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Fitness going backwards?
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Zaphodsotherhead · 21/06/2020 13:22

I mean, my fitness taking a downturn, not 'how to get fit by only running in reverse...'

In April I ran my first half-marathon. I'm not fast, and I'm old, I wanted to run my first 13 miler before my sixtieth birthday and that's in November. After the half marathon I went back to my 'normal' running, which is 4/5 miles a day with one 7/8 mile run during a week.

I was doing all right through May and suddenly we've hit June and my legs have turned to lead, I am running 4 miles on a good day, sweating and puffing and having to stop and walk. I've been healthy, eating normally, not gained any weight... and I am perfectly used to running in all weathers; sun and wind and rain, so it's not weather based.

So why is it happening? It's making me dread going out...

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wasnotwasweregood · 23/06/2020 17:54

Could it be a pollen thing? Hayfever has been bonkers this year.

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Zaphodsotherhead · 23/06/2020 18:26

Could be - although I'm not hayfever prone these days... I have had similar 'wall hitting' times before - this isn't completely unknown to me, but I just wondered if there was some simple remedy, or that it was a well known 'running thing'. Like how one day you can feel as though you can run forever and the next day you're hard pushed to stagger to the end of the road!

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MrsJamin · 23/06/2020 19:20

Can I ask whether you may be perimenopausal or menopausal? It can really affect your ability to exercise as you used to.

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Zaphodsotherhead · 23/06/2020 19:32

I am way past menopause - I'm nearly sixty. But I only took up the running eighteen months ago, so I don't have a 'pre-meno' baseline to judge from.

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MrsJamin · 23/06/2020 19:45

Ah OK. I thought perhaps your hormones were changing which could explain the difference. How are you sleeping?

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Zaphodsotherhead · 23/06/2020 19:58

Sleep really well, nine to ten hours a night (I've aways needed a lot of sleep and my job can be quite physical).

Thank you for trying to get to the bottom of this!

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ShowOfHands · 23/06/2020 20:03

I occasionally hit a wall with running. Just feel leaden and my times suffer. So I do interval training and weights and cycling more often, run less often and then build it back up.

Post menopause, your metabolism will also be better and your fitness more stable if you do some strength work too.

Are you okay when not running? Might be worth having a blood test if it doesn't improve. A simple imbalance can have a massive impact.

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Zaphodsotherhead · 23/06/2020 20:48

Thanks, ShowOfHands. I'm pretty much okay when not running, fine at work, no undue tiredness or anything.

I think I ought to mix up my workouts a little bit and do some strength work, as I've really noticed my upper body strength decline over the last few years. Problem is that I run with my dog (killing two birds with one stone) and fitting in exercise + dog walk/run and still getting to work on time is tricky.

I might get the exercise bike out and give it a spin and perhaps start some yoga. Also wondering whether to take an entire week off running and start again, building up slowly.

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MacavityTheDentistsCat · 23/06/2020 20:57

Perhaps you might benefit from the odd rest day, Zapfod? Running every day seems quite a lot.

Working on your core muscles might also help. That's one thing that makes a big difference for me when running. If my core muscles are weak, my form goes to pot quite early on in a run and I get tired quite soon.

Best of luck in finding a solution.

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Zaphodsotherhead · 24/06/2020 09:45

Thanks, Macavity. I don't run quite every day, it varies from every other day to six days a week, but yes, I wonder if I have been overdoing it! It's very hard to find running advice for the 'new runner over 55', they either assume that you are a previous runner (I'm so not) or that you only want to run a couple of miles a week.

I'm proud of the HM that I achieved (running alone, obviously), and I have come to quite enjoy running, it also helps to control my weight. But I do have a tendency to be obsessive about things. I'm going to try dialling down the amount of runs I do for the summer and maybe pick back up again in autumn.

Strava does me no favours by showing me how far and fast others are going and then the competitive urge strikes...

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ShowOfHands · 24/06/2020 14:41

The HM is an astonishing achievement.

You sound a lot like me. I came to running as an adult and can run a bit obsessively and I always end up hitting a wall. Try adding in some strength but also make sure you do speed work when running. Shorter, faster runs are as important as the longer slower ones. Your body will quite quickly become complacent if you don't mix it up and certainly your mind and heart can end up not really in it iyswim. Good more and muscle tone will make you a much better runner too.

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