10 Weeks Stuck Walking Took My Running Down To Zero

It’s been 10 whole weeks since I got the spicy cough. I had a false start getting back into training. And then it all unraveled.

Originally I was had a conservative plan to get back into running after COVID.

Return to Exercise After COVID 19

The plan I followed was published by Dr Izzy Smith (Return To Exercise After COVID 19 Infection)

The first 2 phases seemed to go okay.

A much higher RPE or heart rate than normal or not feeling recovered, means you’re not ready to progress and chest pain of significant shortness of breath means you need medical review.

Phase 1️⃣ (at least 2 days)
First exercise should be 15 minutes and low intensity e.g. a really easy jog. This the test to see if you are ready to exercise. If that feels terrible or your heart rate was much than usual, you need more rest.

Phase 2️⃣ (1 week)
-30 minutes zone 2 with recovery days between (walking/stretching ok).

Phase 3️⃣ (1 week)
-40 minutes zone 2 with short 5–10-minute zone 3 efforts.Ok to resume light strength.   

Phase 4️⃣ (1 week)
-One-minute zone 4/speed efforts and no more than 8 minutes in total.
-Increase zone 2 run to 60 mins.
-Normal strength activities resume.

Phase 5️⃣Resume normal volume of training but keep speed sessions limited to 1/week for two weeks.

Phase 6️⃣Normal training

Failed Return to Running

But then the runs weren’t going very well.

My heart rate was going through the roof and they’re feeling hard. Even at a tiny bit faster than walking pace.

I think I need the next level of checkup.

At the doctors for a full complete health check. We were making sure I was just having trouble post COVID, and that there wasn’t anything else more serious.

In the meantime I was stuck walking.

Like most runners I never rated walking highly. Since my exercise has been limited to walking only I have to say I was surprised at how I got from it.

Walking still had me outside it still had me moving. It still allowed me to clear my thoughts. Let my brain consolidate and solve the world’s big problems. Walking was a real distressor for me.

I got so much of what I get from running out of walking… but it didn’t cover everything.

Then I got the all clear from the cardiologist.

After all this time stuck walking, I can now celebrate with a run.

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