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Losing Fitness

During this low, depressing, not very fun time in my life, I’m trying to keep a level head about things. Perhaps the fact that my left leg and hip are still bothering me wouldn’t be so terrible if I didn’t have a cough that’s so bad I think I’m going to hurl. But the combination of my cough, severe sneezing, runny nose, AND hip and leg pain is really bringing me down. And top that off with the fact that today is a beautiful day and Mario got in an awesome 8 miler this morning. Runner jealousy. Grrr….

As I sit here and watch my fitness slowly go out the window, I decided to look up just how fast I was losing the fitness that I worked so hard for. I realize that I’ve been running for a long time and I’m a pretty well trained athlete. Assuming my leg and hip miraculously get better and I’m able to run on Saturday, I’ll still probably be able to pull off a decent time for the race. But how far away from that 1:30 time goal am I going to be?

Jeff, Runner’s Connect:

Recent studies show that there is little reduction in VO2max for the first 10 days following inactivity in well-trained athletes. It is prudent here to mention that all of these guidelines assume you are a decently trained runner, having trained consistently for a 4-6 month period. Beginner runners will lose fitness at a slightly faster rate since they have a smaller base of fitness.

After two weeks of not running, studies show that VO2 max decreases by 6%. After 9 weeksVO2 max drops by 19% (sorry, I couldn’t find any data on 3-8 weeks post inactivity). After 11 weeks of no running, Studies demonstrate that VO2 max falls by 25.7% from peak physical fitness.

Ok, so the last day I got in a run was Wednesday. I did manage some time at the gym today but the cough syrup made me feel really lethargic. However, tomorrow I will be there again ready to go with a little Ray Lewis motivation. Perhaps my fitness won’t be that far gone. I’m just hoping the left side of my body can hold up for Saturday.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,


Running Update: This morning I woke up with one of the worst coughs I’ve had in a long time. My abs are sore from all the coughing. I got in a little time at the gym but couldn’t do too much. Just trying to stay positive 🙂

21 Comments Post a comment
  1. You are bigger and stronger than whatever obstacles are going popping up in the short term. I know they are frustrating, and can be all-consuming. But use this as another training tool. A mental training. Something that makes you tougher, harder, more determined. And soon, 1:30 will be a number in your rear view mirror as you’re training to break 1:20.

    February 10, 2013
    • I like the way you think 🙂 And if the goal is to be a lifelong runner, a week off due to sickness & injury and also a missed goal, isn’t the end of the world. Luckily, there is no shortage of races.

      Thanks for the motivating words!!!

      February 11, 2013
  2. Hang in there. It’s tough times but you’ll get through and be stronger than before. Last year I lost 4 months due to.injury. Now I am back and enjoying the outdoors more than ever. You too will recover to run another day

    February 10, 2013
    • Thanks Andrew! You’re right, I’ll get back out there eventually. It just sucks in the meantime. And keeping perspective is super important. A week or so out of my running journey isn’t going to ruin me. It’s just mentally tough. But I’m glad you are back out there enjoying what you love to do!!

      February 11, 2013
  3. Martha Merrill Wills #

    Oh I’m right there with you in spirit! I have my own stuff going on…health wise I’m sort of a mess… my running is so sad… my eating is awful… who knows about my v02max! I think I’m wrapping my head around the fact that just a year ago I ran a marathon and I’m just as far in the opposite direction as could be imagined. I’m beginning to accept that.. It’s a journey right? We’ll be out there running again and it’s going to feel so great!

    February 10, 2013
    • Thank you for the kind words!! You are absolutely right, it is all a journey. Life isn’t always going to be happy running. But getting back to that point of where you once were is the fun part 🙂 Maybe I can at least now read some of those books that have been on my reading list for so long.

      Happy Monday!

      February 11, 2013
  4. Feel better

    February 10, 2013
    • Thanks! I took the day off work hoping that will help. Since my job involves talking and I can’t seem to stop coughing for more than 2 minutes, I think it was the right things to do 🙂

      February 11, 2013
      • oh lordy – that’s sounds really rough…. I’m sorry. Sending you virtual chicken soup, and love.

        February 12, 2013
      • Virtual chicken soup – that made me smile 🙂 Thanks!

        February 13, 2013
  5. Hang in there. I was sick for a month around New Years. It does suck but you have to back off and get better. Otherwise the cold just hangs on for ever.

    February 11, 2013
    • Thanks!! You are absolutely right and I’m trying to do the right things and rest. It just gets so frustrating when you are so use to being on the go all the time. And I guess it wouldn’t be so bad if my race wasn’t on Saturday. But oh well, life happens 🙂

      February 11, 2013
      • Being healthy and rested may be the best option instead of worrying about training. I know, it’ hard.

        February 11, 2013
    • Good avice to back off and get better- I’m 3 weeks into a cough/cold now – I need to take that advice!

      February 11, 2013
      • 3 weeks of a cold! No fun! We do have to be kind to our bodies so as crappy as taking a few days off can be, it might be worth it. This afternoon I finally started to feel better and it made me super happy 🙂

        February 11, 2013
      • I’m having an easier week of running this week, but if I’m no better by Sunday I’ll have a serious rest.
        Glad you’re feeling better!

        February 12, 2013
      • Well I’m sending get well wishes your way! 🙂 Being sick is never any fun.

        February 12, 2013
  6. I read that taking a week off running doesn’t at all impact your fitness, so you should be okay. Consider this much needed rest time leading up to your race instead 🙂

    February 11, 2013
    • I’m definitely getting some much needed rest. I think I’ve slept more in the past three days than I have in the past week. Guess I was a little more tired than I thought. But I finally started to feel better this afternoon. I’ve been drinking green tea, kombucha, and Vega super greens. Anything to help 🙂

      February 11, 2013
  7. Feel better soon! Sending lots of positive and healing thoughts your way! 😃

    February 11, 2013
    • Thank you thank you! I’m actually feeling much better today. I think I got some much needed rest these past few days. Thanks for the positive and healing thoughts!!

      February 12, 2013

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