Does it ever get any easier???

The age old question - a cry for mercy usually found in the "beginners" running forums :) - how can I tell them that I have categorically found the answer to their question?? NO! - it just gets harder and harder - until, one day, after a particularly bad run, you have to ask yourself other questions like "Have I REALLY been running for the past two years?? Have the 1700 klms that show on my running log really been run by me???

How else can I explain the exhausting 10K I ran ( using a moderate run/walk ratio) at a pace 15 seconds per K slower than I ran a HM just 4-5 weeks ago??? Why do my feet go to sleep when running almost every time now ? Why are my calves as hard as rocks now when I run?? I have almost given up on non-stop running. It has become a nightmare - nothing to enjoy in that at all anymore for me!! :( Even run/walking doesn't seem to be working too well!!

It won't be long now until, for around 7 weeks, I will be only able to run using a treadmill (going on a LONG cruise around the Indian Ocean to South Africa and back!! 6 weeks to go until then -- maybe I need a bit of a break from the road????

10 Replies

  • Maybe you need new shoes, m'dear. Perhaps the cushioning has gone in your old ones or, given that you've been running a lot recently, perhaps you need shoes with more cushioning to absorb the impact. Just a thought Bazza :)

  • Oh Bazza, you really have lost your mojo. I think AM might be right - it could be your shoes or you just need to take a rest from running. Do you stretch and use a foam roller? Could that account for the tight calves? If I didn't do those things I would be in real pain everywhere. I must say since I've had a sports massage a few weeks ago I feel quite bendy (!) and running is definitely easier. Maybe you could have one on the cruise?

  • I think you need a break! A cruise should do the job nicely, if that doesn't work just have a break.

  • Bazza, you lucky person. Enjoy the food while cruising.

    Running is an escape for me. I tell myself stories. I save the world. I dream. I want to compete against myself. I want to prove that I can do it. Running is a good time for me.

    When you are back from your cruise, work out a different route, a different time. Run when everybody is still asleep because then the world is yours.

  • Have you been doing too much? I find that if I do more per week than my body is ready for then my times get worse and worse. If I then take an extra day or two off then the next run is quicker without really trying.

    I've had a lot of opportunity to study this, as since march my running has been all over the place, as anyone reading my posts will have gathered. Up until march I was running every other day, 10km on week days and 14km+ at weekends. Then it all went for a burton when my ankles started hurting in march. I initially restricted myself to 1 run per week until my ankles felt ok again. This was followed by a series of injuries and maladies to the point where, I havnt had a full month running since march. This month has been the best since then, so far I've managed 3 runs per week, each one at least 5km. I've had good spells since march, I managed an 18km and a 5km personal best of 28mins, but not consistant. I even had a week running every day 5km. I now seem to have got back into a groove of 3 times per week 5-6km. When that feels easy then I plan to start lengthening the weekend run again. My aim is to manage a 10km run on christmas morning, as I remember doing that last christmas. If I do that then I will feel that I am back on track.

    Since march I have come to realise that putting in a really long run doesnt mean much. My fitness really dropped during the spell of only running once per week till my ankles recovered. I found that I could still manage an 18km run, but then I would feel unable to run again for several days. Whereas before, I could have done a long run and then continued to run every other day during the week. I find it much better to run 5km 3 times rahter than 18km once. The main thing is to do some kind of exercise regularly during the week.

  • Sounds like you need a break. Stop running. Don't think about it. Don't tell yourself you ought to get out there. Just enjoy the aches and pains going away. And then, at some day, you'll suddenly find that you fancy a run again. We're not robots, and we do need to listen to our bodies.

  • I agree with these guys - I think you should take a break.

    If your legs are complaining and you're not improving it may simply be over-training. I would take a fortnight off, or a month even. Keep stretching, perhaps to stay flexible but make a plan to rest for a time and do it. I reckon by the end you'll be raring to get out again and your body will be ready to pick it up again.


  • I think you need a running break... As others have said. You need to find the love again....

  • Oh, just to answer the question: yes it does. And it's a wonderful feeling when you're gently cruising along, ticking off the miles, feeling the sun (or rain, whatever your pleasure is) on your skin, thinking clever thoughts or listening to great tunes, solving the world's problems, or fixing your marriage and settIng the world straight with your boss.

    Not every run has these moments. And not every mile on a great run have them. But when you DO have them, it makes all the hard, boring, aching, hard slugging hours seem worthwhile. I KNOW you have experienced these moments during your HM training.

    So try to think back to them occasionally. Take your break. And remember the good times. They're the ones that will bring you back. And you will remember just how easy it sometimes is to run the distance that recently felt like a real drag.

  • I think you should take it easy, enjoy your cruise and see how it goes. Sounds like your legs need a bit of TLC rather than just more running at the moment. I am sure you find your way back eventually!

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