Resolving Runners Post Covid Fatigue - She Runs Eats Performs

Episode 120

Published on:

17th Nov 2022

Resolving Runners Post Covid Fatigue

Resolving Runners Post Covid Fatigue

Today’s episode digs into why some runners struggle to return to pre covid form

For many runners, getting back to running post COVID involves taking time for rest and recovery, and gradually increasing their training plan over a few weeks.

Unfortunately for others, they continue to suffer with longer-term fatigue which impacts on their day-today-life as well as ability to run.

It can feel so frustrating when good foundational nutrition and rest just doesn’t seem enough to bounce back from Covid.

In this episode we explore potential root causes of your fatigue and how a functional nutrition approach may reveal underlying imbalances.

We’ll give you direction on a nutritional approach to help you restore energy levels so you can enjoy your running again.

If you are a runner who has never returned to your pre Covid form due to fatigue and exhaustion, this episode is for you.

We are going to consider:

1.    Mitochondrial injury and how this contributes to post covid fatigue

2.    The Aim of a Functional Nutritional programme to support post covid fatigue

3.    Protecting against seasonal infections




 Aileen’s personal experience of post covid fatigue and the effect on her running and how covid is impacting on nutrition clinic clients


Why resolving post covid fatigue is important for everyone but especially runners and how the health of your mitochondria is key to recovery.


A look at how sub optimal mitochondrial health may be affecting your energy production capacity and ongoing fatigue. Plus, how the cell danger response phases are potentially compromised in recovery.


The aim of a nutritional programme would be to provide nutrients to:

·      Restore mitochondrial health e.g inflammatory status and oxidative stress and supplying building blocks of nutrients for cell repair and proliferation

·      Restore the phases of Cell Danger Response so they work optimally and

·      Provide optimal amounts of specific nutrients to fuel the kreb/citric acid cycle to enable energy production 


Functional Screening tests may involve:

Amino Acid Profile, we need optimal amino acids to effectively repair and replace cells. Assessing amino acid profile enables identification of which amino acids are depleted and we are able to suggest foods and supplements to move them to an optimal level.

Nutrient Status relating to the Krebs Cycle/Citric Acid Cycle (the process our bodies use to make energy). If required, we may add key nutrients which will support energy production and optimizing the CDR response. Three nutrients which may be considered are:

·      Carnitine

·      Creatine

·      CoQ10

Fatty Acid Profile, having optimal levels of fatty acids is important for both cell health and function as well as for anti-inflammatory actions. We highlight the role of SPMs (specialised pro resolving mediators). These SPMS support inflammation resolution by limiting the extent and duration of the acute


How a personalised nutrition approach may help you get to the root cause of your fatigue and enable a targeted nutrition plan to be designed for you.


We share our reminder tips on how we can all support our immune system to protect against seasonal infections.


Aileen’s favourite supplements to help protect against seasonal infections.


Our FOOD FIRST TIP to protect against seasonal infections is to focus on eating a rainbow of vegetables and fruit both for immune health and good digestive health. We suggest eating -7-9 portions per day and having as wide a variety as possible over the week.


 Key Take Aways

1.    Some runners struggle to get back to pre-covid fitness and run training due to long covid symptoms of fatigue. Mitochondrial injury may be an underlying reason for this which compromises their ability to produce energy.

2.    Some people are naturally able to recover and restore mitochondrial function, but others get in a STUCK position where their mitochondria are not naturally repairing, and this will contribute to fatigue.

3.    The aim of a nutritional programme would be to provide nutrients to restore mitochondrial health and provide optimal nutrients to fuel the mitochondria

4.    A functional nutrition practitioner may suggest functional screening tests to assess your amino acid profile, fatty acid profile and nutritional requirements to fuel the citric acid cycle.

5.    Nutrients to consider, would be CoQ10, Carnitine, Creatine, Omega 3 with SPMs and Antioxidants such as Alpha Lipoic Acid and Glutathione – we’d always suggest you consult with your nutritional or medical practitioner before taking any supplements.

6.    Finally remember to protect your immune system against seasonal infections with Vitamin D, Saccromyces Boullardii, Zinc, selenium, beta glucans and Vitamin C and eat a rainbow of vegetables and fruit every week.

Related Topics:

Endurance Running and Immune System

Listeners Nutrition Clinic 2

Why do runners need Vitamin D


The suggestions we make during this episode are for guidance and

advice only, and are not a substitute for medical advice or treatment.

If you have any concerns regarding your health, please contact

your healthcare professional for advice as soon as possible.

Aileen Smith and Karen Campbell host RUNNERS HEALTH HUB. A place for like-minded female runners who are looking for simple ways to support running performance, energy, endurance, and general great health.

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Happy Running!

Aileen and Karen 


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About the Podcast

She Runs Eats Performs
for mid-life female runners of all abilities
Are you confused about the science around nutrition for runners? Listen in to learn about the WHY, HOW, WHAT, and WHEN of eating to fuel your running performance.

We are here to help you translate sports nutritional science, into easy to apply tips and plans, helping you enjoy peak running performance. We focus on the FEMALE FACTORS every mid-life woman needs to know to be a healthy runner.

About your host

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Aileen Smith

Nutritionists, Educators, Podcasters, Runners and Friends

We have a love of running and a passion for nutrition, delicious food and healthy living. She Runs Eats Performs for female runners of all abilities who are looking for simple ways to improve their running performance and their health with nutrition and lifestyle.
We enjoy sharing our nutritional expertise, reviewing the latest sports science and most of all helping you to take easy action so you can enjoy your running life to the full.
We are here to help you achieve great health and good shape whilst staying injury-free with easy-to-understand sports nutritional concepts and easy-to-implement tips and plans.

Aileen and Karen are BANT and CNHC Registered Nutritional Therapists.