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Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Advice for an unusually tired marathon walker

I am 67 (female) and would describe myself as reasonably fit for my age being mainly a walker.

I recently completed the Stillwater Training weekend which we found challenging but no injuries or problems post weekend. We describe ourselves as "steady" walkers.

On the 20th Feb I took part in the Relay for Life at Mt Smart - my aim being to walk for the total of 18 hours. I did well apart from the last 2 hours when I really struggled.Inspite of frequent snacks and eating throughout plus Powerade I was left over those last 2 hours with absolutely NO energy at all.  Had never experienced that feeling before. Had bought "Skins" and used them during Relay for Life and for the first night following. I completed 183 laps over the time.

More concerning is that almost 2 weeks later I am still struggling with my training programme. Last weekend I was aiming at 2 days x 34kms but managed 28 on the Sat only. (Tusami warning Sun - great no training) However even this week I am still struggling to return to pre RFL energy levels. Although I have competed in Marathons etc in my 60's I havent done it with any great technical skills. I have just competed for fitness and enjoyment.

However I am now concerned at the upcoming 100km and my capabilities to complete. Next week I am off on the 5th stage of the Great NZ Trek and am hoping I will be up to par by then. Am also hoping I will complete 2 x 34 kms this weekend.

I would really appreciate any advice you can give me please. I take Fish Oil, Glucosamine + Chondroitin, + recently Resveratrol to attempt to boost energy levels. Full bloods recently were all normal. I have a good appetite.
Gary responds:
While what you are taking presently may be good for you they may not have any significant benefit on energy levels.  Try the following and let me know in about 4 weeks if you have perked up significantly:
  • Ensure that 40% of your calorie intake is protein in every meal (Eggs, red meat, fish, fowl, beans, dairy etc).  You can boost your protein and nutrient intake with a Super Smoothie a couple of times a day.  Have five small meals rather than a few larger ones.  
  • Reduce or eliminate simple sugars including refined flour, white rice, honey and fruit juice.  This includes pasta and noodles.  Replace with unrefined carbohydrates such as kumara, pumpkin and whole grains.
  • Take a course of Agewise Coenzyme Q-10 - three capsules per day for the first bottle and then two per day for the next bottle.
  • Get a pot of Balance Recovery Stack and have one or two scoops three times a day whether training or not.
  • Highly recommended is either Lifestream Astazan or ICL Algotene.  Take three capsules per day over the four weeks.
  • Reduce refined salt intake to the minimum possible and replace with Himalayan Sea Salt which you can use generously on all your food.  You can also take a few grains washed down with a large glass of water at about 10am and 3pm daily and at any times you feel light-headed or exhausted.

Four weeks of this should be sufficient to bring about definite improvements.  If there has been no real improvement, then please get back to me and we will explore further possibilities.  This may include referral back to your Dr for further assessment.

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