Is it possible to run when you’re tired

Many know the situation when you need to exercise – but there is no strength for this. After a tiring day at work or at the end of a week of training, when fatigue has already accumulated. How necessary in this case to overdo it and go for a run, said the head coach of the Marathonica running school Ekaterina Preobrazhenskaya.

When it comes to training with fatigue, it is important to understand the cause of this feeling. There can be several, true and false. First of all, you have to decide if it is really fatigue or lack of motivation.

Let’s see what fatigue is.

physical fatigue

If it is obvious that we are dealing with a lack of energy, then the next step will have to determine the prerequisites for such a state. There may also be several scenarios here – it is useful to understand each of them in order to make the right decision in the end.


Perhaps the most common “state” of modern man. I want to do a lot of different things, and there are only 24 hours in a day, so we sacrifice sleep for more interesting activities.

However, lack of sleep reduces sports performance, especially when it comes to strength sports. For example, professional athletes who compete in the context of jet lag (jet lag) typically show lower results. Lack of sleep may not affect endurance as such, but morale during a race in context will not be at its best.

Sufficient sleep, as a rule, plays a key role not the day before a performance, but the day before. The fact is that during sleep many vital processes affect the recovery of the body and the nervous system, a kind of restarting of the system occurs. If you methodically reduce the time for these processes, the body will simply stop recovering completely.

Read more: Why are you sleepy after running?

Is it possible to run when you're tired

Therefore, sleep is important not only for results, but also for the implementation of the “load recovery” cycles integrated into the training program.

Marathon runners need more time to sleep during training precisely because of the need to recover from heavy loads. It is believed that on average you need to sleep about 8 hours, although this figure is individual.

To know that you are getting enough sleep, try going to bed at the same time every day and getting up without an alarm clock – this way you can make up for the lack of sleep within a few days and then figure out how many hours you need to sleep well.

To train or not against a background of lack of sleep? If you have slept less than normal, assess whether there is enough time to sleep the coming night. If there is a reserve, you can train by reducing its intensity. But if training takes time out of sleep, it is better to ignore it and rest.

Fatigue due to physical activity

If the day was very active, but the type of load did not correspond to what was included in the training, you can safely run. We feel a feeling of fatigue not only because of the physical severity of the classes, but also because of the psycho-emotional state. A lot of impressions and an unusual load of usually uninvolved muscles can lead to a feeling of fatigue.

If at the same time you have not heavily loaded your legs, jogging will not hurt you. Most likely, after that you will feel much happier. Remember to get enough sleep and eat right after to recover the next day.

In the event that the load falls on the legs, for example, downhill skiing, long walking or cycling, it is better to postpone the run without urgent need.

Emotional exhaustion and lack of motivation

If you understand that the day was not very active and you had time to sleep, but you still do not want to train, it is probably a loss of motivation. This can be related to bad weather, boredom or a feeling of lack of purpose in training. In this case, it is better to retire somehow for a run.

This may require some tricks. For example, convince yourself to only run one kilometer and then go home. There is a high probability that the appetite will come with eating, and instead of a kilometer you will do a full workout.

It should be remembered that results only appear with systematic and regular training, so the feeling that nothing will happen by missing a workout is wrong. As a rule, after accepting such an excuse, omissions occur more and more often, and the system breaks down.


It is no longer just a temporary fatigue, but a certain state of the body that arises as a result of regular intensive training without adequate recovery.

“Overtraining” is caused by all of the above symptoms: lack of motivation and emotional feedback from training, permanent fatigue, lack of growth in form, overestimated or underestimated resting heart rate . But in this case, the symptoms are not one-time, they become a permanent background.

In addition, the degree of feeling tired is really high, this is the case when the expression “as driven by a skating rink” applies.

Overtraining is terrible because it can take many months to recover, including giving up on training altogether. Of course, it depends on how negligent the situation is. If you follow it at the very beginning, skipping one or two workouts can prevent an unpleasant condition and future injuries.

Of course, in this case, there is no question of running against the backdrop of fatigue. However, the problem is that it is difficult for an inexperienced athlete to distinguish a banal loss of motivation or slight fatigue from the first symptoms of overtraining. The best way to figure out what’s going on is to review your training over the past week or two and see if you’re overdoing it.

But when assessing it is important to be objective – not to feel sorry for yourself, but also not to overestimate your abilities. The best way to avoid overtraining is to work with a professional trainer who will tailor the process to your fitness level and ensure that increasing the load is smooth.

Thus, it turns out that it is possible to train against the background of fatigue, but one should always analyze its causes and assess the possibilities of a good rest after training. Otherwise, a “snowball” situation will occur when, due to underrecovery, fatigue will increase and increase, which will eventually lead to very unpleasant consequences.

Keep a balance, don’t skip workouts if you’re too lazy to go for a run, but don’t overload yourself with physical activity, rest is also very important. In extreme cases, you can reduce the number or intensity of training.

Read more: How sleep affects running performance