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How to get back into Running: after an injury or layoff

How to get back into Running: after an injury or layoff

As the weather is warming up, you might be inspired to hit the track and start some activity again. There are plenty of online events, goals, step counts and fitness levels you may want to achieve.

We understand that it’s human nature to want to rush back into exercise as quickly as possible. However, there are a few important things to consider when getting back into running, especially if you have been a bit more sedentary during winter.


Check your shoes.

Old shoes can increase your likelihood of injury. Your shoes may have run and walked more kilometres and be more worn than you can remember.

Most running shoes start lose their structural integrity after about 500km, which can surprisingly be accumulated very quickly with all the incidental work we are doing during the day.

We recommend a rough guide is to replace your runners once a year. It can be important to have a second pair of runners to allow for the midsole to bounce back from being compressed and shoes to dry out from sweaty feet, as this can degrade materials.

It is also important that your runners are the right fit and style for your foot and foot type. Podiatrists can offer expert advice, as can speciality footwear stores.


Build your workouts up slowly.

If you have not run much over winter, it is very important to build up your pace, distance and time very slowly to avoid injury.

Starting with a small run, at a medium pace to see how you can tolerate running is important. A rough guide is to increase you pace, distance or duration by 10% each week.

If this is rushed, the tissues of the muscle , tendons, joints and bone can overload and start the injury process, it may present as pain or stiffness.

This may be telling you the tissues in use are reaching their threshold for load or stress form exercise tolerance, before injury occurs. This can be monitored and adjusted depending on how you feel, or as a general rule you should progress really carefully.


Run with people of your own ability, height and pace.

This is a difficult tip.

However, we can all appreciate that trying to keep up with someone, or slow down for someone changes our natural running ability and style.

As a result, we might be placing different stresses on our lower and upper limbs that our body hasn’t felt before.

It heightens the risk of injury either by over-doing it, or under-doing it.


As a general rule, spending the first six weeks running by yourself, or with someone of the same ability is crucial.

You may like to follow our slow but steady running program listed below.

Week 1

Run 1 minute Walk 4 minutes: do this 6 times, three times per week.

Week 2

Run 2 minute Walk 3 minutes: do this 5 times, three times per week.

Week 3

Run 3 minute Walk 2 minutes: do this 4 times, three times per week.

Week 4

Run 4 minute Walk 1 minutes: do this 3 times, three times per week.

Week 5

Run 8 minute Walk 1 minutes: do this 3 times, three times per week.

Week 6

Run for 15 minutes with a 1 minute break: do this twice, three times per week.