5 Tips to Avoid Running Fatigue

By: Rejean Chiasson, Head Coach and Co-founder, Pace and Mind

We’ve all been there.

You’re halfway through your training program, you feel demotivated to the point that when the alarm goes off for your Sunday long run, you hit the ‘snooze’ button. You may feel exhausted, irritable and wonder why the heck you decided to sign-up for the program in first place. The thought of pounding out another mile makes you feel like you would rather watch paint dry. Believe it or not, this is a sign your training is progressing, but it also could be a sign of ‘runner fatigue.’

Here are 5 helpful tips to get over running fatigue and stop making excuses:

1. Positive Visualization

First of all, congratulate yourself on making it this far through your training program. You have likely run further then most folks run in their lives, so put things into perspective. Remember the reasons why you started the program and refocus positively on those reasons aligned to your weekly training goals. It’s important to constantly celebrate the small wins. This means celebrating your daily and weekly training runs. It’s like putting money in the bank: eventually, it adds-up with interest. If you are still having trouble, try ‘living in the mile.’ Meaning, each mile you run, stay focused and positive, celebrating each split. Some runners will pick an object or person ahead of them and focus on achieving the distance in between. Eventually those miles add up to a run, then to a week, then a month and lastly, your goal race.

2. Talk to your Coach

If you are fortunate to have a good Coach with a customized coaching plan, they will know you as a runner and person and can help recommend changes to your routine. It might be your body adjusting to the increasing volume, intensity or not enough recovery on your recovery runs and rest days. If you don’t have one, consider consulting one of your fellow runners for recommendations. A good coach will review your plan, ask you some tough questions and adjust to your status.

3. Sleep

Ok, easier said then done with our schedules and the chaos of daily life. But, sleep can dramatically affect your mood, energy and even the way you metabolize. It is critical to your recovery. Poor sleep can actually be a sign of overtraining. You aren’t alone, a lot of us are sleep deprived of sleep an over 60% of us (according to Competitor) will fall upon a period in our training where we feel overtrained, of which sleep is a big contributor. You should be aiming for 8 hours per night, but you will hear everything from 7 – 10 hours. Sleep is critical as we repair our bodies when we sleep. Naps are also a great way to renew your energy. A rule of thumb, take the amount of miles your run per week and add that in minutes to your normal sleep routine. Make sure you plan your meals earlier in the evening, no coffee after mid-day. If you have the resources, you can invest in wearable wristband devices like FitBit and Jawbone that will actually track your performance and sleep patterns. You may also want to work in meditation to your routine before going to sleep to help clear your mind, you’re your nerves and Make good sleep a priority and you will be a better runner and probably less moody.

4. Diet & Nutrition

I love beer. Let me say that again: I love beer. However, I know the long-term effects of not only beer drinking but diet and nutrition can have a major impact on a runner’s progress. What we put in our bodies is almost as important as when we put it in. A good diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, proteins and carbs with as less preservatives as possible, and hydration pre, during and post run is good. Overall, you should be planning your diet around your training program. Meaning, find out what your balance of protein and carbs should be on rest, moderate-intensity and high-intensity days. You can get this directly from your Coach or I find this food guide and recipes from the BBC a good resource. Or, see your local nutritionist or RD (registered dietitian) for expert advice.

5. Cross Train

I’m a big believer in changing things up through cross training. Not only is a great way to prevent injury, but is also a great way to try new things. This is why I provide all Pace & Mind runners a cross-training plan as part of their coaching program. Although I’m a big believer in weights, core work and stretching, I also encourage runners to x-train in other sports. Some of our runners are trail runners, hockey players, cyclists and triathletes for instance. Running is so repetitive, that any sport which can get you moving and ‘change things up’ is important.

Obviously, there are a lot more tips. But following these simple ones will help you greatly get over fatigue, stop making excuses and most importantly, run.


– Rejean

About Pace & Mind

Based in Toronto and Montreal, Pace and Mind is a premium coaching service for runners who run for their life; physically and mentally progressing to achieve goals on and off the road.

We offer highly custom-training programs based on: Individuality, Progression, Recovery, Motivation, Engagement and Community. Unlike traditional programs and clinics, Pace and Mind coaching programs are built directly by Coach Rejean Chiasson, a Canadian Marathon Champion and 4x half-marathon Canadian medalist. They are powered by TrainingPeaks software to ensure data accuracy and a powerful listening tool for the coach. Lastly, we integrate the runner into engagement and community runs plus socials to create the best running experience possible.

You have one life to live. Run for your life.

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eMail: info@paceandmind.com

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