Anyone can feel tired after a good exercise session, but if you’re thinking of absolute exhaustion that seems odd when you haven’t gone for a particularly strenuous run, there are a few things that might be making you feel more tired than usual. These include things like poor sleep, improper nutrition, burnout, and dehydration.
Why Do I Feel Tired After Running?
Let’s look at the most common reasons for feeling tired when you’ve just been for a run.
One: Exerting Energy
The most obvious reason for feeling worn out when you’ve been running is that you’re burning up energy. Your muscles’ ability to keep moving and providing propulsion to your body reduces over time, and they need a rest before they can keep doing it.
Equally, your central nervous system, responsible for their movement, will get tired when it has exerted itself. Your body will automatically start to transmit feelings of tiredness, telling you that it needs a rest before it continues working on anything.
Two: Lack Of Sleep
You may feel more tired than normal after your workout because you didn’t sleep well the previous night. A good amount of rest is important for your body, and if you haven’t slept, you will probably feel much more tired after a workout than you normally would.
Remember to take it a bit easier if you’ve slept badly, and don’t push yourself too hard. If you’re feeling really tired, reduce the stress on your body by going for a much shorter run.
Three: Poor Diet
Running burns a lot of energy, and if you aren’t providing your body with this energy, it will feel tired much more quickly because it simply doesn’t have the fuel to keep going. You need to eat well and ensure you are getting enough nutrients to supply your muscles with the energy to run.
If you never take a break, you’re much more likely to feel tired after running because your muscles aren’t being given enough recovery time. Equally, you may feel mentally tired, which can translate into a sense of physical tiredness. Without proper rest days, you may notice that even the thought of running makes you feel tired.
Even experienced runners can forget to drink sometimes; don’t fall into this trap. Having too little water in your system before, during, and after runs can make you feel worn out. Even if you aren’t running in the heat, dehydration will have a big impact on your run and how you feel after it.
How To Prevent Feeling Tired After Running
Next, let’s explore how to prevent feeling exhausted when you have been running.
One: Eat Well
Good nutrition is key to energy; although we need sleep, a lot of our fuel comes from food. Check that you are getting enough calories each day, and you aren’t missing any important nutrients. Tiredness can often be due to an iron deficiency. Consider getting tested for anemia.
Look at your intake of protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and make sure these are all balanced so you know your fatigue isn’t down to a poor diet.
If you’re going for a long run, take some snacks to refuel your body along the way. You can burn up to a thousand calories in an hour when running, so it’s a good idea to replenish at least some of these. Aim to eat 100 calories after about sixty minutes of running.
Two: Take Rest Days
To combat both mental and physical exhaustion, build rest days into your running routine. Taking a break when you’re exhausted can make you run better the following day, refreshing and revitalizing you. Rest days are crucial to healthy exercise routines and will allow your body to recover, particularly after a hard run.
Related: What Is A Recovery Run?
Three: Sleep Well
Aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, and don’t exercise right before you go to bed. The adrenaline and endorphins can make it hard to get to sleep. Instead, try to go for a run early in the morning.
If you haven’t slept well, make a conscious effort to reduce the difficulty level of your run, and take it easy on yourself. It isn’t healthy to force your body to run when you are worn out, and lack of sleep is definitely connected to post-run tiredness.
Four: Drink Plenty
Make sure you are hydrated before you begin your run. Have a drink of water about half an hour before you head out, and take some water with you unless you are only going for a very short distance. Have another drink when you return home, and you are less likely to feel fatigued.
So, you hopefully now have an answer to why do I feel tired after running? You should also have some good options to boost your energy levels and make your workout more enjoyable and less exhausting.