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Jason Lakritz blogs about creating a safe & effective training plan.

Posted in Team Finish Line.

January 16th, 2013

Safely Returning to Training

One of the hardest things to do when returning to running is to make a safe and effective training plan. There are many variables to take into consideration when creating this plan.

How long should my first run be?
How many days a week should I run?
How fast do I go?
Can I run on hills?
What kind of surface should I run on?
How do I increase mileage?
When should my first workout be?
When can I do speed work?
When should my first race be?
Where do I add in strength and mobility training?
And the list goes on…

Aaagh, as I type this, it seems overwhelming. I don’t say this to intimidate you! One of the reasons I wanted to write this blog was to document my return from a training perspective to help answer some of these questions. I have been running for about 6 weeks now, and I wanted to share how I went from nothing to where I am now.

November 26-December 2:
Thursday: 15 mins on AlterG at 65% of body weight

December 3-9: AlterG at 70% of body weight all week
Monday: 20 mins, Wednesday: 25 mins, Friday: 30 mins

December 10-16: AlterG at 75% of body weight on Monday, 80% on Wednesday & Friday
Monday, Wednesday & Friday: all 30 mins

December 17-23: AlterG at 85% of body weight on Monday & Wednesday
Monday: 30 mins, Wednesday: 30 mins, Friday: 15 mins around the Central Park Reservoir (about 2 miles – first time running outside, JOY!)

December 24-30: all running on flat streets
Monday: 15 mins, Wednesday: 20 mins, Friday: 25 mins. Total: 10 miles

December 31-January 6: all running on East River Park Drive
Monday: 30 mins, Wednesday: 35 mins, Friday: 40 mins. Total: 15 miles

January 7-13:
Monday: 40 mins on West Side Highway with Jay, Wednesday: 40 mins on East River, Friday: 40 mins on East River with Jay, Saturday: 42 mins around Central Park Loop with Jay and Gerson (first time on hills!). Total: 23 miles

Other training components I’ve added:

  • Every Tuesday and Thursday: functional strengthening and running drills
  • 2-3 times per week: functional core strengthening
  • Daily functional mobility exercises
  • Up to 6 strides after most runs

So, how can you take my experience and apply it to your own recover? A few suggestions:

Tip #1: Take your time! There is no rush. It might seem laborious at times, but taking your time will help ensure a full recovery for the long term. Build up to a comfortable running distance, and don’t run two days in a row until you have reached your comfortable running distance. This distance should be about the length of your recovery runs.

Tip #2: Emphasize strengthening, mobility, core, and stability exercises. Running puts huge amounts of stress on your body, and improving the deficits in these areas will help prepare your body for this stress. Making this part of your routine now will make it easier to continue as you build up toward your next race.

What about you? If you’ve ever been injured, what has worked for you in developing a new training plan? Leave a comment below!

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