QUESTION: I'm a huge fan of your training programs, and I've followed many them to the T. I started with the 5-K, all the way to the Marathon. But something is just not right anymore. I’m not enjoying the run like I used to. I've slowed down, and even through I try pushing myself hard, it feels like I'm not even moving. I decided to take a break from running and have not run in two weeks. I’m still working out: cross-training and strength training with a trainer. I made a difficult decision to give up my bib for my favorite local marathon, but I feel frustrated and alone.
HAL’S ANSWER: How is your diet? When I hear people talk about lost energy, it may be mental (burned out) or it may be nutritional. Sometimes lack of energy happens to runners trying various fad diets, ignoring the fact that carbohydrates remain the most efficient energy food. This happens often to people who try to lose weight while training for a marathon. I'm not saying this is you, but a visit to an RD might be called for. If not, there may be some physical problems holding you back. One other question: If you are working out with a trainer, is it possible that he is working you out harder filling the gap after you stopped running? If you can’t come up with some solution soon, you might want to get a physical exam to rule out whatever needs to be ruled out.
Hal uses TrainingPeaks to power his interactive marathon and half marathon training plans. Check out more of Hal Higdon's training plans here or on his website.