Advice to get back into it!

Hi all

I was wondering if you could give me some tips about getting back into running again. I graduated C25K last December and was managing at least one 5k per week. However, I've been hit badly with both a viral and bacterial infection for nearly a month, during which time I've been unable to do anything - even riding my bike slowly to and from school wore me out. I have just started a course of antibiotics to clear the infection and I can't see I will be running for another week yet.

I am desperate to get back on track as I miss my running! But I am aware that my fitness levels will have dropped during the last 4 weeks or so. When I am finally well enough to start, what would you suggest? Has anyone else been like this and what worked for you? I was thinking maybe a Week 8 onwards programme?

Enjoy the sun!



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14 Replies

  • Sorry you have not been well. Heres to a quick recovery !

    I'd go for one run of each week starting from week three. If you manage it move on to the next week. If you struggle do the full week's three runs and take it from there.

    Be kind to yourself. Choose a nice route to start with, flat if possible.

    Happy running!

  • Thank you!

  • Try doing week 5 it is a good benchmark if that is to difficult go back a week

  • Thanks!

  • I'd recommend either of two approaches:

    - go for a gentle run when you feel well enough. Try not to have expectations of how long it will be, but see what you can manage without pushing yourself too much. Once you know what you can manage, you can build up again from there.


    - go back to, say, week 6 run 3 and build up from there, but going through the weeks quicker if the runs are comfortable, so do 1 x 25 min, 1 x 28 min, 1 x 30 min over a week if each run leaves you feeling you could have done more. Better to feel you could have done more at this stage than to push to exhaustion.

    Hope you're properly recovered soon, and back to running :)

  • Thanks for the advice - sounds like a good plan. :-)

  • My wife has been starting back after a break of over 5 months following in operation, she's been doing w5r1 runs, been finding it tough but manageable, but then she may have lost more fitness than you, with the longer layup..

  • Thanks for sharing that. I hope your wife is back to normal soon - 5 months is a long time.

  • I would start from week 1, if that feels OK then progress. It will return quickly but take it steady as youve been so poorly...

  • Thank you :-)

  • I've been in a similar situation this year. Graduated in October, running regularly up to Christmas thn hit by an awful cold which didn't go away properly, then got a chest infection. Was wheezing horribly all this time too. Chest infection got sorted but showing asthma symptoms. Finally once inhalers had kicked in I could run again - a gap of about 7 weeks. I'd been going to restart on the early weeks of C25K but ended up doing a few very short runs, around 1 - 2k, taking it slowly and allowing myself to walk if I was getting tired. I gradually built up from there

    The bad news is that although I managed the first runs they didn't feel as enjoyable as usual - I think that was because it was hard work, and they weren't long enough to properly get past that running in treacle feel.

    The good news is that 6 weeks on I'm back doing the run/walk group at our local running club (the first week back we covered 8.2k in just over an hour and I was fine), did a parkrun last weekend and managed a PB, am generally really enjoying running again and am, if anything, fitter than before i was ill. I think you lose less fitness than you might expect - the difficult start bit is more because your body is still tired after illness. And after doing that first 1k I reminded myself of that very first C25K run when 1 minute was hard work, yet after being ill I could still do 1k now.

    Hope you are well enough to run soon - look after yourself.

  • Thanks Orchards. I am sorry to read how unwell you have been too. It's been a bad winter for these viruses it seems. I feel heartened by your quick progress! Glad to hear that you are back to feeling good again.

  • I think the same as RainbowC- I would just go out with a positive, gremlin-quashed 'I can do this' approach and just try a steady run to gauge how it all feels.

    4 weeks 'off' won't have affected your running too much, surprisingly, it'll now just depend on how much your illness has or hasn't taken a toll.

    No harm in knowing the programme is there as a back-up though and I reckon week 5 would likely be enough to see you back on track.

    Good luck 🏃🏃🏃

  • Thanks! Can't wait to get back out there!

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