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This would make your "Return to Running" much easier

by Ganesh Kuduva 10 months ago in advice · updated 10 months ago
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If you are returning to running after a significant break, what should you do and where should you focus?

This would make your "Return to Running" much easier
Photo by Fil Mazzarino on Unsplash

Have you ever had a layoff in your running (It could have been for several reasons, including running-related injuries) and tried to come back on your feet? How hard did that feel to be running again? How long it took for you to return to your regular running schedule?

If you have been running for a few years, I am sure you must have had a scenario such as above, but it is just that the layoff window could have been shorter or longer depending on individual cases.

By now, if you have guessed, you are right. This article's objective is to discuss some of the approaches or ways to return to running when you have had a layoff for valid and/or necessary reasons.

Go gradual with more walking, less running

You may have to start slow and go gradual about getting into running. The urge to run longer and faster would over occupy you, making you go too fast in your progress to get into regular running, but you need to hold yourself.

Why? Because your overall cardiovascular fitness would have gone down, and the body would have accumulated additional fat, thus adding more bodyweight.

When you run, all aspects come to play (your cardio fitness, strength in the muscles, ligaments, tendons, connective tissues, and flexibility). Hence it is imperative to go gradual, allowing time for all aspects to improve.

You can probably do more walking in your runs and gradually increase your running part of the total distance.

Start doing all warm-up, running drills, cool-down, and stretches/foam rolling that you used to do for all your runs in this ramp-up period.

Remember to keep the intensity of whatever you do to a minimum in this ramp-up, as it may evoke a path to injury if you don't do it well.

Always think long-term

When you try to return to running after a significant break, the foremost thing that you need to do is to look at your long-term running goals.

It may sound contradicting because most would say focus on short-term goals to achieve long-term goals. While that may be true, my view is that thinking about your long-term goals always helps you not to hurry in the short term, and hence you would be wise in your approach to return to running (More so, you would do the right things!). Of course, you will care more for yourself, in the look of lifelong running if that's your goal.

To achieve long-term goals, executing them in atomic ways one step at a time is a powerful way to achieve short-term goals in the journey. When you work in such a style, you do not end up accomplishing your short-term goals alone in your way, you also have your eye on the long-term goal.

Running is not the only way: cross-train more

One of the best ways to return to running without having any obstacles (injury or so) is to cross-train more.

When you cross-train more, you have the opportunity to address many aspects, such as improving your overall fitness, strengthening and conditioning your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and improving aerobic capacity.

Instead of running 3 to 4 days, the best way would be to cross-train (yoga, swimming, cycling, and Pilates) at least four days a week and run only two days with a day of rest. It would ensure you are improving on other underlying and foundational aspects, which would enable you to run better significantly as you continue to train.

Position your running priority well

This is more of a mental aspect to be taken care of. Why?

Because if we do not prioritize (where do we keep running amid all our life priorities), there is this possibility that we may overdo many of the things. Increased exercise intensity, too much diet control, increased running mileage, and not allowing enough recovery. All these would start affecting you, not only physiologically but mentally, in other aspects of your life.

If you need more recovery time to feel rejuvenated for your next workout, take the time. While you may push yourself a bit when needed to prevent slacking, you need to keep your eyes on how well you balance. Try to train 4 or 5 days a week rather than 6 days a week if that helps you in the ramp-up period.


Here are the key things to remember when you return to running.

Go gradual with more walking, less running. Keep it slow and steady.

Always think long-term

Running is not the only way; cross-train more

Position your running priority well

Always remember this golden rule:

You are running only for yourself and not to prove anything to anyone else. So, take your own time to return to running and achieve your damn goals to take care of your wellness and the goal of lifelong running.

Yes, if you need guidance, you may take advice from a coach, a trainer, or a fellow-runner with expertise.

Once you know that your regular running is in place, you could sign up for a race, depending upon distance or a timing goal, and train for it.

Be Strong. Run Forever.

Visit Runner-Forever to learn more!

Join Runner-Forever Facebook Group and Runner-Forever Facebook Page, if you are keen to learn more about inspired holistic running and be able to interact with other runners who are on the similar wellness journey.

PS: If you believe the article was informative and helpful, please do not forget to leave a heart by clicking on ❤️ Also do not forget to subscribe if you like to read all my articles. Thank you🙏


About the author

Ganesh Kuduva

Coach for Running/Fitness/Nutrition/Weight Management/Yoga. An internationally published author, writes on Running / Health & Wellness Transformation / Motivation / Personal Finance / Learning / Achieving Full Potential (

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