Running after Sickness

by Fiona

I have built up my run on treadmill now four or five mornings a week for five miles each morning. I suffered flu a couple of weeks ago and I am just wondering how should I go about getting back into the run.

Should I just start off with my five miles again or should I start off slower. I was only off about three weeks with sickness, but I'd hate starting over again, I was so happy when I built up my run to five and six miles.


Answer by Dominique:

Hi Fiona,
Thanks for your question about getting back into running after sickness.

There is no straightforward rule on how to go about these things. In a few weeks you don't lose a great deal of fitness. So, you don't have to start all over again from zero. At the same time, it is generally not the best thing to jump straight into your running program as it was before your time off. This is especially true when you have been building up mileage.

A safe rule of thumb is to take about as much time getting back into your normal running as you have taken off from running. So three weeks off would generally mean that you need to take about three weeks again to get fully back into the mileage you were doing before.

Please note that this is a general and safe rule, you need to work out, based on how you feel and how your body reacts to the running, whether you can be a bit more aggressive with the build-up or if you need to take it a little more easy.

It depends a lot on your base as well. If you have been running five miles four times a week for the last year, then taking three weeks off should hardly harm you. You'd probably be able to jump into the same running routine again, immediately after you are fully recovered from your running.

But you don't quite have that base yet so you may have to take it a little bit more easy.

Hope this helps.
Kind regards,

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