How to Start Running Again After a Break – Make the Ultimate Comeback

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Life happens. Work gets busy, kids get sick, and suddenly you fall behind on your exercise routine. For runners, this may include a long break from your regular running schedule.

While it may feel like you’ve lost endurance, strength, or speed, you may not have lost all of your progress. With patience and some planning, you can get back on track in your running journey in no time.

Keep reading to learn some great tips on how to start running again and feel like you never stopped in the first place.

How to Start Running Again – Top Tips

Whether you stopped running due to a lack of motivation or an injury, learning how to start running again is entirely possible with perseverance. 

Here are some great tips on how to start running again.

1. Build good habits

As a returning runner, your goal isn’t just to start running again – it should be to start running again consistently. This is especially true if you initially stopped running due to a lack of motivation.

So the first step in learning to start running again is to build up the habit. It might sound simple. All you have to do is get up, get out there and run. But finding the motivation to do that is the challenge.

The best way to do this is to start slow. For example, this week, give yourself a goal to complete two runs of a distance that isn’t too daunting to you. Depending on your running level, that could be one mile or five miles. The goals are to get yourself in the habit of running again and see how your body feels.

Returning runners, especially older runners, may have trouble jumping right back into things. In this case, you may want to consider brisk walking instead to start and work your way back up to running.

As you progress and stick to your schedule, you can add more runs and up your mileage until you feel like you’re back to yourself again.

Speaking of schedule…

2. Set a schedule and stick with it!

If you leave running for “whenever you feel like it,” you may never get around to doing it. But if you block out time to run, you’ll most likely feel obligated to follow through.

Make running a part of your schedule, and be sure to stick to that schedule. It helps if you schedule your run for the same time every day, whether first thing in the morning, at night, or during lunch. 

Doing this helps reestablish your running habits and helps with injury prevention by giving your body time to consistently get used to running again.

3. Get enough sleep and rest

As you may have realized by now, slow and steady is the name of the game when it comes to learning how to start running again. That’s why ensuring that your body gets enough rest is vital.

Sleep has more of an effect on your running workout than you may realize. Your body needs time to recover between runs; most recovery happens when you sleep. Make sure your body gets enough sleep to recover and have enough energy for your next run.

What’s more, don’t plan too many runs in a row when you’re still working on your running comeback. Be sure to take rest days and get enough rest on those days. It’s a good idea to do active rest days where you stretch or do some form of physical activity, such as swimming or resistance training. Just be sure not to overwork yourself so that you still have enough energy for your runs.

4. Run with others

If you’re still struggling with learning how to get back into a running routine, you may need others to give you a little push. 

An excellent way to ensure accountability is to run with others. You could run with your significant other or join a local running group. Not only will joining a running group hold you accountable, but it’s also a great way to make friends who have similar interests. 

5. Sign up for a marathon

Finally, if you can’t find motivation, you can make your goal bigger than yourself and sign up for a marathon. 

Training for a marathon is excellent motivation to help you learn how to start running again after a break. Register for a shorter race, such as a 5k, to give you something to work towards. Seeing the race soon approaching on your calendar may fuel your motivation and help you stay consistent with your running program.

Group of runners in a marathon race

Wrap-Up: It’s Always Possible to Learn How to Run Again

Although you may feel defeated after taking a break from running, especially if you’re a beginner runner, it’s more than possible to get back to where you started and even get better than before. It takes motivation and consistency, but if you start slow, you can build up those two elements one step at a time. 

So pull out your running shorts and start your running plan today! The key to successfully getting back into running is positivity. The more positive your stay throughout your training plan, the less likely you’ll fall into another extended break again!