There can be more reasons for a running break. Either you were forced to rest (injury or sickness) or you became a bit lazy (end of summer, winter temperatures, bad weather conditions). Our body doesn’t care about the cause, the effects on it are the same. Blood volume and lactate threshold eventually decrease after some time off. Intensive running timetable before the break makes the comeback easier, while beginners will witness a much harder time going back to the situation they were before the break. We reveal some tips that might help you start running again.
1. Join a running group
Training in a group of runners and a trainer can significantly contribute to your running “comeback”. Firstly, being surrounded by a group of people with similar goals and aspirations can increase your motivation. Secondly, the group’s running coach can give you some personal tips and guidance as regards your physical condition and appropriate running workout. Thirdly, why would you only run when you can run and meet new people at the same time.
An intensive running schedule can lead to injuries like quads that overpower our hamstrings, poor flexibility, and imbalanced muscle development. Therefore, it is smart to combine your running exercise with other disciples like cycling, yoga, pilates, fitness, and swimming. This will increase strength and flexibility in muscles, that aren’t achieved by running itself. These activities are also likely to prevent running burnouts and boredom.
3. Set SMART goals
Setting goals is a good way to stay motivated and establish a running habit. For efficient goal-setting, we recommend the SMART principle. You can find some examples below.
Try to specify your goal to every detail, in order to stay motivated because you know exactly what is needed to accomplish it. For example: “Improve personal record in the 5k marathon by two minutes in six months.”
Making your goal objectively measurable helps you fully attain the objectives while staying motivated. For weight loss purposes we suggest weighing yourself in kg or lbs, rather than measuring your hip girth. For performance and stamina purposes, time together with range is the best metric, ex. run 5 km in 35 min.
Take it slow and steady. Not everybody can qualify to run the Boston Marathon. Before you set exact goals, measure your situation/performance and based on that, set attainable goals. Ask yourself, if you have to make considerable improvements to reach a certain goal. It is better to achieve easy, step-by-step goals faster than bigger goals never. Asking your trainer or personal coach is always suggest for more personalized advice.
Your goal should match your running motivation. Ask yourself a simple question: “Why am I running.” If the answer is to lose weight, then set yourself a weight-loss goal. If the answer is to improve running stamina and performance, then setting a time-based goal.
Set deadlines for all your goals and avoid postponing your goals to later dates. “Why do it tomorrow, when you can do it today?”
4. Reward yourself
Rewarding yourself after a running workout will make you even more satisfied than a fresh shower. Rewards don’t need to be extravagant. For some, just going to the gym and working out is a reward itself, because it makes them feel great. However, some other minor rewards could also be taken into consideration:
- Have a delicious protein shake
- Take time and prepare yourself a special healthy meal, like fresh salmon with cooked vegetables and vegetable smoothie
- A massage to relieve the pain of intensive running workouts
- When a certain goal is reached, take a day off and do a trip to the mountains
- Try something new like skydiving or joining a cooking course
5. Set your training intensity
The main question is the intensity you take up after a period of break. The longer you’ve been training before the break, the faster your body will bounce back to its routine. The bottom table shows approximate guidelines regarding the intensity of your training workout, based on the length of break you had from the last running period.