I've never been a smoker. (Well, unless you count the "lost weekend" phase of my life in 2001-2002 where I celebrated splitting up from a mad woman by smoking ciggies. I know. Weird eh?). But essentially, I'm a fit chap - and was at my adult fittest most recently thanks to, our good friend RUNNING! However since my chest infection over the past five weeks I am left somewhat beaten up, so therefore I'd be most thankful to receive your most wise advice ;

How long should I give it before even attempting a short outing?

I'm all but recovered - in that I don't feel like death anymore and my coughing fits are down to two or three a day from about 120 per day. I've done two walks over the past two days which left me cream crackered and a bit breathless and I've still got residual chesty stuff going on. I want to run but sure as hell don't want to do any damage which would result in me being bed ridden again!

So dear readers, if there are any of you who were once fit and thrusting like me and was then knocked for six by an illness, how long did it take YOU to return to greatness?

I await with baited breath, legs and fingers crossed and loins girded.

As ever your loyal servant



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35 Replies

  • I'm nothing like as basically fit and healthy as you but like you I've been playing "Goo, goo, green goo to chew" lately with a full blown flu and a tedious cycle of chills and fevers which has finally given up and I too am wondering if I can take my remaining stock of sticky vileness out with me on a run.

    For various reasons at the weekend I was faced with an "I need to catch up situation" and I found a running motion easier on the lungs than trying to walk faster - it felt like a relief to do it. I got away with that OK but did not kid myself that I was ready for even a light 30 minute planned run. I'm toying with the idea of tomorrow.

    I'm not trying to go to work and recover though (tucked up in bed as usual) If you are then maybe the running will have to wait a bit longer... especially if you know you'd be tempted to push it. Maybe don't put the full kit on???

  • Good advice. I'll wait! Thanks GM.

  • I have NO medical evidence to back me up, but have also been ( hugely unusually) plagued with the green stuff this year.. personally, I'd wait till it was fully clear before attempting something that would cause you to require much oxygen to your muscles..

    if you are breathless with walking does not suggest to me anything could be gained by stressing it further at the moment.. I've tried various forms of exercise thought injury/infection ( gently/ cut down/ train through it) in the past myself.. and generally found none of them worked well, only one possible sometimes is 'take it easy' ???

  • Good. Thanks AAM.

  • I'd keep doing the walks, and push them a bit harder/longer, to whatever degree is comfortable for the time being until the coughing/chesty business has resolved itself. I wouldn't bother with running till that's out of the way.

    Then once your actual ailment is completely vanquished, go back at the training medium to ful throttle pretty quickly. Your legs won't have lost any siginificant strength in 5 weeks and your fitness will only be down a bit. Don't go easy on yourself once you can run again, push hard to regan your fitness level, but wait till you are properly well before starting.

    Meanwhile, what better opportunity to be focussing on strength work?

  • Good answer - thanks Rig.

  • I can't advise on the lung issue as I have no experience of trying to run after a chest infection, but when I had a couple of months out earlier this year, I reverted back to Laura to see how much I could actually do. I started at Wk 4 and progressed as quickly as my poor old bod could manage. It actually felt good to be back with dear old Laura and her cheesy music - nostalgia kicked in and I wasn't too tempted to try and do too much too soon which could have resulted in a return to the injury couch (or bed in my case).

    You were superfit before though, so I bet you'll be surprised at what you can do when you get back out there.

  • I bloomin' 'ope so luv! Thanks though UIOLI. Good plan.....

  • I was laid up with a similar virus for about 5 weeks. I started back by walking - and had to take a nap when I got home as I was bushed! Once I started to run again, it took at least 7-8 runs before I felt back on form - and I run /walk and only for 5-6k, so nothing like the distances you do.

    On the plus side, I have just done a PB, so you will work back to your former glory! Just have to be prepared to take your time.

    You know your own body pretty well by now Dan, so you will be the best judge of what is right for you.

    Take care out there!

  • Good point UR. I think what's becoming clear is that it's not worth starting back until I'm "ready". It's true, I WAS in good shape but I sure as hell don't wanna risk any sort of injury again! My 10K race on June 7th I think will have to fall by the wayside. But I am STILL going for the half marathon in October with my chum......

  • This will all be a distant memory by October. Your 10k in June may not be off the cards - just see how you go! Good luck

  • Aw Dan the Man , these viruses can really take their toll and take some getting over .

    I wouldn't write off your 10k in June yet though , or is that just me being overly optimistic ?

    Kill it ! Kill it with fire !

    I really hope you are back in tip top condition soon :-) xxx

  • We shall see about June 7th......I'm cautious....but in a good way.

  • Oh you MUST do the Turk's Head! Even if me, Aussie, Vicky B and rest of the team pull you round while you balance on a skateboard. Ooh now there's a thought! But it's a fun run, so no pressure, and it wouldn't be the same without you!

  • Can't give you any advice but it seems you have got plenty above so I will just say all the best. It looks like you are not far from being able to take some tentative running steps.

  • Thanks Dunder.

  • There seems to have been loads of us with yucky chest bugs this spring. the_tea_fairy was commenting about the state of her lungs the other days. Suspect all you can do is continue to wait it out. Do some walking and keep inhaling steam to loosen up any remaining gunk, and hopefully you'll be back to your normal self soon. Don't be tempted to run too soon though, you'll only push the gunk deeper down and, worse still, you'll be depressed by your performance. Chin-up Sweetie. At least the weather's improving, so you can always sit in the garden and top up your tan :)

  • Steaming is helping I have to say. But you're right about starting too soon and then getting p'eed off because I'll be sh**!

  • Swimming and walking☺

  • Don't do swimming. But walking...yeah!!

  • Oh dear. Sounds horrid pet. I have been lucky enough to not have anything nasty like this since I've been "a runner!" So I'm afraid I'm not much help. Just take it easy and I would guess once you're over it and start getting out there again your fitness will come back quickly. Just be careful. Listen to your bod!!!

  • I'm listening pet. I'm listening.....

  • Blimey you've been really need your va va boom back....have u seen doc? I can't say that I've been in that situation but I will recommend lady Berrocca, she will resume your functions and make your wee go fluorescent ;)

  • Seen doc. Twice. And thanks for the berrocca suggestion too. :)

  • A couple of years ago I got a terrible virus that I just could not shake. Every time I exercised it came back. The doc told me start with a slow walk and if it makes you feel worse it was too much rest up and try again. Slowly increase what you do and you will be able to shake it. Have some of mrs Dans lovely healthy smoothies to pack in those vitamins and minerals to boost the immune system and try not to stress as it will make it worse. You will get there, happy healing.

  • Ahhh thanks RFC.

  • Oh Dan, this Vicky Virus seems to have really taken the wind out of your sails...

    Viral chest infections are sneaky things - they can linger on as post-viral coughs, even after the initial acute illness is gone. So you won't make yourself ill again by running, but you may exacerbate the cough, which as you know is tiring and uncomfortable. I've had similar to what you've had but in my pre-running days so can't really advise - it depends how you feel. The wikipedia article on post-viral cough suggests running might actually be good for shifting it, and also recommends DARK CHOCOLATE as a cough suppressant - nice one.

    So if you don't feel ill any more, and can control the tiresome cough, I think you should get out there and give it a gentle spin - you will be pleasantly surprised at how much form you still have. You are young(ish) and strong after all, and after running regularly for two years, five weeks off will make very little difference.

    OR how about I push you round Richmond Park in a bath chair, that would be hilarious.

  • "You are young....(ish)...." HAHAHAHA!!!!

    I'm up for the bath chair run ANYTIME!! Thanks EM!

  • If your cream cracker end after a walk, I'd probably stick to walking for the moment until you're feeling better.....then stick to short runs at an easy pace and then you can go full throttle once better (had a chest infection that knocked me for 6 and I was wheezing getting to the end of the driveway 😉)

  • Oooh I know. It's a bugger innit? I've never had anything like this before in my entire life.

  • Well nice and easy is the ticket xxx hope you get well soon xxx

  • Dan old chum, you poor thing!! Can I rather miserably point out that you might have a teensy bit of history for going back too soon?! Remember; you can't run before you can walk!

  • Ah yes. Tis true. That was for a muscle issue wasn't it? Luckily though on that occasion I was ok. I think I'm gonna have to respect this virus as being far more powerful than I ever thought.....

  • Have you been checked for whooping cough? There are quite a lot of cases around. Also known as the 100 day cough!

  • No? Haven't been checked for whooping cough. Seen two GP's who examined me and I'd have hope they'd have considered that when I was in their surgeries. If its a 100 day cough, I'm on Day 33!! So a long way to go.....booooo

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