When Fatigue Catches Up

I knew this day would come. Also, no surprises here, knew it would come as fast as it had. I’ve been pushing myself too hard recently, too often crossing the fine line between training hard and overtraining. Foolishly thinking that my body could handle the additional miles and harder sessions, I served it more and more. And here I am—repulsed by the idea to go for a run.

Blind to the Limits

After the first sleepless night, I thought it was just an isolated occurrence. So I pushed on, ignoring the obvious sign of my body protesting against the intensity of my training. Then there was another night, and then, luckily, I knew.

When I get caught up in all that running, nailing hard sessions and greedily gulping down the effortlessly fast easy runs, my mind enters a zone of running bliss. In short, it becomes blind to the limits that my amateur body has. Instead of giving myself plenty of time to recover after particularly hard runs, I go out there and run some more, as if there was a running fairy watching over me and ensuring I recover with the speed of light.

Then, when all that fatigue comes crashing at me and I realize there’s no such thing as a running fairy, I take a look back at my recent running and freeze.

  • Thursday: 6 miles in the morning, 3 miles in the afternoon with a core & upper session
  • Friday: A PB in a 5K (no taper prior)
  • Saturday: 5 miles easy with drills and plyos
  • Sunday: Over 14 miles with hard three miles tacked to the end

Then on Monday, instead of just staying put and resting, I went out for an easy three-miler, topped it with a plank session. On Tuesday, gliding on some odd energy boost, I did some hills. And then I died.

In less than a week of running, I committed three blatant mistakes.

  1. After adding a double (another run in a single day) on Thursday, I shouldn’t have eliminated any other stressor in that week. A PB in a 5K is sure as hell enough of a stressor.
  2. After running a hard 5K, I shouldn’t have pushed it on Saturday (i.e., don’t go so hard on leg exercises).
  3. A long run of that volume and intensity on Sunday shouldn’t have been run just two days after scoring a PB in a 5K.

Yes, I know: stupid is what stupid does.

What to Do Now?

I need to cut down on mileage and/or intensity—that is obvious. But my training plan has only Mondays available for a rest day. After much consideration, I’ve decided to try to risk it until then and continue with my plan as usual, except for doing a double on Thursday ( wouldn’t survive that for sure!). I’m also trying to get in as much sleep as possible, which sometimes calls for some Ambien help. Hopefully, it’s enough to get me through until Monday.

Who would think I would ever be looking forward to that day of the week?


Personal bests: 5K - 20:48 10K - 43:48

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