EachCoach is a community of runners in Canada sharing their running progress. Recently, our very own Dr. Jack Daniels took questions from their members.
How do you know when you need to take a break, and how long should that break be? I have been plagued with injuries for the past two years — back and knees. I’m so afraid to take a break because I don’t want to miss out on any race, so I keep pushing ahead. – Giselle Carlson
Dr. Jack: Taking care of your health is far more important than continuous training when you’re not feeling well. With short-lasting injuries, realize you can take four or five days completely off without losing any fitness. With injuries or illnesses that last more than a week, you have to take as much time off as is necessary to heal the problem and just back off on the amount and intensity of training you do when starting up again. Most major problems will heal if you take about six weeks off, but follow your doctor’s recommendations regarding length of time to recover.
When you start back, take it easy for a couple weeks, and if all is feeling good after three or four weeks, estimate what you think you may conservatively be able to run for one mile and use that speed to start adding some comfortable repetition 200s to your program two or three days a week for the next four weeks. A big advantage of following a VDOT training plan is it will usually keep you from progressing too fast.
You can read the entire interview here: National Post