How much fitness do you lose?

IanIan ✭✭✭
I've not run for two weeks as a result of an ankle sprain. I'm about to start running again. I was on about 80 miles a week in preparation for the London to Brighton Race (6th of Oct.). I'm now hoping to do the Leek half (Sunday) and then the Wolverhampton marathon (1st Sept.) as training runs. How much will I have lost in those two weeks? I'm going to take it steady tomorrow. I've been cross training - bike and gym and I've no real pain on running but I'm mortified at the prospect of doing the sprain thing again (1st time ever!) and even more so at missing my beloved races.


  • Ian - you should find that there is very little fitness loss over two weeks, particularly if you have been building up your fitness over a long period of time. The theory of reversibility states that the longer you have trained for, the longer it takes to regress...

    You may even have found that a brief lay-off like this has enhanced your abilities, as the body will use this brief break to make the body stronger, in preparedness for the next period of training - it is often recommended by training 'gurus' that every so often you have a week/fortnight of rest/light training to enable to body to recover and grow stronger - see how you get on when you return to training!
  • I've just had two weeks of doing no training enforced on me (I managed two sessions in the first week, so strictly speaking 10 or 11 days)... anyway, I've got a chest infection and am antibiotics for it, but went running yesterday and day before and had fantastic runs. I think the rest (or rather endurance test style holiday and lack of training) did me the world of good, and even with chest infection I was as fit, if not fitter than before!
  • ps Someone who refers to a Marathon as a training run can't possibly be worried about their fitness!!
  • IanIan ✭✭✭
    Well, my first run went OK. No pain as such but I'm still limping a bit as the joint is a bit stiff. I suppose that will ease up over time. Time to visit the physio I suppose.
  • Hey Ian - don't tell a Doctor, but after spraining both ankles a week apart (I just couldn't do the rest bit!) I managed to go mountaineering up Ben Nevis (It was Februrary), then for a week in Spain with lots of swimming. I'm sure the exercise helped as my ankles didn't stiffen up and seemed to recover as strong or even stronger than before. I also massaged twice a day with LASONIL (from Boots). worked wonders.
    On holidays i have found - one week of rest (bit of swimming and lot of lounging) makes me run faster, 2 weeks i'm not at a peak, but haven't lost anything. Go back into running carefully and after a couple of weeks, you won't even know that you've had time off.
  • IanIan ✭✭✭
    Thank you for that. I'll give Lasonil a try (whatever it is). I did the Leek half marathon today and was pleasantly surprised that I could not only jog round but race it up to a point. I think if I'd been on form I might have managed 1:32. Today I did 1:40. So, I seem to have lost a bit from the top end of speed and in particular I found it hard to run fast downhill (something I used to be quite good at). This partly due to fear of further damage and partly because the joint is still a bit stiff (but getting better every day). I have also found the Neoprene ankle support (also from Boots) a great advance over Tubigrip. I wear it day and night and very attractive it is too.
  • From personal experiance I find that two weeks may dampen your sharpness but not your fitness. there are many cases in sporting history of athletes having enforced rest and coming back stronger after. Zatopec is one good example. From a common sense point of view and more applicable to longer distances, if the body, as we are told, takes a few weeks to recover and repair damage from a marathon or long run than naturally we must be able to sustain fitness while that recovery takes place. Otherwise we could never improve but constantly be taking one step forward and two back.
  • IanIan ✭✭✭
    Well, I got round the Wolverhampton marathon in 3:31:32. Not bad under circumstances. Clearly the lay-off took something off my performance and my ham-strings were aching afterwards - a result of losing out on some long runs. I'm racing a 5 miler on Saturday so I'll see if I can get any speed back by then.
Sign In or Register to comment.