It happens to even the most well-intentioned runner. The babysitter bails, so you can't get out. Work obligations derail a three-miler, icy sidewalks nix another. (Search: Is running in the snow safe?) Before you know it, your regular routine is a distant memory. The good news is that you can start back up right now, and with smart training and a little planning, stick with it all year. With each brief, easy workout you complete, you'll feel energized and empowered to get back on track. Here's how to safely return to where you left off.
Moves That Build Upper Body Strength
Start slow. Plan to run/walk every other day. (Hang up this motivational poster if you need reminders). Doing too much after a break puts you at risk of injury as your joints and muscles need time (about two weeks) to readapt to the running motion. Plus, jumping in with too much gusto can tire you out, which will set you back and make it even harder to get on schedule.
Walk more. If your hiatus has lasted two weeks or more, lengthen your walk segments. For example, if you had been using a run/walk ratio of five to eight minutes running with one minute walking, drop down to a 1:1 ratio. (Related: Learn how walk/run ratios can help you shed 10, 20, 30 pounds or more!)
Build gradually. Once or twice a week, add three to five minutes to your workout time. Continue adding time until you reach 30 minutes of run/walking. At that point, you can alter your run/walk ratio, lengthen your run portions, or focus on increasing the duration of your run. (Related: What’s the right running pace for you?)
Use our Healthy Heart Tool and learn how to extend the life of your most important running muscle.
Set goals. There's nothing like a goal to stoke your motivation. (Related: How to Set Your Perfect Goal) It doesn't have to be lofty, but a goal should take some work so attaining it feels sweeter. Simply aiming to run every other day for two weeks is a fine target that will get your body and mind in sync with running again.
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