Any suggestions for struggling to get back into the groove?

I have just spent 3 weeks on holiday (Australia to the UK and return), for at least a week of that I suffered a heavy cold. Before going away I had good intentions of jogging on alternative days, however during that 3 week period I only managed to jog 4 times. Before my holiday I had completed week 6, run 2, when I eventually got those jogging shoes on (over a week after my last run at home) I was worried about trying week 6, run 3 (25 minute run), so I decided to repeat Week 6, run 2. I felt I really struggled with this run and consequently for the other three runs of my holiday I continued to repeat week 6, run 2 - and at no point did I feel particularly comfortable running and was left feeling let down and disappointed.

So now I've been back home 5 days, jet lag has all but gone, and this morning I went out for my first run since returning and you guessed it I decided to repeat week 6, run 2! Will I never learn! Plus I took the dog with me, which in retrospect could have been a mistake as she does insist on trying to chase after the ducks, and although sometimes she is very useful dragging me up hills, on other occasions it's a struggle to stay out of the lake. Well all I can say is, it was horrible, I managed to complete the first 10 minute run, during which time I started getting a pain in my left lower calf, the pain disappeared during the 3 minute walk, but it returned whilst running the second 10 minutes. In the end I only managed to complete 5 minutes of the second 10 minutes and then walked home. By the time I got home the pain had disappeared. Is it mind over matter, or have I lost some fitness? Should I return to week 5?

I feel defeated and can feel myself on the edge of giving it all up, which I really don't want to do. Any suggestions or words of wisdom from my fellow runners?

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  • You know -- even though you have been sick, provided you are all over it now , you can complete W6R2. All you have to do - is do it very slowly!!!!! I am sure that you can walk for 10 minutes non-stop -yes?? Then you can also just increase your forward momentum to only a teensie bit more than you would do when walking and you are running. You can do that for 10 minutes!!!! After you have defeated that monster, you can do it again - only maybe a little bit faster.

  • Thanks Bazza for your words of encouragement. I have successfully run week 6, run 2 five times before, so as you say I can do it, I think I must be just having a mental wobble at the moment. Perhaps it's a case of not thinking about it too much and as a certain sports brand says "Just do it"! Cheers.

  • Hi Amber! Bless your heart, it's so tough when things are not going well, but please don't beat yourself up. You've had a 3 week time out, then a cold on top of that....no wonder you're feeling a bit out of the loop AT THE MOMENT!! Week 6 will get nailed but it will take as long as it needs to, then you'll be motivated to put your energies into a Week 7.... You can do this!!

  • Hi Amber, Don't underestimate the effects of jet-lag. Three weeks isn't a long time at all in which to experience two long-haul flights. Your cold after the first flight could well be related to spending around 24 hours in a sealed metal box breathing the recirculating germs of a couple of hundred other people. On top of that, the shock to your system of totally inverting your circadian rhythms is huge. I suffered very similar running problems when I returned from NZ earlier this year. Listen to your body. Don't beat it up. If you do, your immune system may well take revenge! Take your time and your mojo will come back!

  • As turnturtle has said, don't underestimate the effects of jet-lag. You've travelled 8-10 timezones and your body needs a good 8-10 days to fully recover from that... When I came back from the US recently I had an awful run. Took another 2-3 days off and got back into it...

    Take your time, go slow and you'll soon be back into it! BTW, very jealous you got to spend 3 weeks in Oz - you and Bazza are making me homesick!

  • Thanks for all your words of encouragement. I shall try it again with renewed enthusiasm and let you know how it goes. I was on holiday in the UK, I live in Australia now (originally a Pom). Left the UK with sunny weather and got back to more sunny weather in Western Australia: can't be bad!

  • I had a calf muscle injury, and the physio diagnosed the primary cause as being in the ankle. I've been doing ankle mobility exercises and it has gone now. Yours may be something completely different, I'm only mentioning it to say that it might be something that could be sorted easily, so seeing a physio might be worthwhile.

    When I got my injury I'd just finished week 5, so had to stop and re-do it again last week. Moving onto week6 tomorrow. Good luck!

  • Upate: just to let you know that all your words of encouragement helped, this morning I ran week 6, run 2 and nailed it. I felt like it was beginning to turn into not only a physical wall but also a mental one, so I'm glad that I managed to scale it. I now have week 6, run 3 to look forward to on Monday! Wish me luck.....a 25 minute run, I'm already nervous!

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