Return to Running

Written by Brett Harrop

Updated:

The ‘Return to Running Program’ as outlined below, is designed to slowly return patients to running following injury. The gradual, progressive approach of this program gives the body an opportunity to continue healing without causing further damage.

Please ensure you carefully read this document fully and discuss the suitability of the program with your physiotherapist or doctor prior to commencing it.

Return to Running

Figure 1 – Return to Running


Who is the Return to Running Program designed for?

The Return to Running Program may be particularly useful for those individuals who have experienced injury aggravation in the past upon resumption of running or weight bearing activity. It is not suitable for all injuries and its implementation should be guided by your physiotherapist. Generally the program is only appropriate for those injuries that have almost fully healed.



Before starting the Return to Running Program

Prior to commencing the program, a gradual increase in walking is indicated provided this does not increase your pain or symptoms. This should be continued until you can walk for at least 30 minutes at a fast pace pain free and limp free. Once this is achieved and your physiotherapist has indicated it is safe to do so, you are ready to begin the 20 minute program as outlined below:


Return to Running Program

Your 20 minute Return to Running Program comprises of four 5 minute blocks. Each 5 minute block comprises of some walking and some light jogging as outlined in the table below:

 Stage

Walk (Mins) 

Light Jog (mins) 

 1

4.5

 0.5

 2

4.5

0.5

 3

 4

1

 4

 4

1

 5

 3.5

 1.5

 6

 3.5

1.5

 7

 3

 2

 8

 3

2

 9

 2.5

2.5

 10

 2.5

2.5

 11

 2

3

 12

 2

3

 13

 1.5

3.5

 14

 1.5

 3.5

 15

 1

4

 16

 1

4

 17

 0.5

4.5

 18

 0.5

4.5

 19

 0

5

Commence the program at stage 1.

During stage 1 of the program you should walk for 4.5 minutes then light jog for 0.5 minutes. Repeat this four times.

Provided you do not experience an increase in pain or symptoms (during the program or afterwards with rest), progress to stage 2, two to three days later. During stage 2 of the program, you should walk for 4.5 minutes and jog for 0.5 minutes. Repeat this four times.

If this does not increase your pain or symptoms, progress to stage 3, two to three days later. During stage 3 of the program, you should walk for 4 minutes then light jog for 1 minute. Repeat this four times.

If this does not increase your pain or symptoms progress to stage 4, two to three days later, and so on.


How often should I perform the Program?

When performing the Return to Running Program there should be a minimum of 1 – 2 days recovery between sessions whereby no additional weight bearing activity is undertaken beyond your normal day to day routine. Therefore you are performing the program 2 – 3 days per week.



When should I progress to the next stage of the Program?

The Return to Running Program should only be progressed to the next stage if the current stage does not cause an increase in your symptoms during or after the session. Generally you can progress to the next stage 2 – 3 days after your last session.


What should I do if I have an increase in symptoms when performing the program?

If at any stage you get an increase in pain or symptoms during one of the walk / jog sessions (or afterwards with rest), slow down or stop. It is recommended that you then have a few recovery days to allow your symptoms to settle and drop your stage back to a level that does not increase your symptoms. Speak to your physiotherapist if you have any problems.


Where should I perform the Program?

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How long will it take to complete the Program?

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When can I return to sport?

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Accelerated Return to Running Program

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Return to Running Summary

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Physiotherapy Products to Assist with Postural ExercisesPhysiotherapy Products

To purchase physiotherapy products to assist with returning to running following injury click on one of the above links or visit the PhysioAdvisor Shop.


Find a Physio Find a Physio

Find a physiotherapist in your local area who can assist with a safe return to jogging and activity following injury.


  

Injury Information

Click on the appropriate link below to view detailed injury information on a range of common running injuries:


More Information  More Information


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