How to get back running?
That’s a good question I hear you say, how does one get back in the saddle, get motivated to throw on your running shoes and get out and pound the pavements or battle the trails or even rock up to your local Parkrun?
Having spent most of the winter months on the lead up to end of last Year avoiding too much running and preferring to spend my time indoors in the gym and out of the wet and cold, I have decided that with the ‘New Year, New Me’ buzz still fresh in the air and a new found enthusiasm to re-discover the old me I am ready to hit the roads. It also did help that one of my Christmas presents to myself was a pair of new runners that were sitting patiently in their box waiting for a test drive...
Take into account how much time you took off!
I suppose the good thing is that I didn’t take too much time off, so I am hoping without too much delay that I will get back into my stride and pick up where I left off without too much of a struggle.
It is however important to take the length of your break into consideration when getting back out there and also the reasons for your break. If you only took a few weeks off due to a little bit of indulgence at the end of year festivities like me or perhaps you ran a big race, or you even stopped running altogether to prevent minor pain from becoming a full-on injury, you may not need to do too much to adjust your running plans in your comeback but I suppose they have to be realistic depending on why you stopped.
I am planning on taking the first few weeks or so completely easy with low mileage and no speed workouts just to ease me back in and to avoid the dreaded fear and allow me to fall in love with running again I may throw in the odd hill session too as I find them challenging and always great for firing up the glutes and getting the old heart rate up! I have to admit I actually quite enjoy them too. And it’s always easier to do the things you enjoy!
I am no expert, however, if your break is longer than a couple of weeks or months, you may need to start off slowly and even look at guidance from a Running Coach or Running Program to ensure you’re on the right track for your fitness levels to and to help stay injury free.
“It’s all in the head” they say and well they are well and truly correct! I have to stop myself lingering on what my former self used to run, the distances I did and even the PBs I had! It’s useless going back in time, you have to keep reminding yourself that it is possible to get back there slowly, I just need to give it time and to be kind to myself.
Making a few adjustments to build my base back up and setting small goals for myself weekly will help keep me on the straight and narrow. I know too that for energy purposes I need to improve my sleep and also take a look at my nutrition too when building up the mileage or just even for post run recovery muscle repair and injury prevention.
Having realistic expectations here is important and ensuring that I rest and recover when needed! Consistency in all of these areas is key and will I am hoping get me up to speed (pardon the pun).
Back with the Pack
After a few sessions out and about solo, I’m feeling more confident and my pace improving, so I messaged a few of the running buddies to see if we could get a little schedule of runs going again like the old days. The response was great, all the girlies are fired up and super enthusiastic about getting the gang back together, and sure if anything it will be great to meet for the chats!
I think I may have reignited that running spark and who knows what the girlies will have me signing up for next?!! In the meantime. Baby steps and I think and maybe a few Parkruns first!
If you see me on the roads give me a shout out because you know I am going to need it!