Picking up training after illness - am I just weak or have I lost fitness & stamina?

It's been a while since I posted on here. There I was, relatively merrily getting on with training for my first 10k, when the nausea that I had been suffering with intermittently became a much more constant feature. It was like morning sickness, with a few other unpleasant things going on too. I went off certain foods, then the nausea associations just got bigger & by about a week ago, having got progressively worse over the previous few weeks, I could no longer bear to cook or even do cereal for my children as the thought of so many things made me sick. Eating & drinking myself had become a very tricky thing. Anyway, after a barrage of tests, I was finally diagnosed mid-last week with Giardiasis - a parasite generally found in developing countries! Straight onto the antimicrobials. I felt much better within a couple of days but gave myself a couple more to actually start eating again & get some energy back.

So today I went out for what I've called a 'rehab' run as I haven't run for exactly 2 weeks & knew I was a bit weaker. I had got up to running 7-8k a couple of times a week at a fairly respectable pace, even with a tiny bit of hill work. I sensibly reverted to the 35 min 'stamina' podcast run today though as a tester & although I did it, I was clumsy & slow (my cadence was still pretty much right but tiny strides so a slower pace) & I felt almost like I was running with somebody else's legs. But I did it, & I'm glad, & shall be picking up my training properly again now.

The question then is this: was I just a bit weak & feeble today because of my recent illness, which is what I had assumed, or could possibly have already lost a significant degree of my newly attained fitness? it's not like I've been running longer distances for a long time. Can we lose it in basically just 2 weeks?! I'm now not sure whether to just slip back a notch in my training programme, which is going to make it very tight for my 10k challenge in 4 weeks time, or try to push on more or less from where I was & just make a bit of an allowance for another week or so? Any thoughts?

12 Replies

  • Be kind to yourself. You’ve been ill, that’s bound to take it out of you, especially if you weren’t managing to eat properly.

    As for the training plan - Is it vitally important that you finish in a particular time? Or do you just need to finish?

    ETA - I am also a bit behind on training for Beachy Head, so you are not alone 😀

  • Hi! My priority is to try to enjoy it & run as much of it as comfortably as I can. I'm not expecting to do it in any great time because of the hills, but would rather not be the one the marshals are all trying to round up 😂 Have you been along the actual route yet?

    Yes eating was definitely becoming a problem but that is quickly resolving. I'm not quite back to eating everything I was before but am at least able to eat a bit more variety now!

  • I’m setting my finishing time sights quite low as well. No, not been to visit the route, it’s a bit of a drive for me, but I have looked at the profile online - more than once 😀

    You can’t expect to be on top form when your body hasn’t got enough fuel for the job. X

  • Jack Daniels Running formula says after 14 days your VDOT will be about 0.973 what it was before. 2 weeks is a very short break. That means you should adjust your speeds to about 97% what you were doing before in training. Probably if you were not eating much that will also have had an impact but as you can see the body doesnt realy go backwards very fast so dont sweat it. Take it steady coming back into it!

  • Ok that's actually quite reassuring. I think it's more the fatigue then, which hopefully will soon pass. Thank you.

  • You had giardiasis for several weeks and started treatment last week and wonder why you may not be up to par for distance running?

  • Ok ok, yes I know it sounds ludicrous but I did manage to keep running to an extent during my illness, so you can imagine my joy at being able to get out for a run once feeling well again!

  • Right on Rignold. That is one nasty problem bro recover from. Lady. Take life a little slower. Please

  • Yes, I don't think I realised how bad I was really!

  • Well fair dues to the NHS for diagnosing Giardiasis - however did you contract it?

    I think you may have been weak from the illness - you weren't eating - no fuel to drive your run!



  • Yep. Chance encounter with a doc at A&E (long story) who happened to have worked overseas & recognised my symptoms. He still couldn't confirm but told me what I needed to get my gp to do so I did. Total respect for that man.

    I'm getting conflicting info but one theory is I've had it for years, picked up when travelling, & it's been dormant. I've also had pneumonia this year so lost a lot of weight quickly & later started transitioning to vegan, so it may be that either of those factors just provoked things enough in my gut for it to spring to life. Either that or it was from avocados!

  • Be kind to yourself why you get back up to your previous level of wellness and I'm sure the running will slot back in place too.

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