How To Mentally Get Back Into Running

Getting back into running after a break can be a daunting task, both physically and mentally. As someone who has experienced this myself, I understand the challenges involved in regaining the motivation and mental strength to lace up those running shoes again. In this article, I will share my personal journey and provide tips on how to mentally get back into running.

The Importance of Mindset

When it comes to getting back into running, mindset plays a crucial role. It’s essential to approach the process with a positive and open mindset. Remember that it’s okay to start from where you are and not compare yourself to your previous running abilities. Be kind to yourself and acknowledge that it’s a journey. Celebrate each small milestone along the way.

My Experience: After taking a break from running due to an injury, I found it challenging to get back into the routine. I constantly compared my current performance to my previous level, which only led to frustration and demotivation. Once I shifted my mindset and focused on progress rather than perfection, I began to enjoy the process much more.

Start Slow and Set Realistic Goals

One of the biggest mistakes people make when returning to running is trying to pick up right where they left off. It’s important to remember that you may have lost some fitness during your break, and that’s okay. Start slow and gradually build up your endurance and distance. Set realistic goals that align with your current fitness level.

My Experience: Initially, I tried to push myself too hard, which resulted in burnout and a lack of motivation. Once I started incorporating walk breaks and shorter distances into my runs, I felt more accomplished and motivated to continue. Setting small, achievable goals helped me regain confidence in my running abilities.

Create a Routine and Stick to It

Consistency is key when it comes to getting back into running. Creating a routine and sticking to it can help you build the habit and make running a regular part of your life again. Find a time of day that works best for you and schedule your runs accordingly. Treat it as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself.

My Experience: Establishing a running routine was instrumental in my journey to getting back into running. I decided to wake up early and go for a run before starting my day. This not only helped me make running a priority but also gave me a sense of accomplishment and energy to kickstart my day.

Find a Supportive Community

Having a support system can make a significant difference in your journey to getting back into running. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals who understand and encourage your goals. Join a local running group, participate in virtual races, or connect with fellow runners through online communities. Sharing experiences and progress with others can boost your motivation and provide a sense of belonging.

My Experience: When I joined a local running group, I not only gained valuable tips and advice but also found a sense of camaraderie among fellow runners. Having a support system made me feel accountable and motivated me to stay consistent with my running routine.

Embrace the Process and Enjoy the Journey

Lastly, it’s important to remember that getting back into running is a journey and not a destination. Embrace the process and enjoy each run along the way. Celebrate the small victories and acknowledge the progress you’re making, no matter how small it may seem. Find joy in the way running makes you feel and the mental clarity it brings.

My Experience: Shifting my focus from solely achieving goals to enjoying the process helped me rediscover my love for running. I started exploring new routes, listening to uplifting music, and practicing mindfulness during my runs. This shift in mindset made a world of difference in my overall mental well-being and motivation to keep running.


Getting back into running may seem like a daunting task, but with the right mindset and approach, it can become an enjoyable and fulfilling journey. Remember to be patient with yourself, start slow, set realistic goals, create a routine, find a supportive community, and most importantly, embrace the process. Running not only benefits our physical health but also contributes to our mental well-being. So, lace up those shoes, take that first step, and enjoy the freedom of running once again.