Hello, I am a competitive 40yo female long distance runner. Have been averaging 50 miles per week for the past year. After a half marathon 12 days ago, my muscles felt unusually sore and fatigued. By Tuesday, I had a fever. The fever went as high as 103. I was bed ridden for 4 days. After the fever left, I developed a cough and sore throat. The doctor said it was the flu, after strept tests and blood work was done. Now it is the 12th day, I still feel tired worn down. I tried to run 4 miles today. I felt like I was running 2 minutes below my normal gait. How do I get back into my marathon training. Prior to my illness my longest run was 15. Certainly, do not want to go through this again.
Thank You for your time and consideration.
Lucy, an illness like the flu takes it out of you. Bed rest is disaster for a highly trained athlete. If you take an olympic athlete, and put them on bed rest for 6 weeks, I'd be surprised if they could even stand up on their own! So allow for the fact that your basic level of fitness is about half of what it was when you went to bed, and plan your recovery gradually. Don't concern yourself with the pace at first, rather work to increase your endurance and power - it is mostly muscle mass that you give up when you go on bed rest. As your distance recovers, and you gain power, your pace will recover as well. The good news is that your muscles are well trained, and they should recover fairly quickly - but give yourself a month at least before you start to push your times. Also, use suppliments to help you recover from your workouts, and allow more of a rest phase to help you prevent injury between workouts.