It’s that time of year again—the time when gyms and running trails fill with New Year’s resolutioners, and lapsed athletes attempt to stage movie-montage comebacks. If you’re a regular runner or gym-goer, though, you know gyms and sidewalks will empty out within a few weeks, when those hard-core comebacks lead to injury or burnout.
It doesn’t have to be that way, as I was reminded via a recent assignment from Women’s Running. The story, which appears in the magazine’s January/February issue, focuses on how to stage an effective comeback, and I’d like to offer a few of my favorite tips from it here:
* Start slow. Running coach Janet Hamilton says people tend to “bludgeon their bodies into fitness.” Sound familiar? I know I’ve been guilty of going for one, big, boot-camp-style comeback workout that leaves me sore for days and unlikely to return to the gym for weeks. A better strategy: Take it easy out of the gates so your body and spirit can’t wait to get back out there for another round.
* Listen to your body. General guidelines are great, and it’s certainly helpful to know that you’ll decrease your chance of injury by not increasing mileage by more than 10 percent per week. That said, if a 10-percent weekly mileage increase aggravates your old ankle injury, those guidelines are not guaranteed protection against a stress fracture. If something hurts in the wrong way, back off until it feels better.
* Get a workout buddy. This is so obvious, but so helpful. It truly is harder to bail on a workout if you’re accountable to someone other than yourself.
Click here to read the story in its entirety, and share your own comeback tips by posting a comment below!