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I'm a starting runner (been running for approx. just 2 years now) and I'm currently faced with an immense dip in my training performances.

Let me start my story 2 months back. Beginning in September I ran my first Half-Marathon. It was not an exceptional time (02u03m), but, I ran it without pain and feeling (too) exhausted. After the race I took 2 weeks of rest with a recuperation-run before training for my next race which was the second week of October. There I ran 14.5km , again without forcing myself, and even setting a PR for the 10k. After the race I took some time again to recuperate.

But ever since that race, nothing seems to work. Every training has become a challenge (even the recuperation & lsd-runs). My legs/feet feel extremely tired and often a slight (fatigue-)pain is felt. For example, last Saturday I trained in the woods/hills. Having rested 3 days before the training I assumed my legs would have been recovered. But after no less than 7 kilometers my legs started to beg for a pause. I pushed through but eventually gave in at KM 12. I stopped for 5 minutes before continuing for another 3 km. The tempo during the training was good (fell within the margins) but my legs felt awful.

I'm getting plenty of sleep, eat appropriately, stopped running intervals, doing less mileage, monitor my heart rate during runs,... yet somehow I'm not getting the desired feel in the legs (like in September/beginning of October).

Has anyone encountered the same problem? Is it all in my head? I'm desperate for any tips/pointers/advice.

Thank you for your time.

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First off great job on your races, a 2 hour half on your first attempt is a great achievement!

From what you say in your post you are getting plenty of rest and your mileage is low. It sounds like it is mainly mental. I would try reducing your mileage even more and taking more rest days. Perhaps try some cross training like swimming or biking. Just to caution you, the end of your long runs should feel difficult. This does mean you are growing, however you should not feel exhausted throughout the week. If you do feel it is physical then perhaps your pace is too fast, you can always slow down.

Your next course of action is to set yourself up for success. Do a number of 5-10k runs at a pace that you feel great at. You should also try to challenge yourself only 1-2 times a week with a hard workout. Trade off hills and speed work and measure your results with an app like Strava or Runkeeper. Make sure you are getting rest and / or an easy recovery run in-between.

Finally, you LSD runs at the weekend should be slow. You can do a 10:30 pace and still achieve a sub 2 hour 21k next time. The key on your long runs is to get time on your legs. If you are feeling tired, slow down and walk/run.

  • Thank you for your advice & tips. I think I learned a lot here. For instance i should definitely recude the pace on my LSD. Combining it with cycling is something that i'm already doing but perhaps I should envision it more as "recuperation" instead of "extra training". My next race is in Januari (half -marathon endurancelife in dover). With you tips in mind i think i'll appear stronger at the finish line! Again THANK YOU very much :) – User999999 Oct 29 '15 at 7:39

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