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The Fatigue Chronicles



Ramping up to marathon training tends to make one tired. I know, it's kind of obvious. But, dang, I re-learn it every time.

In the two weeks since my 10K race, I've been stepping up. My new schedule is two days on, one day off; Up from running every other day. I plan to stick with that for the rest of marathon training. I laid out my next eight week schedule to get me to the taper, and it looks doable, but there will be fatigue.

The week of 2/4:

- Monday I rested, since it was the day after my 10K.

- Tuesday was 9 miles and boy was I feeling that race! I was having so much trouble breathing, I had to stop and walk up a hill in mile 3. The whole way I was just dragging, but I got it done.

- Wednesday was track day. I figured to self-moderate, and with no zip in my legs it was easy. The workout was reasonable - 1200, 1600 and 2000 meters at 5K pace; but I slowed it down to 10K pace of about 7 minutes. Total of 7 miles. 

- Thursday rest day, but I went to the gym and did my usual circuit training with 12 stations of upper, lower and core exercises.

- Friday was an easy six. STILL tired and sluggish. which was too bad because...

- Saturday was long run day. I joined the club for a hilly run in PV. Almost no one showed up to run in the cold rain, but I was rewarded when the rain stopped in the first 5 minutes and it turned out nice. I extended the club run on my own to get to 15, and felt pretty decent! I maintained a solid pace all the way, although the fatigue was definitely mounting the last two miles. By the end I was spent.

- Sunday I rested and was glad for a 37-mile week. But I've gotten used to being constantly sore. Heels are starting to hurt in the morning (uh-oh!) Ankles, glutes, back, and of course the knee. The knee just continues to be a pain, but not so bad that it affects my runs. I just groan a lot the rest of the day. Getting out of chairs is hard, let alone getting up from the floor. I feel like an old man a lot. Except on the good runs!

Week of 2/11:

- Mondays the club does "Monday Night Madness" which involves a long warm up and then a 3.5 mile tempo. Starts are staggered so the fast people chase down the slower ones. This day I just wanted to get in the miles, at a decent pace without pushing too hard. I got sucked into a warmup at close to 8 minutes, and then ran the 3.5 at about 8, with some sections as low as 7:30. Then I still felt good so I maintained it below 8 on the 2.5 mile run home which is normally a cool down. So it ended up being 8.5 miles with the last 7.5 about 8:00, or MGP. Felt surprisingly good despite having just run that hard 15 on Saturday. I guess the training is working...

- Tuesday I joined another group for 6.3 miles and again surprisingly felt OK, although I wasn't working too hard.

- Wednesday was rest and gym. Then Thursday I did my nine mile route. It was Very windy along the beach and the first three miles were brutal and I felt no zip in my legs. But I kept plugging and survived the rest of the way. Sometimes it feels like you'll never make it the whole way, but you just go one mile at a time, and somehow it gets done.

-Friday was an easy six, but man, my legs were tired. Seemed like I couldn't get enough oxygen, just running at 9 minute pace. I had to stop for a breather in mile two. Felt awful. Dragged my ass the whole way. The thought of doing 16 in two days sounded crazy, let alone 26. I started to wonder about this whole marathon thing. But the wife said "You always say that, then you go out and have a good run and come back all excited for the next race." She's smart, this one.

After resting Saturday I went out for 16 on Sunday. Dang. She was right. Felt better from the get-go. Clipped along at a decent pace, despite strong winds. Actually got lucky with the wind more behind me than blowing at me. Averaged 8:23 with a bunch of miles close to 8:00. Connected with a runner for three miles and chatted (and later connected with him on Strava). Tired at the end but not incredibly so. So I guess this training thing does work. Finished a 46 mile week. Knee is hanging in there. Confidence building. Six hard weeks to go...

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It's really cool to see fitness develop over the course of a cycle, pretty amazing how quickly sometimes. Also, I'm a big fan of counting down to the taper instead of the race.... may have started doing that myself in the past week or two. 

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Keep plugging along! Hope the knee continues to hold up. 

Ever thought about getting a good massage to help that guy out? My MT did an hour long session just on my legs and they feel fresh as daisies now. 

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