How far?

Most of you know by now that I've had quite a set back in my running due to a virus before Christmas, I'm a bit cross that it seems to have robbed me of all the meagre progress I had made in speed terms. So, what I want to do now is just forget about speed and concentrate on distance. My question is this - how far is reasonable to run each week? Before my virus I was up to about 32 KM per week, 4 runs, a long one, some intervals, a 5KM etc...Now I'd quite like for all my runs to be, say, 7KM plus, keeping the speed down (yesterdays 9 KM averaged about 7 min 50) and taking walk breaks if necessary. Is this reasonable? Safe? I graduated about 18 months ago.

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  • How long you had to stop running for in order to recover? I can then check my book and let you know what it says :-)

  • Do you mean how long did I stop running with the virus? Or how long to recover after a long run? If you mean the second, I seem to be able to keep going as long as I want at that speed....remember |I was a distance swimmer, I only stopped when I got cold!

  • The first.

  • I think I had a bit over 2 weeks with no running, but found it really hard for another month. It affected me for about 6 weeks altogether. xx

  • It says:

    You won’t lose your aerobic capacity or muscle power as long as your time away from running is less than two weeks.

    If you were off for 30 days to 3 months, start running 50% of previous weekly mileage.

  • Thanks, I didn't really mean to bring the virus in, except that now I want to make changes...

  • You could do a 10 k when you have most time, a couple of 7 or 8ks and a 5k (intervals or not) You have to play it by ear I guess to see how you feel. Start off modest and then you can build on it as your fitness gets back to normal.

    You could just go for a run and see what develops. Best laid plans and all that .....

  • Thanks MW, that's just what I wanted to hear! I find I have to plan or I just run a short way!

  • You'll be fine on longer runs if you take it easy and you have the time. Currently, unless it's parkrun, my shortest runs are 6K, but I'd like them to be 10K plus if I could. My problem is having to get back in time so I can go to work (roll on retirement). Just adapt your speed to cover the distance you feel like in the time you have available and then mix things up a little to add some spice.

  • I do have time, I don't work, so I can please myself! I want to do longer runs...

  • Curly

    Yes read your post and its a case of building up slowly and running every other day until your strength returns

  • Suspect only you can answer that one, Sarah. You know how your legs are feeling and how your breathing is. Just keep the 10% rule in mind. If you exceed it one week, then maybe pull back a bit the next and I reckon it should even itself out in the end.

    Enjoy your lovely long slow runs in beautiful Cambridge xx

  • Legs and breathing are both fine, I just don't want to get injured...

  • I also had a hiatus over December/xmas - not for any reason apart from completely failing to manage my time and get my runs in. I've been building up with shorter runs - 2,3,4k and found I'm much stiffer and achey the next day, but have managed the same speeds and aerobic performance as before, much as it sounds like you're doing. My instinct is to continue to increase distance but also to do complementary exercises - I'm trying to do daily stretches, not just on run days, and I'm trying to cycle 2-3 times a week too. So maybe if your worry is to do with injury rather than fitness etc, and you have the time, then look at exercises that complement your increase in running - extra stretches, maybe some yoga, some strength - squats etc. This is just my instinct though, and I'm definitely not talking from a background of much experience! But maybe some food for thought? :)

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