Get back into Running After an Injury or Long Break
After a long break, or recovering from an injury, getting back into running can feel great! It is important however to make sure that your return to running is done properly.
If you have been injured or have been off for more than two weeks you will find that your fitness level has decreased. It is important to work your way back into running and not to try and jump in at the level you were before taking a break. Especially if you were off for an extended period or due to an injury. There is nothing worse than lacing your running shoes back up only to be put off again. This is a mistake that many runners make. Talk to you doctor or physical therapist for advice. That is what they are there for and they have the knowledge to help.
It is a very good idea to follow a training schedule when you are starting back. Start slow and build up over time. Track your progress with a fitness tracker or a pair of smart running shoes so that you can see the changes over time. Having a training schedule like this will help you build up a routine again and will lower your chances of getting injured. As you are starting out do not increase your weekly mileage by very much and stick to a comfortable pace.
During the first few weeks don’t try to run every day. Take rest days and spend time doing cross training. Resting is when your body heals, and this is important. Cross training will improve your running but will also help protect your body against injuries.
Track your progress. It is a good idea to keep track of how far you are running and what pace you are going at. Keeping details of your runs can make it easier to ease back in, and will also help you see the improvements you are making along the way. There are many ways to easily get your running metrics, from phone apps, to fitness tracking running shoes.
Have a gait analysis done. This can be done at many specialty running stores, of through a physiotherapist. The gait analysis will look at the running patterns of your feet and will give you ideas of how you can improve your running form and reduce the risk of injuries. You can also get a pair of smart running shoes though AISportage which give a gait analysis of every run so that you can see where you are improving each time and what still needs work.