Semper Currens VII: The Dog Days Return

Week Six Training Wrap-Up

The week started brightly enough, with a successful tempo run on the same course and over the same distance as week five. Only this time, I crushed it, pacing it just right to finish strong and fast.

But that was the only real highlight of the week. Fatigued from work and from the cumulative mileage of the program, I ran a lackluster interval run, then I crashed and burned ten miles into a twelve-mile long run on Saturday.

Admittedly, I ran further than the program called for and ran strongly and comfortably over the first eight miles, so it wasn’t all doom-and-gloom. But fatigue is starting to set in, and it won’t be going away until the program is over. The major challenge of training for a marathon–dealing with the constant tiredness–is now here.

The Week Ahead

The long-range weather forecast calls for hot, humid weather for the next week. Meanwhile, the program calls for a longer tempo run, the first long run over half-marathon distance and total mileage pushing fifty for the week. So this is going to be one tough week. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!

Feature o’ the Week: So tired

When I first ran the Hanson’s Program two years ago in preparation for the New Jersey Marathon, I wrote about “cumulative fatigue,” one of the central tenets of the program. It affected me badly enough then that I ended up physically sick; something similar happened earlier this year after the Flower City Half Marathon, and though that was probably related to a stomach bug, the fact that I couldn’t fully fight it off is a good indication of how hard the program can be on the body.

It’s no surprise, then, I’m finding myself more and more tired at the end of each day. Add to that the usual stresses and strains of work, family, summer heat and life in general, and I am very aware that I could well end up getting sick again.

But I note that both incidents occurred during the spring, at a time when my body is not as strong as it gets later in the year. Equally important is remembering that fatigue is a an integral component of the program, and that I am training my body to run efficiently and comfortably over the last ten miles of a marathon, pushing through the so-called “wall” to finish strong and, hopefully, pain free.

So it’s time to embrace fatigue as a normal and inevitable part of training. And it’s time to understand that fatigue will sometimes result in sub-par runs, like my interval and long runs this week. Most important, though, it’s time to relax as much as we can, to go to bed early and do everything we can to keep our bodies functioning at the highest possible level.

Team Fox Update

If you’ve been reading Semper Currens regularly, or if you’ve found anything here of use, go to my fundraising page and make a donation to the Michael J. Fox Foundation and help eliminate Parkinson’s!

How are you reacting to fatigue at this point in the program? What do you do to overcome it? Leave a comment here, and I’ll feature it in the next Semper Currens.

About Bruce Pegg

I write about running, music and spirituality.
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