THE HIGH COST OF DE-TRAINING. Why read “10 Keys to Getting Back to Running Shape” excerpted and adapted by Runner’s World from Hal Higdon’s book, “Run Fast: How to Beat Your Best Time - Every Time”? It’s about the science behind ‘de-training’ and re-training for a return to running.
Why would someone stop running? It might be persistent discomfort or injury, or a non-running related life change that takes us out of our routine. After reading this article, it will be clear that there’s a big price to be paid for slacking off for more than a few days. Perhaps it will provide the necessary incentive to get back in the groove as quickly as possible after a not-too-serious interruption in training.
In terms of detraining, the article covers how easy it is to get out of shape and how quickly it occurs. Can you believe that a study showed highly trained runners and cyclists lost about 50% of their aerobic fitness within 12-to 21 days, then another 50% in the next 12-21 days, and another 50%....? After 3 months all athletes were completely de-trained. It is sobering to learn from the experts in this article that after approximately 2-3 weeks, we give up half of what we have worked so very hard to achieve, once training ceases.
How fast does it come back?
In medicine we would say that after a week or more of complete hospital-enforced bedrest for illness, one week of recovery is required PER DAY OF BEDREST to regain sufficient strength to walk and get around normally.
The article’s expert says that for every week of training “lost”, approximately 2 WEEKS is required “to regain original level of fitness”.
For runners who have taken themselves out of a training routine for an extended time period , Higdon provides 10 tips that can assist with a comeback. The tips range from reminders to be gentle with yourself to avoiding the same habits and actions that put you out of commission. They’re great. I don’t wish to cheat anyone of enjoying the coaching advice of Higdon, as given, by summarizing it. Nearly everyone will find a portion of this advice useful.
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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