Ready to Run
Let’s face it, many of us are starting to go a little stir crazy being in our homes 24/7.
The current social distancing recommendations, coupled with Northern Virginia’s pleasant spring weather, have many people escaping their home-bound lifestyle by lacing up their sneakers and hitting the pavement. For some of us, it may be the first time we’ve exercised in very long while. For others, it may mean returning from a break due to an injury, lack of motivation, or work responsibilities that demanded your time.
No matter what your reason for returning is, getting into running after a break can be challenging. But with some modified tips from Verywell Fit, we’ve provided some foolproof steps to help you ease back into running successfully, and without injury.
1. Make Exercising a Habit – If you’re not someone who regularly exercises, the thought of running every day may feel intimidating. Start small- set a weekly goal to run and/or walk on a regular basis- don’t worry about how far or how fast. Sometimes the hardest part is walking out the door.
Experienced runners returning from a break may also face difficulties when returning to their sport. Try to avoid setting high standards for yourself for pace and distance. Start with reasonable goals to run shorter distances at conversational paces. Returning to your old mileage patterns could cause injury, and you may not have the mental endurance to power through the workout, leaving you feeling discouraged.
2. Follow a Training Schedule –There are plenty of beginner training schedules available online for running newbies. Most beginner schedules are designed to prevent burnout and injury, and slowly accomplish your goals. Experienced runners may also find it helpful to ease back into running using beginner/intermediate running schedules to evaluate your body’s tolerance and performance. Verywell Fit suggests these beginner workouts:
4 weeks to run one mile for those brand new to running
4 weeks to run two miles for beginners who can already run at least a half a mile
5k Beginner Running Training Schedule for runners who can run at least one mile
3. Cross Train –with any sport, it is important to challenge and strengthen your body by switching up the type of exercise you do. For runners, you can increase muscle strength and endurance by cross training between runs. Activities like strength training, yoga, and Pilates aren’t limited to a standard gym environment; you can perform several workouts using personal exercise equipment, body weight movements, and/or items found in your home for added resistance (think water jugs, cans of veggies, or cat litter).
Here are a few at-home cross training workouts to get you started: