You’re out running and you run into the problem that we all run into. You’re getting tired. That’s the crux of endurance running, resisting fatigue. So, you’re wondering how do I run longer without getting so freaking tired? Well, that’s what I’m going to share with you today, here on this episode of Runners High.
Today, I’m going to share with you a lot of physical strategies so you can run longer without getting tired. It’s something that a lot of us deal with. And a lot of people talk about all the physical strategies that you need to run longer without getting tired. That’s the crux of like I said of the sport. But there is a lot of things you can do on the mental side to deal with the voices in your head that say, stop running when you start to get fatigued. I talked about all that in a different video on how to run without stopping. So, be sure to check that out if you want more mental strategies on how to become a better runner and not stop.
So, how do you actually run without getting so tired? The first kind of obvious thing to me is to periodize your schedule. If you’re just going out for runs, and not planning anything, or you’re going to increase your mileage too quickly, often, you’re probably going to get too fatigued. So, periodization is a method where you take a chunk of time, and you schedule it to allow yourself to build up, build fatigue, and then recover. So, for a long time, I was actually on what I refer to as a three/one schedule, three weeks of building work, where you’re working hard, you’re doing speed work, whatever it is that’s in your particular schedule, and then you get one week of a lower load, say 50 to 75% of the mileage you would normally do, and that week, you recover.
I now I’m on a two/one schedule. This is something my new coach that I picked up several years ago with him, he’s been a fan of and it’s worked very, very well for me. So same idea, we work very hard for two weeks, and then I get one week of recovery. This allows you to actually become stronger over time. The periodization present — I can’t talk, don’t mind me. The periodization prevents you from accumulating too much fatigue. When you have too much fatigue, then you’re going to get tired even sooner. You get stronger through making micro tears and your muscles, then having that recovery time to rest so that your muscles can be rebuilt and then you repeat the process over and over and over until we’re dead. Okay, that’s like a left turn, I’m sorry about that.
One other strategy you can look at in particular besides periodizing, which is a little bit more involved, is simply to run the same distance without increasing mileage. Now, I don’t mean run the exact same distance every single day. Some people do that, some people get away with that, but I mean, whatever your longest run is, say you’re up to three miles, that’s all you can do. Don’t increase that mileage until you’re running three miles comfortably. You’ll want to make sure that you note in a log, whether it’s online or something like training peaks, or you get a physical journal or a piece of paper or a whiteboard, whatever it is, you want to note what your RPE.
RPE is rate of perceived exertion. There are different scales that people use, but we can use one to 10 as an easy, you know, easy scale for us to go off of. One is like I’m lying in bed and doing nothing. 10 is I physically can’t go any harder at all. Feel free to use half increments, I felt like a six and a half today or a 6.3 if you’re that in touch with how you feel. But keeping track of that will give you a better idea of when it’s okay to move on. When you’re used to feel like a seven or eight and now you feel like maybe a five or six, then that may be a good indication that now it’s time to add a little bit more. You are getting less tired as you’re running the same distance. So, it’s okay to move on to the next, you know, distance that you want to move up to.
It’s also reasonable to note, you, you know may have a breakdown somewhere else. Your running may have nothing to do with why your tire running, which is a little maybe backwards. You think well, I should just be able to go out and freakin’ run. Like you know, what’s the problem? But if you look at it from a kind of holistic perspective, you have to figure out where’s your breakdown. Are you an inexperienced runner making a schedule that’s maybe too advanced for you? Are you stressed at work? You know, did you take on a big project at work and you’ve been working overtime? Even if you’re sitting down, sitting at a desk, that overload on your brain and then on your body will sneak up on you and become an issue in your run when normally you might be perfectly fine. Even if you’ve periodized that schedule like I told you to earlier in the video, that stress from work can add up.
There are other stressors in your life that can make you more fatigued. You have to take into account, you know have things come up with your family. And I don’t even necessarily mean anything catastrophic, like a death in the family. It could just be you know, you had to run and get the kids from school because you know your spouse was late. Or you know, any number of other things that comes up with your family. Families come in all shapes and sizes so I’m trying to come up with specific examples, but I don’t know your family.
And then another thing that can stress a lot of people out are your finances. Are your finances okay? You don’t need to tell me, it’s just a question you need to ask yourself. Is that something that’s been stressing you out? And that can lead to, you know, negative impact on your running and other parts of your life. Even if we use running as an outlet, it still has an impact on each other; the running on life and life on running.
If everything’s fine in your normal life, outside of any kind of normal stressors, then really the last thing for us to look at is just what did you do yesterday? What did you do the last couple days of you know, working out? Did you do some cross training? Were you in the gym hitting weights you weren’t normally used to? Did you have a really hard run and you fatigue yourself on that? It’s really a step by step process of trying to eliminate all of the things that would make you tired for your run.
And then once you’ve identified that breakdown, that’s when you can figure out okay, this is what’s limiting me from going forward. Be it that inexperienced where you’re taking on too much load at a time. Remember, in another video I talked about how you don’t want to increase your mileage more than 10% a week, and that’s within the periodization. You know, keeping all those things in mind, breaking everything down; that’s how you become a better runner and you run without getting tired. I’ll see you next time on the next episode of Runners High.