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  1. #1
    rochelledb's Avatar
    rochelledb is offline Junior Member
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    Feeling tired while running

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    I'm only on day five of this diet and have been feeling kinda sluggish when I'm out running. I'm assuming this is normal since I'm not taking in a bunch of grains and carbs like I previously have been. Will this feeling eventually go away? I have so much energy and feel pretty good during the rest of my day, but while I'm running, I just feel more fatigue than before I went paleo. I don't really eat much before I go out for a run either, and I typically go right away when I get up in the morning....should I eat beforehand? If so, what would be best to have? Any thoughts/suggestions would be wonderful!! Thanks!


  2. #2
    tim_1522's Avatar
    tim_1522 is offline Senior Member
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    Have you read the free eBook Primal Blueprint Fitness?

    Primal doesn't advocate a ton of running at the 80-90% MHR level which is where most runners are at. That's where I was. Instead, try to do the bulk of your activity in the 55-75% MHR range and then do strength/resistance training 2x/week (this is referred to as "Lift Heavy Things" or LHT around here) and then do a series of all out Sprints 1x/week. Go at MAX effort for 30 seconds or so, then rest until your breathing returns to normal, repeat 6-8 times.

    If you are still trying to do a ton of running at that 80-90% level and your carb intake has lowered because by cutting grains and sugars they are naturally going to lower, then you either need to:

    1) Stop running and do more walks/hikes/low level stuff. Why are you running? Is it something you enjoy? Are you doing it because you think that's what you have to do to "be healthy"? If you don't like it, stop! And then do things as described in PBF.

    2) If you (like me) are running because it's something you enjoy, then SLOW DOWN. I went from running every run as hard as I could to doing almost all of my runs at a slow enough pace that I'm right at the top edge of the 55-75% MHR range. It took a little getting used to, but now my runs are much more relaxing, stress relieving and enjoyable than before -- I finish more refreshed than dead. I also do fewer of my old style long-distance runs and have substituted in weight training and the sprints I describe above in their place. I also just plain old walk a lot more, too.

    3) Even if you are slowing down, a lot of this type of running means you are probably going to need to take in more carbs than a person otherwise would need. Starchy vegetables and tubers as well as white rice are good sources that don't have grains and other anti-nutrients. Try to take in your "safe carbs" immediately after your run as that's when your cells are most insulin sensitive and the spike in blood sugar will cause muscle glycogen to be replenished (which if it's not will lead to feeling tired on subsequent runs) and not promote fat storage.

    Here's a couple of articles Mark wrote on how to train and fuel for a Marathon. Even if you aren't thinking about a marathon, a lot of the strategies are appropriate:

    -Train low, race high
    -Up carb consumption, especially immediately after a run.

    How to Train for a Marathon | Mark's Daily Apple
    How to Fuel a Marathon | Mark's Daily Apple

    Mark makes no bones about it that he doesn't think lots of long distance/endurance running is the most optimal way to go from a fitness standpoint, but that he recognizes that people still like to do it. Here's an article where he talks about ways people can do these kinds of activities and minimize potential issues:

    Primal Compromises for Athletes | Mark's Daily Apple

    Other than that, I need to know a little bit more about what your goals are. Do you want to long distance run because you enjoy doing it? Or, are you just looking for best way to get fit? I've made a few assumption here and really don't want to give anymore advice until I know for sure more details.
    Re-focusing on the Primal Lifestyle in 2012!

    Starting: 221.0lb, 29.5% BF (1/9/2012)
    Latest: 208.9, 26.1% BF (3/19/2012)

    http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread35679.html

  3. #3
    Fiji's Avatar
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    Tim has given you excellent advice, I think. I was running on low carb and that just ended up being a complete disaster that will mess up your metabolism for weeks or, in my case, months. I myself think it is fine to go running if you enjoy it and derive pleasure out it, just make sure to have some good starches afterwards or else you will be glycogen depleted. And trust me, prolonged glycogen depletion is not fun at all. Eventually your sleep will suffer, your muscles and joints will be sore as hell, you'll have no stamina and no energy to even go up a flight of stairs, you will be in foul mood all the time and you will have sugar cravings the likes of which only a heroin addict would probably experience. So you really need to replenish your glycogen after your run by eating some healthy starches.

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    Dr. Bork Bork's Avatar
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    Yes, it will pass, provided you're sticking to the blueprint very closely. I had a moment mid-run, early on in my transition where it was like the whole world fell away and I felt all powerful, like something "clicked". Not long after I started kicking out sprints on 8, 9, and 10 mph on the TM like it was no big deal. It was an amazing moment. I hope you find your groove soon!

    P.S. as far as racing nutrition goes -- treat yourself like an athlete, and you'll perform like an athlete. Pamper your body with the right foods, and it will reward you in return.
    My favorite carbs for PWO are dates & coconut water
    --Trish (Bork)
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  5. #5
    honeypig's Avatar
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    As far as toning down the level of your running, as the first reply mentions, you might want to look into this http://content.bandzoogle.com/users/..._Down_2007.pdf and/or check into Dr. Phil Maffetone's web site. His recommendations, in large part, seem to fit with Primal ideas--I have one of his books, "The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing", and there is even a section on carb intolerance.

  6. #6
    Fiji's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by honeypig View Post
    As far as toning down the level of your running, as the first reply mentions, you might want to look into this http://content.bandzoogle.com/users/..._Down_2007.pdf and/or check into Dr. Phil Maffetone's web site. His recommendations, in large part, seem to fit with Primal ideas--I have one of his books, "The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing", and there is even a section on carb intolerance.
    Thanks, this was very interesting! His formula basically confirms what my heart rate monitor tells me all the time- slow down! The thing is this puts me in a weird place where even light jogging will put me way above the target range and fast walking is way too slow and not sustainable because it puts more strain on my back (have injury). Which only leaves me on the stationary bike which I absolutely hate . But now my knee has been bothering me too from running, which only goes to prove that my body approves of slowing down too. .

    So does this mean you cannot do HIIT while you are building up your aerobic base?
    Last edited by Fiji; 03-22-2012 at 04:57 AM.

  7. #7
    honeypig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fiji View Post
    Thanks, this was very interesting! His formula basically confirms what my heart rate monitor tells me all the time- slow down! The thing is this puts me in a weird place where even light jogging will put me way above the target range and fast walking is way too slow and not sustainable because it puts more strain on my back (have injury). Which only leaves me on the stationary bike which I absolutely hate . But now my knee has been bothering me too from running, which only goes to prove that my body approves of slowing down too. .

    So does this mean you cannot do HIIT while you are building up your aerobic base?
    That would be the impression I got from reading the book, but I would highly suggest you check out Dr. Maffetone's web site here Phil Maffetone, www.philmaffetone.com - Home (suggest you start w/the fitness or health topics--you may have to register to read, but fear not, no spam or other trouble associated, at least in my experience). You can also pick up the book pretty reasonably on Amazon Amazon.com: The Big Book of Endurance Training and Racing (9781616080655): Philip Maffetone, Mark Allen: Books if your local library doesn't have it.

    I am 52 with thyroid issues, have run a half dozen marathons over a 3-year period and despite working harder training for each, I have remained right around 4 hours, no real improvement, and slow but steady weight gain. In the course of looking for some kind of help, I bumbled across both Mark's site and the Maffetone site. I've been trying to incorporate elements of both as I'm able. I just started in January and have nothing overly amazing to report, but I do feel better and, for the first time in 8 years, we are REDUCING the dose of my thyroid meds instead of increasing it, so I'm surely willing to keep working along....

    Best wishes, I hope you find something of use to you in this info!
    Last edited by honeypig; 03-22-2012 at 06:41 AM.

  8. #8
    rochelledb's Avatar
    rochelledb is offline Junior Member
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    Thanks for all the advice and the article links were very helpful!

    I just got back from a 6 mile run and felt pretty good during it. I felt a little tired but it was a different tired than before. It was like by body wasn't really tired but was just working hard - it was a refreshing feeling....sounds kinda weird and I feel like it's hard to explain

    As far as your questions, I guess I run because of the accomplshed/refreshed feeling I get from it and also to maintain/lose weight.

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