Running is a very effective exercise for people who want to improve their fitness. Even if you had taken a break from running, getting back into it would be highly beneficial.
A 2015 analysis of multiple studies found that after one year of routine running after being physically inactive, adults reduced body mass, body fat ratio, increased maximum oxygen intake, and raised good cholesterol levels.
It’s advisable to get back into running after gaining weight.
This article will show you how to start running again after a long break.
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HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET USED TO RUNNING AGAIN?
This depends on why you had to take a break from running. It can also depend on how to fit you were before your break.
If you’re a runner who had to take a break from something serious like a fractured femur, it can take up to a year to return to running after an injury. This is after the period of rehabilitation.
If you’re a beginner who had started running, gave up, then decided to start again, it can take you about two to three weeks to get used to it.
Other factors should also be considered, like age, weight, and consistency. If you’re older, it will take you longer to get used to running again.
Overweight people may take longer to get used to running as well. Habits like smoking may also make it difficult to succeed in how to start running again.
If you are consistent, you will get used to it sooner and able to endure running better. But you need to make sure you run according to the routine you set for yourself.
WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET BACK INTO RUNNING?
When learning about how to start running again, it’s important to understand why you may find it very hard.
According to Huffington Post UK, one of the main reasons it’s hard to get back into running is a lack of willpower.
Non-natural runners may not enjoy the way running pushes your body and may struggle to get back into the habit.
Another reason could be because of psychology. If you had to stop running because of an injury, lowered self-esteem and depression might prevent you from snapping back into the habit.
Here are a few tips if you want to know how to start running again and stick to it.
1. MAKE A PLAN
Create a realistic schedule for yourself for your new running schedule.
Studies show that the best way to stick to a habit is to create a schedule. Look at your daily activities and see when it’s possible to spare time for a run without interruption.
Your running plan should also include time for warm-ups, cool-downs, and cross-training. Depending on your experience as a runner, you can design one for yourself or get advice from a trainer.
If you are returning from an injury, you also need to consider how much healing progress you’ve made to determine how long you can run.
2. DO A TRIAL RUN
This will show you what your body is capable of. You don’t want to push yourself too hard before your body can handle the exertion it could before your break.
Be sure to monitor your heart rate, your breathing, how your legs feel, and your pace.
If everything is ok, you can start running routinely. If not, reduce the volume and intensity of your running, then work your way back.
You can also start with a brisk walk if you’re finding it hard to start running again.
3. RUN WITH COMPANY
In nearly every residential estate, there is always a time when people are going for their daily jobs. In most instances, these people form caucuses that run together.
Running with people who already have the habit shows how to start running again. When you run with a community, they give you motivation even on your lowest days.
Run with a friend, a coach, a trainer, a gym partner, your neighbors because it’s more fun too. There are also social apps that exist for runners to keep in touch with each other. Running with people conditions you not to disappoint other people who’ve come to rely on your runs.
4. SET GOALS
A running goal can help you focus on getting back into the groove of running. Furthermore, set smaller goals, don’t jump into training for a half marathon or the full marathon.
Additionally, this gives you enough time to get your body to acclimatize to the demands of running and build endurance.
If you have taken a long break, it’s best to start with a beginner’s schedule to avoid injury and rebuild the habit.
According to Very Well Fit, you can consider goals to take:
-four weeks to run one mile
-three weeks to run for thirty minutes
-four weeks to run two miles
-eight weeks to run 5km
5. CROSS TRAIN
As you are rebuilding your fitness so you can succeed in how to start running again, it’s best to cross-train.
Add strength training exercise to ensure you regain strength in the muscle groups needed for running.
You should do core and lower body exercises. Make sure you work your abs, back, quads, hamstrings, and glutes.
Swap one of your running sessions in the week with a cardio alternative like cycling or swimming if you want to start running again to lose weight. This is especially important if you have experienced plantar fasciitis in the past.
6. KNOW YOUR LIMITS
Many runners often reinjure themselves because they increase their mileage too quickly.
Studies found that not taking enough recovery days and overtraining increases the risk of injury among pro athletes.
It’s ill-advised to go back to your routine before your break. If you run 10km a day, don’t run the same distance once you resume running.
By pushing your body, you increase the risk of injury in your muscles and joints. Your body and mind need to be primed before getting back into peak training condition.
Rushing to do the same distance you were before can also increase the chances of failing, which will discourage you.
Please start with the moderate goals we’ve mentioned above before you increase your running routine’s volume and intensity.
Make sure to take breaks in between your running breaks. Use one day for running, then the next for cross-training. Always make sure to have an active rest day every week.
7. KEEP THE RIGHT ATTITUDE
It’s easy to get frustrated since you’re not running at the same levels you were before your break. Don’t be hard on yourself. Remember that you’re not a machine, and some days will be harder than others.
The best thing to remember is that fitness takes time and when you’re feeling low, talk with other runners.
Find ways to keep your spirits up every time you run so that you also enjoy running even if you’ve suffered a setback.
Listen to podcasts or audiobooks during your run to keep your mind engaged and not worrying about your performance.
You need to be patient with yourself and pay attention to your overall progress rather than your daily one.
Studies show that how often you run is more important than speed, duration, or intensity. When you start running again, make sure you stick to your schedule.
Slacking off or overdoing may jeopardize your health.
Ensure that you get the go-ahead from your doctor before starting to run again. If you have a chronic condition, get the advice of your doctor first.
Take a break if you experience a cramp, blisters, sunburn, a headache, trouble breathing, or tingling.