Coming back to running after a break can be challenging
It can be hard to be patient while you build back your fitness. There’s a multitude of reasons you may have taken a break: whatever your reason was here are some thoughts.
Depending on how long you ran prior to taking a break (and how much time off you took), you may have a base of fitness to build on. Here are a few tips to get you back on track (literally).
Know your starting point
Accept your fitness level where it is at this moment in time. It’s important to have an accurate idea of your starting point so that you can build from there without getting injured. If you’ve taken a long break or been mostly sedentary during your time off, you’ll need to start more gradually–and that’s not a bad thing. You’ll still see improvement quickly.
Try to enjoy the process and know that your running ability will improve more quickly than if you were starting for the first time.
Start slow (walking is good!)
“It’s very important to build in incremental steps,” says Lethbridge-based running coach and fitness trainer Chantelle Erickson. “Steer clear of doing too much, too soon.” Erickson suggests finding a training program that is formatted into training blocks and slowly adding volume over several weeks. A few weeks of building should be followed by a week of easy or recovery days. If you haven’t been moving around much at all, start with walks of an hour or less to gain some strength.
A walk/run program is an excellent way for people to get back to their running routine, and while it can be challenging to wrap your head around taking walk breaks when you want to be running an hour at a time, you’re far better off adding stress gradually. Try five to ten minutes of running, take a walk break and repeat. Keep those initial runs short and easy, and take a day off in between workouts.
Remember that strength is built during recovery
If you used to run most days of the week, taking a day off in between workouts and a recovery week each month may sound ridiculous, but it may be the most important thing you do. “Growth happens in the rest phase when the body repairs itself,” Erickson explains.
“You will come into your next workout stronger, and each week and month you will begin to see the difference incremental changes are making both in structural tolerance and cardiovascular development.”
With a bit of patience and time, you’ll be running effortlessly, stronger than you’ve ever been.
posted Thursday July 28th
by Keeley Milne