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Day 11 - fatigue - training for half-marathon - help!


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I'm on Day 11, and over the last three or four days, I've noticed increasing levels of fatigue. Here's some facts:


  1. I have pretty much the same breakfast every day - the ground meat/veggie hash from the Success Guide, carrots, and olives.
  2. I have a portion of protein (usually chicken) plus a gigantic cucumber and tomato salad with Paleo mayo at lunch, and some fruit.
  3. I have about the same type of dinner - a portion of protein, veggies, and a serving of fruit and a fat (usually a handful of olives).
  4. I started eating a hardboiled egg before the workout the last three or four days.
  5. Today I had a "bite" afterward - muffin sized with egg, prosciutto ham, squash and peppers.
  6. The last few workout days, I've had an RX bar as a snack, because despite waiting and drinking 22 ounces of water, I'm still hungry.
  7. I workout six times a week: 3 days of Crossfit and 3 days of running (ranging from 2.5 to 5 miles each day) as I'm training for a half-marathon in the fall.

This is about the time I usually experience fatigue each time I try a Whole30, and it often is what triggers me falling off the wagon. I lose weight and inches the first ten days, which feels really great, but then begin to feel very tired.


I don't want to bail this year, but I'm in serious training and need my energy! Thanking you in advance - 



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I would say with the amount of exercise you're doing, you need to be eating more, especially carbs post-workout. Instead of the egg muffin, try having some chicken and sweet potato after your run/session and see how you go.


I also find that red meats are more satiating than pork/chicken, so maybe experiment with that too. You shouldn't be hungry - if you are, you should eat more.

Good luck with your half!

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The chicken/sweet potato suggestion is a great one. I'm training for a half in the fall as well (I'm on Day 22 of W30) and am running about 20 miles/week. I typically have a hard boiled egg and coffee preWO and some sort of protein (usually what's leftover from dinner) with a sweet potato postWO. Remember that this is in addition to the 3 meals you should be eating! 


Your body is adjusting to burning fat rather than sugar during your workouts, so some fatigue is definitely normal. Cut back on the intensity of your workouts if you need to until your energy comes back -- which it will! I experienced the same issue around Day 10-15 but I'm cruising now. Hang in there! 

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I'd played with the post-WOD food before - but I hadn't thought about increasing my red meat. After I read your post, Gojo, I realized how much turkey and chicken I eat - I do alternate it with wild pork (my husband shot it) and as much venison as I can get, with the very, very occasional grassfed beef. I definitely will increase my red meat intake - I bet that will help!


I ate two of the muffin bites today after the WOD (it wasn't a particularly intense one, as WODs go, and I did scale back a bit), which seemed to help and give me a little of my energy back. Then tonight I had what seemed like a giant hunk of venison (we cooked it in the crockpot yesterday and it is DELISH), with spinach, tomatoes, olives, and a little compliant apple butter as a garnish/spice. I was still hungry, so I had a sweet potato with coconut milk.


I think I'm also not eating enough protein at lunch. I Zone'd for a while and cut back my protein, which helps me lose weight but really leaves me tired during the day. I'll be increasing that, and will try to chicken/sweet potato combo after the workout.


Thank you, so much...and I'm looking forward to that increase in energy! I hadn't thought about the transition from sugar to fat burning.

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If the beef is a cost thing, maybe try some chicken pate or chopped livers - easy, cheap way to get a lot of goodness in (plus, it tastes delicious!) - I have chopped livers with grilled chicken thigh. My iron was the highest it's been in years when I started eating pate every couple of days (I normally get rejected at the blood bank).

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I feel ya. I started training for my third marathon the same day I started the Whole30. Also had an awesome track workout that morning— one of those "totally nailed it" sort of workouts. Then comes my next run and I'm dragging... and the next run (my long run) I had to bail on halfway through because my legs felt like they were full of cement. I'd never experienced anything like it— except maybe last fall when I was trying to run in Norway after flying there from California and getting a migraine and a cold after I landed. It was really like trying to run jetlagged and sick. My next two workouts have been better, but I'm still slower than preW30.


After I bailed on that long run, I freaked out and did a bunch of research on the program. I figure it's the carb-to-fat-fueling transition that is getting me, too, and that it will go away if I stick with it. The question is, how long will that take? I guess it's usually two weeks but it can take longer. My running friends have suggested that I give it 2-3 weeks and if it's still really impacting my training, go low carb (not no carb) and do the Whole30 after my race. I really hope it doesn't come to that, though, because Whole30 has actually been a great experience so far and I'm really excited about it and committed to it... it's just that at the end of the day, I'm more committed to my marathon. (Of course, a big part of the reason I started the Whole30 was that I wanted to sustain my energy during training and maybe even reduce injuries with a systemic inflammation component... so I don't view the two goals as being totally at odds with one another.)


In the meantime, I'm doing raw nut butter 45-60 minutes before workouts and a mix of pumpkin puree, cinnamon, salt, and raw cashew butter in the car after (sweet potato puree could be good— more carb there). For long runs, I've been taking Larabars and having a bite or two every few miles. This is working pretty well— not least because I feel better about leaving pumpkin puree and nut butter in the car for 2 hours and then eating it than I feel about doing the same with meat. I guess canned is a good option, though.


I'd love to hear how the transition goes for you and what works for fueling your workouts... maybe we can learn from one another!

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