I’ve taken a far too long hiatus from my favorite exercise routine of running. Yes, life has (and always will) gotten in the way, but no matter what, running will always be my favorite thing to do. I miss it terribly!
To get myself mentally and physically back into the running groove, I decided to sign up for the Mercedes Marathon that takes place in February 2016. Back in 2011, I ran the full marathon and it was quite an accomplishment for me. In 2010, I did the half marathon and since I did the full, I’ve done all halves. Well this running season I really wanted to do another full, but I had to appreciate the fact that I’m not in any shape to take on a full right now; I have to and need to work up to it. If you’re an avid runner of any level, you know what’s it’s like to want to do something but for practical safety reasons, you really shouldn’t. I am however setting a goal to do another full in 2017, once I’ve been into a solid running routine for a year.
If you’ve ever taken a running break, or even if you’re on one now, here are some things that we can do to get ourselves back into the running groove. Remember, always listen to your body and take breaks where you need to, but don’t let too much time pass.
Keep a solid running base. That may be different for each runner, depending on individual goals. But for me, a solid running base would be at least 2-5 miles. That means that even if I’m not training for anything, I need to be able to easily run anywhere from 2-5 miles to keep my endurance up.
Invest in quality running shoes. Make sure they fit properly, feel comfortable to your foot and aren’t overly worn out to where there’s no padding or cushion. Visit a reputable shoe retailer who can properly fit your foot and gait. I’ve ordered online before and have also used our local retailer, The Trak Shak, with much success.
Cross train whenever possible, but at least 2-4 times per week. My favorite cross-training activity was Spinning, but the gym where I was going for it didn’t have any classes that accommodated my work schedule, so I had to stop for a while. Luckily for me, a new gym has just opened up in my town with cycling classes, so I’m a happy camper again! Cross training needs to be something that you enjoy. It’s going to help your body grow stronger and develop muscles that you’ll need for running and endurance.
I have found Saturday morning long runs to be so helpful to me at times, then there are other times when I’d just prefer to run alone (shorter runs). But for the purposes of motivation and accountability, group runs are by far the best way to make sure you get it in and connect with other runners who can motivate you along the way. For women, it’s also a plus because it offer safety in large group numbers.
Whatever your hiatus may be, don’t let it go on too long without getting back into your running routine. The sooner you do, the better you’ll feel, I guarantee it!