Running fatigue symptoms are hard to understand. There is no special bell and whistles to suggest that you have running fatigue.
However, there are some telltale signs that you should watch out for…Like…
- It is getting extremely difficult to get out of bed in the morning due to fatigue.
- Trouble concentrating
- You are getting more ill than usual like catching a cold too often
- Increased level of cravings
- Your heart rate may be more than usual when you are resting
- You have become very moody
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What Causes Running Fatigue?
There are various reasons that can contribute to your running fatigue.
It is not always black and white…
What can cause fatigue in you, need not cause fatigue in your spouse or your friend.
Check, if you are guilty of any of these…
1. Trying to do too much too fast
Who doesn’t want to break their personal record?
We all do…But trying that every-time?
This may not be a good idea…
Also, this will give you very little time to recovery.
Invariably you will end up fatigued.
2. Not having resting period between trainings
I know you want to finish your marathon in record time.
But, running long runs every day or running twice a day is not good for your body.
Also, if you are not having any rest day in between, you will end up weak and fatigued
Though the body is like a machine, the best part is, it heals itself.
However, you have to give itself some time to repair its wear and tear.
3. Speeding too much
“Speed Thrills But Kills” – Traffic Police
This is a sane piece of advice that traffic police of all the countries share
This is the same as Running.
Are you doing speed training 8 times or more in a week?
If so, be assured that pH level and your blood lactate level will remain increased
To have an effective speed workout, you have to have a lower pH level.
So, speeding too much is a bad idea…
Are you going through some stressful life events?
Like a bad relationship, some prolonged health issues?
Is your diet in order?
How about your work-life balance?
All these things can increase your stress level which in-turn will make you more fatigued.
Types of Running Fatigue
Though the symptoms are almost the same, all fatigue not equal.
Basically there are two types of fatigue.
1. Fatigue from Over Training
Fatigue from overtraining is caused because you are not giving yourself enough time to recover between workouts.
And you are doing this on a regular basis
This will make your muscles extremely tired due to the increased lactate level and will make you fatigued all the time.
2. Adrenalin Fatigue
Adrenalin is a very important gland in your body. It controls the secretion of major hormones in your body.
Also, it secretes cortisol. Another hormone to help your body deal with stress.
However, if you are too stressed all the time, your adrenaline gland may not secrete enough amount of cortisol.
Hence, your body will not be able to effectively deal with stress and you will end up fatigued
How To Differentiate Between The Two Types?
Unfortunately, you may not be able to differentiate between the two.
The outer manifestation of both is similar to lack of sleep, moodiness, tired, lack of sleep…etc.
However, physiologically there are some differences.
If you over-train, catecholamine excretion will increase in your body.
Also, if you are overtraining, your neuromuscular patterns will change
However, for Adrenaline fatigue, there will be a decreased level of cortisol in your body.
So, your best bet is to visit a physician who specializes in sports injury
What will happen if you don’t treat them?
If you keep on overtraining, you will eventually burn out.
Also, other than the physiological effect it will affect every other part of your life.
Let’s look into individual effects one by one:
Increased heart rate:
This will put a strain on your heart and can result in a permanent cardiovascular disease
Also, an increased heart rate will make you more susceptible to Cardiac Arrest.
I know one person, who has a special heart condition because she lived with an increased heart rate for years.
Her heart started to grow in size. A condition called cardiomegaly.
Now after several years of suffering from this condition, she has a decreased level of energy, low tolerance to illness and a very restrictive life.
The amount of success you have is directly proportional to the amount of focus you can put into this.
If you are too fatigued, you will have a hard time focusing.
As a result, the output that you will get is sub-par.
Your motivation level will go down and will end up abandoning the task at hand
You are falling ill more often
Fatigue can take a toll on your immunity.
This will make you vulnerable and you will end up falling sick more often.
Due to this, you will have to be absent from the more important tasks of your life and you will gradually feel left behind.
Increased level of cravings
When you start any workout session, you will find that your level of cravings has gone down.
But if you see the reverse happening, that means your body is trying to tell you something.
It is a signal that you need to take care of a bigger underlying issue.
Also, if you give in to cravings, you will go on a binge eating spree
This will make you feel guilty afterward and further worsening your condition
Also, due to your altered eating habits, you will end up gaining weight, which will demotivate you and you will eventually give up the workout.
Off late, your spouse has become very moody.
He flies off the handle at anything and everything.
How will you feel?
Obviously not good…
You will end up distancing yourself and you will also stop involving him in your life.
This is a very bad situation to be in.
The same will happen if you do this to your spouse.
It will spoil your relationships and family.
Other serious health issues
Along with all the above, Adrenaline Fatigue brings a host of other problems with it.
If you suffer from it, for a long time, you will end up having
- Low HDL Cholesterol – This is the ‘good’ cholesterol. If you have a low level of this, it increases the chances of heart disease
- Obesity – This can bring in another host of problems which needs a separate post of its own to tackle
- Hypertension – Or high blood pressure. This is kind of obvious if you have an increased heart rate all the time
- Insulin Resistance – This is one of the worst things to have. You will become susceptible to Type 2 Diabetes. As we all know, Diabetes is a “silent killer.”
How To Treat Fatigue?
To treat these fatigue symptoms, first, you will have to develop patience.
Your chances of recovering greatly depend on how patiently you can follow the rest of the below process.
Yes! You heard it right. You have to rest completely.
No Running, No Jogging, No Walking.
Basically you will not do anything that will put stress on your body.
Right now, your body needs healing.
It cannot take more stress on it.
And if you don’t allow it to heal, you will never get back your old performance.
Worst, you will end up having serious health issues.
How long will it take for your body to recover?
There are different opinions about it.
However, be sure that you will have to wait for at least 3 weeks
Before that don’t even think of returning to tracks.
Being said that, be prepared to wait for more.
Typically, it can take somewhere between 6-8 weeks for most of us
Don’t hurry this process because you will end up in the same state from which you have started.
As with any recovery process, sleep plays an important role.
So, here also, you will have to sleep well, and at least 7-8 hours a day.
This will help in your faster recovery.
You screw this up and you will be back to square 1 aka your overtrained self
Eat a nourishing diet
Ancient medical sciences of India, Japan, China, and other countries, treat food as a way to heal your body.
They believe that most of your health problems can be treated with food.
So, eat your food with faith and it will heal your body.
A balanced diet of protein, carbohydrate and fat are what you need.
If you cannot decide on what to eat, consult your local RD (Registered Dietitian) and get a plan for you
Caveat: This doesn’t apply to junk food 😉 They are hollow calories and do no good to your body.
Stay away from them.
This is easier said than done.
I’m not in your shoes and cannot recommend a quick fix for that.
However, you need to figure out a way to deal with it.
If you can ignore some of the trivial things, then ignore those.
If you are in a habit of being perfect, learn to live a little imperfectly.
There is no size fits all answer to this.
However, you have to figure out away.
One thing that has worked and has stood the test of time is meditation.
If you can spare 15-20 min a day to meditate, this will reduce your stress a lot
Also, as an added bonus, you will have an increased level of concentration
I get it…
Caffeine and soda are extremely addictive.
Also, studies have shown that caffeine can boost your short term performance.
However, when you are going through an Adrenaline Fatigue phase, your body will want more stimulants.
However, the effectiveness of caffeine will be reduced due to fatigue.
Another thing that we overlook when we are addicted to caffeine is that it has the power to keep us awake.
However, to treat any kind of fatigue, including adrenaline fatigue, you need to have a decent amount of peaceful sleep.
So, having coffee or any kind of stimulant for that matter will interfere with your sleep pattern.
This will further delay your healing…
Over-training and Adrenaline fatigue are totally treatable conditions.
However, to get back your prime health, you will have to have a lot of patience.
Without patience, you will never be able to recover fully and will keep hitting the wall.
This is an extremely frustrating experience and will lead to more serious health issues…
So, why go into that mode…at-all…
Eat well, stress less, exercise smart and be healthy…
Do you have any interesting stories to share with us regarding fatigue?
Tell us that in the comments section below…
Blogger and a fitness enthusiast. She loves running and Yoga and everything in between. She started running to manage her weight and to eat to her heart’s content. A true foodie at heart she shares whatever knowledge she has gained throughout the years about weight management and fitness.
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