Are you prepared to continue your running journey? Whether you took a hiatus due to injury, a temporary lack of motivation, got pregnant, or the demands of work, it's possible to bounce back with the right strategy and a touch of patience.
If your break was brief, like a week or two, returning to running can be relatively straightforward. However, for those who've been away for quite some time, a cautious approach is crucial to prevent injury and prevent potential frustration.
If your running hiatus was prompted by an injury, it's imperative to ensure you are completely pain-free before re-engaging in any physical activity. Start your comeback gradually, incorporating strength training into your routine as studies indicate that resistance training for runners can facilitate recovery and act as a preventive measure against future injuries.
For those recovering from injuries, getting clearance from a healthcare professional, such as a doctor or physical therapist, is advisable before resuming running activities.
So whether you're thinking about how to start running again after gaining weight or simply how to get back on the field, we're here to motivate you to get back to running and flying high again.
How To Get Motivated To Run Again
Setting out on the path to resume running after a hiatus may appear daunting, but rest assured, it's a feasible undertaking. Guaranteeing a triumphant return requires careful planning to steer clear of the pitfalls of overtraining as they can impede progress and result in setbacks.
Create a thoughtfully devised training schedule that not only aids in fostering a fresh running routine but also progressively advances toward your targeted mileage. Infuse the best cross-training exercises for running into your regimen to achieve well-rounded fitness levels and mitigate the risk of injury. Enriching your workout routine with diversity contributes to a holistic approach to overall wellness.
To get an extra boost of motivation, consider the idea of joining a running group or enrolling in a race. The camaraderie and collective pursuit of goals within these settings have the power to reignite your passion for running, transforming the entire journey into a more enjoyable experience.
Ample rest between runs is essential. Provide your body with the necessary time to recuperate and adjust to the demands of your training. With meticulous planning, the introduction of variety, and the embrace of a supportive community, your comeback to running can not only be within reach but also a gratifying and fulfilling endeavor.
Create a habit.
Re-establishing a running routine after an extended break can be challenging, especially if you're accustomed to setting high standards for yourself in terms of pace and distance. The key to a successful return lies in prioritizing consistency over speed or distance initially.
Rather than fixating on how fast or far you run, focus on setting small, achievable goals for regular running. For instance, during the first week or two of your comeback, aim for two to three-mile runs at a comfortable pace. These modest objectives allow you to gauge how your body responds to the return to running.
Consider incorporating brisk walking or short run/walk intervals into your initial sessions. Recognize that you're in the process of rebuilding your running habits and reconditioning the various components of your legs—muscles, tendons, ligaments, and connective tissues. The duration of this process depends on the length of your hiatus, but even incorporating activities like walking contributes to progress.
If needed, start your initial runs on a treadmill to make it easier to stop if you experience pain or fatigue. However, keep in mind that this approach may not be motivating for everyone, so choose what aligns best with your preferences.
Regardless of your chosen starting point, recommitting to your sport will instill a sense of pride and accomplishment. By setting and conquering small goals, you'll rediscover your love for running without risking injury or burnout.
Stick to your training schedule.
As you embarked on your running journey initially, you likely adhered to a beginner training schedule to acquire the fundamentals and stay motivated. Similarly, for those returning after a substantial hiatus, opting for a beginner schedule can be instrumental in re-establishing a running routine while minimizing the risk of injury. Explore these viable options:
- Run one mile for four weeks.
- Do a 30-minute running habit for three weeks
- Run two miles for four weeks
- Do a 5K run for eight weeks
Incorporate cross-training into your regimen.
Engaging in cross-training on non-running days presents a valuable opportunity to enhance endurance and build strength without subjecting your joints to excessive stress and elevating the risk of injury.
Consider incorporating activities such as swimming, aqua jogging, cycling, walking, strength training, yoga, and Pilates into your routine. Choose activities that you find enjoyable, ensuring the consistency of your program. This thoughtful approach not only contributes to your overall fitness but also promotes a sustainable and well-rounded exercise regimen.
Get a good rest.
Keep your running schedule conservative, especially when just starting. Avoid consecutive running days. Instead, insert an active rest day or cross-train between runs. Incorporating a complete day of rest also aids in effective recovery.
On rest days, prioritize resistance training for both rehabilitation and injury prevention, particularly beneficial for runners. Strengthen key muscle groups. like quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves, while mixing in core workouts to maintain proper form during your runs.
Make stretching a part of your rest day routine. Focus on stretches that release the hip flexors and target the quadriceps and calves, aiding in both preparation for and recovery from your runs.
If you encounter pain on a scheduled running day, consider taking the day off or going for a walk instead. Relying on pain relievers to power through a run is generally not advisable for long-term well-being.
Limit your running distance.
Embarking on a running comeback post-injury can be tricky. Many find themselves re-injured due to hastily ramping up their mileage. Even without an injury, jumping back into your previous mileage routine after a break can pose risks.
Take it slow and steady. Start with a manageable, short route that feels comfortable. Adopt a cautious approach to your running schedule—avoid consecutive running days initially. Insert an active rest day or mix in some cross-training between runs to ease back into your stride smoothly.
Join a running club or group.
Spice up your return to running by sharing the track with others. Running buddies can bring a motivational lift and added perks like enjoyable conversations. Friends in your running circle can provide valuable accountability as you reconstruct your program.
Explore local running clubs or hit up running shops to discover group runs. Keep an eye on local races. Many organize group runs in preparation for the big day. Another fantastic option is joining a charity training group—run with a purpose, surrounded by like-minded individuals, and contributing to a worthy cause all at once.
How to fall in love with running again?
Don't dwell on past running achievements. They can be disheartening and make those accomplishments seem distant. Instead, focus on the positive steps you're taking now and use them as a springboard for momentum.
Celebrating small victories is crucial for building confidence during this stage. Set realistic milestones and relish the satisfaction of reaching them. Patience is your ally in this process.
While there's plenty of time to aim for personal records, savor the journey of gradually and safely increasing your fitness level. Enjoy the act of running itself without any pressure.
If frustration creeps in, confide in understanding running buddies who likely share similar experiences. Remember, be grateful for the ability to run, even if it's not at your previous pace. Every step forward is a victory.
How To Enjoy Running Again
Reclaim your running mojo with any of the practical tips for a smooth comeback, clever motivation boosts, and injury prevention tips. There's a pathway back to your stride.
#wemovetogether on the tracks with our All Running Gear to help you get that speed and run the distance. Are you ready for your first step?