Are you ready to start running again after a long break? Even if you were an experienced runner in the past, incorporating running back into your daily routine can be as challenging as it would be for a beginner. The difference is you already know how great and strong you feel after a run!
It’s time you restart your running engines with these simple tips in mind:
Have a goal
Whether you have just signed up for a race or you want to get off the couch and get fit, it’s always important to have a motivation to start running again.
Start by choosing manageable goals and focus on the path you need to follow to accomplish them, instead of trying to change many different things at once. For some extra motivation, set smaller and attainable milestones and reward yourself every time you achieve a goal with something special that will benefit your running.
Follow a training schedule
We have already mentioned how important it is to follow a training schedule. Not only it allows you to have your workouts planned ahead, but it also helps you to establish a regular running habit and avoid getting injured by working out too much, too soon.
When you get out there, it’s also important to track your runs. When your goal is just getting outside the door, you can simply mark down a “1” when you run, and a “0” when you don’t. As soon as you start to be concerned about mileage, pace and time, it might help you stay motivated and hold you accountable if you write all this information down. You can use a notebook or save your runs from your smartphone, with our running apps.
Don’t do too much too soon
Many runners, especially those who are new to running or coming off a long break, make the “too much too soon” mistake. Driven by their excitement, they mistakenly think that “more is better” and end up developing common overuse running injuries, such as shin splints, runner’s knee, or ITB syndrome.
Be more moderate with how often, how long, and how much you run, especially during your first weeks of training. You can start with just walking, and then progress into a run/walk program, such as Ease into 5K, Bridge to 10K or Ease into 10K, depending on your fitness level and your goal.
Make sure you don’t increase your overall weekly mileage by more than 10 percent per week, keep your runs at a conversational pace and always allow your body to rest for at least one day each week.
Cross train to become a better runner
If you’re not feeling the motivation to run, that doesn’t mean you have to let yourself get out of shape. You can still stay active, strong and fit between your running days, with cross-training activities.
Cross-training strengthens your non-running muscles and increases your endurance, without running too much and risking injury. By combining running and other exercises, you will become a better runner and overcome more easily the challenges of coming off a long break.
Swimming, aqua jogging, cycling, strength training, yoga, and Pilates are some of the most popular cross-training activities among runners.
Join a running group
If you used to run by yourself in the past, try to convince your friends to be your training partners or join a running group, and start enjoying the benefits of group training. Besides helping you get out of the bed even when you don’t feel like, meeting other people for a run motivates you to perform better and stick with your goals.
And finding your future running partners is not that difficult! Check with local running clubs to see when they offer group runs, join a charity training group or sign up for a local race that offers free group training runs to registered participants.