I had to take a break from running because of an injury, and I thought getting back would be easy. However, that wasn’t the case and it was pretty difficult, given the fact that I had to rest for months. It didn’t only take a toll on my body and overall running performance, but it affected my confidence, too.
I honestly felt discouraged and as if I couldn’t run like I use to again! But as I continued to do research and ask help, I realized I wasn’t alone and struggling. So with the encouragement and research, I decided to try following the healthier tips to run again, which worked out for the best.
So if you had to take a break from running for various reasons, read on! I’ll show you how to start running again to get back on track.
- 1 Steps on How to Start Running Again
- 1.1 1. Have the Right Mindset and Stay Positive
- 1.2 2. Build a Habit and Follow the Right Schedule
- 1.3 3. Cross Train With Strength Workouts
- 1.4 4. Limit Your Mileage and Increase Performance Gradually
- 1.5 5. Consider Joining a Race
- 1.6 6. Stay Safe and Avoid Overmedicating
- 1.7 7. Find Inspiration and Motivation
- 1.8 8. Focus on One Goal and Continue Learning From Running
- 2 Wrapping It Up
Steps on How to Start Running Again
I know how difficult it must be to begin running again, especially after a long period. Rather than giving up completely, follow these steps to gradually get back to where you were and achieve even more goals:
1. Have the Right Mindset and Stay Positive
When I first went back to running, I had so many negative thoughts because I couldn’t reach my usual record. Little did I know that it actually affected my running performance, so once I started thinking positively, things changed. Yes, the change was gradual, but I got back to my old records and even surpassed them, and it all began with positive thinking.
Before you begin your comeback, consider why you’re running and inspire yourself to keep moving forward. As you begin running, focus more on the positive steps you’re taking, building it up from there. Be patient and avoid beating yourself up because of a slightly slower run.
2. Build a Habit and Follow the Right Schedule
After your long running break, it’s tough getting back to your usual routine, and that’s totally okay. You should begin by building your consistency and getting the commitment to running back. Rather than focusing on distance and speed, set small goals and prioritize getting up to run first.
Besides your consistency, build the adequate training schedule suited to your current pace and distance you can do. It’s best to follow a beginner schedule and work your way up if it’s too easy for you. But as much as possible, don’t try going back to where you left off. Follow this guide:
- 1 week or less: Pick up where you left off
- 10 days: 70% of your previous speed and distance
- 15-30 days: 60% of your previous speed and distance
- 30-90 days: 50% of your previous speed and distance
- Over 3 months: Start over again
Wherever mileage you begin, make sure that you don’t increase the mileage or pace by over 10% every week.
3. Cross Train With Strength Workouts
If you’ve taken a break from running and exercise completely, it’s time to get your strength back. This can help increase your strength and endurance to start increasing your mileage without risk of injury.
After all, working out every day really helps with your overall fitness level, but it doesn’t need to JUST be running. Add two to three days of cross-training to your schedule. Check if you’re able to try swimming, cycling, or rowing for better cardiovascular fitness.
Besides this, begin doing bodyweight exercises or weightlifting for better endurance. Focus on target areas such as your core, lower abs, and the gluteus to improve your muscle coordination, biomechanics, and timing in your runs. Add at least two days dedicated to strength to your routine.
4. Limit Your Mileage and Increase Performance Gradually
A lot of runners who try to start running again after injuries would find themselves injured again! Why? Because they increased their mileage too fast.
Like mentioned, you shouldn’t try to get back to where you left off, especially if you had a particularly long break. You should only increase your mileage by 10% per week, no matter how fast or long you went before your break. This doesn’t only help prevent injuries, but it also helps with your mental endurance, as you don’t want the frustration if you can’t do what you used to.
During your first few runs, keep it at a recovery pace where you can hold a conversation. Once you’ve had a stable running base, increase the pace or distance slowly until you can get back on track.
5. Consider Joining a Race
When you’ve already begun running again for a few weeks, consider joining a race or a marathon! This can help you stay motivated to train and keep going, resuming what you used to do before your break.
If you run for leisure or as a hobby, then go for a different goal instead, such as conquering off-road trails. Set inspiring running goals to motivate you further and let your running programs stay on track.
6. Stay Safe and Avoid Overmedicating
Rather than hitting hard grounds immediately, consider running on the track or treadmill first. They had more forgiving surfaces to make your runs easier, and with a treadmill, you can control your pace and incline according to your goals. It’s better to begin walking before running as well, staying safe and preventing further injuries.
Speaking of, if you came from an injury and take painkillers to prevent discomfort during runs, you can do so. But avoid overmedication, which can do you more harm than actual good! Rather than taking medication if it’s too painful, take a walk or take a rest.
7. Find Inspiration and Motivation
While you’re getting back to running, it’s best to boost your motivation and support with other people. Meet new friends who have similar goals as you do, and get the support you need to keep going. It really gives you more encouragement to continue despite any frustrations you feel because of the break.
Besides running groups, find inspiration by reading up on success stories or being with goal-oriented people. Online forums, support groups, and getting inspiration from loved ones will really help you move forward. Remember, your mental health and perspective are just as strong as your body’s physical capabilities.
8. Focus on One Goal and Continue Learning From Running
Consider what you want to achieve, and set your expectations. Avoid setting high expectations and goals, but start off gradually with just one goal.
As you continue to run, learn from it and discover your body’s capabilities. Listen to your mind and body during runs, knowing your limits or if you can push yourself a bit further to reach your goal. This helps you identify and solve any of your running problems to further improve your mileage.
Wrapping It Up
If you want to learn more about getting back to runs after a long time, here’s an informative video to help you:
I hope this article on how to start running again helped you find your mojo! Next thing you know, you’ll be buying a triathlon watch and other equipment to break running records. So don’t wait any longer and plan your comeback to running now.
If you have any questions or want to share your tips and experiences on running again, then comment below. Your thoughts are much appreciated!