Whether you’ve been injured or just took a long break from aerobic exercise, you need to get back into it slowly. It’s easy to want to start right back where you left off, but your risk of injury is greater when you’re deconditioned. Use these tips to get back into running while avoiding injury.
- Take frequent walk breaks. When you first start again, run for 2 minutes, walk (briskly) for one minute, and repeat for at least 30 minutes. When you begin to feel you can go a little longer, gradually add a minute to your running intervals and take fewer breaks. You’ll eventually be able to run continuously without any walk breaks.
- Follow the 10% rule. Don’t increase your mileage by more than 10% per week. For example, if you run 5 miles a week now, don’t increase your total weekly mileage by more than ½ mile the following week. This can help prevent injury and keep you on a good progression pace.
- Expect a few bad days. Everyone experiences them, especially when they’re just getting back to a regular routine. Don’t worry if you feel slower, more tired, or even sore. Do just a little exercise on those tough days. But know the difference between soreness and injury. If the minor aches and pains continue or get worse, see your doctor!