When forced into a short running break and ready to return use these two guidelines to make it a smooth transition.
A remodeling project and moving a household of six required not just bodily strength but all the available minutes in a day (and night). Therefore running had to be set to the side for 8 weeks this winter. I still got 1 or 2 runs in per week at a reduced distance but I lost running fitness.
Once I could traverse my new neighborhood with my running shoes on, I employed my transition strategy. Perhaps you will we find it helpful if you need a transition phase before the leaves fill the trees this spring.
1) Run half the distance of your before break regular run. Before the break, you were most likely enjoying a regular run of a distance between 3-6 miles. Whatever that distance was, cut it in half. This is your new distance for the first week. The next week you can add a mile to the distance. Keep up this pattern until you can return to your previous regular run distance.
2) Only run every other day. With our motivation high it is tempting to tie up the running shoes for days in a row. However, running too often can actually cause you to lose all that motivation and even worse send you back indoors with an injury. So stick hard and fast to this rule. I easily enjoyed my other hobbies during my no running days. So did my children as the cookies were a delight and I got more unpacking done.
Extra attention to flexibility and mobility during this time can help to ease the transition and sore muscles. Don't just hop back into your car or in the shower without giving your muscles and joints some extra attention. Frequency in stretching and mobility work can go a long way for runners.
When to break free of the guidelines:
Once you are back to the regular run distance you can start placing the running days next to each other.
There you go!
That is how you make a healthy transition back to your previous running routine.
If your break from your running routine was due to injury, take extra caution and consult your doctor about their suggested rate increase of running distance. Most likely they will suggest starting at 1/4 regular distance and adding the miles at a slower rate.
Be flexible and understand that there are some months that running has to be set aside. However be intentional about your re-entry into regular training.