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The 1, 2, 3’s About Getting Back Into Running After a Long Break

How To Start Running Again The 1, 2, 3’s About Getting Back Into Running After a Long Break www.walkjogrun.net

Have you taken a little break from running that turned into a long break? Or have you had a life event that changed your ability to go out for a run? I am one of those short break turned long break people. So, stay tuned for the 1, 2, 3’s on how to start running again after a long break.

There are so many life events that can cause you not to be able to run anymore. Lack of motivation, running injury, illness, or you just wanted to try something different, but it did not give you the same joy as running. I understand and I am sure there are more people who have stood in your shoes than you think. 

First: Take Your Time!

If you have not been running in a while, it is important to gradually get back into the exercise. There are several free applications you can use to get you back into the groove. And how fast or slow you can return to your previous pace is based on how long you have been out of the game. 

getting back into running

Remember it may have taken you days, weeks, months, even years to be able to run as fast as you were previously running. So, be patient.

It is suggested that you start off by running only 5-10 minutes every other day. You can alternate your running with walking sessions in between. Below you will find a list of recommended expectations of returning to your previous run level.

  • If you’re off 1 week or less: Pick up your plan where you left off
  • If you’re off up to 10 days: Start running 70 percent of previous mileage
  • If you’re off 15 to 30 days: Start running 60 percent of previous mileage
  • If you’re off 30 days to 3 months: Start running 50 percent of previous mileage
  • If you’re off 3 months: Start from scratch

If it has been more than 3 months and you are starting from scratch, you may have to start out your fitness regimen with walking only at first. And that is ok!

The road back to running is a marathon and not a sprint. Make sure you include rest days between each day. Try not to increase the distance you run or your pace by more than 10% per week. It helps to create small goals and to document your achievements.

As we get older, it is possible that it will take us longer to get back to logging the miles and running at our previous pace. Take it one day at a time and try not to be too tough on yourself. 

Second: Spice It Up!

There are many things that could deter you from running. So, unless you have been told that you should not run anymore there is still hope. Let’s get back to our A-game.  

park run group

If you stopped running because you were bored, try joining a running group, getting your family involved, and find interesting places to run. Spice it up! 

Strength training is a way to help you make the muscles that propel you forward, keep you upright, and help you move strong. This can also help you with technique and form, which is very helpful in prevention of further or future injury. 

Try other forms of cross-training like:

But, it is important to remember that if it has been more than 3 months since you have worked out, do not cross-train and reserve your rest days for just that, rest. 

If you are returning to running after injury or illness, you want to make sure you have been cleared by your Physician or Orthopedist to return to performing physical activity. Your providers may want you to take a more regimented approach at returning to running.

Third: Having Fun!

Running is an activity that brings people from all over the world together! Remember you started running for yourself with your health in mind. Always listen to your body, if something does not feel right or you feel any pain, stop running. This could be a sign that you are pushing yourself too hard and too fast. 

Prepare yourself by staying hydrated and eating balanced meals. Now, lace up your shoes, hit the pavement, track, or treadmill, and concentrate on your breathing. Because you deserve it!


  1. Calderwood, S., How to Start (or Get Back Into) Running, Lifestyle Magazine
  2. Welch. A., How to Ease Back into Exercise Safely After a Long Break, Health Website