Return to run plan.

Return To Run Plan

Return-to-Run Protocol

Created by Caitlin Alexander, PT, DPT, CAFS

The Return-to-Running Protocol should be initiated once given clearance by MD/PT. 

Walk-to-Run Progression

The Walk-to-Run Progression is outlined below in phases. Each phase is ideally completed in a week, however some phases may be prolonged based on your physiological response.

This outline is intended to be general to accommodate varying schedules and recovery timelines. The LEVER unit can be used to supplement 1-2 runs a week for a more gradual build-up. You should follow each run with a 3–5 min walk and mobility/ stretching.


Below is a replicable example of how the Walk-to-Run Progression can be programmed on a daily/weekly basis incorporating the LEVER system. When using LEVER, you can work on the upper end (time-wise) for each phase.

Return-to-Distance Running Progression

The Return-to-Distance Running Progression is primarily for those interested in returning to distance running. It can be initiated once you have successfully completed the above Walk-to-Run Progression.

Again, you may progress slightly faster or slower than the below timeline based on your body’s response. Runs should still be preceded by a dynamic warm-up and followed up with mobility and/or stretching. You are also encouraged to add in non-impact cross training during off days.

 Once goal distance is reached, you can then initiate speed and hill work.

Liability Disclaimer: This plan provides general educational information only and is not medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The provider of this plan is not responsible for any advice or information obtained through this plan. Always consult a physician for medical questions.