running recovery illness health

Having to stop your training due to illness can be very frustrating, but what can be just as frustrating is not being able to get back into it once you're healthy again. We look at the best ways to get back into running after an illness.

Make sure you're completely healthy

The first thing to think about before you get back into your training is whether you are completely healthy. Make sure you don't rush back into your running before you are totally well again as this could take you backwards and make your illness flare back up. Whether it was just a common cold or something more serious, make sure you are definitely back to 100% health before you dive back in and put your body under stress.

Related: Fitness Recovery And The Importance Of Rest Days

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Start slow

It may well be tempting to dive straight back in and pick up where you left off, but this is not a good idea. You might have been running long distances or doing tough interval training before you got ill, but now you need to take it easy and build back up. Your body won't be up to what it was before, not only because your immune system has taken a hit, but because you've now had time off too. Start slow and don't be in a rush to get back to where you were otherwise you may cause yourself another injury.

Related: 6 Ways To Recover Better After Exercise

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Listen to your body

Don't ever push through pain when you're running. If you're coming back from an injury, pay extra attention to the body part that was injured and as soon as you feel a little niggle, stop your training. There are plenty of ways to stay in shape when you're injured so you don't need to rush back into your training before you're fully better. If it was something more like a cold or the flu, pay attention to things like headaches, and stop if you get one.

Related: How To Stay In Shape When Injured

Focus on your eating

You need to nourish your body and make sure you're getting all the required vitamins and minerals that will help you to recover quicker and boost your immune system. If you're coming back from a cold, the added strain of exercising could delay your recovery times and your body will need more nutrients than usual to recover. Eat plenty of fresh, healthy foods and avoid processed foods and junk foods as these will affect your training and recovery.

Related: Which Vitamins Should I Be Taking?

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Get plenty of rest

The final point but perhaps the most important! Getting plenty of rest and enough hours of good quality sleep each night will be paramount to you being back to your old self and being able to train to your full potential. It can be frustrating feeling like you've taken steps backwards in your training, but treating your body right and getting plenty of rest is the best way to get there, rather than overdoing it.

Related: Why Is Sleep Important For Recovery?