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Question: “How do I start running again after taking a break or an injury?
There is a good chance there are quite a few runners out there who haven’t ran a mile after running the Crim last August. With the start of 2012 and some fitness goals set some folks may want to get back into running, either from taking a break or from an injury, and need to go about it the right way or risk getting hurt. Typically you will lose your conditioning after only four to six weeks so don’t expect to start running again tomorrow where you left off a few months ago.
The tip to get started again is quite simple: take it slow. One way is to start with interval training. Try running for a minute followed by a minute walk, and gradually over time move to two minutes running and one minute walking. After you can handle four minutes of running and one minute of walking start to wean yourself off the walk until you are running continuously. If you’d rather you could even interval train by distance, where you run lets say a half a mile followed by an eighth mile walk, or similar. The whole idea is to gradually get back into running so you can do so in a way that is healthy and reduces the chances of getting injured.
Unfortunately, you won’t get in shape or back to where you were in a week. It may take you about ten weeks to get back to the level you were at before you stopped running or got injured. Just be smart and patient and your body will thank you in the long run.
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About the expert: Curtis Thompson is a multiple time state champion in track, thirty-year Crim runner, and owner of Complete Runner in Flint. Follow his running blog to learn more running tips and product reviews.