Here is an example of a program I use as a starting base for many people returning to running from injury, or after a long holiday or lay off. It is important to note that “recipe programs” are nowhere near as effective (and generally have more risks) than a tailored program, so I rarely give this to one of my clients exactly as it is here – some part of the program is generally adjusted to suit their age, experience, injury, goals, time frames, time off running, current pain levels etc. I strongly suggest if you are returning from injury in particular, that you seek the advice of your physiotherapist to determine how appropriate this guide might be for you.

 Run at whatever pace you feel comfortable.
 Start by going out every second day and don’t progress to the next stage until you feel very easy at the stage that you are completing.
 Stop if pre injury/surgery pain returns

1 minute run 5 min walk (repeat 5 times)
2 min run 5 min walk (repeat 5 times)
3 min run 5 min walk (repeat 5 times)
3 min run 4 min walk (repeat 5 times)
4 min run 4 min walk (repeat 5 times)
5 min run 3 min walk (repeat 5 times)
6 min run 3 min walk (repeat 5 times)
7 run 3 walk ( repeat 5 times)
8 min run 2 min walk (repeat 5 times)
30 min run non stop

Once you have completed a few 30 min runs you may wish to progress to a harder program (as outlined below) or just continue doing what you have achieved. If you are going to progress, consult a physiotherapist or your running coach. During harder programs, I always advise to keep two days of the week aside for rest and recovery. If you like you can do some cross-training (biking, swimming, walking or another sport) on some of your off days

Start your running by going out every second day. You need to get a base for approx 6 weeks to make sure you don’t get any over use injuries.
Run 1: 30 mins
Run 2: 45 mins include some hills
Run 3: 30 mins
Run4: 30 mins then 6 * 100 meters
Run 5: 45 mins
Run 6: 60 mins including fartlek ( 90s, 60 s 45s 30 s &repeat – at approx. 5km running pace)

Rob O’Donnell
SSPC Physiotherapist