Ultramarathons. What , why and how are the questions I'm most commonly asked. Hopefully you find some answers here from my own personal perspective. My other blog at www.mile27.com.au/blog is full of information on running and health and fitness in general.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Getting back into running after 6 months off!

Today's topic is not something I have had to deal with on a personal basis very often, but after travelling for 6 months my fitness has dropped dramatically. As some of you are aware I am an ultra marathon runner so not running for 6 months was always going to have a big effect on me.

I’ve had many clients who have gone through a similar experience losing their fitness for all kinds of reasons; recovering from surgery, having a baby, a travel break similar to mine or they’ve simply fallen of the fitness wagon and decided it was time to get back on.

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Richard said...

I'm just getting back to running after 6 months off with respiratory problems and your advice is really reassuring. I was amazed how much my fitness had deteriorated and felt like I was wimping out when I dropped back to walking in my first few runs out. One thing I am keeping an eye on is my heart rate whilst exercising. I'm trying to stay in the high 130s / low 140s which is about the rate I would have reached on long steady runs. When I sneak above it I slow down or revert to walking. I was planning to use my heart rate compared to my speed to gauge how my fit my fitness is returning over time, but maybe I shouldn't get so anal or obsessed about it?

Andy said...

Hi Richard, Dont feel like you are wimping out. Dont worry about heart rate or speed just run comfortably. You could use heart rate and do as you are - ie walk as soon as your heart rate gets too high. I prefer to keep the time frame to a level where I know my heart rate wont get too high. Hence the 1 minute on 1 minute off approach. I am back up to 20km runs non stop now, so even though it feels like slow progress initially , just enjoy the feeling of getting back into exercise rather than worry about times , heart rates distances etc. I still havent looked at any of that and wont until I get serious about a race and want to determine exactly where my fitness is. In the meantime I know I'm not as fit as I was before I dont need a heart rate monitor or GPS to tell me I am running slower. I also know I am improving each week. There is a time and place for really measuring your training and I dont think that the first few months after a period of time off is that time.