Five Tips for Returning to Running

If you follow me on Twitter (and I hope you do! – @RunAttitude) then you may have seen yesterday’s tweet: 2015-11-19 19-41-41

Yes! Yes! Yes! After 8 long weeks I’ve been green-lighted! Despite the desire to throw on my running shoes and sprint out of my doctor’s office I know I’ve got to be smart about this. So as I venture back out on to the roads, here are a few tips I plan to bear in mind:

Take it slow: My doctor’s parting words to me and crucial advice to follow so I don’t end up injured. To start, I will be more focused on time on my feet vs. miles covered.

Build core strength: Focusing on building core strength — abs, hips, and glutes — will improve both stability and balance – critical after such a long layoff.

Cross-train: Every workout cannot and should not be a run. Now that I can run again, it is tempting to want to only run, but I know that it will be more important than ever to give both muscles and ligaments a break from the stresses of running. Cross-training will help improve my endurance, especially while my mileage is low.

Be kind to yourself: It’s easy to get caught in the trap of comparison, but it’s important to remember that everyone’s comeback is different.

Set realistic goals: While I’m very goal-oriented, I know it’s going to be important to have a mix of goals – both big and small. I’ll admit that I do have my eye on a couple of races…and I may have even registered for one 😉 Having smaller goals along the way will help me both track my progress and stay motivated towards the bigger goal. The key is to take it one day at a time, celebrate small victories and be grateful to be running again.

Have you ever had a long lay-off from running?

rp_DC_linkup-150x150.jpgI’m linking up with Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia for the #FridayFive link up. They’re sharing their favorite cool weather drinks so be sure to stop by.



  1. All of these lying to me and my upcoming walk/run half marathon for which I have not yet begun training. But, they also apply to life.
    Carla recently posted…Fear and aging. A 40 word guest post.My Profile

  2. I’ve never had to take off more than 2-3 weeks, knock on wood.

    But last fall I did start over with C25K and I had a great year of running this year.

    Probably until the next time I start ignoring all those tips and my IT flares up again. Good luck!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 Things I’ve Learned from My Half MarathonsMy Profile

  3. Do to an injury I incurred two years ago I have taken many breaks from running from 4 weeks to 4 months, but each time I felt like I should be able to go right back to 5-6 miles running no problem. I couldn’t understand why I felt like death after a one mile run. I was frustrated and super upset with myself. This time I got some help from a run coach and a great doctor who got me on my feet. Taking it slow has been the key and I”m so grateful I worked my way through it! thanks for the tips!
    Kelli @ Hungry Hobby recently posted…Coconut Cream Protein OatmealMy Profile

  4. Yay so glad to hear! I am so excited for you
    Deborah @ Confessions of a Mother Runner recently posted…Why Runners Make The Best Black Friday ShoppersMy Profile

  5. Yes, yes, yes to all of this! I know how it feels to come back after a long time off due to injury! I took it slow for a long time. The biggest challenge for me is setting those realistic goals. I have come a long way since my injury but still not back to my old PR pace!

  6. Great news Michelle! All the best with your return. It’s going to feel so great to be up and running again. I’ve had a couple of 6 week layoffs so I well know how great yet stressful it is to slowly get back to normal mileage.
    Marcia recently posted…What Stayed in Vegas…My Profile

  7. I’m trying to figure out where I went wrong to anger my piriformis. I think it’s mostly from sitting too much at work.
    Coco recently posted…Night And Day In New York CityMy Profile

  8. Yay for getting back to running! I’m definitely going to use these tips when I get cleared to get back to running. I’m going to focus on going only a few miles while I get stronger so that my injury doesn’t come back!
    Kristen recently posted…Friday Five: My Five Favorite Ways to Drink CoffeeMy Profile

  9. It’s sooooooo hard to hold back!! But you’ve got some great advice here. Good luck and enjoy the return to the road!
    Wendy@Taking the Long Way Home recently posted…Road therapyMy Profile

  10. Definitely great tips!! It’s been nearly 2 years since my last and really only running injury so I’ve worked hard to try and prevent it from happening again. Congrats for making it through!
    Mar @ Mar on the Run recently posted…Friday Five: Favorite Cool Weather DrinksMy Profile

  11. Great tips. Hooray for the green light!! I’m at 8 weeks of a foot injury. But I was able to cycle and pool run so it hasn’t been a complete layoff. I have no clue how I’ll start back. I will definitely continue the cross training as I add running miles slowly into the mix. Good luck! I can’t wait to hear how it goes.
    HoHo Runs recently posted…Five ThingsMy Profile

  12. Woohoo. So happy you are able to get back to it. great tips.
    Abby @ BackAtSquareZero recently posted…Short Runs and Lots of Walks – The New PlanMy Profile

  13. yes! excellent tips. i’m so happy for your return. have a great thanksgiving!
    courtney @ eat pray run dc recently posted…Holiday Gift Guide for FoodiesMy Profile


  1. […] 5 Tips for Returning to Running — After a long layoff it’s tempting to want to jump right back into running, but you’re better served to ease into it….slowly. […]

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