first run after injury - so fed up!

I've been injured for last 9wks, been dead fed up, not done any other exercise (stupid!!) and have put a stone on. Have been thinking and planning all the stuff i'm gonna do when i get back running, i'm gonna go this race and that race and lose loads of weight and be dead slim and fit and full of energy etc etc..

Today, I'm finally injury free, new orthotics in and off I went on a beautiful day for my first run, went off road through the woods, full of enthusiasm....

 I was rubbish!

Dead unfit, was out for 30mins and had to stop about 5 times cos i was was out of breath. Felt really heavy and no rhythmn and all self conscious cos of how slow I was going.

Just for background info, i' ve only ever done 10min miles but could comfortably run 6 miles at that pace and really enjoy it.

Am so fed up, can't believe i'm going to have to start from scratch again.

Think I just need a pep talk please... 


  • Not been out that long but have found that the first one is hard but it doesn't take as long to get back to where you were as it did to get there the first time - the reserves are there, just takes a few to get at them!
  • The good news is you are definitely NOT starting from scratch.  You will have lost a fair bit of fitness, and you do need to get back to it gradually, but you will most probably surprise yourself how quickly you make improvements.

    I can trump your weight gain - I had an ITB injury last year and put on 17lbs.  On my first few runs back, I felt my thighs rubbing together for the first time in ages!  But after a good few easy paced runs the weight started coming off again and it gradually started to feel easier.  Since then I've lost even more weight and am 9lbs lighter than pre-injury.  (Not that I needed to lose much at all, I'm just a racing whippet now. image)  Having got back to speed work and racing, I'm also now back into PB shape.  I wouldn't wish injury on anyone but I do believe there was a silver lining in my experience, because the return to form gave me a renewed sense of enthusiasm and made me realise how much I value trouble-free running.

    Keep at it, don't worry about your pace at all for a good few weeks, build the miles back up and you will get back into shape.

  • Pep talk??

    Get out there again tomorrow and stop moaning image

    Seriously - it will come back again, just takes time - especially good to be careful if you have orthotics as you need to get used to them.

    There are loads of us who don't do other exercise when we are injured - I suppose we just like running so much, everything else seems so dull!

  • Totally agree with TD.  I'd also say that it's important to take it easy coming back.  I find it's really hard not to wish you were where you were before in fitness terms and push too hard to get back to that point.  And hey presto you injure yourself.

    I'm always coming back from injury (well, it feels that way!) and when it's rubbish when I first come back, I just remind myself how much better it is to be able to run at all, how when I was injured I would have done anything just to run for 20 minutes, bla bla bla.  I try and put it in perspective a bit.  And it DOES get better, and as TD says, it DOES get better QUICKER!

    And you're not starting from scratch.  You haven't lost any of your knowledge, you know what it's like to be in a routine etc etc - all the stuff that true newbies don't know or have.  So it's not all doom and gloom - you will get there!

    Good luck.

  • Hi Ploddinglady..please see my message below 

    Get out there again tomorrow and stop moaning image

    Just to confirm I was joking and this was made in a lighhearted manner. Sorry - It's just that I am taken the wrong way on these boards most of the time!!

    You will get back into the swing of it soon - hope tomorrow's run is better!!!!

  • Don't try running at the same pace you were before your layoff, take it easy, build it back up, you certainly won't have to start from scratch, but it will take a good few weeks to get back into the swing of it.
  • thanks everyone! Simon - don't worry, i took it as you intended - made me laugh!

  • ploddinglady...I had a three year break from running due to redundancy/job-seeking/new job learning curve/apathy. It took w while to get back up to speed/fitness but I did and you will too.

    At least you are committed enough to get back out've done the hard bit now it is just a matter of  a steady increase in your time out will soon be back upto speed no doubt about that...good luck. May the speed be with youimage  

  • PL, don't aim to go too fast - forget where you were before, concentrate on where you are now - you will get fitter, faster and back to "normal" and then even betterimageimage.

    Take it easy - aim for time on feet rather than distance - building back up gradually ( I did mine in 5/10mins stints).  Start each run slowly and build up speed during the run, after a break it's so much easier to set off far too fast, then.........imageimageimage.

    There's nowt wrong with walking either - I know a lot of people turn their noses up, bit it's a great way of getting back into training after injury - I used to do run/walk combo at the beginning as well.  Might not be such a bad idea if you've now got orthotics as they will push/pull your body in a different way and might take a bit of getting used to in the early days.

    Go for races, but maybe lower your sights (if you were previously aiming for 10ks, go for 5k etc) to start with and give yourself a few weeks to get back into fitness.  Add x-training too, if you can.

    I was on the bench for about 6 - 8 weeks in the spring  with 2 - 2 1/2 st weight gain (medical problem).  I did my first race (10k) mid June and really struggled.  I picked up training again in July and  I'm now up to HM distance.  I've lost some of the weight - (unfortunately it won't go off as quickly as it went onimage) and am working at losing the rest.

    Plenty of us in similar situations to you so image and hope it gets better for you.

  • thanks..i feel a bit funny about run walking when it's only 3 miles BUT keep telling myself better to be out doing something than sitting at home plus my heart's still pumping so it's all doing me good!

    Thanks everyone! pep talk has worked!

  • You'll be fine and it will come back sooner than you think, I was out for 9 weeks ish due to calf tear, kept up swimming and bike riding but my first run was awful, red faced, panting freak! Now I'm another 8 weeks down the line and all is well, ran 10 miles last, going for 13 this weekend, and guess what - i'm running a minute up on my pace which is weird but great, the swimming and biking obviously helped!!

    Keep at it - it will come, everyone needs a pep talk every now and again.

    Oh and I will happily walk when on a 3 miler if i feel the need, I'm not training for the olympics so why not indeed!! image

  • I'm also coming back from injury (ITBS image) and it is such hard work.

    I read somewhere (probably on here!) that you should tell yourself they are 'recovery runs' and not think of them as any sort of training until you are feeling fully fit again.  It is frustrating to walk/run but if it's going to help you to prevent injuring yourself again.....

    I've been running/walking again for about 8 weeks after being out for over 3 months and I'm still not back to full pace or distance.  I'm sure it will come though and I'm also sure it will happen for you too - just takes some patience.

  • I can sympathise ploddinglady, but it could be alot worse - at least you're injury free now, right??

    I've been on and off injured for a year and a bit.. just can't shake the shin splints so I know how it feels to come back to running only be disapointed. My only advice would be to remember that all the hard work you've done before deffinately does NOT just disapear. Although in your position I'd just be so overjoyed that I could run for just a few miles a week without pain that I wouldnt even think about how fit I was. Just enjoy it and forget about your weight /  times / fitness!

     Good luck image

  • clownfoot - i've been off with shinsplints too! and you're right, coming home from my run today and still being able to walk has been heaven! The proof will be when I get up tomorrow - if i have no shin pain I'll be chuffed to bits!!

  • You'll be fit again before you know it!  I've just had 3 weeks off with a chest infection and was like a bear with a sore head because I couldn't exercise.  Tonight I went and did a tough 3 and a half hr mountain bike ride, and I think I overdid it!  I'm so tired.....

  • do you think vicky?!! Take care of yourself!! image
  • I've not run since June (hoping I'll get the all clear to have a go next week) I've printed off the RW intermediate starter plan, which aims to get you running an hour in 8 weeks.

    For me the key is planned walk breaks, I can keep going as long as I know there's a break coming, I might actually be able to run for longer, but if I stop because I feel knackered I feel like a failure - but if it's in' the plan' I feel like I've achieved something.


  • SJ, if you feel knackered, chances are you're going too fast at the start.

    Try to slow it all down so that you can concentrate on completing each run without stopping - helps with stamina/endurance and hopefully, you'll feel better for achieving it rather than having to stop and then feel like a failure.

    Try to aim for negative splits or alternatively, build up speed on each segment of your run.  If I have eg a steady 60mins to run, I try to build up gradually (dividing the run into 10mins segments), so that each  segment is slightly faster than the previous. 

    When I'm (trying!) to aim for speed, I'm an expert at going off too fast and finding that I've nothing left, so I'm now trying to control that to run at a more steady and continuous speed.

  • CJBA, it depends how fit/used to running you are! I suspect you're someone that's always run or at least has run for a long time and like my OH don't quite get how some people can't run for more than a few minutes and have to build up.

    People that have run since being young seem to have an inate ability to at least keep it going for a reasonable length of time even if they have a break for years, but if like me you don't start until your late 30s whenever you have  break you have to have that 'build up' time, which never takes as long as the first time, and you genererall don't have to start with as short running bursts - I'm starting with 10 minutes this time as opposed to the 30 seconds I could manage when I first started image.

    And... when I started running I was perfectly capable of cycling 60 miles with no problem.


  • Good! Thanks Plodding Lady image
  • Thanks for the compliments, but actually no, SJ, not at all.

    I first started 3 years ago, ran for about 8 - 10 weeks, developed severe plantar fasciitis and was out of running for over 2 years (if you want the gory details, they're on the pf thread).

    I started back about a year ago, aged 49, walking for 10mins at a time.  I've built up exceedingly slowly over the year due to the pf and the fact that I've had other injuries (ruptured tendons - spent 2004 on crutches and in and out of plaster) caused by biomechanical problems.

    I know exactly what it's like to struggle at the beginning/return to training - I've been there myself and specifically, this year, was benched for 6-8 weeks with anaemia caused by (undiagnosed) coeliac disease.  My weight has rocketed over the last 12 months, at one point, increasing by 1lb a week, apparently all due to the coeliac disease. 

    I'm trying to get it all back under control and in the meantime, am plodding on.

    My suggestions were based on my own experience as a struggling, unfit, over weight and over 50 newbie and were made in the spirit they were intended, to help and support. 

    I'm sorry that you didn't feel that you could take them that way.

  • JWrun wrote (see)
    do you think vicky?!! Take care of yourself!! image

    Thanks image

    Luckily I feel fine today, but I think I was a bit silly doing all that exercise last night, in retrospect!

  • Building up slowly is a must in my experience. You will build up just stick with it. I was chuffed to get to 4 miles on the flat with no doms at all, then went out again planning 4 miles with hills but ended up doing 6 miles with hills, (59 mins, get in!!) felt great, thought yay I'm back .... until horrid hurty shin the next day, went on for four days image, done an interval session today on the treadmill and hoping it won't hurt tomorrow. image

    Injury is pants but part of the running experience for lots of us.

  • Sorry CJBA I just thought you were inferring the grit your teeth and keep going approach was the way to go - as recommend by OH as a starting strategy, which meant my first attempt at running lasted about a week image

    What I don;t get is why this morning I hardly noticed my knee, but I bet when I get up from here to go and make a brew it will hurt like hell imageimage


  • The advice that I was given by my physio and podiatrist was to think in terms of time on feet rather than distance - to begin with - and to build up in 5 min segments.

    I literally started by walking for 10 mins 3 x per week.  When I was comfortable with that, I moved on to walk/run combos (a favourite of The Penguin aka John Bingham).  I divided the time into 5min segments, starting walk 4mins/run 1, then gradually decreasing the walks/increasing the runs.  Once I was running for 30 mins comfortably, I built up to 40 mins, but by adding the extra as run/walk combos at the end of the 30 mins. 

    I'm sorry, but I totally disagree with your OH's approach - don't think it achieves anything and is not particularly motivating.

    My take would be that you should aim for a continuous x minutes (depending on what that is for you), the emphasis being on continuous activity rather than stop/start bursts of running/keeling over knackered and wheezing.  So, if that means starting with just walking or run/walk combo, then go for it.  I was recommended to read this

    Marathon Running for Mortals by John Bingham and Jenny Hadfield

    when I started and I used this as a base for my starting programme.

    John Bingham/The Penguin

    I've still got the schedules that I put together, if you're interested, you can pm me and I'll send them to you.

    PS re the knee, possible sign of too much exertion, maybe shoe problem?  Do make sure you stretch, I didn't and made classic beginner's mistake, too many miles, too soon.  The result?  Major pf.  I've learnt from my mistakes!

  • I did a combination of the RW 8 week and 24 week programmes when I started which worked really well for me so I'm going to start part way through those and adjust for how I feel.

    I do think I need some new trainers, I trained and ran a half in them in March with no real problebm niggles only started after the 10k in May image

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