How Long is Too Long a Layoff?

I alluded to this idea in Tuesday’s post when I was excited about the fact that I was only immobile for fifteen days. I also use it to calm nervous runners when I’m in coach-mode. No, a day off because life got crazy won’t tank your race. No, the stomach bug and a few missed days won’t ruin your Boston experience. Here’s one article summarizing current research. While this assumes you have a running base, I think the most important takeaway for most of us is that a few days off for whatever crises, injuries or unexpected life events inevitably crop up don’t necessarily spell disaster for training.

I’m coaching one friend who will be running Boston and another who will do her first half marathon this Spring. The former is a runner and has lots of half marathon experience but has never tackled the full. The latter is active, but not a runner by her own definition. Both need lots of encouragement that they can do it and that doing it well and comfortably doesn’t require perfection. Sure, you have to get out there as much as you can but you also have to be realistic if you aren’t a professional runner. Shit happens. And it isn’t going to ruin your fitness.

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