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How long does it take to regain fitness? (plus whining, sorry)

(14 Posts)
EdithDickie Thu 07-Mar-19 20:07:09

Since discovering c25k in 2014 I've been a dedicated exerciser. I run, use exercise bike, weights, gym. I loved it! I loved feeling fit and strong and capable. I loved knowing that even though I am a slightly plump middle aged lady I could comfortably pull a 10 mile run out the bag without any real trouble. Never fast, never particularly impressive but I could do it. It made me feel awesome! It also really really helped keep the depression and generalised anxiety disorder under control.

Then, in December I had a sickness bug. Wiped me out for a fortnight. Recovered. Then in late January a virus. Heavy cold in the beginning then morphed into ear infections and sinusitis. Absolutely floored me! I've spent the last 6 weeks barely moving. Dragging myself through reduced hours at work and working from home with some sick days and otherwise I've pretty much been in bed.

Now I'm feeling much more human, just the tail end to shake off, just feeling like I've got a cold. But, oh my goodness, I'm SO unfit! I thought I'd go on exercise bike think morning and could only manage 10 minutes, walked DD to school (about half a mile) and was so exhausted! I'd entered a half in a couple of weeks and my race pack arrived in the post today. Absolutely not a hope of doing it this year.

I'm feeling very sad about it! Sorry for the self pity.

How long does it take to regain fitness? Has anyone had to do it? I'll get there won't I?!

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Thu 07-Mar-19 20:10:37

You won't have lost your fitness in that time, it's probably fatigue from the virus.

Go easy for a few weeks because viruses can hang around and make you tired, but once you're recovered I'm sure your fitness will return quickly.

If it makes you feel better, I gave up running for two years but once I started again was back to where I had been within 6 weeks or so. Muscle memory perhaps?

PottyPotterer Thu 07-Mar-19 20:13:13

I think you're entitled to your self pity, sounds like you've been through the mill! I lost my fitness after surgery then flu, I'd say about six weeks to get back to fitness but depends on how regularly you exercise. I'd go easy if you're still feeling a bit under the weather though, always best to listen to your body, you'll get there when you're ready.

EdithDickie Thu 07-Mar-19 20:19:53

Oh thank you! You've both actually made me feel a bit weepy (probably surefire sign I'm not right yet!)

That's very heartening. Thank you. I'll get a grip and be patient.

puffylovett Thu 07-Mar-19 23:26:34

If it helps at all, I’m in a similar boat! Just starting to shift this virus that’s been sat in my chest and sinuses since November. Personally I’ve been ramming myself with every vitamin under the sun, sinus rinsing, steaming - bloody everything, my kitchen looks like a pharmacy!
I’ve managed to keep going though not at full strength. I go to a CrossFit type place and they’ve insisted I go as much as I can and just really dial it down a notch - work with what you’ve got, basically. It’s taken a couple of weeks but I was back to burpee tuck jumps tonight and feeling loads stronger and more myself. So I’d say DONT feel sorry for yourself get on that bike, do what you can.. run but interspersed with walks - I bet you’ll find your fitness comes back really quite quickly.
For me just moving gently especially in cold air helped me feel so much better, both mentally and physically so I’m glad I kept going as much as I could. Even if at least 3 training sessions ended with me a sobbing wreck :D Just take it easy and get back gently x

SmarmyMrMime Fri 08-Mar-19 07:15:41

After SPD ridden pregnancies and birth injuries (EMCS/ 3rd degree tear), I had a starting point of making it to the end of the cul-de-sac and back and being totally wiped out from the exertion.

I built up a little each day and by about 7-8 weeks, that had built up to a couple of miles.

The second time was longer as the SPD was exacerbated by the tear, but once I stopped limping and realised that after 6+ months it was now a habit rather than from pain and poor mobility, I started C25k to build my fitness back up... a year later I ran my first HM.

Long term fitness is not easily lost.
It is hatd to find the starting point (and mine was very, very low), but once you get going, it comes back surprisingly quickly.

Pippioddstocking Fri 08-Mar-19 07:33:04

I'm a runner like you OP and I often find it takes 6 weeks. Those 6 weeks I just call the beasting weeks. I know they will be miserable and they'll hurt but the more I push the more I gain at the end.
However , given the length of your virus I would suspect you'd have a normal element of fatigue for a while so maybe do it in stages like c25k , run walk etc , you'll still get there but will be kinder to you .

EdithDickie Wed 13-Mar-19 22:24:51

Thank you again! Really appreciate your words. I went for a run at lunchtime today. Short and slow and oh my goodness it was hard but I made it out. The beasting weeks (love that concept and phrase) have begun.

shitpark Thu 14-Mar-19 20:53:21

I'm in a similar situation to you OP, and I have been back on it for 2 weeks, and just starting to feel my energy and strength returning. Gong to go for a short 3 mile run tomorrow, really excited smile

EdithDickie Mon 18-Mar-19 20:28:36

How did you get on shitpark?

I've done 3 two milers over the last week. Each has been sodding horrible but there was a moment today when I felt like maybe it was slightly less awful?!

It's like c25k again. Luckily I'm a bit tragic and kept a diary when I did c25k so I've looked back to remind myself how it was and how I improved.

Colourpencils Mon 18-Mar-19 20:33:07

Totally with you OP, feeling just the same after sickness and injury, it's so demoralising but it will come back, don't overdo it though or you risk injury. Good luck!

shitpark Mon 18-Mar-19 21:08:47

I forgot to update, it was fine. Yesterday I ran in the rain, so peaceful with no-one around. Meant to do 4 miles, but went to just over 5, just really enjoyed it. My Garmin didn't seem impressed and seemed to think I need 3 days to recover grin. I'm going back out tomorrow and see if I can do some intervals run until I can't breath and then try to look cool when recovering and barely able to breath

Colourpencils Mon 18-Mar-19 21:19:53

Brilliant OP that's great to hear!

Lellochip Sat 23-Mar-19 18:45:25

I had a few months off the gym at the beginning of 2018, still waiting for any kind of fitness to come back sad

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