5 ways to help ease your way back to running

1. Wipe the Slate Clean

Approach the situation as an opportunity to restart.  Chances are the training for your last race was lacking in an area, such as strength, flexibility, or speed.  Look at this time as an opportunity to train properly in the way you want and know your body needs.  For example, have you always felt like you needed to do more core work? Start now.

2. Create New Workouts

You will not be able to just jump back into your old training program.  Period.  So use this time as a chance to try new workouts you’ve always been interested in- yoga, spinning, hiking, etc.  It will not only help get your fitness back up, but also strengthen other muscles that runners need, yet may sometimes ignore. Also, get help from StarkFit. I can really help you here.

3. Start Small, Think Big

Deciding to run a half marathon in a month at this point is probably too much too soon.  Deciding to run a 5K in a month is doable.  Perhaps you can consider a 10K in 8 weeks, THEN a half marathon.  This not only gives you short-term goals, but also keeps your eyes on longer term (and longer distance) goal.

4. Train for Shorter Distances

If you do # 3 above, don’t just sign up for a 5K and then show up for it- train for it.  This may sound unnecessary and even a bit silly, but this will ensure you aren’t doing too much too soon, yet will still give you the satisfaction of having a day-to-day training program with an end goal.  Bonus: You’ll focus on training for shorter distances, which is often neglected when training for the longer distances.  Building this solid base will be a boon to you once you get back into the longer distances.

5. Run Slow(er)

It won’t be forever, but if you can slow your average pace down at the beginning, it will not only ease your body back into running, but also do wonders for the mental game.  Runs won’t be as difficult, so they will be more enjoyable than if you tried to jump back in at your normal pace.  This will keep you running, which will lead to success.  If you run with a running group, try running with a slightly slower pace for a week or two, then work your way back up to your normal pace.  If you run solo, back off your normal pace a bit in the same way.

It can be daunting to get back into running after a hiatus, but implementing some of these tips may help you, emotionally and physically.  Your (injury-free!) body will thank you for it.

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