Running: Getting Back Up to Speed

One of the reasons the pandemic was so hard to bear for many of us was the disruption to the routines by which we live our life. Many people schedule their rest, entertainment, and exercise into their day to ensure that it happens. Otherwise, the pace of the modern world would carry us away, and we would only work.

While getting back into shape after a short hiatus, such as a vacation or a slight injury, may not have been very difficult, a long break can be a different story. Each body is different, but the long months of the pandemic may have reduced your stamina and caused you to lose muscle tone.

It can be disheartening but try to remember that you did it once, and you can do it again. In fact, it will be easier this time around because your body will recognize your efforts and work with you to return to an improved shape. You have to be patient, develop a plan, and find motivation.

Patience will take the form of not beating yourself up for your lack of speed or how quickly you lose your breath. A plan can be built with a trainer, or you can download a running app or even sign up with a running club. Motivation can be looking at pictures of your most fit body or signing up for a half-marathon in a few months, or something fun like having custom face masks made with motivational statements or images on them. If it will get you out the door in your running shoes, it is well worth doing.

Take It Easy

If, by chance, you have suffered an injury of any type, please wait till you are fully healed and pain-free to begin running. Even if an injury occurs because of a different activity, the strain from returning to exercise can exacerbate your condition.

Waiting till you are pain-free is the best way to ensure that your body can bear the strain of renewed physical activity. Consider doing strength training for a while before getting back into running. Strength training can help you to strengthen your muscles, improve recovery time, and reduce the likelihood of further injury.

Make It a Habit

The main issue with getting back into running will be consistency. Due to the amount of time spent without regular exercise, you will have lost the habit. Get into the groove of running by setting goals. Start with some strength training, then walk for a while, and run for a short while.

Increase the amount of running you do each day by a few minutes. The desire to meet your running goals will keep you consistent. This is also habit-forming behavior that will help you to restart your motivation.

Close up of legs of jogger

A long-term goal is also effective but will require a different approach. Alternate the days when you do strength training and the days when you run. Once you have decided these days, make a permanent notification on your calendar and add an alarm. Be sure to never miss a day no matter what. Good weather days can be spent outside running in the park, and bad weather days can be spent on a treadmill. As long as you strictly adhere to your running days, you will find that the habit of it comes back to you fairly quickly.

Training Schedules Are Helpful

Some runners need to feel accountable to others to maintain their habits. Following a training schedule can be quite fun and a great way to get back into shape. Consider starting with a beginner schedule so you can ease your way into the activity. This will also reduce the likelihood of injury.

Many fitness websites and apps offer different types of training schedules for different levels of runners. Find one that works for you and your day. If you have been away from running for several months, it might help you work with a personal trainer for a short while.

A trainer would help you plan out a training schedule that works with the limitations of your stamina and level of fitness. They can also guide you to know what changes you need to make to your diet and what additional exercises you need to add to aid your running goals.

You must get adequate rest while carrying out your training schedule. Pushing yourself too hard, in the beginning, could lead to injury. An injury will require you to rest and avoid running altogether, which will further add to your frustration as you cannot train. Thus, taking adequate rest and hydration is key to ensuring the success of your training schedule.

You can do resistance training workouts on the days off, as this can help to strengthen your leg muscles. This type of training will help to prevent injury and help to regain your running form. Stretching and yoga can also be beneficial if you would like a less active rest day.

Keep in mind that if you do happen to feel pain or strain on a run day, it is okay to take a walk instead. This will help to keep your momentum going without making the injury worse.

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