Log in
Couch to 5K
76,583 members108,082 posts

Training after long term illness?

Hello! I have suffered with severe IBS for some time, and with it fatigue which rendered me unable to keep fit. As my health is improving (!!!) I have decided to take on this challenge and get back to running again after years off. My final goal after 5k is to run a half marathon. I wonder if anyone else on here has had a similar experience and has any advice? Mostly regarding balancing health with fitness, and how to ensure I don’t get weaker not stronger. Anything would be appreciated! Thank you.

12 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi Goosee & welcome. 😀 It’s good to hear your health is improving.

I don’t have experience with IBS but I did restart running after pneumonia last year. I restarted the the C25K program from scratch with my GP’s encouragement & a warning from him to go very gently & limit myself to 5mins for a while. The first time out I only did every other run of W1R1, but after that I was able to follow the program with an occasional repeat run thrown in. The important thing was to really listen to my body, go slowly & be willing to stop if necessary. Good luck! 😃

3 likes
Reply

Thank you! That is really helpful.

Reply

Welcome to the forum and well done on your decision

This guide to the plan is essential reading healthunlocked.com/couchto5... and outlines the flexibility of the programme.......... you are in charge.

Running doesn't have to be focused only on big events like half marathons, but I admire you for having targets. Doing 150 minutes per week of cardio exercise is the current recommendation.

C25K is designed to gently and safely build stamina and just running 3 X 30 minutes runs each week after graduation will take you a long way to that target.

Many on this forum have health issues, myself included, and running provides us with ongoing mental well being along with profound physical benefits.

Enjoy your journey.

Reply

Thank you I’ll check out the link :)

Reply

I came to running with thyroid issues and arthritis, I have found that letting myself take an extra days rest if needed is the thing that works for me. it took me a while to learn that this was a positive thing not a negative thing 😀. I will have periods when I feel like I am ripping through my exercise regimen then out of the blue something will just feel off so I take a day or two extra rest days and that helps to put me back on track. I have found that having issues has made me better attuned to my body so I can feel the difference fast and act accordingly. Take it steady and look after yourself. Rfc x

1 like
Reply

That’s super encouraging to hear, thank you :) I’ll definitely take it slow and listen to my body then rather than pushing myself too harshly.

Reply

Like Realfoodieclub above, I too have an underactive thyroid. This was flagged up prior to me restarting my running and monitored for a while before I needed treatment. Tiredness is very much one of the symptoms I have to contend with, but it really is about learning to listen to your body and taking those extra rest days when you need it. That and a healthy diet😀 - when this slips I really notice! That aside, getting back to running has been only positive for me - after completing this programme I gradually increased my distance and completed my first Half Marathon a couple of years ago (at the age of 51). Unfortunately, this winter my running has been repeatedly hampered by illness 😮 (but that is how it goes sometimes😖), I am now starting to get back out there again. I think the message is, don't see your illness as a barrier, the physical and mental health benefits are so great and this programme will guide you carefully along the way. Good luck!🙂

Reply

Wow I’m glad to hear how well you have done! I agree that eating has such an affect on fatigue so I’ll definitely get on top of that and feed my body the right stuff :) Its great to hear that there are other people who have overcome illnesses and gotten stronger 💪🏼 I wish you the best on your recovery!

1 like
Reply

Hi Goosee I am sure you can do it. Might take a bit more prep before each run. I'm in remission from leukaemia, have quite bad IBS and mild pancreatitis. I get tired too. I find it easier if I have planned my meals super carefully. It has taken ages for me to learn how to feed myself for optimum peformance. The running has helped. I do run super slow. doesn't matter. The sense of achievement makes all the effort worth it. I've had 3 set backs (work injury and chest infections) but ran W7R2 yesterday and felt great at the end. I found the early weeks the hardest.

1 like
Reply

Wow thank you that is so encouraging! May I ask what kind of food you find best before a run/least aggrivating for your IBS? Congratulations on how well you’re doing!!

Reply

Its a long term plan. Non aggravating breakfast. Typically non yeasted flat bread and an egg or two. Non irritating snack at some point (this is hard as most snacks are indigestible). Lunch flat bread with some sort of poultry, no dressing and a bit of low FODMAP lettuce. All drinks are either water or weak tea/mild weak coffee with skimmed lactose free milk. No herbal teas. I typically run about 8 pm. Depending on energy levels 90 mins before run I will have 200 ml of the skimmed lactose free milk. Sometimes I may have a plain flat bread too. Go Natural protein bars are just about doable on a good day. If I go off piste and eat something I can't digest I am exhausted and it can take days to recover. Do you follow FODMAP? I do but have had to modify it. Also I avoid added sugar. Before I figured this out I did have a lot of problems and unscheduled dashes for the nearest bush....

Reply

I follow a gluten and lactose free diet. I follow an adapted Fodmap because I have found some things don’t affect me as much as others. I’ve never given up sugar but I can imagine it could help with energy for long distance runs in the long run (pardon the pun). Interesting that bars make you ill because I have noticed that too, but still have them as I believed they’d be helpful for running, I will trial staying away from them! Thank you for your advice :)

Reply

You may also like...