This week I had to take an unexpected break in my training schedule. I was hit with a fever and when I went to work out I felt weak and like I had no energy. On the days I was able to get a workout in, I had to cut back to at least 50% of what I had planned. It sucked.
Illness can put a halt to even the most dedicated runner's training plan. Especially in the midst of marathon training it can be difficult to allow yourself to take time off, but this is exactly what your body needs most. It's important to hold back on training until you're illness is gone. Take some time to catch up on Netflix...
|I decided to start House of Cards while I was sick|
Once you are feeling better there are several things you should think about before returning to your regular training schedule.
- How long were you out for? The longer you were sick the longer it's going to take you to get back into your normal routine. Have patience through your first few runs, and don't let yourself get down even if you're not 100% even when you're feeling much better. It may feel like you're starting back at square 1, but you will progress much faster if you give yourself time to recover.
- What was your nutrition like while you were sick? Were you able to eat? If you weren't able to keep food down or if you weren't eating your normal diet it may take even longer to return to normal training. Focus on getting your diet back on track and your training will likely follow.
- Were you able to move while you were sick or were you stuck in bed? If you were bedridden it is likely you will have some residual sore and stiff muscles. Make sure to stretch and warm up before your runs. If you continued to work while you were sick it may take a few extra days to fully recover, and may require more time off from training.
- During your first week back, run/walk half the distance of your scheduled weekday runs. A 3-5:1 minute run/walk ratio is recommended- do what feels best for you. Reduce your long run by one to two miles. During the second week back, increase your weekday runs to 75 percent of what you planned, add a few strides after a couple of runs, and do your long run as scheduled. Skip speedwork during those first two weeks, then resume training as normal.
- During your first week back, run/walk your workouts as described above. Complete a final long run of no more than 17 to 18 miles three weeks out. Follow the taper schedule you had originally planned, if this means you missed out on one of your crucial long runs just plan on skipping it rather than trying to make it up close to race day. Set realistic expectations for your race day. Many people end up running the best race of their life shortly after an illness, but be prepared to not perform as well as you had planned.
- . That said, you can run, but your goal now is simply to finish. For the two weeks leading up to your event, run easy and reduce the longest run of your taper to 70 percent of the distance.
|You'll be back to running like a healthy puppy in no time!|
In order to keep yourself healthy make sure you're sleeping enough, eating healthy fats (like almonds), staying away from processed sugars, and getting enough fruits and vegetables. Happy running!
Question: What's your favorite sick day activity?