Running After A Long Break… Taking The First Step

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Not long before the start of my sophomore year of high school, my friend Nathalie showed up on my doorstep and asked me to join the cross country team. They needed enough people to finish the city championship to claim a team. For some reason I agreed. Over the next three years I was part of the team. I had ankle problems and that often sidelined me but I became a runner. After spending most of my senior year in a boot I finally gave up running and switched to throwing shot put and discus, both of which I continued on with my Freshman year of college.

Ankles suck was a motto often relied on and ultimately gave up on track too thanks to my ankles. It would be 10 years since my last cross country before I would attempt any form of running again. During a fitness challenge at work in February 2014 one day I decided to trade in the elliptical for the treadmill. Out of curiosity I decided to run. Little did I know my best friend and biggest competitor in the fitness contest also decided to try running that same day… we often think alike.

12 5k races, 2 5 mile races, 1 warrior dash and 2 half marathons later I was addicted to running. It was my sanity, my time alone & my mental break from life.

Getting Back Into Running After Taking A Long Break


When I got pregnant with Baby B I decided for a few reasons to stop running. It was a personal decision and I have mad respect for anyone who manages to run while pregnant. By the end of my pregnancy, walking was barely happening!

Flash forward 10 months and 1 day… I was cleared to workout again. Immediately I couldn’t wait to start running after a long break.

When I started running after a 10 year break in 2014, I didn’t really have a plan. Since I was attempting to win a fitness contest it was a lot of competitive text messages with my friend. She would tell me she was going to run 1.5 miles, so I would run 1.75. The next time she would run 2 miles. It continued until we both ran a half marathon together 6 months after the fitness contest ended.

This time around I came up with a little bit of a plan.

My Plan For Running After A Long Break

I won’t lie, I was pretty anxious to get out and run again. Running had become my sanity and something I never realized how much I would miss by taking a long break.

I know a lot of people love Couch to 5k. I tried it years ago and think its a wonderful program but walking is not something that keeps my attention like running. My plan for running after a long break this time was something similar to what I did before with a few extra things added in.


Two years ago I used my blog as a fitness log. I absoltely love going back and reading my old running entries. There are those days where runs just sucked. Then days pop up where I felt on top of the world. While I definitely plan on continuing to write about my running journey online, I did order a running journal. My first entry, October 10th… 10 months and 1 day since my last run.

Setting Weekly Goals

I’m a big goal setter. After reading Meb For Mortals my mentality on goal setting changed. This time around I’m setting a few goals… you know, just in case the first one doesn’t work out. For starters I just want to get on the treadmill (or outside) 3 days a week.

Each week I’m going to push my distance a little more like I did two years ago. Quarter mile here, half mile there. Ultimately I want to work back up to a consistent 3-5 mile runs during the week.

Setting Long Term Goals

Weekly goals get me up and going but long term goals will keep me motivated on the weeks where “life happens” and I come up with excuses. I have written a few down and I look forward to hopefully accomplishing one if not all of them.

  1. Run a Spring Half Marathon
  2. Run a 5k a Month in 2017
  3. 5k PR

Glass City Half Marathon
Breaks are great, but nothing beats running after a long break from the sport! Click To Tweet

I Survived The First Week Back Running

For weeks I had been thinking about my plan to start running after a long break. In my head it was all set and would be perfect. On Monday the 10th, the weather was absolutely perfect running weather. 60 degrees, sunny and a little breeze. It was the perfect motivation for my first run.

Monday: 1.1 Miles in 11:11 outside
Wednesday: 1.5 miles in 16:03 on the treadmill
Friday: 2.0 miles in 20:03 outside

For now, I have no time limits in mind. Eventually I’ll get back to wanting to run PR. For now just taking a step out the door is what I need to get me going. I survived. I ran 4.6 miles. This week is a new week and I’m going to try for 6 miles total. Funny… a year ago that was an average run… now it is a weekly goal.

Life happens… I can’t wait to see what the next year of running will bring.

Have you ever taken a break from something you love? 
How long did it take you to get back into it? 

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links.

Comments (11)

  1. I ran track through high school and college, and I HATED it lol. Since then I’ve tried to do the bare minimum. I’ve always admired people who get up and run because they like it. I’ll try again one day!

    1. Signing up for another is always my form of motivation to keep moving. Sometimes a break is necessary though and always worth considering especially after a lot of training!

    1. My advice…. put your shoes on and walk outside! It’s the best first step 🙂

  2. Thank you for these tips. I’m not an avid runner, but I long to be. With three kids and a busy household, it’s hard for me to find the time to fit it in. I always feel great when I do it, but it sure is a hard habit to form and even harder for me to make it a priority. I usually start with some sort of interval training {like couch to 5K} to build up my stamina, but something always seems to interrupt my training and throw me way off track. Then it’s back to square one. It’s a vicious cycle. I’d love to hear your tips for a non-runner wanting to learn how to be a runner.

  3. I ran cross country in high school and absolutely LOVED it! And now I’m having to get back into running after taking a “break” and it’s so hard… Especially since I have my third half marathon scheduled in March. And girl, that’s SO cool that you did a warrior dash! My husband used to do them all the time.

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