NEWS Gotta Run: How Fast Do You Lose Your Fitness When You Stop Running? – Salisbury Post

Gotta Run: How Fast Do You Lose Your Fitness When You Stop Running? - Salisbury Post

Gotta Run: How Fast Do You Lose Your Fitness When You Stop Running?

Posted on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at 12:00 noon

Most runners and even some avid walkers don’t want to miss a day of running. What happens when we go on vacation? How fast does it have to lose health? Sometimes there are injuries that need to heal or other important medical reasons to stop for a while. On rare occasions, there will be some kind of stale situation in training where no run is fun and nothing else works.

I myself was concerned about missing time earlier this year when I had kidney stones and a resulting blood infection that led to me being hospitalized and only lightly exercising for a month. I started researching how long we can maintain a normal level of fitness once we stop exercising.

As it turns out, the health decline started happening in just a few days. Runners World published an article saying, “It only takes a few days to go out of shape. That’s true. Just a week after you stop running, your aerobic maximal capacity (maximum oxygen uptake), one of the key indicators of performance potential, is will start to drop. Take two to three weeks of rest and your 5K time will increase by a minute or more. Stroke volume, the amount of blood your heart pumps with each beat, also decreases by 10% in just three weeks or more. Even your muscles’ aerobic enzymes (key chemicals that help generate the energy you need to run) drop by 25 percent or more in 21 days.”

Here’s their advice on how to stay in shape during downtime unrelated to injuries or medical conditions. Don’t stop training, but do it on a limited basis so you don’t lose fitness. “During your rest periods, run only once a week if you usually train three to four times, or twice a week if you usually train five to seven times,” says Dr. Owen Anderson. Your 5-K pace (the speed at which you run the 5-K before the rest) is repeated for one mile. Divide your habitual weekly mileage by 10 to determine how many times to repeat. For example, if you run 30 miles per week before resting, do 3 repetitions of 1 mile per workout. Mile repetitions will almost completely prevent loss of running ability. In other words, you can take a break without losing your health. “

After years of running almost every day, I feel like I’m starting over after my own downtime. We work too hard to choose to give up so much fitness.

I mentioned meteor showers in a previous post.Two more chances to see them, the first time From the night of Tuesday, December 13 to the early hours of Wednesday, December 14, the Geminid meteor shower streaks across the sky at a peak of 100 meteors per hour. A bright moon may limit visibility.

A final possibility is on the longest night of the year, December 21, when the Ursids appear to come from the constellation Ursa Minor or the Big Dipper. I’ll go out and find both!

Our next run on December 10th is one of the friendliest events of the year, Santa’s Hunger Run 5K and Fun Run. Millbridge Ruritans host Santa every year on this day, with all proceeds going to Rowan Helping Ministries. Held in conjunction with the Holiday Bigfoot Reunion, a camp and “meet and greet” will be held with the big furry animals on Kerr Mill Road. The competition will be followed by a human bigfoot shoe competition where all competitors and volunteers will be able to wear women’s shoes from a size 10 and up and men’s shoes from a size 12. A pancake breakfast will be held after the run/walk and all participants can wear bells, presumably to avoid startling any visiting Bigfoot near the camping area.

Find out more about this and other upcoming events at


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