Return to training after 9 month break

Hi all.

I've been on the bench now for 9 months with fatigue following a virus. Definitely on the up now so looking to start training again. I'm after advice as to the best way to go about it - obviously I can't start where I left off. I was training 5 times a week up to 50 miles. I was thinking about some slow intervals of 400m to start with walking breaks, every other day. Then after a week or two start adding a few strides just to get the pace up a bit. Assuming I don't relapse.

Grateful for any thoughts. Taa!


  • SteadyCJSteadyCJ ✭✭✭

    Hi Peter glad to hear you are finally off the bench, I broke my wrist in December and joined the bench for a while. Now you problable know what I am going to say but, I 'll say it anyway.

    The past was 5 times a week upto 50 miles a week, I have never got that far.

    How about starting at the very begining again doing say the couch to 5k plan, yes I know you can do it but you need to start over, fitness does come back quicker than a real beginner. Take it steady and slowly, after all a woman who has been pregnant and given birth would not expect to jump back in to running and expect full fitness in a few weeks.

    After some months hopefully your body will realise that this exercise lark is what it is used to and it will all click in place. Your first attempt may only be run 1 minute walk 2 minutes for 20 mins, but after a short while that will be more run less walk and a bigger distance covered.

    By the way I can now do 5 miles in 1:05 non stop, from restarting in January so there is hope.

  • Hi SteadyCJ, glad to hear that you are back running and doing well! Problem is I'm an impatient old bugger but that is good advice. I've just got in from my first go - 8x 400m gentle trots with 2 mins slow walk recoveries and some dynamic stretching. All things considered it seems to have gone well just a bit disappointing. My minute/mile pace is double what it was! A 5k plan is a good idea - I was thinking this morning that I might set myself a parkrun date in about 8 weeks with the aim of just getting round non-stop pace regardless. Got a pilates class tonight so I'll probably have a day off tomorrow and hopefully be out again on Wednesday.

    Good luck with your training and best wishes.


  • Lardarse - you seem to know me far too well!!
  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    Hi Peter, welcome back image

    It'll come back so do not panic.  But slow and steady to start with is the sensible option.  Built up your endurance first before shoving some speedier stuff in (unless you're training for an event and have a deadline).

  • RatzerRatzer ✭✭✭

    Have you been doing anything else at all, Peter?  Fatigue generally defeats just about anything, but I thought I'd ask.  One thing that strikes me is that if you go back to running, and the fatigue returns, you might associate the running with it and be turned against it - this running is hard work!

    Pilates seems a very good option.  I presume it's a class with a bossy, fit bugger(ess) up front giving you all the motivation you need.  I would also consider the gym for doing strengthening for running, and perhaps running in the pool to get you ready for going back out on your feet.

    I don't know about these run/walk things.  I've been put off them by some fairly experienced people.  If your goal is to build up your endurance first, then why keep resting?  Why train your legs to expect a rest?  You may be enticed into going too hard in the intervals knowing that you have a rest coming up, which could be detrimental.  Go very gently until you stop, hopefully back at your front door.  If you do find yourself needing to stop to rest, go slower or less distance the next time, until you're back at a level you can sustain.  At the end of the day though, if it works for you, go with it.

    Finally, having spent the last 6 months trying to come back myself, don't be knocked by any dips that might happen.  Take a break, start over, and each time you come back a bit further and stronger.

  • Thanks Happychap! No events planned - I've written this year off really, any events will be just for fun. Building up endurance is definitely a priority - I want to be back to doing 20+ milers regularly this year if at all possible. I will have to do a few faster paced sessions though a otherwise I'll go mad! But of course you are all right, I do need to be patient and take it steady.

    Cheers Ratzer - it has been very difficult to do any exercise at all. Occasional brisk walks but often ended in 2 or 3 weeks relapsed so I gave up trying in the end. I had been doing pilates for a couple of years before all this. I had a class last Thursday which was really tough, I felt okay afterwards hence today's run. If all goes well tomorrow then I'll be up for another run on Wednesday.

    I take your point about the run/walk thing. It is not my ideal but it helps to keep my heart rate down. I'll be stopping it asap! I will try swimming and a bit of gym work (but I get mega bored really quickly). I may try some exercises at home instead.

    Thanks to all for the advice - it's kind of what I thought but it is better hearing it from others!

    And Ratzer - I hope all goes well for you too.

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