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How quickly do you lose running fitness?

3 watchers
Apr 2017
6:25pm, 20 Apr 2017
11943 posts
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Fenland (Fenners) Runner
That is true Saint. Too peak you do need to get the adaptation cycle going.
J2R
Apr 2017
6:38pm, 20 Apr 2017
399 posts
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J2R
FR, yes, I recall reading about weekly short high intensity sessions being effective in maintaining fitness. Unfortunately I suspect that high intensity interval training at the moment would slow down my recovery, whereas I might get away with easy paced stuff (I don't feel any pain while running, because I'm able to avoid using the muscles of my lower legs too much, whereas with high speed stuff that would not be possible).

The_Saint, I was probably in 10K PB shape when I ran the HM on the 9th, so my hope was to keep at that level for 3 weeks from then (taking me to the 30th of this month, the day of my 10K race). I've cut back my mileage by 40-50% and haven't done any speedwork, only easy paced running, but I've added in some cycling. Probably not doable, but I was interested in hearing anecdotal evidence from people who've managed to keep things going for a while.

Dvorak, yes, keeping things ticking over and sharpening up late on is always a good plan. Not sure how late I can afford to leave the sharpening up, though, as most physiological adaptations take at least a few days to make themselves felt.
Apr 2017
10:26pm, 24 Apr 2017
13526 posts
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Dvorak
Having seen your post on the hr thread, J2R, a cautionary tale. I wrecked my calves in a HM, cramps from 10 miles (but hey, a PB :-)) but was able to keep going on subsequent days (slowly with small strides - I was on a streak). I had a 10K coming up and went on the track for a little tune up and feeling ok, went that bit faster ... and felt a pull in my leg. Eased off and determined to run the race sensibly.

I might even have got away with it on race day if I hadn't hit the deck after tripping on a speed bump (the irony) and bouncing up and bolting off. The race was increasingly painful but I was still on for a decent time so like a complete tit I sprinted for the line and did even more damage. The next day I was in a lot of pain just walking. But as I was on a streak, I snuck out in darkness, even though I knew it was stupid and futile. I could manage about three very painful steps of running at a time. So that was that.

Basically, take care, take it easy and don't be an idiot like I was.
J2R
Apr 2017
11:00pm, 24 Apr 2017
424 posts
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J2R
Thanks for the caution, Dvorak! The 5 miler I mentioned in the other thread is two laps, and I have told myself firmly that if it's not feeling OK, I'll pull out after the first lap. I'm able to run at 8 minute mile pace without pain (I can feel the calf but no worse than when walking, and it doesn't get worse) but I've not tried speed at all. I'll do a very thorough and gradual warm-up first.
May 2017
10:00am, 4 May 2017
339 posts
  • 0
Fat Jase
J2R - Running is a form of Aerobic fitness, running is one specific type of aerobic fitness but certainly not the only form. As long as you are doing an exercise that works the Aerobic energy system you can still improve your fitness level or maintain them without running and your running won't be effected. The rowing machine is a great alternative to running and can have a positive effect on your fitness. Also the bike is a is known to have a positive effect on running too.
A great workout for increasing your fitness on the rower is 2 min work followed by 1.30 rest x 10. Trying and and hit 500m for every 2 min effort is a good marker.
J2R
May 2017
4:22pm, 9 May 2017
482 posts
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J2R
A brief update...After 4 weeks without speedwork, I don't feel I've lost that much fitness. I did a 10 mile race a couple of days ago in 1:01:04, a little over a minute outside my PB but wasn't feeling too well on the day and could probably have knocked 30-45 seconds off the time if I had been. It's not quite true that I've done no speedwork, because I did the 5 miler I mentioned (in a fast but not stellar time), but apart from that I've only done easy running and cycling. No plans to do speedwork training for a while either, as I have a flurry of races coming up which will count perfectly well as speedwork.
May 2017
4:29pm, 9 May 2017
632 posts
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Daz Love
Not sure if you use strava and a HRM for all your runs.

If so the StravistiX add on gives you an indication of fitness and fatigue and where you are overtraining.

Not sure how accurate it is but for a stat geek like me it gives me something else to look at!!
J2R
May 2017
5:22pm, 9 May 2017
483 posts
  • 0
J2R
Interesting! I don't really use strava although I do have an account. I may give it a go. I'm careful to avoid overtraining, having had a period of sustained ill health a couple of years ago as a result of running hard while affected by a virus. For recovery, I got into the habit of checking my Heart Rate Variability, which proved interesting and useful. Unfortunately my current phone doesn't work with ANT+, which means I can't use my normal heart rate monitor strap to record HRV, so I've got out of the regular habit of checking it.

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About This Thread

Maintained by J2R
Can one maintain a high level of fitness for a while by doing a reduced training programme of some kind?

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