Running breaks happen.
And they’re going to happen for a variety of reasons.
You may take a period of rest after a long training block + big race, you may get injured, or you may become ill.
Most important, you must know that breaks are ok. A break may be just what your mind needs to regain some running motivation. A break may be just what your body needs to stabilize its hormones after a period of very high training load.
Whatever the reason, you must be mindful when returning to training. Here’s how to safely do this.
There are a number of ways to return to running after a break, and this primarily depends on how long of a break you took.
A Break of Less than a Week
If this is the case, you can most likely start almost right back where you left off. It would be advisable to do 2-3 days of shorter and easier runs and then if you’re following a schedule, jump right back in.
A Short Break of 1-2 Weeks
Here you will find a rough running plan to return to training after a 1-2 week period of rest following a long strenuous running event. If you took a short break, this three week schedule can be a good resource to use as a guide.
2-4 Weeks Off
You won’t be able to jump right back into training, but you’ve not lost a great deal of fitness either. Taking 2-4 weeks to ease back into consistent running before jumping into more intense or long sessions will help.
A Longer Period of Non-Running
Look at your return as a fresh start. You basically cannot return to running too conservatively. It’s always best to error towards a conservative return. Start with 10 minutes and no GPS. Every week add a few more minutes, once in a while reduce your weekly volume 25%. Selecting a 5k training schedule to follow can be a nice conservative guide for most athletes.
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