Whether quarantine has put your training on hold or you’ve simply been out of the workout grind for a while, you may be looking for a way to reintroduce yourself to your old hobbies and activities (safely, of course!). Getting back into running, especially after a break, can seem hard to the point of being impossible. But never fear! We’re here to give you the best tips and tricks to ease your way back into those sneakers and learn how to start running after some time off.
Get Into The Right Headspace
One very important thing to do when you decide to get back into running again is to make sure you know how to mentally prepare for a run. Acknowledge that you’re not going to be in the same place you were before you took your break, and that’s OK! Recognize that it may take a lot of time and effort before you’re at the same level you were before. Practice patience and grace, and don’t compare yourself to where you were pre-break.
Take It Slow
It’s tempting to want to jump headfirst into training, but in order to avoid a running injury, you have to take baby steps! After you’ve made the decision to reenter the running world, start by easing into it.
Exercise physiologist Adam St. Pierre suggests sticking with short, easy runs with plenty of walk breaks at first. St. Pierre says: “Too often people get it in their head that they need to run for 30 minutes every day, or run and not walk, in order to make progress. Let your body adapt to the stress of a workout before you start adding more stresses!”
Cross-training can be a fun way to build strength and endurance, as well as introduce variety into your workouts. Try weight lifting to build muscle and work out the areas you’re not targeting while running. Swimming is an awesome low-impact alternative to running, as well as being a killer total-body workout (try AfterShokz Xtrainerz to take you from the track to the pool and back again)! Find other great cross-training activities for runners here.
Make Safety A Priority
Ensure you’re incorporating the proper safety measures while you train. Start off with longer distances on a treadmill, or make sure you have someone who can come pick you up if you’ve overshot your distance on the trails or a road.
Another way to make safety a priority when running is to wear your AfterShokz open-ear headphones, to make sure you can hear other runners, cyclists, or cars. And of course, ensure you’re following social distancing measures and make sure you’re wearing a face covering when you clock your mileage (find examples of the best masks for running here).
Whether you’re racing or training, any good athlete will tell you it’s essential to incorporate recovery into your routine. Workout recovery is especially important when you’re just starting out or returning from a break. Stretch before and after every run, take a rest day every week, and make sure you’re fueling your body in a way that’s conducive to your goals. You can find more recovery tips and tricks here.