Losing fitness

Can anyone tell me how quickly you lose your fitness? I have been ill for the last week and therefore haven't run in 5 days. Will I have lost alot if fitness? Before that I was running fairly regualrily (4/5 times a week), and up to September training for a marathon - so have quite a base of training behind me...Fitness levels and how quickly fitness comes and goes is a subject that I don't have much knowledge on so if anyone can shed some light I would really appreciate it. :)


  • Charlotte - form something MartinH said a while ago, if I recall you would only lose fitness after about 3-4 weeks. But on saying that, if you aren't fully recovered you might find things difficult and you should take things slowly. By the time I restart running, I won't have run for nearly 7 and a half months so I have my work cut out :)
  • I think Cath is bang on there. 5 days is nothing. I've done some of my best runs after a week (or more) of rest.
    You might have needed the time to recover.
  • Hi Charlotte - 5 days and you should be fine, just take the first one steady whilst your muscles and bones get back in sync.
    I do similar sort of mileage to you and I find that if I have had to stop for more than a week then it takes twice as long to get back to the same level - i.e. 2 weeks for every week lost.
    I made a mistake at the beginning of 2001 - I had trained hard and completed a good marathon at Disney and thought I would do what the experts suggest and take 2 weeks off completely from running, even though I still felt good. When I started again I had all sorts of pains and aches and pulls and it took 3 months to get back in order.
    Have you any races you are targeting?
  • Thanks to everyone for the advice :)

    In reply to your question JD I am targeting a few races - my next one is supposed to be the Gt.Barford Half on the 8th Dec (if I am fit enough!!), and then after that I have a few lined up for 2003, with a Spring Marathon as my main target (hopefully London - keeping my fingers crossed). If not London then I am going to enter the Shakespeare Marathon instead....I have to keep giving myself targets to push myself (see my own website www.dutchworld.biz)...what about you?

  • Hi Charlotte
    I had a week off running last week - I wasn't ill, just lacking in motivation. Have been out twice since - muscles the next day were a bit stiff but still managed to do the times I was recording before my week off. Think it is good sometimes to take a break and perhaps reassess aims and ambitions with your running and more often than not you can emerge from the break refreshed and ready to rock and roll!
  • Hi M - I know what you mean, I got back to running after 5 days off and I actually had a great run. I felt refreshed and raring to go....I think you are right a rest gives you time to re-assess your running aims and goals, which is not only critical for progression but also for long term motivation. However I am now trying to get myself back into a regular training pattern and my body is rebelling at getting up early now it has had a taste of lying in! :)
  • Hi Charly
    I usually run at tea time except on weekends. I have to leave the house about 7.15am which would mean i'd have to get up at an god-awful hour in order to fit in a run! I quite often play some lively music while i'm getting into my running gear in order to help motivate me and remind myself how good I will feel after! Usually works a treat.
  • Charly

    Make sure that you are fully recovered before you start running again.

  • Hi Charly (& M) (et al)
    Glad you're back into it. Regarding recovery from illness, its often difficult to decide when to stop, when to keep going. I normally run thro' a cold as long as there isn't a fever. The best guide for me is my pulse - I woke with a rotten cold 18 days ago, but my pulse was still ~40, so did a 19 miler and whilst the cold hung around, I did a 10 mile PB on Sunday.
    Good luck with your London applic.
  • I would say my fitness retreats after 7 days
  • Thanks again to everyone for all the advice - this forum is great. Lots of support and great for motivation......

    Bye for now, Charly :)
Sign In or Register to comment.