Are you ready to get back into a running routine? Whether it’s due to lack of motivation, injury, or a busy schedule, sometimes it’s hard to get back into a workout routine. Here are some tips that can encourage you to get back into shape.
Follow a training schedule:
When you first started running, you may have followed a beginner training schedule to learn how to run and help you stay motivated. Although you may have previous running experience, many runners who’ve taken a long break from running find it helpful to follow a beginner schedule so they can establish a regular running habit and avoid getting injured. It is important to start off slow and with short distances so as not to injure yourself.
Here are some beginner schedules you might want to try:
4 Weeks to Run One Mile – for those brand-new to running.
3 Weeks to a 30-Minute Running Habit – for beginners who can run for a minute.
4 Weeks to Run Two Miles – for beginners who can run at least a half mile.
5K Run/Walk Training Schedule – for beginners who can run for 5 minutes at a time.
5K Beginner Runner Training Schedule – if you can run at least one mile.
During your first several weeks, don’t run two days in a row. Don’t increase your overall weekly mileage by more than 10 percent per week. Keep all your runs at an easy, conversational pace for at least 6-8 weeks, until you have a good running base established. Bonus: You’ll focus on training for shorter distances, which is often neglected when training for the longer distances. Building this solid base will be a boon to you once you get back into the longer distances.
It can be very helpful to track your results. Tracking helps reinforce the habit, especially when you’re trying to get back into it. An interesting method of tracking is simply marking down a “1″ when you run, and a “0″ when you don’t. It’s a lot less intimidating to put together a string of 1′s than it is to have to write down every detail of every workout. Meticulous tracking has its place, sure, but if writing down “1 mile warmup, 8 X 400m at 1:30, 1 mile cooldown” isn’t doing it for you right now, try 1′s and 0′s.
Cross train to build fitness
Cross training in between your running days is a way to increase your endurance and strength without running too much and risking injury. Examples of good cross training activities for runners include swimming, aqua jogging, cycling, strength training, yoga, and Pilates. Choose activities that you enjoy so that you know you’ll keep at it.
If you’ve typically run alone in the past, try to increase your motivation (and get lots of other great benefits) by running with others. Check with local running clubs or running shops to see when they offer group runs. Or, find a charity training group – you’ll find lots of people to run with and help a worthy cause.
It can be frustrating to think about your past running accomplishments and how they’re out of reach at this point. Don’t beat yourself up and put pressure on yourself to get to your previous level. Set new, smaller goals for yourself so that you feel good about reaching milestones and build more confidence as you continue running. They’ll be plenty of time to train and work on beating your PRs. Just try to enjoy running as you work on building up your fitness level gradually and safely.