Rule 1 – Inch By Inch
Question – How to eat an elephant, Answer – One Bite at a Time.
After a long haul, start slowly. Increasing your mileage suddenly can lead to injuries. A rule of thumb would be to increase your mileage by not more than 10% per week. For Example – If you are currently running 15km kms per week, increase it to not more than 17km per week the very next week.
Rule 2 – Don’t do this every week
Now if you keep increasing mileage by 10% every week, in 10 weeks i.e 2.5 months, you will be doubling your mileage. This is however not feasible and with no races in sight, there is no urgent need too.
What is the best way then?
Set an Upper Limit – From 15 Km per week to start,Upper Limit can be 40 km per week in next 2 month or in 10 weeks.
Stay Put – Increase 10% for1 week, hold that for 1 more week increase 10% again.
Rule 3 – Avoid Speed/interval training
Interval Training adds to lots of stress on body and doing it after a break can be detrimental. You are adding stress to your body anyways by increasing the mileage. Wait for at least 2 months of consistent running to reach a base level – Say 40km per week training before you include Speed training or interval training.
Rule 4 – Reduce Intensity
It’s advisable to build up mileage first to a base level and then increase intensity. This simply means if you want to run at 5.30km/per minute and currently running at 6km/ per minute, its better to build endurance up to 40-50km per week for first 6-8 weeks before you start building up speed.
Rule 5 – Focus where you are running
When you are in the process of building your mileage, ensure you run on the soft surfaces and not hard or uneven surfaces. For example, running on the tarmac on the road is better than running on the sidewalks. Sidewalk are generally made of cement and hard on your feet, please cracks on the payment can be dangerous. A park or a beach, during low tide when surface is even is advisable.
(The author is a Fitness expert, and a successful Corporator)