Flu Frustrations

I was doing so well with my marathon training, I had a cold a few weeks ago but managed to keep running through it. Then this week - disaster - I caught full blown flu. I'm frustrated because my training was going really well, I was covering the distances and really enjoying it, now it feels like I've gone back to the beginning.

Apart from being bored out of my mind and missing physical activity, I am really scared that my running fitness is going to take a massive backslide. I had to completely write off this week (until yesterday, I could only manage to have a shower, or make a cup of tea before I needed to lie down again) and although I would LOVE to be fully recovered next week, I just can't see myself doing the 25 miles on my training plan. I had swine flu a couple of years ago, and it took about 3 weeks until I was back to normal. 

How does everyone else cope when they are recovering from flu? Both in terms of tailoring your training plan and mentally coping with the boredom/frustration (and fear image


  • Don't tell me you're fretting about the Brighton Marathon BJ? It's not til after Easter!!!!!!
  • Yes. I can't help it, I'm convinced next time I lace up my trainers I won't be able to make it to the end of the road! Flu delusions?
  • E mmyE mmy ✭✭✭
    Dont worry - I've got the same. Whenever i get a cold/infection it goes straight to my chest and I really struggle to get my breath and get out the house. Just take it one gentle run - no watch, nothing to measure - just get out there to enjoy the run.
  • Thanks Emmy, I think I will try to do my usual recovery run on Tuesday next week, but I will keep it close to home in case I need to turn back sooner. Or call someone to come and collect me image

    I might be adventurous and try to go for a walk tomorrow. I managed 20 minutes today before I had to have a sit down. Slow progress!

  • flu can knock you off course for a couple of weeks. You need to make sure you are fully recovered before you start training again or you will end up missing more time. If you could only manage to walk 20 minutes today then you won't be ready to run on Tuesday. Take another week off, read some good books and it is ages till April!
  • Thanks mathschick, its just so frustrating. I feel really lazy, sitting around doing nothing!
  • Just allow a few extra weeks in your training plan.
    And don't rush your recovery. You need to be well. You won't lose a massive amount of fitness anyway.
  • Why would you want to be running 25 miles next week for a marathon that's after easter anyway??

    Rest up and recover!
    Running before you are recovered will be counterproductuctive anyway
  • I've just recovered from a chesty cold. Was really cautious and took most of the week off running. Figured that my body could really object to the pressure and a few days is better than really hurting myself.

    But, I've totally hated it. Felt heavy, lazy and a bit crap. Soon as clear off chest, back to it and felt really strong. So the rest may have helped.

    You've got ages yet, as do I. My first is end of April. Don't worry. Easy to say, but get better, flu is very, very nasty, don't underestimate it.

    Hope this helps a bit.
  • it is really frustrating, I missed my long run last week because I wasn't feeling 100%, and I knew it was the right thing to do, but also felt so annoyed about it. You really do have to think long term to get you through it. You are not going to lose a massive amount of fitness - I took about a month off in the summer - had a long holiday then got a virus. I was a bit slower when I started again and needed to walk a bit, but if you just plod on, go back to where you should have been (or a week or so before that) in your training program and build up slowly again.

    I am doing my first ever marathon in the spring too, and have started building up the miles. In September I struggled with 6 miles, now my longest run (2 weeks ago) was 13.7 miles - it wasn't easy and was very slow, but I am convinced that by building up slowly I will get round the marathon. I started early because I just knew that over the winter I was bound to catch colds/flu or something and have to take some time off. Sounds like you have started early too, so you have time to miss a few weeks and still be in shape for the marathon

  • Thanks so much everyone, I feel a lot better now, both physically and mentally  image

    I purposefully started my training early in case I had to take time off, but I still felt panicky when it actually came to taking the time off. I find it much easier to tell other people that they should be resting than I do to follow advice, I can't help but feel like I'm skiving off! But 

    Went for a much longer walk today and felt loads better so hopefully I am on the mend.  I will see how I get on with just getting back to my normal work routine next week and if I still feel better towards the end of the week I'll try a very short run and then pick up training properly the week after image

  • K9 - do you think 25 miles a week is too much at this stage? I was hoping to be able to do a 16 mile run before the end of 2011. This was more of a psychological goal, so that I know I've only got to add another 10 miles on to my longest run, and have 12+ weeks to do it  image

    I've been doing 4 runs a week, 1 short recovery run (3 miles), 1 medium (5-7 miles), one speed work session and one long run (last one was 9 miles).

    Before that I was running 2 - 3 times a week, and doing lots of cross training (mainly boxing and circuits classes. I did a half marathon at the end of October, so I didn't want to take too much of a backward step and cut the long runs down too much.  

  • Sounds a lot & early too doing 25 & aiming to do 16m, you've got what 17 weeks to go?

    Flu will leave you weak for a bit so take it easy

    And why stop the boxing & circuits? I find them great with 6-10 miles running before or around them, recreate that tired heavy legged feeling.
  • It was mainly a time constraint. The gym I used to go to only had boxing and circuits at times that I had earmarked for running - I have to fit training around full time work and part time study. 

    But after looking around, I have found a gym close to work that does boxing and circuit classes at lunch times, so once I'm recovered from the flu I will be checking it out. I really miss punching things! 

    I haven't tried running before a circuit class - perhaps after a few more weeks image

  • Works great, try it.

    Good mix of cardio with the running, core and whatever you do in the class.

    Mine is early morning, 10.30 ish, Can vary how tired you feel and energy levels by either having breakfast or not, maybe just sports drinks or water, so get your body used to that feeling at 2 hours plus..
  • I'm stuck in bed with flu too... Going into week 3 now! image

    I had the same thing a year ago too and it coincided with the first month of my marathon training plan. I ended up having 3 months to train instead of 4 after 4 weeks of no running whatsoever.

    It was fine in the end and I found that once the flu virus had gone my body got back to normal pretty quickly. Don't try to run while ill though - your body has enough to cope with!

    Good luck!

  • Thanks FRC, I will have to try it on a weekend circuit class. I think I'll ease back into circuits to make sure my legs know what to expect though image 

    Real Girl Running - 3 weeks with the flu is rotten luck! I hope that you feel much better soon. I improved quite a lot over the weekend and managed to get into work today although still feeling a bit tired. I won't push it and will only start training again when I feel 100%

    I spent quite a bit of time yesterday going through my diary and training plan, I've got three 'extra' weeks to play with so I feel a lot less stressed about taking time off. Still slightly annoying that I've used some of my spare weeks on the flu, instead of Christmas excesses image

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