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How to Get Back into Running After Taking Time Off

Posted Feb 15 2013 4:54am


*While I'm out...: Today, I'm excited to have a guest post from Carly from CarlyBananas! I love reading Carly's blog -- especially because she lives in the DC-area and I can often relate to many of her running stories. Plus, she's hilarious -- on the blog and in real life :) Check out the guest post below and be sure to add Carly to your regular reading list!

I’ve had a bit of a tumultuous relationship with running lately… so much so that I wrote it a break up letter back in November . I went from feeling like this about running:



To just totally resenting every run and disliking every mile.  But now that it’s been awhile, I’m slowly making my way back to running and finding a method to make it easier on myself. Here are my top tips for getting back into running after a break – without making yourself crazy:

1.     Go easy. Think about your easy runs before you took a break and go easier and shorter.  My first few runs back have been quite slow and based totally on exertion and not time.  I didn’t wear my Garmin and I just turned on my Nike+ app and locked my phone screen and just put it in my pocket.  Think about breathing and feeling comfortable and don’t worry about time!



2.     Don’t worry about signing up for a goal race.  I know, it’s the opposite of what most people say when people start running: sign up for a race to motivate yourself.  But I’ve found that the easiest way to re-burnout is to get right back into planning for a race and making sure I’m covering a fixed number of miles.  This spring, I don’t have a goal race. If I find a race I want to do then I’ll sign up and do it. It feels freeing to just run to run. 
3.     Try some new routes.  Like Ericka, I’m lucky to live near some of the most gorgeous scenery in the country.


 Go and see something new on your runs.  If you live somewhere where that’s not an option, try running your normal route in reverse or try running at a different time of day.  Even the smallest change in routine can make a run feel new and exciting.
4.     Try planning your runs in minutes.  When I’m fortunate enough to go on a lunch run during the work day it a nice change to think of my run in terms of minutes.  It doesn’t matter how far I go or how fast I’m running. I only have a fixed amount of time to run at lunch, usually around 45 minutes, and I want to make the most out of it.  As the time ticks by I wish I had more time to run before going back to work. It totally changes that “Oh, I need to run 3-4 miles” to “Yay, 45 minutes away from my desk!”
5.     Remember that this is a hobby. Sometimes I fall into the trap of taking running really seriously. But really, this is just my hobby and I will never be any level of a professional.  If a hobby starts becoming to stressful or not fun, it’s time to reevaluate.  A lot of people have really inspirational running mantras…mine is “This is your hobby and you love what you’re doing.”

Do you have any tips that I missed? Have you ever taken an extended break from running and then gotten back into it?
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