RETURN TO SPLENDOUR
How to return to regular running after time away from exercise
It happens to almost every runner at some point: you get busy, ill or injured and you don’t run for a few weeks. A body at rest tends to stay at rest, and a few weeks turns into a month – or longer. However, when you’re finally ready to return, beware of overexuberance. Here’s how to restart your routine.
If you’ve been away from running for more than a few weeks (or if your enforced break came just a few months after you began running consistently), your first goal is to work up to feeling strong throughout a 30-minute walk. If that’s not something you can do right now, start with a gentle 10-15-minute walk and increase by three to five minutes every other day. Adjust your pace to avoid feeling short of breath.
Next, add running: walk for five minutes, alternate between a 10-second run and a 50-second walk for five minutes, then walk for three minutes. If you feel good, continue with five minutes of run 10 seconds/ walk 40 seconds. Walk for three minutes, then decide whether to add five minutes of run 10 seconds/ walk 30 seconds. Every other day, add three to five minutes of run 10 seconds/ walk 30 seconds until your total time is 30 minutes.
ESTABLISH A ROUTINE
If you stopped running because other obligations got in the way of your workouts, rethink your schedule. Many people find it easiest to stay consistent when they run first thing in the morning. Evening runners might bring their running clothes to work and change before they leave – it’s one less thing to do before heading out upon your return home. Do all you can to make running an easy choice.
HEED YOUR BODY
Your body will tell you if it’s overwhelmed during your comeback – you just need to listen to it. If you’re huffing and puffing during a workout, slow down. You can also shorten your running time and lengthen your walking time to ensure your breathing is steady and controlled.