While a lot of focus for return to run is around coming back from an injury or surgery, there are also a lot of people who are coming back to the sport and many more who are just getting started. We want to help make your returning to run smooth and injury-free, no matter your background or experience!
Below are three key concepts to implement no matter what return to run program you use or reason you had a break from running:
All runners do not have the same fitness levels and experience, but time is the same for all. A return to run program based on time accounts for different paces. The goal of a return to run program is to allow the body to adapt to the stress of running and promote proper recovering before the next session. Going by time will provide better progressions for a broader range of athletes. (we believe most training should be done by time, but that is a conversation to come.)
It is easier to make a habit than to break a habit, so take the time to focus on proper running form at the beginning of a program. This should be done at the first session of a return to run program, injured or not! Your goal is not to make the athlete have “perfect running form” (doesn’t exist), but focusing on one simple cue can make a big difference. You can also stage the cues to progressively improve their form. Helping someone become comfortable with cadence before focusing on other things like knee drive, lean, or collapsing can allow for easier adaptations later in the program.