The longer it’s been since you last ran, the harder it can be to get back into the exercise. The fear that you won’t be able to accomplish what you did before might be incredibly off-putting for some. However, you shouldn’t let that stop you from getting back out there, not when there are plenty of tips to help you rediscover your passion for running.
Set achievable goals
If you’re worried about failing to hit your previous targets, it’s time to change your goals. By setting something more manageable, you should still be able to accomplish your aims, even if you’ve not been running for a long time. If you set your goals too close to what they used to be, you might struggle, and that could have the adverse effect of convincing you not to try again. Although smaller targets might seem pointless compared to what you used to achieve, they’ll help you get back into the habit, so you’re more prepared for the bigger achievements.
Establish a schedule
Schedules are always good for improving your consistency, especially when you’ve been out of the game for a while. By sticking to a timetable, you can get your body back into the shape it needs to be to accomplish your goals. It’s worth thinking about what distance and time you eventually want to hit as this can help inform your schedule. However, try not to rely on a timetable too heavily. Otherwise, if it gets thrown off, this could impact your motivation to continue running.
Prioritize rest days
You might think that skipping rest days is worthwhile when you start running again. After all, the more time you put in exercising, the sooner you’ll be back to where you were before, right? Unfortunately, no. If you don’t prioritize your rest days, you’ll increase the risk of injury, which will force you to take another break. Try not to run two days in a row, and use that time off to strengthen your body through resistance training. Alternating between these two exercises – with some actual rest every now and again – should help you return to your previous form.
Join a group
If you’ve always exercised solo, then joining a running group might not seem that appealing. However, there are some benefits to working out with others. This includes having people to hold you accountable if you start slacking. If you’re struggling with motivation after an extended break, this kind of support can make all the difference between getting back into running and giving up. What’s more, exercising with others can help you set a decent pace, keep distracted if you’re flagging, and potentially give you that extra push you wouldn’t have on your own.
It’s not always fun to start again, especially if you achieved great things with your running before. Think of this as an opportunity to accomplish even more than you did the first time, though. It might take time before you hit any meaningful goals, but the payoff will be worth all the effort that you put in.