Every one of us can get pulled away from our workout routine. Whether that is simply falling off the band wagon, an interruption in routine by vacation, or winter weather preventing us from going outside, there are many reasons we take a hiatus from working out. Getting back into your routine can be challenging. If you are a runner, here are a few helpful tips to get you back to your routine successfully.
1. First and foremost, listen to your body. If your muscles ache or cramp, adjust the workout. Trying to do too much when coming back from a break can lead to injury. Pay attention to what your body is telling you and don’t “push through” to try an force it to the level you were at when you got out of your routine.
2. Start slow. The process of building back up to where you were should take almost as much time as what you took off from your routine. Don’t try to run the same pace you used to. Again, your body has deconditioned and trying too hard can lead to injury.
3. Decrease your distance. Along with pace, tone down the distance you used to run. If you used to do 5 miles, maybe start with 3 to make sure that you can do that comfortably and progress from there. It’s better to start small and progress up from workout to workout than to start big and get discouraged.
4. Cross train. Did you take on other forms of exercise while you were away from running? Don’t stop those routines. Cross training will help you get back to your old form quicker and give you better all around health. If you haven’t done anything since the last time you ran, taking up some other exercises to cross train can be equally beneficial.
5. Find your motivation. Your going to need motivation in order to go from a plan to a routine. One way to do this is to pick an event to train for. If your break has been a long one, maybe pick a 5k event to train for. If the break was shorter and/or you’ve ran a lot of bigger events in the past, find a 10k or half marathon to get amped about. Also, try to find a running buddy. It’s a lot easier to stick to the routine when you know someone else is counting on you to show up. One last trick, put it physically on your calendar. You wouldn’t want someone else cancelling an appointment with you so don’t cancel on yourself.
Follow these simple steps and you’ll be up to speed in no time. Happy running!