So, when your injured, how fast do you lose your running fitness? Well, in my case, it seems that you lose it all in about 12 weeks.
Looking back at my training logs, the wheels fell of in mid-April and I did nothing (really nothing) in May at all. By mid-June, I started cycling and quickly re-established some degree of endurance. Now a standard week is 120 to 160 km on the bike.
So, I kinda thought the issue would be holding myself back when I started to run again. I was wrong. Flat wrong. My original plan was to start very low mileage and build relatively quickly to around 25k per week. Then incrementally build back to around 70-80k per week. That's not going to happen because...
I can hardly run one slow kilometre.
I warmed up with a 10k bike ride (nothing more than a moderate effort), had a little pause while I locked the bike to a tree and then started to run. That lasted about 10 paces and I fell back to a very awkward jog. I forced myself out to 500m and then turned round and jogged back. I was out of breath, sweating like crazy, heart hammering and everything from the hips down hurt. Except my foot.
I appear to have forgotten how to run fluidly and my muscles have forgotten how to power me through a run. And my quadriceps (muscles on the front of the thigh) remained taut and uncomfortable for three days. Not painful but they were certainly letting me know they were there. My knees also hurt which is novel. Hopefully, that will pass.
So the new plan is to keep cycling (Boo! Hiss!) and gradually learn how to run again. Since volume isn't going to be an option it seems sensible to take the time to concentrate a little on running form and, in particular, foot turnover. I'm not even breaking 7:30 pace (8 kph) so I have a lot to relearn and, being dead on my feet after a single kilometre, also have a lot of condition to get back.
This is going to be a big job...