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Be Ready for Fatigue – A Blog by MM Trainer Dan Van Veen

Well, spring is finally here…sorta. Although it’s supposed to be an amazing 70-some degrees here in Southwest Missouri tomorrow, forecasters are already saying, “Uhhhh, not so quick…it’ll be coolin’ down right after that….” Not really sure how MUCH cooler we’re talking about, but it’s so awesome to see temperatures that snow (ice, hail, sleet, etc.) can’t survive in!

But I want to warn you all about something.

After a long and bitterly cold winter, there’s something that often strikes runners, leaving them depressed and feeling wiped out. The weather has finally taken that significant turn for the better, you jump outside in the sunshine and fresh air and you head out for a joyous, celebratory run and…you bomb. You’re a half-mile out (more or less) and you’re like, “What’s going on?!? I can barely move!!” A planned 5-mile jaunt that you’ve done easily throughout the winter, is pared down to a painful 3-mile run-walk. Your breathing is ragged. Your legs feel like lead. You may even feel a little dizzy. It just ain’t fun at all!

What up?

It’s a combination of things. First off, I believe it takes a person’s body at least two weeks to fully adjust to warmer temperatures. Around here, at least, rarely do the temperatures SLOWLY climb up a few degrees a day, instead, they jump all over the place. Last week we had highs in the upper 30s (which probably makes some of you jealous : ). This week, upper 50s, 60s and 70s. Listen, a 20- or 30- or 40-degree jump in temperature is GOING to impact your run until your body adjusts. In addition, what happens when spring hits? Can you say “allergies”? Even if you don’t have major allergies (and you know how much fun THAT is to try and run with), many of us DO have minor allergies that we aren’t even aware of – we sniff a little more or cough just a little more…we don’t think anything of it, but it’s likely due to a reaction to some pollen in the air.

The point being, when that “dead week” hits you this spring, when you’re in the middle of training for something and you just have an AWFUL run, chances are it’s one (heat adjustment) or the other (allergy related) or the combination of the two that’s making you drag. BUT recognize it for what it is – something that will pass as your body adjusts (and you start taking your allergy meds : ).

So even if you have a week of HORRIFIC, HORRIBLE, HORRENDOUS, HORRENDIFICAL (LOL! : ) runs, don’t give up – just get “through” the week, back off the distance and/or pace, and know that next week (if not later this week), things will start adjusting and your runs will start feeling much better/easier. : )

Well, have an awesome run today – and don’t forget the sweat-proof sunscreen! : )

Have an awesome run today!

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