How to re­turn to reg­u­lar run­ning af­ter time away from ex­er­cise

Runner's World (UK) - - Training - BY JEFF GAL­LOWAY

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.


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.


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.

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