In a perfect world while training, you would never get injured, never lose motivation, never gain weight and life would never get in the way. However, we do not live in a perfect world and things always happen to derail us from our training. The way we handle our hurdles in life can positively or negatively affect our training. Here are a few ideas to help make your come back successful.
Injury is the most common reason why people take time off from running. Easing back into running after an injury is important for total recovery. Once you have medical clearance to start, begin alternating running and walking 20 to 30 minutes every other day. Gradually increase your running time each week using pain as your guide. Save your speed work until you reach your desired weekly mileage without pain.
A new baby, a new home, a new job, kids’ stuff … this list could go on and on. The quicker you can get back to running the better. Scheduling your workouts in the morning helps to give you no excuses. Conflicts come up throughout the day and the first thing to get scratched out is your workouts. If you just had a new baby, take your time in coming back. Start with some easy hip and core exercises to start building your body. Start with walking and gradually build into running. Taking an extra day during the week to rest is also a good idea.
This is a perfect time to shake it up. Find a new goal to spice it up. It could be a destination race, different distance or a triathlon. Whatever it is to get you going again, build your workouts and possibly budget around it. Getting other people involved with this new goal will also help you stay motivated and accountable. Depending how long you take off, here is a quick way to determine where you should start in your mileage:
- 7 to 13 days off: Start at 75 to 90% of your previous weekly mileage
- 2 to 3 weeks off: Start at 60 to 75% of your previous weekly mileage
- 4 weeks off: Start at 50 to 60% of your previous weekly mileage
- More than one month off: Start at 40 to 50% of your previous weekly mileage