Exercise: Returning to Running


Exercise: Slow Return to Running

If you have not figured it out yet, I am in the US Military.  The military is very interested in readiness and part of readiness is being able to run from incoming fire.  I can run if you chase me with a baseball bat.  In fact, I am pretty sure I can run faster than I have in a long time if you give me that incentive to run.  For years, I have been on a limited duty profit that limits my PT test to walking.  

Why do I have this limitation?  

In 2005-2006, I stepped in a hole while walking to the chow hall (dining facility) and I fractured or broke my left ankle.  There were three fragments.  Being that I am the classic hard-headed male, I decided to lace my boots up and continue to fight the pain for the remaining 10 months of deployment.  On my return, I had my ankle fully evaluated and found that I not only had a 3 fragment feature of the ankle, but I also had a osteochondral defect (cartilage defect).  What does that mean?  I had bone rubbing on bone with no cushion.  This resulted in a surgical repair of the ankle a reconstruction of the lateral ligaments and micro fractures of the Talar dome (an ankle bone) to provide protection from arthritis.  

I am 8 years out from that surgery.  I am doing very well, but I had never returned to running.  Well, that all changed today.  

I ran today for the first time in 8 years.  It was not a fantastic run and it was not fast.  I ran 2 miles in 22 minutes for a run to remember the fallen Soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan.   This pace is 1 minute 30 seconds off from a passing PT test, but to be honest with you, that is a miracle.   I am in very good shape to be able to run this from scratch at that pace.  I am confident after today that I will be able to return to my prior glory.  I have never been a runner, but I did at least show up and run for several 10 mile runs and complete them.  



Consider this before you try to start running:

Run to walk program:  

So what do I plan to do?  I plant to start slower after today.  I am absolutely certain that tomorrow I am going to pray that our maker will have mercy on my aching bones, but I will push forward and try this walk to run protocol listed below.  

Walk-to-Run Schedule

Walk-to-Run Schedule

I hope you found this entertaining and helpful.  Let me know if you find a better walk-to-run scheduled.  I really hope to help others improve their waistline and fitness level.  

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About the Author

I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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