This Runner's Trials
7Nov/1026

On fatigue and exercise

Posted by runnerstrials

My post-marathon hiatus from exercise lasted a little longer than 72 hours...

I had a whole Friday evening to do whatever I wanted. I had dreams of returning to spin class, lacing up my Brooks, or hitting the yoga mat. But I still didn’t want to do anything. I ended up taking Nati for a 30 minute run/ walk. But he’s an old furball so it was heavy on the walking, light on the running.

Here I was 6 days post-marathon and I had no desire to move. My motivation and energy levels seemed to be waning with each day. I didn’t get it. I feared I was slipping into a sedentary lifestyle (always the dramatic ;) ).

Then I put on my health educator hat. I’ve written a lot of articles for work recently about how exercising lessens feelings of fatigue and boosts energy levels (source).

Maybe my exhaustion wasn’t part of recovering from the marathon. Perhaps my tiredness was due to the fact I wasn’t working out.

Like any good researcher, I decided to test my theory ;)

Yesterday, I joined Brittney on a 9 mile run. We ran at a comfortable pace so I thought the run would be easy. But at mile 7, my legs felt tired, my ankle hurt, and I got my first blister in ages. It was still highly enjoyable due to the company :)

Brittney and I then took our inflexible, tight selves to yoga. Huge fail. I could barely do anything. My arms were shaking in the first downward dog.

Too much too soon? Maybe.

After yoga, I rushed home to take a nap because I thought I'd need it if I wanted to make it through the day. But I didn’t. My workouts may have been sub-par, but they left me feeling renewed.

I'm definitely subscribing to the whole “you need to exert energy to get energy” idea :)

And this morning, I woke up eager to suit up in my winter running gear. I surprised myself further by running 4 miles at 7:50/ mi pace and managing negative splits. Wohoo!

Did you know today is World Run Day?

Then I followed my soon-to-be Ironman around in the lake in the kayak while he was swimming for an hour (my hubby’s first full Ironman is next weekend).

And I still feel more energized than I have all week :) I heart exercise.

Next time you feel too tired to exercrise, know that a sweat session may be exactly what you need to feel better. When you hit the 3:00 slump at work, don’t reach for another cup of coffee or put your head to your desk. Instead, take a 10 minute walk. You may be surprised by its effects.

Do you feel more sluggish when you don’t exercise? Do workouts amp your energy? I’ve never found a long run has never left amped my energy. But I do find them less tiring as I get in better shape.

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