As we come into holiday season, the number one fear for many of us runners resurfaces – that we’ll lose all of our hard-earned fitness if we take a week off training, or even worse if we dare to take two!
For those of you who do worry about this, I thought I’d share some interesting stats from an article I’ve just been reading. They are not specific to menopause, or indeed women, but are useful for us all to be aware of:
- it takes between 2 and 6 weeks of no training for any significant loss to the conditioning of your body (including heart and lungs)
- it takes at least 3 weeks of no training for your muscles to reduce / strength to be lost
- after 15 days of inactivity, your VO2 max will decrease by just 4%
So, if you are worrying about losing your running fitness while you are away, don’t! Your body needs a complete break from time to time, otherwise it will just get fatigued and become more susceptible to injury, illness and burnout. Your mind will also benefit from some time off too; it’s so easy to become bogged down in the expectations we have of ourselves when it comes to our training.
Whether you choose to spend your holiday having complete rest – reading a book on the beach or enjoying the hot tub – or doing some kind of gentle activity such as paddleboarding, easy hiking, or swimming, you’ll be doing your body a favour. When you return, you’ll feel mentally and physically refreshed, and ready to start running again.