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new runner hitting the wall early on...why?



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TRIXIETEXAS
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7/10/13 11:49 A

I can try getting up earlier...I used to get up at 8, so moving to 6:30 was a big change for me! On a recent business trip I had to get up at 5:15 to have enough time for running, and I did that OK. The sun is already up when I run at 6:30. Ugh. And this summer isn't nearly as hot as last summer was -- but last summer, I wasn't a runner!



ZORBS13
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7/10/13 11:33 A

@trixie can you get up earlier? by 6:30 in the summer, the sun is almost up..lately I've been on the road by 5, finish by 6 and avoid all sunlight.



TRIXIETEXAS
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7/10/13 10:26 A

This is a great thread. I've been doing C25K training since April...but I had to take almost a month off due to pneumonia and it took me a while to ramp back up after that. I am really stuck right now on the week 5 workouts. 11 minutes seems to be the max that I can run and I just can't get up to those 20-25 minute runs. The heat and humidity are wreaking havoc on my training. I get up at 6:30 AM to avoid the heat, but it's still tough. I noticed last week when there was a cold front that brought the morning temps down to the low 60s, I had much better runs.

I eat low carb and I intend to stick with that, although it probably makes my running tougher. I also have a "frog tog" cooling towel that I wear around my neck to try to keep me cooler, and I think it helps.

Any advice on getting up to the longer runs, or should I just accept that until the fall, I'm not going to make much progress?



DASHKATH
Posts: 861
6/30/13 6:38 A

Since everyone is different it is best to keep a journal and figure out what works best for you. Try running slower, eating different things and or at different times, track your hydration levels. You will really start to get a feel for what works for you and what doesn't. Keep on keeping on!



DETOX55
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6/29/13 4:30 A

Two things.

Bonking: where I'm from, a hell of a lot more interesting than hitting a wall.

Breathing: improving your technique will dramatically improve performance, in all areas of your life...



HAPPYDOES
SparkPoints: (8,887)
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6/28/13 10:30 P

Hey, Bob...
I'm aware of the word, but I am not the one who made it up, nor responsible for where another person lets his mind go! (And I can completely understand why everyone was laughing so hard! I didn't exactly phrase that the best, did I?) emoticon

Glad so many of our friends across the pond got a laugh out of this. emoticon



Edited by: HAPPYDOES at: 6/28/2013 (22:31)


BOB240
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6/28/13 6:30 P

". I started bonking day before yesterday, but it wasn't nearly as bad as today."

Just be aware that there are British users on this forum....A lot of us here in the UK fell off our chair laughing when we read this............. emoticon



HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 10:29 P

Thank you, ZORBS13.

The last comment I saw on her page was from April of this year. I'll consider contacting her if I can.



ZORBS13
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6/27/13 10:06 P

I don't know how active she is on spark, but this is a friend of mine who is an experienced runner with fibro.

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=ANNIE051
4




HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 10:03 P

Yeah, NANLEYKW, I get up about the same time and the food I eat feels like a rock in my stomach...except for the oranges. For some reason, they do really well, and I only eat one before I go.

Thank you for giving me more details about the way you eat. That helps a lot.



HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 10:00 P

M@L, I just saw your post.

Thank you. I read about bonking and that the body has the glycogen stores for far more than a 5K, which is why I was confused about the way I was feeling. It didn't make sense to me.
The way you explain it makes sense to me.

"The general recommendation for learning to run is to build up a solid base of 2-3 months walking first, and then transition to running over 8 weeks of a C25K program. (I say this not to accuse you of "doing it all wrong", but rather as an example of the slow and gradual timeframes that this adaptation to impact happens over)."

I don't take what you said as an accusation at all. Thank you so much for teaching me. I didn't realize that it is recommended to walk for 2-3 months first. Wow! This really IS going to take some time!

When I took the beginner runner's class at Run-Tex in Austin, Texas 12 years ago, we walked for about a week and then started running, if I remember right. I was working up to my first 5K and got a knee injury two days before. I walked it anyway instead of running it, and took 2nd place in the costume contest. Then we moved out of state to a rural place full of potholes and no safe place to run. Back then I had never heard of trail running, so I gave it all up. Now I'm in my 50s and starting over from scratch.

I'm just so eager to get my life back after 12 years of Fibromyalgia that I guess I'm jumping the gun.

Thanks for taking the time to come alongside.



NANLEYKW
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6/27/13 9:52 P

Running is very high impact, and it takes your body at least 6-12 months to get used to the pounding you're subjecting your joints to. :) The days off in between running days allow your body to repair itself and get stronger.

Regarding eating, I've found that if I eat anything less than about an hour before I run, it just kind of sits there in my stomach and feels lousy. And since I usually get up at 5:30am, I'm not going to get up an hour earlier just to eat. It hasn't had a negative impact on my performance yet, and my long runs are up to 7 miles. I typically have a whole wheat bagel with peanut butter for breakfast afterwards and find that sufficient to keep me feeling full and satisfied until lunchtime.



HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 9:36 P

Yes, DragonChilde, I realize that.

Thank you for the reminder though. I appreciate it.



HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 9:34 P

NANLEYKW,

"(I *just* added a fourth day per week, and I've been running a little over a year; others wait as long as two years before adding a fourth day.)"

Wow...that seems like a really long time to wait to add a fourth day!

I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for the information on the gels and also for telling me about what you do before you run in the morning. I had been reading that running on empty wasn't a good thing, but both times I ate (the banana and then the oatmeal) I felt awful during the run. I seemed to do ok if I grabbed an orange before I went out, but then again, I was only doing walking (mostly) and then, only three days per week.

Crud. Well, I guess this is part of training for running, right?: Learning to hold myself back and take care of my body.

I need to get another copy of Galloway's Book on Running. I really liked that book when I was brand new to it all 12 years ago. I gave away my copy to someone who needed it more than I did at the time. I could definitely use a refresher course! (Or maybe I could get her to send it back to me now.) emoticon






DRAGONCHILDE
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6/27/13 9:23 P

Do understand that while strength training may burn calories, the relative calorie burn is small when compared to cardio. Its benefits aren't in the direct calorie burn you get while you're doing the exercise, rather, it's about the metabolic boost you get from increased lean muscle mass which increases muscle burn around the clock.

Remember that there's more to fitness than burning calories!



HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 9:16 P

Thank you, Susan.

Oh..just one thing though...
I ramped up my running days and length of the runs because I had hit a plateau and had been there for a month. I know that strength training helps burn calories as well. I dread that because of the Fibro, but maybe if I start with really light weights or add in yoga, I can still burn calories and be good to my body. So, ok, I'll do it, I'll slow the running down, since there are other things i know now that i can add into my day to keep me moving and burning calories, hopefully without really stressing my body as much as all this running.

All of your advice has been a great help to me. emoticon

Thank you so much!



NANLEYKW
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6/27/13 9:13 P

I'll just reiterate what everyone else has said. You definitely shouldn't be running more than three times a week. (I *just* added a fourth day per week, and I've been running a little over a year; others wait as long as two years before adding a fourth day.) I also agree that you should slow down. You should be going slowly enough that you could carry on a light conversation.

As for gels, you really don't need those at a 5k distance. They're for giving you a mid-run boost when you're running longer than an hour. I usually run first thing in the morning, and I don't eat anything at all before I go out; I just drink a couple of glasses of water and hit the road.

And yes, you need to be eating more. You need to fuel your runs--not with gels, though, but something with more nutritional value. If you're not hungry, you can boost your caloric intake with some calorie-dense foods (nuts, peanut butter, etc.).

Good luck! Hope that helps!



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 13,952
6/27/13 9:11 P

Hitting the wall is possible for marathon runners, but this is not something you will encounter with a 5K. The body holds about 2000 calories in usable energy reserves, and can convert fat into usable energy only slowly. At 120-150 calories per mile of running, many marathon runners will likely run out of usable energy somewhere around 18-20 miles - this is what "hitting the wall" is - there is no longer enough fuel for the muscles - the tank is empty. So marathon runners train specifically for this, carb load before hand, and take in additional nutrition during the race. But the body easily has enough reserves to run 5K.

What you are experiencing is almost certainly the result of trying to do too much, too soon. The biggest challenge with learning to run is not so much the physical fitness (this can occur in as little as 2 weeks), but rather the time it takes for your leg muscles and tendons to adapt to the IMPACT of running. This adaptation is a very slow process, and likely the current extent of your running has exceeded the capacity of your leg muscles and tendons to deal with the impact.

The general recommendation for learning to run is to build up a solid base of 2-3 months walking first, and then transition to running over 8 weeks of a C25K program. (I say this not to accuse you of "doing it all wrong", but rather as an example of the slow and gradual timeframes that this adaptation to impact happens over).

Given you are already running, my advice would be to go back to about week 3-4 of C25K, and proceed from there.

I agree with the advice elsewhere in this thread that rookie runners (those with less than 6 months running experience under their belt) should only run 3 times per week. It is during the non-running days that your legs will recover and get stronger, although it is fine to do lower impact cardio on non-running days.

I also agree with the comments that eating less than 1200 calories is not enough to support this level of activity. You need enough fuel to supply the muscles, and enough protein in your intake to repair and strengthen the muscles and tendons.

M@L



SUSAN_FOSTER
Posts: 1,228
6/27/13 8:39 P

My advice is to slow down. Go so slow that it feels like you aren't even running.



HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 8:03 P

Thank you, AnneMargo.

The weather here was almost 80 degrees at 6:50AM this morning when I went for the run, and over 100 degrees this afternoon.

I'll take everyone's advice and back off a bit with the running and eat more.
I think I'll run every other day instead of every day and I'll make sure to eat a good breakfast, even if it is a protein powder, fresh fruit, and almond milk smoothie.

Thanks again, everyone. I very much appreciate the information and advice.

josie








ANNEMARGO
Posts: 450
6/27/13 6:00 P

Mostly I'm just going to repeat what everyone else said--you're running too frequently and too much for a beginner, and you're not eating enough. But I also wanted to ask what the weather is like where you're at? Running in hot weather is much more strenuous than in cooler weather.
As far as not having an appetite--I've found that even when I don't feel like eating after a run, I can manage a homemade smoothie. Might work for you too.

Edited by: ANNEMARGO at: 6/27/2013 (18:02)


HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 5:59 P

WadingMoose,

Thank you. I was researching "hitting the wall" online, but all I could find was articles about marathoners, so I don't know how the carb loading correlates to me since I don't run as far as they do.

Do you know anything about gels? I was thinking of getting some at the gym because I run so early in the morning...basically getting out of bed and going as soon as I get my clothes on because it is so hot outside. I think the gels get into the system more quickly and easily than the oatmeal or banana I've been eating in the morning before I go.

I think I'll do some more research on those. What do you and others do? do you run early in the morning? If so, how do you prepare for it nutritionally?





HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 5:50 P

Thank you for your reply.
No, I didn't do a C25K. It was too strenuous at first so i just took it slowly and as I got stronger and could walk up the hills without stopping, and felt comfortable with the walking part, I began to run just a few feet and then walk until I recovered (longer than I recall the C25K listing that I should recover). I just did what felt right for my body since I am so overweight.

I'm only running about .2 miles straight through now (several times during the 5K) and walking up hills (running downhill) since I live in a really hilly area of the country. As I get stronger, I find that I can run up the slightest hill. It isn't like I'm running the entire 5K, that's why I'm confused as to why I'm hitting a wall...unless I'm just in really crappy shape! emoticon Or unless it is the Fibro that is making me feel so fatigued after my 5Ks and my low calories are causing me to feel so fatigued during them.




WADINGMOOSE
Posts: 1,044
6/27/13 5:49 P

Also, I know several runners who call it bonking.



WADINGMOOSE
Posts: 1,044
6/27/13 5:48 P

Honestly? You're not eating enough for the amount you're running. You're also running too much for a new runner.

Overtraining and undernutrition. The overtraining is likely causing your lack of appetite.

Also, carbs are required for running. As you run, you begin to deplete your stores of glycogen (stored carbs for energy). You should be fueling before and after your runs with a combination of carbs and protein. If you don't fuel properly, you never rebuild those glycogen stores and you have no energy for your workouts.

Additionally, the combination of overtraining and undereating is likely causing your body to start to break down muscle as well as fat to try to keep you going (google "cardio destroys muscle" for more information on this from a wide variety of sources). Not an ideal situation.



LEC358
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6/27/13 5:27 P

I'd definitely cut back the running to no more than 4x a week. Running is a high impact exercise that your body needs to recover from.

Did you try couch25k or a similar program? The vast majority of new runners start out too fast and then hurt themselves and have to take month(s) off in order to recovery.

Nutrition and hydration are also extremely important since without those, your body has no fuel to burn in order to keep running.



HAPPYDOES
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6/27/13 5:18 P

I'm a new runner. I started walking in late April and am trying to do a 5K run each time I go out now (4-6 per week). Today I hit the wall at 2.4 miles. I felt nauseated, my legs were burning, I was weak, and had no power...extremely fatigued. I rested for about a minute or so and then continued to finish the run, only I walked the vast majority of it, only jogging a few feet...maybe 60-80 feet.

When I got home, I was so tired and resting isn't making it better. My legs and hips still feel fatigued for the second day even though I had a rest day in between. I started bonking day before yesterday, but it wasn't nearly as bad as today.

My appetite isn't do great and I have been trying to eat well...4-5 servings of freggies each day and keeping my sodium intake down to 1500mg or lower. The last three days, I haven't eaten even my minimum calories (1200), but only between 1030 and 1149. Yesterday I know my percentages of carbs and fat was low compared to my protein. Other days, I am just about right in eating the recommended percentages of each.

I think I need to eat more but I really have no appetite to speak of and I am certainly not hungry after my run. I think I just need to force myself to eat and begin to rely on what my calorie count is supposed to be rather than on whether or not I am hungry.

Am I on the right track?

BTW, I have Fibromyalgia but I don't know if that has anything to do with this.

(edit: I call it "bonking" but I know for running it is actually called "hitting the wall," so i corrected the title of my post so i don't look ignorant!) emoticon

Edited by: HAPPYDOES at: 6/27/2013 (17:34)


 
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