A running hangover : and one that’s not alcohol induced

Today is a rest day for me and for that I am glad. I’m shattered. My legs are leaden even when walking. I’ve been feeling dehydrated for the last 36 hours. No amount of coffee and cups of tea (ok, and cake) are clearing my fuzzy head. I’m not feeling like I’m going to recover before tomorrow’s planned session.

Yep. I’ve got a running hangover. They happen sometimes, but this one is telling me I’ve been overtraining and need to rest.


Last week started out pretty normally. A long trail run on Sunday turned out to be a little more arduous than expected. I rested Monday but due to work running late I missed my Tuesday run and opted to do some yoga at home instead. Wednesday was intervals in the morning and on Thursday morning I went for an hour long tempo run, again on trail. This left me pretty shattered and is when I started writing cheques my body couldn’t cash. You see, keen to replace my ‘lost’ run from Tuesday evening with some form of training, on Thursday night I backed up the day with a glute/core workout including over 200 reps. Cheque number one…

Friday I was already sore but was hoping I would have recovered before Parkrun on Saturday. I hadn’t. My glutes and adductors were still sore, tight and tired; and in the hilly Hampstead Heath Parkrun I just had no drive up the hills. Cue slowest time for a 5km that I can remember. The heart and lungs were willing but there was just nothing in the legs. I then backed that up with football training (another 6km covered in Fartlek style) and a 20km bike ride doing errands afterwards. Cheque number two…

I had a good sleep on Saturday night so figured I should be OK for my long run on Sunday afternoon. I did a 21km TLT (Threshold-Long-Threshold) session on the trail which took just over two hours including the walking breaks and refuelling stops. Thanks to some woeful time management on my part, I went straight out again (after a shower of course!), meaning my recovery from a two-hour run was an 8km round-trip on the bike with only a bottle of coke as post-run refuelling. Cheque number three…

can't cash

This morning when my alarm went off I felt like overnight I had sunken six inches into the mattress. I had to fight my way out of bed and felt more stiff and sore than I have for some time. At work today I had to laugh at myself as every time I went to the kitchen for coffee/tea I took a about dozen steps to get up to speed. I spent time in the restrooms doing some stretches but it wasn’t helping.

What does this mean? Well, in trying to listen to some of the advice I often give out to others through this blog, I’ve decided to skip my run tomorrow and rest. The leaden feeling, constant feeling of dehydration and fuzzy head are clear signs of a lack of recovery, plus the added aches and pains in my legs are a sign that I’m overtraining at the moment and need some downtime.


I know I’ve got a half marathon in two weeks, however nothing I do now is going to improve my fitness or endurance for the race, however continuing to overtrain could do a lot to hamper my race. Instead I’m going to be sensible, listen to my body (and my own advice) and take another rest day and re-assess how I feel tomorrow night.

Oh, and I’m going to have an extra naan bread with the curry which I’m currently cooking. You know, for the extra carbs and all…

Happy running everyone!


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About getgoing-getrunning

Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on February 17, 2014, in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. Don’t blow it, Bernie! Enjoy the taper and you’ll be ready. Overdoing it at this point does nothing but damage.

  2. Enjoy your rest Bernie, and that curry!

  3. So true – I’ve hit this point in the past 4 weeks – over trained and pinged a shin or felt a back twinge. Main thing is to listen to your body as you say.

    I definitely felt my long run on Sunday was hit by a hangover….Mind you that was a probably caused by the beers the night before 😉 either way looks like we’re on the same prescription – take it down a notch and enjoy the half maras we’ve both got coming!

  4. You keep mentioning dehydration, but talk of drinking coke, coffee and tea. Perhaps if you dehydrated with water, you would recover better.

    • Thanks for the comment. I usually have a recovery drink of chocolate milk, banana and protein powder blended up, but in this case didn’t have a chance. I usually drink about two litres of water a day on top of the tea and coffee, but you’re right, less of both would keep me more hydrated.

  5. Yes, better to be rested for your race than over trained. Do you make your own Naan? I love that stuff!

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