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10396 Views 26 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2010 9:51 AM by RunHarley 1 2 Previous Next
Marykb Legend 1,347 posts since
Jan 16, 2008
Currently Being Moderated

Nov 16, 2010 5:40 AM

Taken off one full week of running and not doing so well

Try to make a long story short.  I've run since the mid-90's off and on (one haitus of a few years in there) and mostly recently started back three years ago.  During that three years - until this week - I have missed only three 5 day periods of running.  One due to a sprained ankle and two due to a deaths in the family.  Those were both non negotiable reasons not to run.


I have run through injury, sickness, heat and humidity, cold, sleet, snow, rain.   I've run on Sunday mornings when other people sleep in.  I've run on Friday evenings when other people go out dinner. I've found routes to run when I've been out of town.  Usually this hasn't required a huge amount of discipline since I truly love to run - but occasionally I'll admit it has taken some fortitude to go out on a cold, bleak, blustery day or to get up and run first thing in the morning when I'm on vacation.  But still I do it.


As of today, I haven't run in one full week.  I have dealt with a nagging injury for 10 months now and although it has improved and I can run on it, I suddenly reached the point where the pain in my knee has just worn me down.  At the same time I had a very hectic week (planning a wedding!)   I've run with nagging pain for months.  I've run through MANY hectic weeks.  This time, though, I decided to let it go for a week.  Let the knee settle down once and for all.  Free up an extra hour a day for some things I need to attend to.


I'm miserable.


I've actually felt stiffer and more achy most days.  I can't "enjoy" the break because of the guilt and especially the nagging fear that a week off will totally deplete my fitness base.  I'll start back tomorrow and not be able to run!!!!


I want to know who else has taken off a random week - a FULL WEEK - and lived to tell about it.    How much conditioning do you lose?  Is it helpful in the long run, or does it totally undermine the base you've built up?  (the last week I ran was 20 miles)  SIGH.....I guess I'll find out tomorrow.  I am just so afraid that I might never run again, once I lose my grip.

  • BOSNPM We're Not Worthy 2,482 posts since
    Nov 20, 2007



    You are fine let your mine enjoy the week.  I don't think you lose any fitness in 1 week, somewhere around the 7-10 days you start losing it.  You will feel a little sluggish but your fitness level is fine.  I had a very light week after MCM, and have felt better than I have in a year, we need a week once in a while, but just a week, now get back out and start enjoying your running again!

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    How about 8 weeks?  Which I did for a knee problem.  (Probably could have done with less but . . .)  I came back from that and immediately started training for a marathon, which was less than 4 months away.  I've taken a week off here and there, just because, and it really is no problem.  You may, or may not, feel a little creaky the first run or two, but it's still there.  Relax, don't worry.  It's all good.




  • Surfing_Vol Legend 848 posts since
    Nov 6, 2007

    It sounds like you need a break -- get a sports massage, let your body mend, and come back to running refreshed.  Remember that professional athletes take a month off a year to prevent injury.


    Surfing Vol

    "Victory through attrition!"

    Charleston Half-Marathon 1/15/2011 -- 1:52:03

    The Scream! Half-Marathon 7/16/2011 -- 1:56:00

  • LemonaidLucy Legend 332 posts since
    Sep 19, 2010

    Mary, I'm barely a beginner but with the exact same fear. A few months back I had to restart the C25K after 2 weeks because of my ankle. Lost 2 weeks. 5 weeks later I pinched the sciatic nerve while running cross country in the mountains. Have been running through the pain for 6 weeks now. Sometimes it's better, sometimes it's worse. Finally, after I ran my first 5K I had to go to the doctor and took a full week off. I've been having a physiotherapy with drips and some shots for 3 weeks now. I haven't been able to give up running. I don't want to be another week without running. I know it's stupid and I should probably give it a rest. But I fear the same as you do....although I know that I did have a full week off and was just fine after (not talking about the stiffness, other aches and, worst of all, the mental stress...:-)), I was able to comfortably do the same amount of running as when I had to quit.

    So don't worry, the importand thing is that your fitness level is not going to disappear just like that (the same as it doesn't show up knocking at your door at 100%) . After a week you should be able to do the same or 10% less, from what I've read It is VERY hard to take but rest can do miracles. Good vibes!


    PB 5k (training): 25:32, PB 10K (training): 56:05, PB 20k: 1:55:13, PB half marathon: 2:01:32  

    4/2/2011 Prague International Half Marathon 2:03:37

    6/04/2011 Silva Nortica Trail Half Marathon 2:14:54

    6/18/2011 Olomouc Half Marathon

    8/14/2011 Zebrak 25K

    Not faster, but farther. Not catch up, but hunt down.

  • Kristy Burleyson Pro 62 posts since
    Oct 18, 2010

    While I am an absolute beginner, I've developed bursitis in my left knee.  I am now having to not run, in fact cannot even walk without flaring up the pain.  I am afraid that I will loose my motivation (I don't really have any endurance built up since I'm such a beginner).  when my knee began to bother me I took 5 days off, and could really tell a difference, but I didn't take long enough off as now I can hardly walk without pain.  I got called in to work Sunday night (ED nurse), and was on it for 12 hours straight, now can hardly walk.  I see my ability to get back out there even more distant into the future.  Depressing, discouraging.  I think if there was anything I could say is take the time to heal so the extended time doesn't happen to you.

  • Vin Camacho Pro 92 posts since
    Sep 4, 2009

    A little time off here and there is not a bad thing. Sometimes backing off a little, goes a long way. I share the same sentiment with you. Worried that all the work I've done will be erased. After my first 50K last spring I was forced to take 2 weeks off. I wasn't seriously injured, but I needed to recover. I came back and that first run did hurt, and I was a little depressed since my fitness seemed like it was a bit low. However, within 2 weeks I was back, probably stronger. So yes, you may lose a little temporarily, but you'll probably get stronger in the long run (pun intended).


    P.S. if the knee pain persists after rest, I would advise to see a doctor about the knee (if you havn't already). Good luck.

    "You don't stop running because you get old, you get old becasue you stop running"

    Take care, Train hard and Train smart. Sincerely, Vincent

  • RobinfromMaine Pro 162 posts since
    Dec 6, 2008



    I took two weeks off for an injury last February, and fret the whole time about the same thing. After the two weeks, I realized that my injury was going to take significantly longer. I couldn't run a single step. So, I found my way to a local gym, and pretty much managed an hour and a half on the elliptical three times a week. Finally, eleven weeks after the injury I was able to run enough to do a short run walk. I ramped up over the next couple of weeks, at a much slower pace, but *so* happy to just be running. Within five weeks of starting back I was back to my normal mileage, and about 90% back as far as time. I find myself brooding over twinges and sore spots, but I'm still running, and haven't been back to the gym since.


    Good luck,



  • PedDoc1 Pro 159 posts since
    Apr 25, 2008


    What can I say except been there done that.  You know my story so I won't remind you...

    There is absolutely no problem with taking a week off here and there.  Clearly, if you were in a specific training plan for a specific event, that might be a little different, but not a lot different.  I routinely take a week off.  It refreshes my mind, it lets sore areas of my body recover, and it increases my motivation when I get back to it.

    On the other hand, your knee(s) is (are) beginning to worry me some.  Have you considered taking a longer running break?  Work on activities that increase fitness, but don't stress the knees?  You know I've had to take a significant break from running.  I don't like the elliptical or the pool as much as running, but by focussing on those two activities, I can do my occasional long run just to stay with the sport.  There are so many other fitness related activities that you could do that don't stress the knees that I would hate for you to have to give up running because you kept running.

    I plan on running intermittently for a very long time.  I'm planning on doing my darndest to avoid a knee replacement.  In order to do that, I've really had to regroup and refocus on my supporting activities.  By doing so, two weeks ago, I enjoyed a 12 mile trail run.  I was very sore the next day... but I'll be back on the trails tomorrow for a short run.  In the meantime, weight training, elliptical, swimming, occasional high intensity aerobic work, occasional yoga... There are just so many other things that will keep me fit and trim!

    Hang in there.  I don't think you're alone.


    05/09 Bridge the Gap, Quincy, Ill HM: 1:45:27
  • Vin Camacho Pro 92 posts since
    Sep 4, 2009



    I know how frustrating it is to not be able to run because of knee pain. I was a college wrestler and blew out my knee and had to take six months off walking and a year off training. It was tough frustrating, and heart breaking. However, after a few years of hard work I am back better than ever. Sometimes it's better safe than sorry. I ignored the warning signs and pay a very large price. I'd hate to hear about you doing the same thing. I think backing off (maybe get a doctor to look at your knees) healing properly, then getting back into it. there are a lot of things you can do to stay in shape.


    Good luck. Be safe.



    "You don't stop running because you get old, you get old becasue you stop running"

    Take care, Train hard and Train smart. Sincerely, Vincent

  • lenzlaw Community Moderator 10,539 posts since
    Jan 18, 2008

    One guess: you may be acquiring some arthritis.  My left knee feels that way sometimes - achy to start then it goes away as I run.  My doctor checked it, found no obvious problems (clicking, catching) and said "the cartilage is probably getting a little thin".  Thanks, doc!  The only way to be sure is to get it x-rayed, etc., which I didn't bother with, since it doesn't usually bother me, except a little at the beginning of a run.




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