Taking up running is no easy task.
Whether you are recovering from an injury or you're coming back from a break, it can be hard to get back into a running routine.
Running is about community, strength, and you as an individual. Try out the 10 ways to get yourself back into the game of running so you can fill your days with confident fitness.
1. Believe in Yourself, but Be Real
Your body will naturally remember the rhythm of running, but there will be some soreness when first taking it up again. Be real with your limits as your body slowly rebuilds the needed muscle for running.
The first couple of runs may not be easy, but trust in your body and give it time. Once you are past the early struggles of running again, believe that you will be able to conquer new terrain and finish races with confidence.
2. Have the Right Pair of Shoes
The right pair of shoes is essential for taking up running again. Your old pair of shoes may be too worn out, which can cause shin splints or runner's knee. To avoid injury, be sure to visit your local running store to determine the best kind of shoe for you. After taking a break, your body may have different needs for shoes, which is why it is important to consult a specialist.
The right pair of shoes can help you with your form, balance, and stability. As you press your feet into the ground and feel the thrill of running again, it will make it all the more sweet when your feet are safely tucked in the perfect pair of shoes.
3. Set A Goal
To get yourself motivated, set a goal for what you want to do in this new season of running. Whether you want to conquer a 5k, or are seeking to do a half-marathon, write down your intended goal and stick to it.
Keep your training schedule next to your calendar to keep yourself on track. Even on the tough days, it can be a reminder what the bigger picture is.
4. Practice Proper Form
Starting up running again is the perfect time to practice proper form. Your body needs good alignment to stay healthy and avoid potential injury. Take the time during your first couple runs to recognize where your body needs adjusting.
Proper form leads to more efficient running, less injury, and better understanding of your body. Click here to learn more about running with better posture.
5. Engage Your Core
Core strength is an important part of being a good runner. Your core is essential for keeping other parts of your body stable and balanced. When your core is strong, it puts less strain on your shins, knees, and achilles tendon. Keep yourself from being injured as you start up again by adding core strength workouts to your new fitness routine.
6. Cross-Train With Intention
Cross-training is important to pair with running. Running every day will tire your muscles out and create imbalance. Consider taking up strength training, yoga, or swimming to balance out your running routine.
If you are unsure how to pair cross-training with running, look into different training plans that fit your needs for running and balancing out your different muscle groups.
7. Take It Slow
It is okay to take it slow as you start out. Pair walking with jogging before increasing the intensity of your workout. There is no need to sprint off and attempt 20 miles. Rather than focusing on mileage, just start out with a simple 20 minutes.
Your body needs time to readjust to the demands of running, so be patient and take it easy. If you are more conscious about others seeing you run, try a different route or somewhere that has less traffic. Just remember to be safe and always tell someone where you are.
8. Commit With Reason
In a world of runners of all kinds, commit to being one that sticks to their intentions with reason. Even if you are just running to get back into shape, commit to sticking to your new routine.
Always keep the big picture in mind, whether it be a fitness goal or taking on a big race. Your muscles will begin to adapt to the new demands, which will keep you moving, even when everyone else seems to be at a standstill.
9. Fuel With Nutrition and Hydration
Nutrition and hydration are an important part of being a successful runner. With proper fuel to your body, you will be able to run better than you ever have before. Drink water before, during, and after your run to keep yourself well hydrated and to keep up your stamina.
If you are unsure what kind of nutrition to consume as a runner, check out Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky's new book Run Fast Eat Slow for recipes that can guide you to healthier nutrition for running.
10. Tune Into Your Body
Tune into what your body is telling you. Your muscles may start to ache when you take up running, but be sure to monitor your pain levels in case of injury. If you are in pain, stop running and consult a physician. The least you want to do is make an injury worse or have a reoccurring problem.
Your body deserves to be treated well, so listen to what your body needs and how you can better adjust your new running routine.