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Is it normal to lose running stamina

For years I was a long distance runner and then during Covid when all the gyms shut I was running at least 5 miles everyday. Then about 18 months ago I had a serious knee injury and so practically gave up running for swimming.

Now as the weather is starting to improve I’m wanting to go out for more runs but I’m finding even running 5K’s incredibly difficult.

Is it normal to have practically lost all my running stamina?
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Original post by MikePL
For years I was a long distance runner and then during Covid when all the gyms shut I was running at least 5 miles everyday. Then about 18 months ago I had a serious knee injury and so practically gave up running for swimming.

Now as the weather is starting to improve I’m wanting to go out for more runs but I’m finding even running 5K’s incredibly difficult.

Is it normal to have practically lost all my running stamina?

If you haven't done much running for 18 months, then it's completely normal to have lost the stamina you used to have.
Best to ease yourself back into it don't try to go too far or too fast or too frequently too soon at the very least that's just asking for another injury...
Since you used to run, and have been keeping active with swimming, you'll have a decent base level of fitness, and your stamina will come back. Think of someone training for a marathon: they build their stamina up to being able to run the full 26.2 miles, rather than expecting their body to be able to run it instantly. Same goes for you build it up slowly. Start with short (and I mean really short) stuff maybe 1 min run, 1 min walk, repeat 5-10 times. Progress to 2 mins, 3 mins... or do it by distance e.g. 5 x 500 m with 90 seconds rest between. And your first few "continuous" runs: 2 or 3 km is fine. Stop and walk if you feel it's needed.
For context, a couch to 5k plan would typically be at least 6 weeks long, many are 9. So build it up gradually, it's fine if you're slow and your runs are short, you'll get there before too long :smile:

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