Maybe cold weather running isn’t really your thing or perhaps you’ve suffered an injury that has just now finished healing. Either way, if you’re thinking of returning to running, there are definitely some things to keep in mind so that you don’t injure yourself or push yourself too far too quickly.

Treat a return to running as if you were a beginner. The longer the break, the longer you should spend building up your strength and stamina. Follow some of these guidelines so you stay safe, and before you know it you will be back to your old running self.

  • Follow a training schedule. A schedule can help you gradually build up your pace, distance, and more. It can also help to have a set time every day when you are running so you are less likely to quit if it feels tough.
  • Cross train. Cross training is a great way to keep your stamina up on running rest days. There are great, low-impact exercises (yoga, cycling, swimming, etc.) that can help maintain endurance while resting your legs and feet.
  • Don’t do too much too quickly. Upon returning to running you might be excited to get back into it as quickly as possible, but this is a recipe for disaster. Take it slow at first by taking rest days and breaks when your body needs it. Build your running base for about 6-8 weeks and then start to increase speed and distance.
  • Don’t get discouraged. We know how difficult it is to get back into running after an extended break. It can feel like you’re starting all over again. Whatever you do, don’t give up. If it’s worth it to get back into the sport then it’s worth it to overcome the obstacles that you might face. Start by setting smaller, more attainable goals for yourself and then build these up as you go.

If you need more advice or help with a safe plan for your return to running, just call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel at (978) 794-8406j to schedule a consultation with us in one of our three Massachusetts offices.