If you haven’t ran or walked in a while, sometimes it’s hard to start up again. The thought of a 5k race or even one mile can seem challenging. Knowing where to start is key.
Your body needs to get used to the impact running has on it and your over all endurance needs to improve. Forget about what you were able to do in the past, it’s about where you are right now and how to improve from this point forward. While it may seem tempting, avoid going from sitting on the couch to running 3 miles or even 1 mile for that matter. Intervals are the best way to get back into running/walking. If you want to start incorporating walking or running into workouts again, it’s a little easier to get back into because most people need to do walking for everyday life things. Simply start with walking at a comfortable pace then trying to walk a littler faster for 30 seconds to 1 minute at a time. For this interval, you are going back and forth between walking at a comfortable pace to pushing yourself and walking a little faster.
When first starting back out, know that it’s okay if you need longer recovery in between pushes. Walk at a comfortable pace in the beginning, but slowly over the next few weeks you will start doing your faster pace at a more frequent interval until your whole walk can be the faster pace. For running, you can start by following the same interval method. Be mindful of your pacing – while it may seem tempting to run as fast as possible, try to start with a walk to a jog not a full out run. A great interval to start back up with could be to walk for 2 minutes then jog slowly for 1 minute just to get your body used to the movement again. Repeat that about 4 times and finish the workout with a cool down walk and stretching at the end. These interval workouts can be done about 3-4 times a week. The next week try flipping that routine, so it’s a 1 minute walk followed by a 2 minute jog for 4 rounds. Keep up the consistency by doing a workout like that 3-4 times in a week. The following week try going back to week 1, but try to pick up the pace to more of a run for the minute instead of jogging.
Depending on your fitness goals, you may want to work on speed or distance. The key is slowly building up to being able to run continuously or walking for an extended period of time. Starting to walk and or run again is something that is a great lifestyle change, but remember it is about consistency. The more consistent you are with your walking/running the better results you will see and better you will feel over a longer period of time.
By Corynne Duprey