How To Get Back Into Running


– The worst part of a running injury is not being able to do
the sport that you love. The best part, however, is
being given the all clear and getting back to running pain-free. Now if this is managed well, you’ll find that you can actually return to your previous level of
fitness relatively quickly. If, however, you get it wrong, you could find yourself being
off running for far longer. So today I’m going to
be guiding you through how to return to running
following an injury. (mellow music) Let’s start with the
beginning of the return. You’ve been given the all
clear, you’re pain-free, and it’s time to celebrate. Although hang on a moment
’cause there are several things that you need to consider
before you can just jump back in and return to the running
that you were doing before your injury. So to start with, you need to make sure that you’re pain-free in everyday life, and a good way to know if you’re ready is to go for a brisk walk
of at least 30 minutes, and if you don’t get any pain during that and nothing the next day,
then it’s probably time to start thinking about
lacing your shoes back up and starting the build. Now it’s obviously going
to depend a little bit on the type of injury
you’ve have previously, but you need to make a plan
and have some realistic goals. So if you have been
treated by a practitioner, you obviously need to follow the advice that they’ve given you and make sure that you carry on doing
those rehab exercises right up until you’re
back to full running, and even then, you want
to continue with them and just drop them off very gradually. Rest is frustratingly one of the best ways to recover from an injury, but when it comes to preventing
old injuries reoccurring or a new one from appearing, then you’ll be pleased to know that it’s actually good to be active, and this is when strength
and conditioning comes in. Now I know you are going to be desperate to get back to running and
to see the back of the gym, but a little bit of investment now will certainly be worth
it in the long run. So I’m not talking about
the rehab exercises that you might’ve been
given that are specific, but this is going to be
more of a general exercise. It’s going to help you
make your body more robust and ready to take the
stresses you get from running. And if you’ve been off
your feet for a while, then your muscles, your
ligaments, your tendons, joints, fascia, all of that
is not going to be as strong and as pliable as it was, so if you do want some more specific ideas on what exercise you can do, we’ve got a video on
strength and conditioning purely for runners, so go
and check that one out. And whilst you’re there, if
you hit the subscribe button, you’ll be able to get
all of our GTN videos that come out every day. (mellow music) It’s pretty normal for an injured runner to seek other activities or sports in order to maintain some fitness and get those endorphin levels, and that could be something
closely related to running such as elliptical trainer
or maybe doing aquajogging or further filled with cycling, swimming, or maybe even a completely
different sport. And cross-training is obviously great for your cardiovascular fitness, but now, as you start to increase your running, you’re going to need to
drop those sessions back and not get too carried
away ’cause your body really needs that time to recover from this relatively new stimulus, rebuild, and get stronger, so please don’t overdo those sessions now. And, if you are quite
fit, it’s going to help, but you need to be aware of this ’cause you’re probably going
to be feeling raring to go and want to get straight
back into running, but you need to be
patient, so please, please, make sure that you take your time here and you’re going to have
to wait for your legs to actually catch up to
your relative fitness. However, I do have some good news, as the longer you’ve been
running overall in your life, probably the quicker you’re
going to be able to get back to running at the previous
level you were at before because you will have muscle memory. So say, for example, you’ve
been running for 10 years. You’re going to be able
to get back to that level you had before much quicker than someone who’d only been running for one year. (mellow music) There is no hard and fast rule as to how quickly you should
come back after injury, and it’s less about how
long you’ve been a runner, more about how long you’ve
actually had off from injury. If it’s been a week or less,
well, you’re pretty lucky ’cause, realistically,
you’re not going to have lost any notable fitness. Yes, you might feel a bit sluggish, but you should be able to return to your previous level of
training pretty quickly once you’ve got your legs moving again. On the other end of the spectrum, if it’s been three months or more that you’ve had off from injury, well I’m afraid bad news is
you’re going to be having to start from scratch, so you’ll have
to build up really gradually. And anything in between that, well, you’re going to have
to listen to your body and take it by feel and build it up according to what the injury was and where you were at beforehand. And it’s always good to
err on the side of caution, so if you’re unsure, I
would say back it off now ’cause it’ll repay you in the long run. And go with the 10% rule, so never increase your training
by more than 10% each week. Now a 10% rules takes into account, obviously, your training
load, looking at your volume or the time that you’re spending running, and it doesn’t necessarily
take into account intensity. So if you are doing a longer run, then obviously keep that
to a really low intensity to start with. But if you’re wanting to start
to run a little bit quicker, I’d advise keeping that
short, so breaking it up with a rest or maybe even adding in walks in between your intervals. Walking can play a key part in your rehab as it’s going to be time on feet, so even if it is before
you’re able to run, it’s still going to give your legs a bit of the same stimulus and reintroducing them to the impact. Then, once you’re ready,
you can progress it to run-walks like we’ve mentioned, but still keeping a check on that pace. And it isn’t just the old injury
you need to watch out for, but new ones as well because
you’ve had a long time off and everything’s going
to be a little bit rusty, so this is a really important time to make sure you still put in a warm-up. Even if you are running slowly, it’s a good idea to do
some activation work just to get those muscles firing again in the right movement pattern. It could even end up making
your run more efficient than it was before your injury. (mellow music) Looking a week ahead, I’m
factoring a rest day off to each run day, or at least an activity that isn’t weight-bearing
so your body has a chance to fully recover, get stronger, and also adapt to this
relatively new stimulus again. And as for how much running you can do, well that depends on the type of running that you’re going to be doing. So if, for example, you’ve
had a stress-related injury, you might want to consider
changing the terrain slightly. As opposed to asphalt, go for something a little bit
more forgiving like grass. And also, check your shoes
and make sure you’ve still got plenty of cushioning left in them. And if you are going to buy a new pair, I would recommend at this stage not changing anything too
drastic unless, however, you’ve had some professional
advice on that one. And going back to the surface, you might be lucky enough to
find an anti-gravity treadmill, which actually takes away
some of your body weight and you can then gradually increase it until you’re back to holding
your whole body weight, although those are quite hard to access for amateur athletes. Although, having said that, a normal treadmill is
still quite a good option, as it is a more forgiving surface and you’ve obviously got the added bonus that you can control the speed and the gradient very accurately. Plus, you can stop running
whenever you need to rather than having to get back
to a start point each time. At the end of the day, you’re going to have to listen
to your own body and be honest. It might sound really tough
to push through a pain and ignore it, but realistically, you’re going to have to judge
whether that is a niggle that you can work through or
if it is something more serious you’re going to need to address. And painkillers can be dangerous here because they can mask a pain that you might need to listen
to, so be cautious with those. And finally, patience is key. Yes, I know I’ve gone about it enough, but you’ll be thankful once you’re back to your old running self, and who knows, the rest might have done you some good, both mentally and physically. Well if you have enjoyed this, then find that thumbs up button, give it a click, and give us a like. And you can find the globe
on screen to subscribe. And if you want to see
that video we talked about with strength and conditioning
specifically for runners, that’s just down here. And if you want to see a video comparing the calories that you burn from cycling or running,
that’s just down here.

13 thoughts on “How To Get Back Into Running

  1. As some one who had a misdiagnosed torn muscle fiber in his thighs, the worst thing was, to get back to speed. I took nearly 3/4 of a year to start running again and another half year, until I got back to around 40-45min for the 10k. Never want to do that again 😀

  2. Perfect timing! My ankle strain is just about healed, and I did a 25 min. power walk yesterday to load test 🙂 #doingItRight Might just head to the track for some light work on the weekend…

  3. Hi GTN. I am new to triathlon and like you I have a Polar Vantage watch. Do you have a video on how to use the multi sport or triathlon function. Thank you. ❤️ the channel ! Stephen

  4. 7:14 Heather' just got her 'tongue twisted' trying to pronounce "specifically". Sounds like she is swallowing hot noodles! lol. Hope there are exercises for wounded tongues coming back from injury. lol lol lol lol

  5. Now that you mention painkillers, dear Heather, have you ever known Pain Killers getting sentenced for their crimes?

  6. I fell over (hard) on my right knee ice-skating. Limped for a few days. Lucky it was just bruising (ok didn't see doctor but not problem weight bearing just bit sore). Now able to do easy runs. I'm lucky. Only 1 week off with easy run return

  7. Anti-gravity tredmill? There's a micro-gravity treadmill on the ISS, but I can't afford the trip right now. Comming back from a 6 month break due to plantar fasciitis. I've missed running soooo much

  8. i only ever started running due to a serious cycling injury wherein my right calve muscle was sliced through. it happened a few novembers ago, so i was off for a few weeks then again for 2 weeks at xmas. back to work and i first started walking the 5km to the train station and back every day to get the train to work which eventually led to small jogs and walks, then longer jogs. this went on for perhaps 3 weeks whilst still using a crutch for my leg. i actually managed my first race mid march the same year, a half marathon. the recovery absolutely destroyed me because i couldnt even step of the train on the journey home but since then in march 2017 and my first half being 2.5 hours i have managed to take nearly an hour from that time, managed a 5th place for a race last year, have covered distances of over 80km in a single run and stupidly ran two back to back weeks of around 270 – 280km each week back in early 2019. ended up with shin splints and pain for about 3 months.

  9. Thx!!! Perfect time for me.
    Just in mild recovery from lower back pain after a half-marathon last December.

    Struggling to start again for the next half in next month 🙁

  10. This is both a very helpful but also depressing video. I have just learned that I have a 12cm (yes cm not mm) tear in my adductor longus. The physiotherapist and I have no idea how it happened, as I run and don't play contact sports (I'm 61 in a month or so) and I didn't trip or fall. The only thing I can identify is I started yoga several months ago and the warrior poses really stretch my inner quads, although I stopped because of a shoulder injury a week before the injury, which started on my long run but the had an acute onset during a very slow test run on my treadmill. The main problem is it doesn't really hurt to walk or ride, it never did, so I have no idea when or how to start running again for fear of re-injuring it. How do I know if it doesn't hurt and how do I avoid it if I don't know how I did it?

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