It’s peak week and I’m tired

I have been feeling really tired all week this week. As a result I have been going to bed much earlier than usual and getting more hours of sleep per night. Yesterday evening after work I felt too tired to drive to any trails for my 8 mile run. I also felt too tired to deal with running on the roads around our house and dodging cars. Chances are I would look right at an oncoming car, but not register it, and then I’d probably get run over (no shoulders on our roads, so I usually have to get in the grass when a car goes by).

Not the place you’d want to run when you’re too tired to react to a car

Oddly enough I didn’t feel too tired to actually complete my run. So I ran 8 miles with Sven, just like on Wednesday. Things got a little rough around 2.5 miles and I actually wanted to take a walk break. I told myself “just make it to 4 miles and you can take a short walk break.” But instead, when I got to 4 miles, I ate two Shot Bloks and powered on. I decided I needed to practice mentally and physically pushing on and continuing to run even when I’m feeling fatigued. So that’s what I did and I actually ended up feeling pretty good the final 3 miles.

I can connect the dots on why I am feeling so worn out. I am coming off of 39 miles last week (a weekly mileage PR) and going right into my first of two peak weeks. So far this week I have run 24 miles in 3 days of running. Although each run has gone pretty well, it’s still a lot for me and I’m definitely feeling it. Today is a rest day and then tomorrow is my first of two 20 mile long runs. I am a bit nervous but I’m also looking forward to reaching this milestone.

It’s normal for me to feel tired during a peak week of marathon training, right? I don’t think I’m crossing over into the realm of overtraining. I’m not fighting lead legs, I haven’t lost interest in training (although sometimes it’s a bit daunting), and I’m not having trouble sleeping. But at the same time this is all new to me and I’m not sure if I’m over doing it. I guess if I crash and burn on my 20 miler, then I’ll know. And if that happens it won’t be the end of the world. I have another one on the schedule in two weeks. That one will be my last long run before I start tapering.

Do you wear a watch when you run/walk on the treadmill?
I have started wearing my Timex stopwatch, because I can’t ever remember my time for a run and I like to record it in my running log.
If you have trained for a marathon (or any long race) how did you feel during your peak week of training?

Any tips/tricks/advice/encouragement for the 20 miler would be greatly appreciated!!

12 Comments

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  1. I’d assess you as in the realm of “totally normal” for peak weeks. This is why you can run a solid marathon without every going past a long run of 18 or 20 miles: Because all that training on your legs makes those 20 miles feel like the LAST 20 miles, rather than the FIRST 20 miles. You are doing things right. Just keep on moving forward!

    20 miler advice? I’d suggest pre-chunking in some way that works well for your psychology. Maybe plan 3 shorter loops from your house. Or plan a few miles with a friend in the middle. Or run for awhile outside, then come in to Sven for a few miles, then back outside. Or run 1/3 quiet, 1/3 with a podcast, and 1/3 with music. It doesn’t much matter HOW you break it up – but break it up. [You can always sub-chunk these chunks once you’re running them. But thinking about it as 8 miles + 7 miles + 5 miles will hopefully make it sound/feel easier from the start.]

    Then, forget about it. There is zero – ZERO – point in worrying over it now. When the time comes, you’ll do it. So for now, no reason to relax or dread it. Just accept it, and forget about it.

    1. I’m glad to hear that 🙂 I thought I was, but at the same time it’s all new. Thanks for your 20 miler advice! I incorporated the 8-7-5 🙂

  2. As Coach Cheri would say, “…suck it up buttercup!”

    You got it. I just wish I could be there to help.

    LUD.

    1. I followed Coach Cheri’s advice! 🙂 Barry crewed for me since you couldn’t be here today.

  3. I think the fatigue is 100% normal for this point in marathon training. After my first week with a 20-miler, I felt absolutely exhausted. Every run felt hard. Then I got to back off and that was just what my body needed. It’s good that you feel this way. It means you’re doing the training right. You’ll recover during the taper. Agree with Holly. Chunk the 20-miler up so it doesn’t seem so daunting. And, yes, just do it. Don’t worry, don’t fret, just keep putting one foot in front of the other!

    1. I’m glad to hear that! This week is a cut back week, so hopefully that will feel pretty good.

  4. That all sounds normal to me! I’m excited for you to get that 20 mile milestone!!! I’m trying to figure out a better running schedule. It gets dark so quickly now but not light enough in the morning for me to go. I’m thinking about heading into work early and using our gym but I’m not sure. I wish we were closer to each other – I would love to train with you!

    1. I hit that milestone this morning 🙂 I hope you’re able to get your schedule worked out. It’s so much harder when the days get shorter this time of year. I wish we lived closer and could run together, too! I’m not as scared to run in the dark when I have a buddy to run with.

  5. I agree with the others that fatigue is probably a normal part of it all! At least you are AT the peak and soon will be tapering!

    1. The taper is in sight! I have a cut back week this week, followed by one more peak week and thennnn taper.

  6. You. Can. Do. It.
    That’s my advice because it’s true. You really can (though it is significantly harder at miles 15 – 20) decide what you are going to think about and what attitude you are going to have while you run. That said… you’ll be blogging next week whether you tanked it or rocked it. Either way you are still going to be wonderful YOU. Just do your best! I think that what you’re going through isn’t overtraining it’s just MARATHON training. That’s most likely why we have to taper for over a week or two!
    You’re a rock star!

    1. Thank you, Stephanie! I was thinking about your words during those last 5 miles. I just kept taking it a mile at a time, and then a half mile at a time for those last 5.

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