Running fatigue is one of the worst feelings a runner can experience while running a marathon. To the untrained mind of a runner, the instant that fatigue sets in, the runner loses all control over their body. The only thoughts circling their heads are “OMG!! I’m soo tired. I can barely keep up my pace…can I even finish this race anymore?”
These kind of thoughts are crippling for your confidence. As soon as you believe that these thoughts are true, you have just surrendered any ability to finish your marathon.
How to Take Fatigue Out of Your Running
photo credit: refractionless
There are many ways to deal with running fatigue and now, I will share with you 7 methods that I have found that worked for me:
- Eliminate anxiety before running. When I begin a run, my goal initial goal is to run the mileage that I have been assigned based on my running schedule or a pre-determined mileage with the specific pace, heart rate, etc. But, when I finish my run, I want to feel ecstatic and be glad I ran so I can be super-energetic doing the rest of my tasks for the day.
- Keep Your Body Hydrated. There are far too many runners that only hydrate during the race; this is a HUGE mistake. Your body needs to be hydrated before, during and after your race/training sessions because it will help the constant recovery of your body. To learn more of hydartion, here are two posts on the effects of dehydration and preventing dehydration with electrolytes.
- Become Comfortable in Your Running Attire. The last thing you want is to be running a marathon and being bugged by that wierd bump in the shoe. Make sure you have on the right shoe, shirt, shorts, etc. for YOU! Everyone has their own preferences as we’re all different. Get comfortable clothing and shoes so that when you’re running, you’re putting all your efforts on finishing the race instead of trying to prevent from getting distracted by the annoying feeling in your shoe.
- Get Racing Experience Through A Tune Up Race. Running your first marathon can be a little scary but with a tune up race, it makes the marathon much more pleasant. A tune up race is a shorter race that helps “break the ice”, if you will, and allow you to get comfortable with racing. There is a huge difference with your stress levels during your training sessions and on race day. Tune up races will help you get prepared mentally.
- Becoming Aware. There are two schools of thought on this: either you prefer running being fully aware of your body and its signals while running or you completely zone everything out around you. I believe that being aware of your body and your surroundings is critical to your ability to increase endurance and prevent injuries. You might find this post interesting on meditating as you run: Body Meditation to Ease Stress.
- Rest Your Way to the Finish Line. I took resting as a joke in the beginning because of my ego. I thought, “Meh, I’ll just keep going.” Needless to say, I got screwed. I became fatigued, naseaus and felt dizzy the week after because the mileage was too much for me to handle without the rest days necessary. Prevent yourself from running everyday, especially at the beginning. You want to run as few days as you can in the beginning to help your body adapt to your mileage. Resting becomes even more critical when you are into your high mileage weeks.
- Use Running Logs to Prevent Feeling Overwhelmed. Running without the use of a running log is like running a marathon with a blind fold on. As fun as that sounds, you can be in a deep state of stress and faitgue on race day if you haven’t followed your running schedule leading up to the marathon and haven’t analyzed your running behaviour. You can use online or offline running logs. Here is a FREE one to get you started: Running Logs.
Remember, these are the methods that worked for me. Expirement with your body and your mind. Try these methods out during your running sessions and write down what worked and what didn’t. Fatigue is always going to be present.
Learn how to deal with running faituge and leverage it as motivation.