Feeling exhausted, slow, sluggish when running -- why?

  1. Feeling exhausted, slow, sluggish when running -- why?

    I'm 25 years old and have been running since late 2004/early 2005. I would say that my average pace is 8 min./mile. I initially began by running about 5 miles/day, but for the last year and a half, I've been running a little over 7.

    However, for the last ~1.5 months, I have felt exhausted, sluggish, and just all-around "slow" when running practically any route for the usual distances I'm used to. In the past, I might've felt like that for the first 15-20 minutes of a run, but I would always "get in the mode" and feel great after that point. However, I have lately been feeling like that not only at the beginning of my runs, but throughout their duration, from the moment I hit the pavement to the second I'm finished.

    Also, as I mentioned above, I'm usually able to complete my runs without having to take any breaks, but ever since "it" started, I haven't been able to finish a run without taking 3 or 4 breaks. I will just feel totally exhausted and feel like I have no choice but to take breaks. Sometimes, I will sense a feeling of nausea that seems to build up and peak until I take a break. Also, sometimes, my heart rate measured right after stopping for a break will feel very fast (as if the running routes that I've been doing for over 7 years now are somehow forcing my heart to work much harder).

    Does anyone know what could be going on? Does it sound like overtraining, or could be some kind of vitamin/mineral deficiency? I have been taking 56 mg. of iron per day for the last few days but haven't noticed any changes. I'm getting really tired of feeling like crap and having my runs take significantly longer to complete because I'm being forced to take these breaks.

    Does anyone know what is going on?

    TL;DR version: I have been running since 2005 (started out doing 5 miles/day but have been doing 7/day for 1.5 years), am conditioned to run for over an hour and never had a problem finishing my runs, now I feel exhausted and slow and have to take breaks after 30-40 mins. worth of running. Trying to figure out what is going on.

  2. Have you changed you diet at all ie: less carbs?
    Have you added more or some new supplement?
    Have you been dreading the runs in general?
    Have you had your blood tested/med check ups recently?
    Are you on any/new meds?
    Is there anything going on outside the gym that is a new tough stress?
    Were you sick this year with any flu or upper respiratory ailment?

  3. What he said.

    Also you may just need some time off or at least a deload week. Or for as long as you have been going a deload month.

    If you are going to take more than a week off of running i would do other workouts. Try doing a few hundred kb swings, a series of turkish get ups, sled work. Something with more intensity and not running. Amd only do it a few times a week.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.

  4. Thanks for the replies. PaulBlack, nothing has changed in any of those areas you've mentioned and I haven't had an illness worse than a cold (I usually get at least a few every winter). I forgot to mention that I also do weight-training at the gym for all the major muscle groups.

  5. I know about 10 years ago I had bronchitis and felt fine. As soon as I would exert myself past a given point, myu energy just dropped off the face of the earth. Was just wondering!?

    Hope it is just a need for an ease up week or 2
    All the best in training

  6. Unexplained fatigue can be frustrating.
    Perhaps a stupid question, but have you gained weight recently? Even a couple of pounds could account for added difficulty when running?
    You also might be on the right track w/ the Iron. Get your blood tested--a few years back I discovered that I was iron-deficient anemic (or near-anemic technically) despite eating meat voraciously. Supplementing iron has made all of the difference for me.

  7. My thoughts nutrition wise might be anemia or a b-vitamin deficiency. If you have cut back eating red meat or dark leafy greens this could be the case.

    My sneaking suspicion might be that it is a form of overtraining (or as mentioned by paul) perhaps an illness.

    Are you under any new pyschological stress? Work/school, family, finances, etc. Emotional stress will take a much higher toll on your ability to recover and will exhaust your adrenal axis much faster than physiological stress. Unfortunately, I know this all too well first hand....

    Jason Cholewa, Ph.D., CSCS

  8. Any other symptoms? Is your mind a little 'foggier' than usual? Joint pain? headaches or stiff neck?

    I know lyme disease can really sap a person's energy.


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