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runners why am i so rubbish?

(19 Posts)
chibi Sun 03-Jul-11 12:10:40

I can only seem to run 5 min or so without having to stop

Last year i trained using c25k, was able to run it nonstop in 35 minutes

I stopped running over the winter but took it up again in april

I am seeing no imrovement!

I go 2x a week outside and try to do 5k very stop start

I go on a treadmill once a week for short bursts with weight training/crosstrainer/rowing machine intervals

I shred 6 days a week

On paper i sound like i should be fit, where am i going wrong?

I am also gaining weight- since april i am a half stone heaviet, wtf! I am not eating more, no snacks, no takeaways....

Is it cos i am an old fecker (36)?


chibi Sun 03-Jul-11 12:44:07


EmmaBemma Sun 03-Jul-11 12:48:25

Less of the old! It definitely isn't your age.

Your schedule sounds very packed, especially with all that shredding. I wonder if maybe you're doing a bit too much? Maybe you could cut out half the shredding sessions and concentrate more on running outside if that's your priority. I would not think in terms of running 5k at a time (albeit stop/start) and focus on building the length of time running non-stop, even if that means very short sessions to start with.

Just because you can't run for long, doesn't mean you're not fit. When I started running I was surprised by how long it took me to build up some endurance. I was reasonably fit, I already cycled quite a bit - about 30 miles a week in two sessions, and did my Nell McAndrew DVDs (which are quite cardio-heavy) 3 times a week. But I still couldn't run for very long at first; it was a different type of demand on my body I guess.

catinthehat2 Sun 03-Jul-11 12:59:59

go to your GP
say exactly what is in your OP incl weight gain, previously running 25k, now failing to run 5 mins in a row
have your bloods checked
if you are anaemic or have thyroid issues, you can have it ruled in or out quickly

catinthehat2 Sun 03-Jul-11 13:02:58

sorry, not trying to worry you, its just you sound like a fit person who is now bizarrely crap after a very short time. Hence if there is something NOK, you can get it dealt with, if your system is fine then try another approach. I don't think a doc would see you as a moaning hypochondriac bore wrt yr OP

EmmaBemma Sun 03-Jul-11 13:20:32

catinthehat - I think the OP means C25K - as in, Couch to 5K, which is a specific running program.

chibi Sun 03-Jul-11 17:10:02

No no couch to five k! 25k would kill me!

Should i still see the gp? I feel guilty when nothing is really wrong, i always feel like unless a limb is hanging by a thread i am wasting their time

EmmaBemma Sun 03-Jul-11 18:03:25

It wouldn't do any harm, but to be honest if you're managing 6 shreds, 2 x 5km stop/start runs, 1 x treadmill/cross train/rowing/weight session a week, I doubt there's much wrong with your energy levels. The weight gain could indicate hypothyroidism I guess if you are absolutely sure your eating habits haven't changed but you would likely have other symptoms too... I dunno, it's up to you and like catinthehat says at least you'd rule stuff out.

catinthehat2 Sun 03-Jul-11 18:26:30


still think it's odd you can only do 5 mins having tried since April, esp as you were doing 35 on the trot

you know what, you know yourself best, you are suspicious of yourself enough to post, maybe have a good hard look at yourself and see if it is something & nothing, but be prepared to see the quack?

chibi Sun 03-Jul-11 19:36:10

I think i will make an appointment

I just don't know what i am doing wrong sad

I don't see how i can eat less - 3 meals, each could fit on a sideplate, and i don't have any more time to exercise! I can't devote hours to it nightly.

I really feel at a loss, what do other people do? I was in london today, so many slim lovely looking women, i felt so dumpy. sad

mumblechum1 Sun 03-Jul-11 19:40:02

I've recently started at the gym after being totally allergic to exercise and disappointed that I'm not losing weight. The trainer lady said that I'm not eating enough, ad that rather than 3 meals a day should be eating 5 or 6 very small meals, every 3 hours.

Worth a try?

TheRedQueen Sun 03-Jul-11 19:55:38

On the running front, I would hesitate a guess that you need to go back to the start and do C25k again, making sure that you run 3 times a week and not 2 in order to see some progress. I ran a marathon in well under four hours last October, but was then injured for the winter and discovered that I pretty much had to start from scratch again last month. Sure, my fitness is building up quicker than the first time round, but only now that I have accepted that I have to start slowly.

The other thing that strikes me is that you seem to be doing a lot of sessions per week. Are you possibly doing low-quality sessions due to tiredness? Do you feel tired? Does you body actually need some rest?

On the weight gain front, do your clothes indicate that you have gained weight? Could it perhaps be that you have put weight on by gaining muscle not fat?

chibi Sun 03-Jul-11 20:00:01

Is the putting on muscle not something that fatties tell themselves when they are kidding themselves? I always thought that was a myth.

chibi Sun 03-Jul-11 20:02:51

I am often tired by the end of thhtr day, but i also work 3 days a week and have 2 children under 4, so par for the course i guess. I don't want to be a size 12 forever!

cestlavie Mon 04-Jul-11 14:30:36

Hi there, few thoughts that may or may not help.

Firstly, sounds like you're doing 9 sessions of exercise a week which is just loads. They might not be much in themselves but that frequency doesn't give your body enough time to recover between each session which means that each session is probably quite low quality (relatively speaking). Doing that week after week after week will just make you knackered and really limit any performance improvements. 3 - 4 sessions per week is certainly enough provided they're good quality sessions - you can train for marathons and half Ironman triathlons on 4 - 5 sessions per week!

Secondly, on the running front, taking time off definitely drags back performance. When I had a 3 - 4 weeks off last year, I slipped some way back and had to rebuild. It's really annoying (I absolutely hate having to go back!) but it's something you need to do - trying to push yourself harder than what you can sensibly achieve means you risk injuring yourself and, to be honest, got getting the best out of each session. Unfortunately you just need to go back to a sensible level and rebuild.

Also on the running front, maybe try not to focus so much on distance but rather structure. Distance is a great goal but there's other running goals which affect fitness (and implicitly how far you end up being able to run), e.g. speed over shorter distances. I don't know C25K but it sounds like a pretty sensible and popular programming. I guess the key thing is to have some structure around it rather than just aiming for 5K.

I don't know much about the eating bit but I do know you do need enough of the right sort of calories (e.g. carbohydrates) to train efficiently and it may be worth taking vitamin supplements depending on how hard you train - I have Vitamin C (to keep up immune system) and iron (to keep up haemoglobin levels). It's pretty hard to train well when your body is short of fuel.

Again, don't know much about weight either but I guess there are many other relevant metrics other than just weight (ranging from the generic like body fat and measurements to the specific like VO2 max) which might be better indicators of fitness and body shape. Certainly, weight in itself isn't the be all and end all.

Finally, if all of this really isn't helping after a few weeks (or you feel worried anyway) then why not pop along and see your GP. Personally, given your training diary plus work and kids I'm not surprised you're feeling pretty tired by the end of the day! But it may be that you might, for example, be low on iron.

Hope this helps.

TheRedQueen Mon 04-Jul-11 20:49:41

No, I don't think it's a myth. While a kilo of fat weighs the same as a kilo of muscle, an inch of muscle weighs more than an inch of fat!

(Plus, when I did the marathon, I weighed pretty much the same as I did when I started running 18 months earlier but in comparison I was much thinner (a small size 8 compared to a size 10 to 12 earlier).

I'm amazed at how much you are managing to fit in with two small kids though. I just have the one and there is no way I could manage the amount you do.

mad4mainecoons Tue 12-Jul-11 13:20:39

if you do go to your gp maybe ask them to check your iron levels?

if you dont eat much you may not be taking in enough iron and if you do a lot of exercise you lose a lot too. and an iron deficiency can make you feel pretty wiped out and have a serious effect on your ability to run.

i suffer from this and i really notice if i forget to take my iron supplment for a few days, you could just pop down to your local health food shop and give a supplement a try if you dont want to go to the doctor.

good luck with it

tandemtoosmall Tue 12-Jul-11 14:22:01

Unfortunately there is no hidden mystery - weight gain can only happen when calories consumed > calories burnt (discounting fluid retention for other rare medical reasons unlikely in your 30s) Exercise speeds up how much you burn, even at rest, but age slows it down (40y-o need a good deal less than 20 y-o)
Beware of what's in supposedly 'healthy' drinks like smoothies and pure fruit juice - buckets of sugars. Also some fruit is fairly high calorie (eg bananas).
With increased exercise never forget you need extra sleep - V important!
Healthy varied diets should have loads of vitamins/iron etc if you're aiming at 5/day fruit and veg, different meats and fish.

Sleepwhenidie Mon 18-Jul-11 22:20:58

Tandem, you are right in all you say, particularly the fat/muscle comparison, muscle is heavier but also denser than fat so you may weigh more with greater muscle % but could easily be smaller. Having said that, I doubt very much that OP has gained half a stone of muscle in less than 3 months, there may be some slight increase in muscle but that would take serious amounts of weight training and huge protein intake, practically impossible I would say.

Also, I just wanted to say, age itself doesn't slow your metabolism down, the decrease in muscle tissue that comes with age, if you don't train in order to counteract it, ie resistance/weight training, does. Same reason why, as you say, exercise speeds it up even while you are at rest and why it is so important to do some regular resistance training alongside cardio (which OP sounds like she is).

OP I agree your regime sounds like maybe too much. I would also go back to C25K as you are probably running too fast during the 5mins and thinking you should be able to run like you did before-which you will, after you gradually build back up. give yourself a chance, don't expect too much too soon and try not to feel too frustrated about your running performance. How about alternating a run day with a shred or gym day and take a day or two off a week? finally, snacks are not all bad! You shouldn't be feeling hungry a lot, keep the healthy stuff handy and you should keep ravenous pangs at bay. Better to do that than feel starving and overeat at mealtimes because you've got so bloomin hungry by then. If that is happening it may explain your weight gain....

Good luck!

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