It happens to the best of us, we fall off the running band wagon and have to start at scratch.  We might have been injured, had babies or have just got caught up in life.  But now we want to get back into it.  We want to feel the joy of running, the freedom of throwing on our runners and heading out the door.

When I started back running after having my first baby it was an up and down roller coaster returning to running.  I completely rushed the process after having so long off I just wanted to run and run and run.  I increased my volume way too quickly and I didn’t take the time to work on strengthening my body gradually.  I ended up with injuries and feeling really burnt out.  

So where to start you ask! How can I get this body going again without winding up injured (again) or worse yet, hating it because it all feels way to freaking hard.

Here are a few tips to get you back out there running and feeling all the good feels that running brings.

Take your time

If you are starting out or haven’t been running for awhile it’s generally not a good idea to go enter a marathon and start smashing out the kilometres without prepping your body.  Running is hard on the body.  If you don’t have a few things sorted it can be the a one way ticket to injury or back to it if that is where you started.

Things to think about are

  • making sure your body is nice and strong
  • building up your running volume slowly
  • including other activities into your training week to build up fitness
  • focusing on recovery you can do it all over again!

So before you start pounding the pavement, take a deep breath and embrace patience.  It can feel like a slow road but it’s totally worth taking your time and enjoying the view along the way.

starting running

Take the time to build up your fitness before you start running

I know you just want to run but running being the high impact activity that it is means it takes time to get back into it.  You can speed up how easy it is for you to get back running and getting those fitness levels up by including cross-training activities into your training that have a lower impact on the body.  Pick an activity you actually enjoy, like cycling, swimming, the elliptical or hiking. 

Water running is also great option if you want to get running without the impact and build or keep your fitness. Its a serious workout! I have water run through two pregnancies which made the transition back to running so much easier.

Run/Walking

Run/walking intervals are the bomb. Run/walking is an awesome way to reduce your chance of injury, get you running faster, managing fatigue and recovering faster.

The thought of running for more than 30 min straight can feel like a distant dream but you can totally do it.  You just have to start slow.

Start with a warm up walk, then do some run/walk intervals to build up your running at a slow and gradual pace.

An example run/walk interval session could include:

30 seconds to 1 minute of running/ 3 – 4 minutes of walking

The running should be super easy.  You could easily be chatting to a friend.  You want it to be so easy you could hold a conversation.  Please don’t go sprinting for 30 seconds.  Gradually increasing the running time and reducing the walking time will get your body used to running without totally ruining it. Plus it can make the session way more manageable to break it up into bits so it’s not so overwhelming.

Doing a few run/walks spaced out over a week will get you back running in no time.  While you are walking it’s a good time to check in and see how your body is feeling regularly.  If you are feeling sore or fatigued it’s probably not a great idea to ramp it up.

Run/walking is a great way to transition into consistent easy running.

Make your body strong

If you want to run it’s a good idea to make your body strong so it can support you to do what you want it too.  Introducing regular short strength training sessions which will get your body nice strong and will keep the injuries away.

You don’t need the heavy weights at the gym, you can totally do an easy 5 to 15 minute set at home using your body.  Even better, you can do it either before or after your run to wrap it all up in one session.  The strength session should be stimulating but not fatiguing you are not completely smashing yourself before or after your run/walk set.

Strengthening exercises can include all different types of exercises like lunges, squats, hip hikes, leg raisies, bridges, clams, planks, single-leg dead lifts and calf raises. Pilates and Yoga are also awesome options for strengthening your body.

Taking the time to work on your weaknesses and all over strength will pay off in helping you keep injury free over the long term.  Especially if you want to be running when your 90 like me!

Check out this article with an example 10 minute strength session that is a great place to start for runners.

Running is totally worth the effort

Once you get started again the awesomeness that is moving and running will make all the effort to get out the door worthwhile.

It introduces you to an amazingly supportive community

It gives you self-confidence in your body

It gives you time to just be you.

What’s not to love? It’s totally worth the effort doing all the things to get you there.

Need help with getting started or back into running?

To make HUGE improvements in your running come and join the Sustainable Run Method.  You will have a step-by-step training plan plus accountability and support to guide you in improving your running and reaching your running goals.  You will uplevel your running and get running further faster in a way that aligns with your life and your body.  All while eating plants.  

Book in your Run on Plants Breakthrough Call here for info and let’s discuss how the The Sustainable Run Method can help you and your running improve.