A blog by runners. For runners.

Tips to safely transition from winter to spring running

While some of you may still be digging out from the latest winter storm, spring is right around the corner (we promise!). And as the snow melts and the sidewalk becomes visible again, you may get the itch to just run, run, and run some more.

However, if you (like many of us) spent the winter on the treadmill, cut back on your mileage, or skipped workouts all together, it may feel like you're starting from scratch — or close to it. If you're not careful, you could end up injured early on in the season.

It is important to prepare for a new training season with patience and respect for the body. Here are some tips for making the safe return to running full-time and transitioning into a new training season:

  • Purchase new running shoes. A new training season is the perfect time to get fitted for the right pair of running shoes. Find a local running store with trained professionals so that you can find the correct fit for your feet and start the training season off right.
  • Start a training log. Whether you go old school with paper and pen or use our Walk Jog Run app, start keeping track of your workouts. Logging how much you exercise and how many miles you complete is a great way to monitor your progress and ensure you're not adding too much t0o soon. To prevent injury, you should only increase your total mileage by about 10 percent each week.
  • Find a workout buddy. Exercising with someone else keeps you motivated and accountable for your workouts. An exercise partner is a great way to stay on track and prevent exercising too aggressively.
  • Workout on level terrain. Choose exercise routes that are mostly flat. Hills and inclines can stress ligaments and tendons of the body. It is best to start up again with familiar routes that have little elevation change.
  • Practice interval training. If you have had a long period of inactivity, add intervals of walking/jogging/running. Intervals are a great way to challenge your cardiovascular system but, also give your muscular and skeletal system time to catch up.

Give yourself time to get back into shape slowly and safely. Also make sure to hydrate, eat healthy, and enjoy yourself. Building a base of healthy habits will enhance your performance during the next training season.

Happy running!

Written by Danielle Bressoud. Danielle is a licensed physical therapist, and running addict living in Massachusetts with her husband and son.