We've all been there. An injury has sidelined us for days, weeks or even months but now it's time to come back to work. To be honest, it can be rough at first. However if you follow a few simple rules, you should be back to your old self in no time.
Of course you know you can't pick up right where you left off and expect to be successful. If you have been cross-training during your lay-off, good for you. Simply substitute a short, easy run two or three times a week. If you haven't been cross-training, take your previous weekly mileage and cut it into half. Then, split that up into three or four runs in a week.
Build Up Gradually
Once you are comfortable with that level of running, you can slowly up your mileage. A good rule of thumb is to increase your mileage by no more than 10% each week. Pay attention to your body! If something feels off again, stop. A little walking during a workout or skipping one all together because you are hurting isn't going to kill you. Taking the time to progressively increase the time and/or distance you run will help you remain injury-free.
Remaining positive frequently is the hardest part of recovery. You can't run as fast, as far or with as much ease as you did previously ... for a while, anyway. But here's the thing, negativity won't help you heal. Be gentle with yourself. Celebrate small achievements. Try some new things to increase your strength, stamina and overall enjoyment.
The bottom line is running is supposed to be fun. Make it so. When an injury forces you to take a time-out, don't let the comeback suck the wind out of your sails. Be patient, be forgiving, be aware. It really will all work out in due time.