No matter how long of a break you took, using these tips can get you running—and training—again.
I ran 7 miles on Sunday—the longest I’ve run since the Chicago marathon back in October. I did not have a good race that day, putting me off running long for a while. Add to that negative mental attitude that came with an ITB injury, and other fitness challenges, and I just haven’t felt the need to run long…
The New York City Marathon is only 10 weeks away and I need to build up my endurance again. Here are seven tips to help you get back into running, no matter how long you’ve had away from the road/trail.
Ditch Your Watch
There’s nothing like the pressure of a watch beeping with your mile splits to make you obsess over your pace. Ditch the technology and run on feel. Why not put a running app on your phone, turn off the notifications and only check it at the end of your run?
Start Slow When Running Again
When you haven’t run for awhile, it’s hard to know what your natural pace will be (often it’s slower than it was just before you stopped running). The first time you lace up your shoes it might be prudent to start slowly. You can always gradually pick up your speed throughout your run, finishing strong—a surefire way to ensure you look forward to your next run.
Sign Up For A Race
Obviously nothing too soon, but giving yourself something to work towards and train will give a purpose for your running. Make sure the goal for the race is realistic, both in terms of distance and time.
Get Some New Gear
I don’t think I’m alone in this, but new shoes, sports clothing or even a new bra is enough to make me want to go for a run to show it off and test it out. I’m currently lusting after these gold and black Nikes, as well as most of the new season New Balance and Lululemon pieces. While I can’t buy a whole new wardrobe, a few new pieces can give that motivation boost that we’re all after. Plus, think about how good they’ll look on Instagram!
Focus On Your Form
When you’ve lost speed and endurance, it’s easy to get disheartened. Focus instead on your form during a shorter run, keeping your head up, swinging your arms forward and back, keeping shoulders relaxed and a short stride (for distance runners).
Download something new to listen to, whether it’s making a new Spotify playlist, a new podcast series (currently loving Lindsey Hein’s ‘I’ll Have Another’), or get ahead with your book club reading with an audiobook. I actually use these as motivation to get out on my runs, only allowing myself to listen to my favorite podcasts or book while I’m running.
Run With A Buddy
It should be someone you feel comfortable enough telling that the pace is too fast, or that you need to stop and walk, but someone that will push you a little. I’ve been doing my 3 milers with my fiancé, who makes me pick up the pace for the final half mile, sprinting it in to remind my legs what it feels like to go fast. I love his encouragement that I do still have that speed in me, but he doesn’t pressure me during the rest of the run.
Also, I’ve written a mini- training plan for the New York City Marathon if you’ve left it to the last minute, like me!