How Do I Get Back Into Running After Years Off

Getting back into running after years off can be challenging, but with the right approach and mindset, it’s definitely achievable. As someone who has gone through this process myself, I understand the struggles and the rewards that come with it. Here’s how I successfully got back into running after taking a long break.

Assessing Physical Condition

Before diving back into running, it’s crucial to assess your current physical condition. Start with a visit to the doctor for a check-up. Ensure there are no underlying health issues that could hinder your return to running. Once cleared by the doctor, it’s time to evaluate your fitness level. It’s okay to start slow and gradually build up. Remember, patience is key.

Setting Realistic Goals

When returning to running after a long break, it’s important to set realistic goals. Don’t expect to pick up right where you left off years ago. Start with achievable objectives such as running for a certain duration or distance without stopping. Setting achievable goals will keep you motivated and prevent discouragement.

Investing in Proper Gear

Investing in proper running gear is essential. This includes supportive shoes, moisture-wicking clothing, and other gear that makes the experience more comfortable. As someone who loves running, I found that having the right gear not only enhanced my performance but also made the return to running more enjoyable.

Creating a Schedule

Establishing a running schedule can help make your return to running more structured. Plan out which days and times you’ll dedicate to running. Be consistent with your schedule to build a routine. Consistency is key when getting back into running after a long hiatus.

Joining a Running Group

Consider joining a running group or finding a running buddy. Having a support system can provide motivation and accountability. It’s also a great way to connect with others who share a passion for running. Personally, having a running buddy made the entire process more enjoyable and helped me stay committed.

Gradual Progression

As tempting as it may be to push yourself too hard, it’s important to focus on gradual progression. Start with a combination of walking and running, gradually increasing the running distance as your body adapts. Over time, you’ll be amazed at how much progress you can make.

Listening to Your Body

Listen to your body throughout this process. It’s normal to experience muscle soreness and fatigue, but it’s important to differentiate between normal discomfort and potential injury. Rest when needed and don’t hesitate to seek professional advice if something doesn’t feel right.

Staying Positive and Patient

Lastly, staying positive and patient is crucial. Getting back into running after years off is a journey, not a race. Celebrate small victories and don’t be too hard on yourself. Remember, the most important thing is that you’re taking the steps to prioritize your health and well-being.


Returning to running after years off was both challenging and rewarding for me. By following these steps and staying dedicated, I was able to reignite my love for running and achieve personal milestones. Remember, everyone’s journey is unique, so embrace the process and enjoy the ride.