Feeling tired, should I reduce my runs?

by Suzanne
(London )

Hi Nicole
I started running in July 20 with a couch to 5K program after recovering from bowel cancer, I loved it and decided to aim for 10K and then a marathon in Oct 2020. As my mileage approached 10 K I was finding it tiring so In the new year I bought a chest heart monitor and started MAF training. I really enjoy it, and jog/shuffle about 6/7 hours (including 15 minutes walking warm up and cool down) a week over 5 days. I am very slow but the amount of walking I have to do has decreased. I started to see some improvement on my 2nd MAF test but my 3rd test saw me getting slower again, I am also tired after most of my runs over the past few weeks. I can’t decide whether to reduce each run by about 15 minutes until I start improving again, or just carry on for one more month and do one more MAF test before I decide. Do you have any suggestions please?

Nicole's reply
Hi Suzanne, thanks for the question.

I'm sorry to hear that you have suffered from bowel cancer but great to hear that you are enjoying running :).

My first thought on reading your question is, are you overdoing it? You started running in July 2020 but then were talking about a marathon in October 2020. That is pretty ambitious. The fact that your MAF test results are getting slower and you are feeling tired after most of your runs is a bit of a red flag. Contrary to what people think, you can still overdo it with MAF training.

Here are my thoughts:
* Did you calculate your MAF heart rate correctly, taking into account that you are recovering from cancer? Calculate MAF heart rate.
* If your MAF tests are getting slower then there is probably something that is holding you back. it could be physical or emotional. Think about your sleep, diet, stress, health.
* Are you getting enough rest between runs? I don't know how old you are but as we get older, our body definitely needs more time to recuperate compared to younger people. Training = Workout + Rest.

I would suggest that you cut back your time running and run no more than 3-4 times a week for a couple of weeks. See how you feel after that and if you feel good, then add back a bit of time, but very gradually. Listen to your body and forget about races for the moment. I hope that helps!

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