You feel the call of the run, but your feet aren’t moving. You got busy and running got pushed down the priority list. You were tapering then had to miss the event. Or you completed a big event then kept pressing snooze on your rest period.
Whatever the reason our aim is the same. How do we get you back into running in a way that you will sustain? Neither of us want to see you back here reading this again, so let’s get it right first time.
Studies suggest you lose about a fifth of your fitness after three weeks of lunching it. That’s in terms of your anaerobic threshold and VO2 max – essentially how hard your lungs can work. After nine weeks you lose about 60%. So don’t be fooled if your body still looks like a runners’ body. If you have left it more than two months the chances are you may now be half the runner you used to be.
So that’s the bad news. The other news I have for you that you might think is bad is this - whatever stage you were at when you stopped running is pretty much irrelevant.
I am in the business of creating lifelong runners who enjoy every single step. This is your best chance of getting the consistency you want.
To do this you start again the way you should have started in the beginning, from a single step. As a start, you might be interested to read about The 104 Week Training Programme.
Good technique is the foundation upon which all of your running rests. You don’t forget technique as fast as you lose your fitness. It’s your most important ally in getting back into running without injuring yourself.
Shamble off on your old training run with your same poor technique and I can virtually guarantee you will be back reading this in a couple of weeks, or looking for a physiotherapist.
If you have never had your running technique professionally trained or assessed, do it now. It’s cheaper than flash running gadgets and unlike them will actually improve your running. It pays back every time you avoid injury and enjoy running more efficiently.
A good coach will also help you set realistic and achievable goals. They can adjust the plan to sit comfortably inside your individual lifestyle. They will help you stick to the plan. This is especially important if your current running break was due to overdoing it in your last running phase.
Here's the good news. The best results come quickest with patience. Unless you have a serious physiological issue, nothing can stop you from becoming a life-long and consistent runner. We all have enough time to build slow and enjoy every single step.
As always, mild discomfort is fine, pain means stop. Stretch, rest and try again another day. You are most likely to stick to it if you experience the pain free progress that is the gift of the life-long running approach.
Signing up to train regularly with a group will radically increase your chances of success.
Serious about doing this on your own? Be honest about what is motivating you, and what the goals should be. Talk to friends and family about what drives you to run. Get it straight in your own mind.
Build a solid base of consistent running this time. Initially it may feel like you are doing less than you want. You will have better running and a better chance of ramping it up successfully if and when the opportunity arises.
That’s a whole lot better than yo-yoing between wannabe Olympian and couch potato via the physio, the running magazines and blogs like this one.
Now stop reading and get on with it.
Want me to answer your question on running for a lifetime? Ask it below, or contact me.
Disclaimer: you are responsible for your health and fitness.
I offer advice based on ten years of experience as a coach, chiropractor and athlete, but I can’t see you from here. The ideal way to get help with running is face to face, at a running workshop, one-to-one session or as a coached athlete.
If you have any doubts at all about your health or fitness ask a health professional, not just Google.
I am a running coach, not Mark Zuckerberg. I don’t pass on your info, and I will only use it to reach out to you direct. If you'd like to receive more articles like this, subscribe here.