What part of a hard workout do people like when they just started running? The finishing part, because they don't have to do it. That's definitely not how I would want to start up my running after a break. It doesn't matter if you're a beginning runner or you've been running a long time. When you treat running like work, you're not going to enjoy it... and you might head back and not start running.
Let me tell you a story about how I began running. In middle school, I was pretty in shape, but not too great. I had the usual burst of energy, but I couldn't run long distance worth anything. Every year, in the fall, we would have a race called 'the fun run' where we would run a 1.8 mile course, and see who was the fastest in the school, and where we stood. I was in the middle of the crowd. I ran fast at the beginning, but didn't know how to pace myself... and towards the end I was barely going forward. It would be funny if the story ended there, but it didn't. The next year, in 7th grade, I joined Cross Country and decided I was going to get faster because I was pretty slow. We ran a lot, but for some odd reason, we just ran nice and easily. Of course, some of us just ran fast because we wanted to be fast, but we didn't really push ourselves til we dropped. We still had quite a lot of energy left, and I would come back the next practice day, ready to run again.
When you start running, enjoy it, don't let it be work. It doesn't matter what you do, when it's work... it's no longer a fun thing. It becomes a mission, not a passion. Two letters really do make a difference in the meaning of the words. Mission is duty while Passion is from the heart. You do it because you want to, not because you 'have' to.
Yesterday, after playing an hour of wallyball, I decided that I would just chill and run for about an hour as I waited for a friend to get off work. I went out and ran around, sometimes hard up a hill, and other times just whatever pace I felt like going... just enjoying the run itself. Sometimes I listened to music, sometimes I was talking on the phone or texting... it wasn't like I was racing, it was more of me just 'chilling' as I ran. It was rather relaxing, and I enjoyed running that 8.05 miles in 1:02:39, an average of 7:47 min/mile. Looking back, it amazes me that a week before, I had a problem running 3 miles, but now, with a wrapped knee, I could handle a decent 8 miler at a good pace. The human body is amazing, and when you're just having fun and enjoying yourself, your body adapts to it so well.