Training After A Break
Sometimes things happen. An unexpected illness, work or family issues. We have all had things pop up in our lives. One day off from training can quickly become 2 days, one week, and on. Before you realize it, you are in a rut. (I hate the rut. Just saying).
One thing I do know is there is a way to get out of the rut and get back to training, safely. It starts with your mind set.
So what do you do to get back on track? Don’t do too much too soon. You can risk injury and put yourself even further behind.
Here is what you can do to get back up to “your” speed….
Adjust your mindset
Once you miss a week or more of training, you’re no longer on course with your Plan A training plan. Let go of it and change your mindset to focus on Plan B. This reduces mental stress and allows you to better prepare based on your current journey. Worrying about where you ought to be based on your original plan is a waste of energy.
Re-frame your time off as a much-needed mental and physical retreat, and move forward with your bright, shiny, new Plan B.
Start from where you are instead of jumping ahead to where you “should be”
This is always important to remember, but especially important when you’re returning from a training break. The tempting thing to do is to pick up where you left off in your schedule, appeasing your mind while hurting your body, but that’s not wise.
Instead, invest in a transition period, during which you merge back into running gradually. Let go of the fear that you’re missing more time you could be devoting to hard workouts. It’s easier to calm the mind’s worries than to heal from an injury caused by trying to catch up too aggressively.
Get excited and set a goal
It’s not always easy to come back after a long break, so the best way to stay motivated is to pick a goal that gets you excited to start running again. Maybe it’s a marathon or ultra, or maybe it’s just running a 5k with your husband or wife.
Whatever it is, set the goal from the very beginning and keep it in mind after your first few runs when you start questioning your decision to get back into it.
Check in with where you are
Start by checking in with yourself and finding that starting point. Go out for an easy 2-4 mile run and see how it feels. Was it tough? Did it really hurt? Was your breathing light and easy?
Ask yourself these questions and notice how your body handled those first miles back in your running shoes. Knowing the answer to these types of questions will help you know how to start going forward.
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