1. A leave from running due to injury or maternity could result in greater achievements when the athlete resumes running.
A break from running could serve to replenish strength in an athlete’s body. The last time that Shalane Flanagan ran a major marathon was last year at the Rio Olympic Games, where she had finished sixth. An injury on her lower back forced her to miss racing for over a year and when she came back to the New York City marathon, no other athlete could match her strength in the finishing stages.
It was the same case for Mary Keitany in 2014 when she came back from a maternity leave and the New York City marathon was the first marathon she did and won. This was to be followed by two other consecutive wins in 2015 and 2016.