Lifestyle & Wellness

How to start running again

start running again
You can start running again!

Do you regularly plan to restart a healthy running habit, only to find excuses or quit after five minutes? Years ago I ran a marathon which was a mammoth, but rewarding experience. Prior to that training, I would have definitely have called myself a non runner. Years later I still come and go with my running habit, but I remind myself of what worked the first time. There is also much better gear now compared to when I first started running!

I hope the following helps you along your way to start running again (please ensure you check with your doctor before starting a new and vigorous fitness routine). Don’t worry, this is just about re-starting a short and manageable running habit, not training for a mega run or marathon. I only manage short runs myself these days and have no desire to commit to another marathon!

This post contains affiliate links which I may receive a small commission from at no cost to you (if you choose to make a purchase). I have only referenced products that I actually use myself.

Get the gear you need to start running again

Have this all laid out ready to go, so you don’t hesitate or make excuses!

  1. Trainers/running shoes: supporting your feet and having comfortable footwear is the most important part of preparation. Visit a running shoe shop that can actually assess your needs. Try those special treadmills for gait analysis which can assess how your foot rotates before it hits the ground. You can then select the shoe that best supports your foot and particular running technique. You should buy a size or two bigger to allow for swelling from the heat of running. Feeling comfy in your trainers is key!
  2. Clothes and socks: Vests, t-shirts, leggings or joggers should be breathable and not restrictive. Socks should also be breathable and protect from rubbing. You may want to consider alternative fabrics such as bamboo. Bamboo running socks keep your feet dryer for longer e.g. less blisters.
  3. Running belt: these are much improved from the old bum bags back in the day. They barely move and can carry your keys, card and phone. I use a good running belt and find it really doesn’t annoy me when I run.

Personally I don’t run with a water bottle. My runs are short enough that I can manage until I get home for a big drink. I also find even the curved ones a hassle to run with, but I know for some it’s essential.

Apps for your phone

Here are some great apps to get you started and keep you coming back. What I love about these apps is the feeling of progress, even if you only run for one minute longer than last time. You can integrate your own music, podcast or audiobook into the application too.

  • Couch to 5K: I used this for the first time last year when I decided to restart running. It builds you up slowly to 30 minutes and you can choose your preferred coach to provide inspiring support in your ear.
  • Nike running app: I use this now on each and every run and track my progress. You can use the guided runs or just set a timed goal. It’s great to look back and see the distance and speed stats as they build up. You can choose to have a coach/voiceover or go without if you prefer.
  • Map my run: Again, great for tracking progress and discovering new routes.

Start slow and take it easy when running

  • If you’ve never run before or re-starting after a long break you need to start slow and easy. Consult with your doctor if necessary (and especially if you have any health issues). Even if you are in general good health, running is an intense form of exercise, so you should play it safe.
  • Start with super short runs combined with walking. Begin with what’s manageable for you personally, not what a friend or someone your follow on Instagram does. This could be two minutes running followed by five minutes walking or vice versa. Couch to 5K has a really well planned structure for this. I go back to it when I start running again after a break
  • Make sure you don’t over do it. You might start with a once a week run and build from there. Even if you’re running more, you need to allow for rest days between runs. Mix running up with other exercise such as weights and yoga.
start running again
Mix up your running terrain and route

Don’t forget your headphones

I simply can’t run for even five minutes without listening to something to keep me going! I used to struggle with my old headphones falling out, but now I have amazing wireless headphones that hook over my ear and stay put.

  • Music: I create long running playlists to keep my motivation up. Mostly it’s dance stuff but at other times I fancy something different. It’s good to throw in a power song which you can really lose yourself in and commit to running at your optimum for the length of (or most of it!).
  • Podcasts: I love listening to podcasts when I’m out for a walk or run. It’s the perfect time for multi-tasking or even providing distraction if you really struggle with running in silence.
  • Audiobooks: I find it tricky to concentrate on fiction when I’m running but you may find it works for you. Non-fiction is easier for me to follow, but test out what you prefer.

Mix it up when you restart running again

Once you start to feel a bit more confident in your running, there are ways to improve and build upon it.

  • Interval training: if you feel you aren’t increasing your speed or ability as much as you’d have liked, add a few interval bursts. Every now and then, run at a much faster speed for 30 seconds or a couple of mins. Increase how many times you do this with each run. You may find your speed or overall fitness improves with just a few bursts of this in your workout.
  • Alone or with company: if you usually run alone, see if helps to join a running group or friend to rally you along. If you always run with others, see how it feels to run by yourself (stay safe though and think about timings, light and route).
  • Change your route and terrain: ensure you mix up your routes so you don’t get bored. Try hills sometimes (I find hills so difficult, I really appreciate going back to flat routes!). Find dirt-tracks or run on the grass parts of the park if you usually follow the path.
  • Follow a challenge or running schedule: there are so many options out there so have a dig around. You could start a simple beginners runners challenge, a 3 month running plan or even consider signing up for a 5K or longer run to have a goal.

Things to consider when you start running again…

I’ve always found running an ongoing internal conflict. Sometimes I really have the feeling I fancy a run, then other times I just can’t motivate myself to get on with it. I do though love to get exercise over and done with! With running, you don’t have to build in time to get somewhere, change and then start working out. It’s really worthwhile to start running again and reap the benefits.

Running (or jogging or even just plodding along!) is easy to fit into your day and a cheap form of exercise. Once you have your kit there are no monthly costs like a gym (unless you prefer to run on a treadmill). The key is to start small and go from there. You might aim for five minutes of non stop running this week and seven the next. Or you might always mix up running and walking in your sessions and that’s fine too.

Find what works for you so you stay motivated to keep at it. Don’t delay your desire to start running again, or try it for the first time. I hope the above helps you feel empowered to start running again!

See more on exercising when you work from home. and pin this for later or to share!

How to start running again

The information provided is for educational purposes only, and does not substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult a medical professional or healthcare provider if you are seeking medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. This site is not liable for risks or issues associated with using or acting upon the information.


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