How do I mentally train myself to start running slow?

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    How do I mentally train myself to start running slow?

    Let me share a little bit background information first:
    Until about 4-5 months ago I was a runner, having successfully managed to run 13km/h and being able to maintain forever (well, almost!) Then lockdown kicked in and all track fields were closed... I had never ran on the street before, and without my trainer's instructions I hardly do anything...
    After 1-2 months of only indoor cardio/weights (I mastered jumping rope BTW, thank you very much) I HAD to run..! And I did... And bone fracture happened... I don't know if it was from running starting from where I left it, or because I ran on an unknown surface, or my shoes were to blame, or whatever, it just happened... But I kept on working out (not running) because.. you know... some of us never really listen to our bodies... And it got worse
    And after two x-rays and a few doctor appointments, I stopped and started swimming and when not possible, spinning (by that time, gyms had reopened), up until now...
    So after all this time, my foot is 98% healed (no pain, unless I walk for work or mandatory chores and for a prolonged period of time...) and I am thinking of starting walking (workout wise now). But I have two problems:

    1) I have trouble taking it easy (some of you might get what I'm saying)
    2) I have that fear that this will happen again and this time, it will be FOR GOOD
    So, how do I train myself to not complain when I take it easy and how can I determine if I am ready to be "reinstated" or if I need some extra time (I mean some sort of physical walking/running test only for my foot, as I know muscle memory takes some time to kick in)

    Thanks for your help and sorry for the long post (I would post a potato, but it has a lot of carbs, so here is a broccoli stem..!🥦

    #2
    Hm, if you have a really unfit friend, consider trying to get them to run.

    Last year my husband and I went running a bit and he is also someone who tends to overdo it. But because he had to match my pace while I was with him he had to go slow, much slower than he'd normally go. So he automatically had a sensible running warm-up which made his following solo-runs much better and safer.

    You can also try following "From Walking to Running", which will give you set times.

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      #3
      Hey there, I had the same problem probably a year ago. I could not take it slow and injured myself a couple of times...
      I dont know some mental advise, to train yourself to run slow, but i can say at least that your fear that it will happen again is understandable

      This is what helped me last year:
      Maybe you can start to slowly go walking for a bit (and try to listen to your body, e.g. when your foot hurts, then slow down ) and in addition to that do a demanding workout, wich not strains your foot at all. After a slow walk and an exhausting workout your body is tired and at least you can not complain that you have taken it easy at all. At the same time you trained your foot. After some time you can start to do more with your foot and less other physical training, to balance the two out.

      Hope this helps you somehow

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        #4
        Noen I have thought of that as well! I have a friend who is not unfit, just never does cardio, only weights (blehhh!!!) So, I think I can persuade him to try walking and in the mid term, jogging...

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          #5
          KayraKeona I suppose I could do that on the treadmill with a backpack and at a comfortable incline, just to make my walking a little bit more challenging? Given that injury was/is at the ball of my foot, between metatarsals and phalanges and I use an orthopedic sock designed to take pressure from the point...

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            #6
            GiorgosD yes i think that the additional weight can help to make the walking more challenging...

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              #7
              You could also try training by heart rate (something like MAF method or 80/20 training). I had some injuries at the start of the year, and decided to try only running in a low heart rate zone for a few months. It involved a lot of walking at the start, but it taught me how to run at an easy pace.

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                #8
                I broke my foot running a couple years back and it healed up nicely and is stronger than ever. For the slow running part if you have a fitness watch or don't mind carrying your phone you can set a certain pace to stay under and have the watch/phone yell at you every time you go too fast (I did this with my Garmin when distance training). Or like Silent Wolf suggested use a heart rate to run by (if you use 130 you have to run pretty dang slow)

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