It can be especially challenging during the summer months to keep a regular exercise routine, and my excuses vary from being on vacation, the overwhelming heat, to too much BBQ last night to get up and get an early run in before work.
But when the break from running is more than a day or two, and grows to weeks or even months, it’s hard to get back in the rhythm.
Here’s how to approach those first runs, no matter how long you’ve been away to avoid injury.
The break -> a week or two
On your first couple runs back in the groove, just take it 2 or 3 minutes slower than usual and run about half of your usual distance. Also include walk breaks.
The break -> about a month
Alternate your workout days with a walking/running routine. On Monday run 15 min and using a ratio of 60 seconds running, 30 seconds walking. Tuesday: Walk 30 minutes. Wednesday run 20 min sing a ratio of 60 seconds running, 30 seconds walking. Use Thursday as a rest day, and Friday repeat Wednesdays workout. Saturday: walk 30 min. Sunday run 25-30 minutes using a ratio of 40 seconds running, 20 seconds walking.
The break -> 60 days or more
It’ll probably take about a month to get back on track. Follow the routine for week one listed above, and on week two run 30 minutes three times a week using a ratio of 40 seconds running/20 seconds walking. For week three use the same running routine, 25 seconds running/35 seconds walking. On week four, go back to week two’s plan, running three times using a ratio of 40 seconds running/20 seconds walking.
If you’ve taken a break from running, I Hope these tips were helpful!
Source: Running World, “Back on Your Feet” August 2012 edition.