If you have had to take a break from running due to injury, job and time commitments or just life getting in the way, know that you can get back on the trail and get running again.

things to know #1.

It is hard to start again. You don’t run as well, you get tired, you breathe too hard, your legs hurt, you are impossibly slow, your body doesn’t respond to what you want anymore – in short, you suck Geezer.

So what?

It is OK to suck.  Read the book ‘beginner’s mind’, cultivate your inner zen and get out on the road.  Or better yet, just get out on the road.  Yes, your knees hurt.  Yes, you are slow. Yes, your old warm up seems like a marathon.  Guess what?  You did this before, the first time you ran.  Just like last time you won’t remember it in a few weeks.

things to know #2.

Think small.  Baby steps, baby.  Don’t think a 5 mile jaunt, think a 2 mile jog.  Let your body re-adjust.  This is the hardest for me. I start out like I am in shape and heading out for a nice long run.  2 minutes later I am panting like a dog and crawling along the side of the road.

The best way to do this is change your paradigm.  Don’t do what you used to do. Don’t even think about it. Slow down, and concentrate on breathing.  Concentrate on how your feet strike.  concentrate on moving. Walk if you are having trouble.  Ain’t no one here but us.  Do what you need to do.

things to know #3.

You are your worst enemy. As Pogo says, “We have met the enemy and it is us!” (don’t get the reference? look it up. You are on the damn internet.) You are the worst critic you will ever have. Get out of your way. See ‘things to know #1’ it is OK to suck. No one gives two hoots but your ego.

things to know #4.

Have goals.  Meet them.  Set goals “I will run 3 miles in 4 weeks” or “I will run a marathon in 6 months”.  What they are doesn’t matter and no one’s goals are better than yours. Different, sure but not better. Set a series of goals and write them down. When you start to check those off you are going to know you are on a roll.

Goals help psychologically.  If you want to use them well, set realistic goals. Things that push you but are not impossible.

You can pass them by others. For instance, I have never run more than 17 miles and not at all recently. Yet in 7 months, I am tempted to try to run a 56 mile 3 day run in the mountains. Stupid?  Probably. Possible? I have no idea. Will I do it?  Looking for feedback here kids. What do you think?  I am in reasonable shape, but lack the cardio part of life. my last backpacking trip I trained for two months and we covered over 17 mile one day, about 35 miles or so total with roughly 7000 feet of elevation gain. And with a few side trips thrown in.  Let me know.  It sounds crazy, but crazy fun.

Yes, I want an answer here folks.

2 thoughts on “Getting Back to Running – why you can do it

  1. In 7 months, you could easily pull off that 56 mile trip. Even if you’re forced to walk the entire 3rd day, you could cover that ~19 miles in 9 hours. If you take off at 7 AM, that puts you back at the trailhead by 4 PM at the latest. Do it!

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