We’re all human, made up of the same stuff, flesh, bone, 70% water. If we go pounding around mile after mile, we can’t deny that injuries will happen. I have experienced plenty of them. Yet the strangest ones seem to be the ones that occur when I have recently taken what I thought should have been a “long enough” break.
As a runner, it can be easy to lose sight of the limits of your body. I’m not a real Dr., but in my amateur opinion it seems that resting can lull you into a place where you feel you are ready to jump back into training where you left off. This can be a big mistake. Just because you weren’t injured when you stopped running for 1-3weeks, doesn’t mean that it you are any less susceptable to one occuring when you do ramp up the training volume once again. Your muscle tone has diminished slightly and so connective tissues can be overworked more easily. So in a way, every time you take a planned break, you’re sort of a beginner again on a smaller scale.
My rule of thumb has been, week one-run 50% of what you normally do in volume and number of total runs. So, if you normally run 5-6 days per week, start back with 2-3 runs in week one that are half of your typical distance or time. Week two-you can work up to 75%, and week three-85-90%. Along the way, pay careful attention to muscle soreness or pain in your joints or connective tissue. Back off a bit if things seem to be hurting, take another day off. Think of the start-up as part two of the break and you will be more cautious.