Three Weeks of Running, and…

It’s incredible how much better I feel, both physically and mentally. I’m able to run without any sort of pain or soreness aside from the standard, “I just ran” soreness which is natural and good. I may very well start running more often now.

I have a run scheduled for tonight, and I’m going to take it easy again: a 5.7 mph pace. I may kick it up for the last .5 or .25 miles to 6+ mph, but we’ll see how I feel. Anyway, I remember reading many years ago that it takes three weeks for initial conditioning to take place, and here I am, three weeks later, and I’m able to work out without lingering soreness or pain. I guess “They” were right.

I’m not fast yet. But I wasn’t working on that part. I’m running, and that’s what I wanted to achieve at the end of this three week period. Now, I will begin working on speed by implementing a routine of sprints and weightlifting. I just need my shoulder to get with the plan and stop being sore.

Rest Day Yesterday

Yesterday was a rest day; today is a move day.

The good news about yesterday is that my legs felt normal for the first time in weeks after a run. Immediately after the run on Wednesday, I still had slight spaghetti legs, but that went away after an hour or so, and Thursday, my legs felt as normal as they ever feel. Today, I’m ready to run.

Rest days are super important. In my experience, having a day of rest between workouts has helped me keep from injuring myself during my runs, and allowed me to make some great progress and reach new levels of fitness in a relatively short period of time.

I’m looking forward to tonight’s run to see how it is. I’m hoping for some improvements in speed and in ease. We’ll see how it goes.

Making Progress Again

Me after a 2.8 mile run. Hopefully I’ll be back to 3+ miles soon.

It was a five-month break from running. It was a long, miserable, and depressing five months, but I’m past it now. I’m in my third week back to running, and while my legs are still getting used to it and I’m still very slow, it is getting better, and I’m already seeing progress.

Unlike the first time I got into running after a 20 year break, this time has been much easier, although if I’m being honest, I’m pushing myself harder now that I did the last time. Back in 2016 when I got back into running, I was taking it easy. I was making very slow but steady progress, and I focused more on not feeling any pain than making progress. That led me to making small but solid gains over three months. This time, however, I’m in the National Guard, and fitness isn’t something that’s nice to do; we MUST be fit. So, I’m pushing myself much harder.

The funny part; it doesn’t seem to make my progress any faster. I’m in my third week, and while I am seeing myself get faster and the soreness after the runs is decreasing each time, I’m not making the huge gains that I’d have expected commensurate with the effort I’m putting in. It makes me wonder if the route I took the first time was better or not.

Regardless, I have physical fitness tests to pass and schools to attend that verify height/weight adherence and PFT scores, so I don’t have the luxury of taking it easy. Besides, I really want to run faster and eventually to be able to do a run and feel great afterward like I used to. So, I continue to push hard.

I am being very careful to not push too hard, though. The last thing I need is another injury. That’s what put me in this position, so I’m very careful to listen to my body and to analyze the pain I feel at any point. So far, it’s been “Good” pain which is muscle burn or getting past the soreness of seldom-used joints, ligaments, and muscles. The bad pain is easy to recognize: these are injury pains. Fortunately, I haven’t felt any of those yet.

If you’ve taken a break from running for a long time, what are some things that helped you get back into the swing of things? What helped you get your speed back? What helped with relieving the muscle pain?