I am training for a marathon that is about 3 months away. I was doing fine, building up my mileage gradually (up to 16 miles long run), until I came down with a persistent cold on Monday. I have had a slight fever (99), some coughing also. So, I have been resting - no running at all for the past 5 days. I am worried about my training - will this set me back? How should I get back into my training schedule?
Great question Kathleen:
Make sure you are properly hydrated as you recover, and make certain you are getting your fill of Vitamins and minerals - especially C and zinc. As you recover and start training, do short runs - 3 miles, for example. Rather than increase your distace at first, do several three mile runs in a day with one or two hours of rest between runs. One woman I trained recently cut her time from 7.30 minute miles to 7.00 minute miles using this strategy! She never ran more than 3 miles, but ran the half marathon significantly faster, and felt like she had more left at the end. She is preparing for a full marathon in the fall. So start running every other day for a few days, then every day, then on your regular "long" day, rather than run a half marathon, run 3 - 3-mile runs, focusing on a different strategy each run. For example, run the first run with longer than normal stride lengths, the second, a little faster than usual, and the third a little slower than usual.
Let me know how you do.