1 In running/ running 101

Starting to run (again) and making rookie mistakes

I’m still struggling with my foot a bit but I think I’ve accepted by now that letting this plantar fascia tear heal will be a long-term process.

I’m trying to take one day and one run at a time, rolling a frozen water bottle under my foot after I run and trying not to make too many rookie mistakes when it comes to running again.

The thing is that after long term injury you have your start running not from where you left off but quite a few steps back. Often you have to go back almost right to the beginning.

This means:

1. Don’t run fast as soon as you’re out the door

I’ve been missing the running endorphins so when I first started running a few kms here and there again, I’d sprint off every time.

I should know better.

And I do, but I have seriously itchy feet and I don’t feel like it’s somehow ok to run slowly if you’re only running a short distance. I want to have that feeling of flying fast!

Now the mistake in this is that
a) you’re not warming up properly with slow running so you’re probably jeopardising the healing process and
b) you don’t actually enjoy the run as much in the end because not warming up means the run is more unpleasant than it should be.

2. Don’t believe the first mile! Even if you start slow, it’ll be hard.

I’m remembering now that running is actually hard at first. You have to start slow and you feel that it’s embarrassingly slow, plus you still feel for the first 10 minutes or so that you’re not quite in the flow yet. You feel like you’re bobbing up and down, your legs and arms don’t move naturally and effortlessly yet. Your breathing isn’t naturally in a good rhythm yet.

When you’re a regular runner you tend to forget this. You find your flow quicker and can’t relate to the newbies. Now I can. Running the first mile is hard.

The good news is that after a little while you body will warm up, your movement will become more fluid, your breath will find the rhythm (I still count my breaths though during most of my easy or tempo runs to make sure they’re slowish and controlled. I don’t do it when I’m sprinting intervals, then it’s all guns blazing and I breathe fast).

So the key is to be patient. Take the first mile or two slower than your brain wants to. Nobody is measuring your speed. Your run will be much more enjoyable in the end if you take time to start it.

3. Don’t be tempted to run more than you should

If you’re building up your running mileage, increase your total distance by just 10% a week. If you’re not quite starting from the very beginning, you can build up by more than that but once you reach your ‘normal’ baseline weekly mileage, stay at that for a bit and only increase a tiny bit every week, and do a ‘deload’ week every 3rd or 4th week where you cut back your mileage and intensity a bit.

I’m nowhere near my last year’s weekly mileage of 40-60km a week. I’ve gone from 0 in March to 10km a week in April to 20km a week in June. In July I’m not going to go much over 22-25km a week.

I WANT to run more and my foot absolutely doesn’t hurt while I’m running but it is niggly afterwards so I have to make myself take it easier than I want to.

4. Don’t believe the voice in your head that tells you that you’ll never be a “proper” runner (again)

First of all, there is no such thing as a “proper runner”. Running 10 min at a time makes you a runner.

Take it slow. Don’t rush the process. Scale back if you hurt.


These all the things I’m telling myself at the moment.

My patience with my injury is up and down every day. Some days I just want to scream and go and run 15km. Then I calm myself down and do a nice slow 3km instead. And man – running just 3km is HARD for a #Idontgetoutofbedforlessthan10k runner like me.

But I HAVE to take it slow.

I have to take it slow.
I have to take it slow.
I have to take it slow.
I have to take it slow.
I have to take it slow.
I have to take it slow.
I have to take it slow.
I have to take it slow.


How’s your patience? What’s been your slowest healing injury? Any other tips for me and/or totally new runners?

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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Anna @AnnaTheApple
    June 11, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    As an injury prone runner, I hear ya. Getting back into running afterwards is such a mind **** for me. I want to be running fast, but I can’t and I want to run further but I can’t. You really do have to hold yourself back and be sensible.

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