It happens to all of us.
We’re forced, through injury, or circumstance to take a few days off running. The days turn into weeks, months, or even longer.
Without even knowing why, you start dreading returning to the road or the trail. You start finding excuses not to leave the house.
Inactivity can easily become a habit and that’s definitely not what you want.
Here then are some tips that will help you to get back out there and rediscover the joy of running.
Hear me out… Sometimes we’re legitimately concerned about returning too soon to running after an injury. That’s ok. Ultimately it is better to be safe than sorry. But you can fight against the inactivity habit by engaging in other types of exercise. Gym work. Upper body workouts, swimming or cycling are all legitimate ways to keep yourself active, with the bonus that they can help keep your cardio fitness up and make your eventual return to running easier.
Just get out the door
If there’s one true thing about running its that getting out the door is the hardest part. Its all about momentum, once you’re out the door there’s a momentum to run. Inside the house there is none. It may just be a few feet and a wall, but the difference between inside and outside is huge.
Take care of the little tasks
If you sort out all the little things and see them for the tiny tasks they are it means there are fewer obstacles between you and the door. Make sure your running clothes are all in one place so there’s no need to go finding bits and pieces all around the house. Have your nutrition prepared and ready to go. Know where your keys are. Return to the familiar ritual of your pre-run tasks. You’ve done this all before so indulge in the familiar.
It doesn’t have to be a major effort.
You’re just getting back into things. Nobody said you had to jump back in at the level you were running before you took a break. In fact, for very practical reasons, it’s best to return to running at a gentle pace over an easy distance.
Set a stupidly easy goal.
Don’t hold yourself to a standard that you feel you can’t meet, and thus delay your return. Simply say ‘I’m going to run for 5 minutes’. It’s almost certain that once the 5 minutes are up you’ll keep on running, and even if you don’t it’s still better than doing nothing.
Sometimes it’s easier to get out there if you have made a commitment to someone else. Arrange an easy run with a friend or running partner. You might even be able to find someone else who is returning from a layoff who also would appreciate the motivation of joining up for a return to running.
Get some new kit.
Retail therapy. If you’ve got the resources, purchasing some new kit or technical gear might help you get out there. It’s always cool to try out new stuff and it can be a real motivator. If you drop some serious cash on a new watch or shoes it’s highly likely you’ll want to get running as soon as possible to try them out.
Plan a new route.
Use your favourite app and look for a new route to run. The very act of planning a new route can have you itching to get back out there.
Think of all the good things to come. The sense of accomplishment. The endorphin rush. The sights and sounds of your run. Think of all the benefits to your health. In short, think of all the reasons you love running in the first place.