How to Get Back to Running After an Injury: A Safe and Effective Return

If you're an avid runner who has recently suffered an injury, you might be eager to lace up your shoes and hit the pavement again.

However, it's crucial to approach your return to running with caution and care to ensure a safe and effective recovery. In this article, we will provide you with practical tips and guidance on how to get back to running after an injury.

7 Deadly Running Training Errors That Many Runners Make & How You Can Avoid Them So You Can Continue Running The Mileage You Want. More 4 Life Physical Therapy, St. Louis MO

Tips To Get Back To Running After An Injury

Listen to your body when resuming running

The first and most important step when returning to running after an injury is to listen to your body.

Pay close attention to any discomfort, pain, or limitations you may experience during your recovery process.

Pushing through pain or disregarding warning signs can lead to further damage and setbacks.

Slowly progress your running mileage

Take it slow and start with low-impact activities like walking or gentle stretching. Gradually increase your intensity and duration as your body allows.

This gradual approach will allow your muscles, joints, and tissues to adapt and strengthen without overexertion.

Seek professional guidance

Consulting with a professional physical therapist is highly recommended when returning to running after an injury.

At More 4 Life, our team of physical therapists are experienced in helping athletes and individuals recover from injuries and get back to their active lifestyles.

During your initial appointment, our physical therapist will evaluate your injury, assess your current condition, and create a personalized recovery plan tailored to your specific needs.

They will guide you through exercises and techniques designed to rebuild strength, mobility, and endurance, all while minimizing the risk of reinjury.

Things To Try To Help Get You Back To Running


Strengthening exercises play a crucial role in your recovery and safe return to running.

Your physical therapist will prescribe exercises that target the affected areas, such as the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that were injured.

These exercises may include gentle stretching, resistance training, and balance exercises.

By gradually increasing the workload on the injured area, you can rebuild strength and stability, reducing the risk of future injuries.

Remember, consistency is key, so be sure to follow your physical therapist's recommendations and perform the exercises regularly.


While you may be eager to resume your running routine, incorporating cross-training activities into your recovery plan can be highly beneficial.

Cross-training involves engaging in different types of exercises and activities to improve overall fitness and prevent overuse injuries.

Consider incorporating low-impact activities like swimming, cycling, or using an elliptical machine.

These activities provide cardiovascular benefits without placing excessive stress on your healing injury.

Cross-training can also help you maintain your fitness level while reducing the risk of re-injury.

Gradual Return to Running

Once your physical therapist gives you the green light, you can gradually reintroduce running into your routine.

Start with short distances at a slow pace, and pay close attention to any pain or discomfort.

If you experience any issues, reduce your running time or intensity and allow yourself more time to recover.

As you progress, gradually increase your running distance and pace, keeping in mind that it may take several weeks or even months to reach your pre-injury levels.

Patience and consistency are key during this phase, as they will help you build a strong foundation and reduce the risk of setbacks.

Stay Consistent with Injury Prevention Strategies

Once you've successfully returned to running after an injury, it's crucial to maintain consistency with injury prevention strategies.

Incorporate stretching and strengthening exercises into your regular routine, and be mindful of proper warm-up and cool-down techniques before and after each run.

Additionally, paying attention to your body's signals is crucial in preventing future injuries. If you experience any pain, discomfort, or unusual sensations during your runs, take a break and seek professional guidance.

Ignoring warning signs can lead to more severe injuries and longer recovery periods.

Request an Appointment at More 4 Life

Our expert physical therapists can guide you through a safe and effective return to running after an injury. Your journey towards recovery starts here! You can contact our office at 314-941-3970 to schedule an appointment.

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