STEP BY STEP: FIND YOUR NEW ROUTINE
Getting started is easier than you think - at any age
You should ease back into your running programme gradually. The best way to go about it, is a combined walking and jogging programme. The idea is to get you back into running shape, which means running 5km on a regular basis in just two months.
BE PATIENT - AND DON‘T PUSH YOUR LIMIT
While following the two-month-programme, it‘s easy to get impatient, but patience is the key. Don‘t try to do more, even if you feel you can. If, on the other hand, you find the programme too strenuous, just stretch it out. It’s important not to feel pressured to progress faster than you‘re able to. Repeat a week if needed and move ahead only when you feel you‘re ready. Listen to your body, and you’ll be fine.
ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY
GETTING BACK INTO TRAINING
Some rules for beginners - and those who are getting started again
|Week||Days a week
|1||2 to 3||Take it easy! Run at an easy pace, not more than 1 km or 15-30 minutes, depending on your level of fitness. You can alternate between easy running and walking, switch every two to five minutes if you like. See whether you can increase by the end of the week. Overdoing it at the beginnng would be a bad idea, as your body would feel sore and you would be demotivated.|
|2||3||Build up slowly. Alternating between running and jogging is the way to go.|
|3||3||Run not more than 2 km or 30-45 minutes, at an easy jogging pace. If you notice any physical strains in the third week of work-out, stick to non-impact workout or walking only|
|4||4||Run 2 km. See whether you can speed up your pace for one day at least, then return to easy jogging for the other days.|
|5||4||Run 3 km or 40-60 minutes. Easy pace!|
|6||5||Begin with 3 km, then try 60-70 minutes by the end of the week.|
|Run 3 km (Time factor in this phase depends very much on your progress, but your aim should be to run 5 km or 60-70 minutes by the end of the week)
Run 4 km
| Run 4 km
Run 5 km
Some tips to avoid strain or injury when running - or starting to run again:
Always be sure to stretch, but not before running, as stretching „cold“ can damage your muscles, stretch during and after your run. Run easily for about 5-10 minutes, then stretch once you are warm and the muscles and joints are more pliable. Also, stretch calves etc. after your run. Look into our video library for some stretching suggestions for special workouts.
You probably have your own running technique. Even if details don’t really matter that much here, experts agree that you should run tall (not slouched) and straight (not leaning far forward or backward). Don‘t overstride; that could put extra strain on your knees. Let your arms relax and find a natural, comfortable stride.
Alternating running with walking doesn’t make you a loser, it’s actually a recommended technique to get back into your routine. It’s also fine to switch to walking once you have reached the point of fatigue or discomfort. Embrace walking as part of an overall run/walk strategy for completing long runs, or as a cross-training activity for non-running days in your training schedule.
Be sure to run with your mobile phone at hand, so that you can always call someone in case of injury. Also, most modern phones support free apps that will help you set goals, track and monitor your route, heartbeat, speed, pulse, calory use and your performance.
See if you still have the right shoes. Technology improves constantly, and when looking for the right shoe, it‘s smart to go to a specialty running store where they will make sure you get shoes that fit right and provide the biomechanical support you need. Knowing how to look after your foot when it hits the road makes a huge difference. If you have problem feet, ask your doctor for orthotics (shoe inserts) to help prevent injuries. And remember to replace the shoes often.
Have you skipped or missed more than a few days of training? Then go back to your pace of the previous week. If you have been sick, return to the pace of the previous two weeks. If you‘ve been injured, it‘s better to come back slowly, and protect the affected areas such as knees or ankles with stabilising braces. See the Elastoplast range for smart solutions.
Yes, running can in some cases lead to (mostly minor) injuries, but most of this can be prevented if you warm up, avoid doing too much too soon and wear the right running shoes. Before you start again, try some workouts designed to strengthen running-specific muscles in order to build endurance and prevent injuries. (See our video library for specific examples).
Pain in your calf or thigh? If you experience pain, try to differentiate:
It‘s important to find out whether the pain is a simple adaptation process (coping with the new challenge), actual overuse of muscles or joints, or tissue damage. Monitor the pain. If it subsides by reducing the amount and intensity of your regimen it is most likely to be an adaptational process. If you keep reaching the same limit you are probably putting your body under too much strain and it is overuse. In this case, you should see a doctor.
ACHING LIMBS? TRY THE RICER RULE
The overall benefits of running outweigh the risks, even when you start in your fifties or later:
Better function, fitness and overall health are the reward for getting out of bed early every morning, as well as less disabilities.
Please note that none of the above given tips or recommendations substitute medical advice. Important: consult a health professional in case of an injury or if you suspect overuse of joints or a medical condition such as a fracture. A physician should be consulted in those acute cases when the condition is accompanied by reddening, swelling or hyperthermia of joints, ongoing joint trouble or severe pain and/or are associated with neurological symptoms
(e.g. numbness, tingling, loss of motion).
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