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Runners, are you Tired? Perhaps it’s Time to Evaluate Your Program

Posted Mar 06 2009 2:14pm

Does this look like you before your first cup of coffee?

Are you feeling sluggish each time you attempt to workout (or do anything, for that matter?)

If so, and you feel as though you are getting enough sleep, it may be time to evaluate your exercise program.

Sometimes, even with the best intentions, we workout too much, don’t eat well enough to support our programs, don’t drink enough water to replenish our fluids, or do too much without taking rest days.

If you are feeling sluggish, these are a few things you should consider:

  • Your mileage. How far are you going each day and have you recently increased a lot? Remember to avoid injury most experts suggest increasing only 10% at a time each week. Those of us who run further oftentimes increase more, but I’d suggest beginners follow this recommendation.
  • Break days. Are you taking rest days to give your body time enough to recover between hard workouts? When you run you work your muscles. You need to give them some rest in order to repair. If you go from running zero days to running seven days, not only are you going to get tired from the sudden increase but you are setting yourself up for injury.
  • Dehydration. Are you taking in enough fluids to support your level of workout? Even those of you running 3 miles at a stretch need to be drinking before and after running.  Experts recommend drinking about 5-10 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes of a run. Don’t drink until you hear sloshing in your belly; that’s too much! But don’t go without drinking at all; too little! You need to be hydrated but not overly or under so.
  • Sports drinks aren’t needed unless you are running distances. If you are going over 60 - 75 minutes, substitute some water with a sports drink to replace electrolytes. At this point, water alone isn’t enough.
  • Check that urine! If it is dark, drink. You’re good when it is clear or light yellow, though caffeine can trick you by lightening the shade some.
  • Got some cramps? Drink up! Muscle cramps often mean your body needs more liquid.
  • Are you eating enough calories to support your current running distances? You should not be cutting back a lot on calories and increasing a lot in miles. Your body needs the foods for fuel.  That’s how it goes! Just like a car needs gas, make sure you have adequate calorie consumption for your workout routine.
  • Keep a calorie diary if needed. Write down all you eat and all you burn. What’s your total caloric intake? Don’t go below 1200; in fact, you should be eating more than this if you are active.
  • Are you sleeping enough. Really sleeping enough? We say we are, but we get 6 hours for 20 days at a time. If you don’t have a sleep in day each week, add one.

It’s important to remain healthy that we follow guidelines when we are exercising, whether we do so three days a week or seven. It’s vitally important when we begin to feel sluggish that we look at our diet and routine to make sure we are getting everything we need.

We exercise to be healthy. Don’t jeapordize this be making silly decisions!

Today’s workout:

Core and arms. I have some work to do, so off to do it!

Don’t forget about our giveaway! Check yesterday’s post, we are giving away a book about core exercises to keep that core in shape and help strengthen the back. Book will be given away at the end of the month, so leave a comment on that post to enter!

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