You have stopped running for a while. Maybe it is because running became out-of-routine. Maybe life just got too busy. What has happened when you detrained i.e. stopped training? Research shows that significant reductions in your aerobic capacity have been reported to occur within 2 to 4 weeks of detraining. When detraining continues beyond 2 to 4 weeks, further decline in aerobic capacity was observed. After three months, research showed that even highly trained runners in these studies were completely detrained.
How should you make a safe comeback for your run? Here are 3 strategies to help you get going.
Depending upon your time away from training, you will have an easy or hard time coming back. Expect to spend at least two days getting back in shape for every day lost. Or for every week lost, it takes two weeks to regain the original level of fitness. Avoid going out too hard, instead start where you are now.
Have a goal in mind.
A goal may be as simple as going out to do your first run. Ask yourself why you want to run again. To get in shape? To compete in a particular race? Choose a training program that suits your current fitness level. Don’t race too soon. Competition can be a good way to measure your comeback, but you risk injury by going too hard. Go into early races with a relaxed mood, and don’t worry about your timing.
Strength training can help you tolerate a higher volume of running. Target core areas that would prevent injury and propel you for a stronger run e.g. glutes, mid back and transverse abdominis. Cross-train to help you get stronger by including flexibility training and myofascial release with foam rolling to release tight muscles and increase your range of motion.
Below is an easy 8-week program to run 30 minutes at a moderate pace. Before you begin the program, consider the following: 1. If you are over 40, overweight, not accustomed to exercise, or have a health risk or symptoms, please consult a doctor 2. Schedule your workouts by making time for them. Leave your shoes out by the door 3. Expect bad days. Everyone has them but stick with the program.