Getting Back to Running After a Break

Beginners' Running Advice & Motivation,Running Health & Lifestyle Advice
Getting Back to Running After a Break

Sometimes something can get in the way of our running, leading us to have a short or long break from it.

We may have sustained an injury which needs time to heal. We may have had a major event occur in our lives, for example a new job or a new house, which can divert our time and energies for a while. We may have suffered an emotional trauma which leaves our energies depleted while we recover. These are just some reasons why we may at some point realise that we have not run for a long while.

At some point too, however, we may sense the urge to start up again, once our life has settled back down/stabilised, once we have recovered from a physical or emotional trauma. We can start to get an “itch” to don our running shoes and head out of the door.

After a prolonged break from running we would do well to consider a few things to make sure we start and continue, happily and healthily:

Make it gradual
Do some strength-training
Increase your flexibility
Check your running gait and footwear
Check your running clothing
Remember hydration
Keep inspired

1. Make it Gradual

As you wouldn't suddenly increase your mileage from 10K to half marathon or from half marathon to full marathon, don't go straight out and run too far and too hard too soon. Test the water. Perhaps use a beginner's training programme to build up slowly and steadily.

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2. Do some Strength Training

Strength-training can complement your running and ensure that your body is able to meet the running demands made of it. Lift some light weights, do some press-ups, do some pilates exercises.

More on Strength Training

3. Increase your Flexibility

Make sure you stretch and flex your muscles. If you start running again and don't incorporate stretching into your routine you may find that your muscles become extremely tight and then prone to injury.

More on Stretching

4. Cross-Train

Cross-training can help your all-round fitness and can make your training fun. Consider joining a gym, swim, cycle, play a team sport such as tennis or badminton. If you keep your training fun you are more likely to stick to it.

More on Cross-Training

5. Check your Gait and Footwear

If you have never had your running gait assessed or have not had it assessed since before your break from running, it is a good idea to have a reassessment to make sure your running shoes will be suitable. Running gait can change over time, e.g. with a change in weight, after giving birth. Check if your shoes need renewing at a specialist running shop. Both cushioning and support can be affected over time, even when the shoes are not in use.

More on Natural Gait Analysis

6. Check your running clothing

Check your running wardrobe to see if your clothing is still fit for purpose. Have you got appropriate clothing for the weather, be it rainy, sunny, snowy? Ladies, please check your sports bras and make sure they are still effective, or buy new. It is essential to have proper support.

See the Range

7. Remember hydration

Don't forget to ensure you are properly hydrated, before, during and after running. Proper hydration is essential to your health and can make a world of difference to your performance. Use electrolyte powders or tablets in hot weather to make sure your body absorbs enough of the water you take in. In hot weather don't forget a cap to protect your head.

More on Hydration

8. Keep inspired

In order to sustain your running after getting back to it, try to keep inspired in different ways. One of the best ways is to run with a friend sometimes. You could consider joining a local running club. You could sign up for a 5K, perhaps your local Park Run. When you've done that, sign up for another one or for a 10K, but make sure you build up your training gradually.

More on Motivation

Enjoy your running again and reap all the rewards, inner and outer, it can give you.

These are tips that we've found very useful and want to share with our customers. But we're not certified instructors. Always consult your specialist before beginning any exercise programme. This general information is not intended to diagnose any medical condition or to replace your healthcare professional. Consult with your healthcare professional to design an appropriate exercise prescription. If you experience any pain or difficulty with these exercises, stop and consult your healthcare provider.

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