If you’re missing running – the high of hitting a new personal best, the stress-busting 5K’s after a busy day, or the long weekend runs making the most of the sunny weather during summer – this blog is written to help you.
Even if you’ve had a long break, and want to get back to running after years off, there are 5 important things to know before you hit your old running routes, or jump back on the treadmill.
5 Steps To Getting Back Into Running After Years Off
Getting back into running after a long break is simple, right?
Just start running again.
Getting back into any form of exercise is more complex than simply starting again.
Over your time off, your muscles are likely to have lost strength, your joints and ligaments have lost a little stability, and your body is not going to be able to handle the same workouts as it used to.
But here are 5 steps to get back to running without getting injured and without losing motivation.
Realize You Aren’t Going To Be As Fast As You Were (Straight Away)
To start with, be realistic with your performance.
If you haven’t run for a long time, then you are likely to have lost some speed and endurance.
The good news is that you can improve your performance much quicker if you’ve done it before.
So, if it took you 3 years to run 8-minute miles, it won’t take you 3 years to get back to running 8-minute miles.
In the short term, and while you reform the habit of running, be realistic with your times and distances.
In the long term, be as ambitious as you want.
Set Goals For Yourself
If you don’t have a goal, it can be hard to keep your motivation high.
To start with, consider simply setting habit-based goals that aren’t dependent on your performance – run on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday morning before work.
As you get back into running, and you learn about your current level of fitness, then you can consider creating performance goals – running for a certain distance, or trying to achieve a certain speed on your next 5K.
Don’t Neglect Your Warm Up
If you want to perform at your best and avoid injuries when you run, make sure to include a warm-up to your routine.
We have actually written an entire blog that shares a full warm-up routine for runners which you can read by using the link below…
Gradually Increase Distance And Speed
A common mistake people make when getting back into exercise is to do too much, too soon.
People get that endorphin rush, and remember what they loved about running, and push themselves way beyond what their body can handle.
What happens next?
They are incredibly sore for days afterwards which affects the next run, or they get an injury which means they can’t run at all.
When you are returning to running, start with short distances and do more frequent runs, rather than long, infrequent runs.
Over time, gradually increase the speed and distance as your body adapts, and you shouldn’t find too much soreness or discomfort after your runs.
Fix Injuries That Stopped You Running In The Past
If you suffered from pain in your hips, knees, or ankles when you ran in the past, and you didn’t fix the problem, it’s likely to come back again.
While the pain might have gone away – as you haven’t been running for a long time – the underlying cause of that pain is unlikely to have fixed itself.
In most cases, issues left untreated get worse so be prepared to hit past problems again when you get back into running.
So if you used to get shin splints, look out for these coming back.
If you had hip pain when you ran for more than 30 minutes, be aware that this is likely to happen again.
The good news is that running injuries can be treated.
Often very quickly, and without having to resort to pills or nasty injections that don’t offer long-term relief.
So if you used to have running injuries, don’t wait for them to ruin your runs, fix them before they become a big problem.
Get Back To Running On The Right Foot With A Free Running Consultation
Whether you are a casual weekend runner who just wants to keep fit, or your a former competitor at marathons who wants to get back to race events, I can help you return to running without injuries, and get you running at your best quickly.
To find out more, arrange your Free Running Consultation where you can learn how to optimize your performance, and avoid nasty injuries that can completely derail your return to running!
Due to very high demand at Prep Performance Centre in Chicago, we have to place a limit on the number of these consultations, so call us on (773) 609-1847 or click the link below to avoid disappointment!
More Free Resources To Improve Your Runs
Read Our Blog – How To Prevent Knee Pain When Running