I am a 55-year-old woman who has been running for many years. Lately I find that I cannot run in the afternoon, as I feel faint, shaky and weak. I have run without eating or drinking sugar-loaded foods and drinks. I have also tried eating before, to no avail. I run in the morning with no problems. – LES BRUYNS
What I would be concerned about is your blood pressure, sugar levels and iron levels. I presume your gynaecologist or general practitioner has checked your iron levels so let’s rule that out. They have probably also checked your sugar and blood pressure. However, from my experience, eating to help control blood pressure and sugar levels has really helped my clients who suffer from similar symptoms.
Remember that it’s not just the meal before a run that determines your sugar levels on the run, but actually the last 24-48 hours’ food intake, which will determine how you feel in the afternoon. I would strongly suggest you follow a low GI meal plan, eating small amounts throughout the day and in the rights amount of protein, carbohydrates and fats at each meal/snack.
This will help control your blood sugar levels as well as your blood pressure throughout the day and help avoid those afternoon dips. If you still have no luck then I would suggest you seek further testing from your GP.
Modern Athlete Expert – CHRISTINE PETERS
Dietician at Sunninghill Medical Centre, Johannesburg. Member of Morningside Country Club with eight years running experience, including two finishes in the Two Oceans Marathon.