Tips To Get Started After Taking A Break From Training

January 9, 2015

One of the most important things in the athlete's world is training. Training to get better at a sport, training to get faster, training to qualify for a certain race. But sometimes life happens, an injury, or maybe a sickness, and you are forced to stop what you are doing.

Back in October, I ran a marathon. I think the adrenaline from all the training, working up to this race and running the race caused my body to become weak. My immune system was lowered and I became sick week after week. When I began to feel better, I would try to start working out again just to become sick again. I searched article after article trying to figure out what I should do. When I didn't find anything to help me, I decided to write my own post on my personal experiences to guide others who may experience this.

A few of the articles I read stated that the body needs rest after a big race or event. Of course, most people already know that. I took the amount of time off that my specific training plan suggested but what the training plan doesn't tell you is how your own body will react. One thing to know is that you should take off the amount of days that equals the distance of your race.

For example: 13.1 mile race = 13 days of rest
                      26.2 miles= 26 days of rest

Rest doesn't mean sitting on the couch for 26 days and hoping to start back with running right after that. Usually you take two weeks off of running but you stretch, ice, foam roll, etc. Then, after two weeks, starting back with easy workouts. Always listen to your body. If you still feel tired and/or unmotivated then take more time off.

Once you take time off, you will slowly be able to work your way back to "racing shape." That is, your body will start to remember what it is like to be in a routine. Your first few workouts back probably will not feel the greatest. It's important to start easy with workouts once you feel strong enough. Easy workouts are swimming, strength training, and yoga.

I found that when I started thinking about spring races, I was trying to force myself to come back into training really fast. I used spring races as motivation but only when I was into a training routine for about six to seven weeks. 

It is frustrating to not be able to bounce back right after a race but your body needs rest and you need to give yourself a break before you start. Keep moving forward and never give up!

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