4 Ways To Get Back To Running After A Long Break

Jan6th 2023

It is just after the New Year and that means that many people will get back to running again to get their exercise fix. Maybe your New Year’s resolution is that you want to start running or you want to run more. Is your fear of getting back out there after a break keeping you from putting on your running shoes? 

We can help you settle those fears and get you back out there feeling confident that you will be ready to go.  

The good news is that your muscles remember their previous strength, making it simpler to recover than if you were beginning from scratch. If you were not running consistently or took a break for only two or three weeks, you might not notice a substantial difference in your running performance, especially if you were physically active throughout your downtime. 

If it’s been a while, you might not want to jump back into several-mile runs. Mix running and walking, spend time strengthening underutilized muscles, and employ a few strategies to inspire and reward yourself. 

4 Tips To Get You Running Again After A Long Break 

1. Ease Your Way Into A Routine 

Creating a plan when exercising and setting goals is critical. Knowing why you want to run, where you want to run, and how much you will run are just the start when considering your plan. 

It might be difficult to get back into the routine of jogging on a regular basis after a long absence. And, if you’re like most runners, you set lofty goals for yourself in terms of both pace and distance. 

When you first start running again, it’s critical to prioritize consistency. Set small objectives to run on a regular basis rather than worrying about how fast or far you can run. 

For example, in your first week or two back, you may set a goal of running two 3-mile runs at a leisurely pace. These routines will prepare your body for when you return to your sport. 

2. Start With A Warmup And Stretch 

First and foremost, you want to make sure that you stretch. To continue running you will need to be healthy and avoid injury, and in order to do that you will need to make sure that your body is ready to go.  

Begin your runs with some static stretching followed by a vigorous training. Warming up your running muscles by doing some mild weight training and aerobics before your run. Warm up the glutes, quads, and calves with aerobic workouts. Start with a few reps of squats, lunges, high knees, and butt kicks. 

The more that you start slow and ramp up to any strenuous exercising, the better your body will feel and respond to the workout.  

3. Start With Shorter Runs, Build Your Way To Longer Runs 

Your first run after a hiatus will almost certainly be far slower than your personal best. You may not have a personal best, and that is fine too. So many get back to running or start running thinking that in a week they should be able to run a marathon.  

Start by walking, gradually making your way up to a jog, then have bursts where you sprint. Repeat these as a good warm up, and soon you can lengthen the distances as you get more in shape.  

As you get into a schedule for running, and you begin to take days between to rest, you can also mix in other exercises to help strengthen the muscles used to run and the core muscles vital to your recovery and sustaining by not being injured.  

4. Rest and Recovery 

The longer the run, the more time it takes to recuperate. Always stretch statically before and after a run. If you run long distances, foam roll your hamstrings, quadriceps, and lower body muscles to alleviate muscular stiffness.  

Just because your body might remember how to run a marathon, doesn’t imply your muscles and joints are prepared for the strain of running. While running helps you increase stamina and strength, it also breaks down your body in a variety of ways, including opening microscopic rips in your muscles. 

Taking at least one day off every week can help you prevent injury and return stronger, giving your body time to recuperate. 

If there are sore muscles, stretching, icing, and rest can be the best way to get those muscles ready to go again when it is time to run. Make sure you stop running if the pain is lingering or your body doesn’t respond the way that it should and is in pain that is not normal.  

How To Know That Your Body Is Ready To Run 

Zone Physical Therapy would love to help answer your questions about your body and if you are ready to be getting back out there and running after a long break. We are giving clients a 90 minute running assessment here at our office so we can keep you healthy and collecting those miles.  

In our clinic, we are able to assess any issues that you might be having that is keeping you from putting on your running shoes and hopefully get you back out there after identifying the problems that might be present.  

Our team have helped hundreds of runners, just like you!  

To arrange your free 90 Minute Runners Performance Assessment Request An Appointment or call us on (864) 351-7254. 

Other Resources For Runners: 

Read our blog – The Soggy Sock: Building Mileage 

Follow us on social media – Zone Physical Therapy Instagram