man and woman running

How to get back into running in a mindful way

Do you want to get back into running after taking a long break? Check out our tips for a gradual and positive return to this accessible sport.

three friends running together

Getting back to running after a long break can be a bit intimidating and overwhelming. Leave the past and your old results behind; ground yourself in the present moment for a gentle return that respects your body and mind.

The change of seasons is a great time to switch up your routine and get back into healthy lifestyle habits. There’s no time like the present to focus on your well-being and bring the joy of running back into your life!

Running: an accessible and minimalist sport

Running scores a lot of points for being easy to get into, and accessible for people at all fitness levels. This sport can be practiced alone or with friends, and can be adapted to every individual’s needs and preferences. You can safely run during the day or at night, and, with the right gear, you can also confidently set out on steeper trails or even snowy surfaces.

Equip yourself appropriately for a great experience
For a smooth return to running, be sure to have the basic gear required. Choose equipment based on how frequently you run and the type of surface you tread. Remember to consider factors like the weather so you’ll always have the right gear for the rain, cold, or heat!

Realistic goals and positive progress

Take a deep breath and forget your past performances.  By acknowledging where you are right now, you’ll be able to rediscover the joy of running once more.

two women running

Step 1: physical and cardio check-up

Before starting, it’s a good idea to take stock of your current physical and cardiovascular ability. This can prevent injury, focus your motivation, and help strengthen your commitment. These are essential elements for long-lasting and positive sports experiences.

Step 2: find the right program for you

If you want to get back into running, there are lots of programs and methods out there. The important thing is to find a training plan that you connect with, something energizing that encourages you to get active. Resources like the Decathlon Coach app offer several programs for getting back into running, while tracking your results. This data history shows you your progress in real time, so you can stay focused on the most important reasons for running; your health and well-being.

Step 3: plan a route that’s enjoyable and motivating

To free your mind from any stress or concern, allowing your thoughts to wander as you run, you should plan your route before you leave. Knowing where you're going is a great way to make sure your run starts on the right foot, and guarantees a satisfying journey every time! Go for landscapes that inspire you to boost your mood and energy. Once you've mapped out your run, select an audio playlist (or a favourite podcast) that will help you sustain a slower running pace. Take it easy at first if you want to have fun and enjoy the run.

man running

Safe and steady training

When it comes to running, many think that completing a marathon is the ultimate goal. Although this might be your long-term objective, it's certainly not a requirement. Here are some tips for getting back into training without any added pressure.

woman running

Shift your focus

When gradually returning to a sport like running, it's essential to shift your focus; your journey and well-being are more important than your physical performance or beating any record.

Leave judgment behind

When you start to feel a judgmental thought nip at your heels, acknowledge it, then push the negativity out of your mind. Keep moving forward and stay focused on your abilities, your body, and yourself; they all respond well to positive momentum!

Breath is your best friend

For enjoyable and invigorating outings, remember to breathe from your stomach rather than your chest. Contract your diaphragm in your abdomen to breathe deeply: this technique will allow you to really fill your lungs and avoid sudden chest pain or a stitch in your side.

Listen to your body

There's nothing more discouraging than an injury at the start of a new training session. To avoid this demoralizing situation, listen to your body and tune in to your progress. Take breaks when needed, and only increase the pace if your body is telling you it’s ready for a challenge. For a gentler experience, check out interval training which alternates between walking and running to ease you back into the activity.

Tools to keep you motivated

Do you struggle with finding the motivation to go for a run on your own? If so, join a community of running enthusiasts near you. The variety of people and personalities you’ll surround yourself with can inspire your motivation and deepen your enjoyment of the sport. Being accountable to a supportive group of like-minded runners can also really help you to develop. Share your passion with others!

women running

Taking care of your mental health with running

Getting active and regularly practicing a sport in a thoughtful way is beneficial for your mind and body, as well as your perception of yourself. It also provides a great sense of accomplishment. Right away, you’ll start seeing the benefits of running in your day-to-day life: more self-esteem, confidence in your abilities, and better concentration. You’ll even notice an openness and positivity towards the unexpected challenges that may pop up in your day-to-day life.

woman running

Quality “me” time

Running is one of those rare moments where you can find peace of mind by tuning out all the noise around you and tuning in to your needs. It's becoming more and more difficult in this hectic world to get a few minutes to yourself, so take advantage of some pure "me" time. Your running sessions could very well become your sanctuary for introspection and connecting with your inner self.

Once your running routine has made a comeback into your healthy lifestyle, you can further develop your training with great complimentary activities like yoga. Discover other ways to move that improve your health and wellness!

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