How to Come Back From a Running Break

How To Do It

If you're lucky enough to only be off for a week, you can pick up training where you left off.

For most other runners, if you were out for two weeks to a month, you'll want to cut your weekly mileage to 60 percent of what you were doing.

Out for more than three months? Approach your training like you're a new runner.

Ease back into a routine. If you were sidelined by an injury, ease back into running with walks. Walking regularly will help condition your muscles and let you know if your injury is completely resolved.

Take breaks. As you start running again, keep the runs short and easy. Let yourself take walk breaks as you alternate running and walking. If you're coming back from an injury, look for grassy areas to start running again.

Increase mileage slowly. The general key to increasing mileage is no more than 10 percent per week. Keep in mind that 10 percent is just a guideline, and you can adjust the percentage as needed.

Pace yourself. Most likely, depending on how much time you've taken off, you won't be hitting your top pace as you come back. Avoid hills and speed work, even though you're tempted to quicken your pace. Give your body time to build back a strong base and work back to your PR pace.

Set goals. If you're not logging your runs, start doing so with your comeback. Seeing your progress over time will help you stay focused, especially after rough comeback runs. Set goals for yourself, such as a mileage goal or an upcoming race. Whatever you settle on, remember to take it slowly and listen to your body so you can make a strong comeback to the roads.

More: How to Detect a Running Injury

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About the Author

Amanda Casanova

Amanda Casanova is a writer and journalist living in the Dallas, Texas area. She has worked for the Houston Chronicle, the Abilene Reporter-News and the Galveston County Daily News. She is an active runner and regularly competes in races in north Texas. She is currently training for her first half marathon. She blogs at and tweets at @acasanova10.

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