It’s never too late to start running. It’s open to everyone of all ages, all abilities and shapes. But once you hit your 40s or 50s, either you want to drop some sizes or run for fun, it’s not as easy as you expect. In fact, as a middle-aged runner, you may be a little more susceptible to aches, pains and injuries.
As you age, you may notice that your legs, back, hips, and shoulders feel stiffer than when you were younger, especially when you first wake up or have been sitting for a long period of time. Make sure you do a proper warm-up before running, especially if you’re racing or doing a hard workout.
How To Start Running
First of all, follow a good diet, with adequate protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, and fruit and veg to help your body recover and prepare for the next workout. If you are new to running, invest in a pair of proper training shoes, then start slowly and build up gradually, in order to give to your body time to adjust to changes in pace and direction as well as to recover. Too much, too soon will more than likely result in frustration. A mix of running and walking would be ideal. Start with a 5-10-minute walk or easy jog, followed by some dynamic stretching. Regular stretching or doing yoga, especially after runs, can help you become more flexible. Regular runners do this all the time, they call it taking an ‘active rest’ in between higher-paced runs. Just don’t pressure yourself into continuing the run once you get tired. Then set yourself a long-term goal, such as completing your first mile or first 5K race, it will help to keep your motivation high.
How To Stick To Your Running Plan
According to the double Olympic champion, Dame Kelly Holmes, the key to attain a strong body, improve your running performance and getting a winning mindset is the power of persistence.
No matter how many times you are knocked down, you get up again – she says in her new bestseller ‘Running Life’ (Kyle Books), an inspirational and attainable guide packed with wisdom, excercises and healthy recipes-. Even if you should fall a thousand times, you just keep getting up and trying again. There are no quick fixes in life and anything of real worth will necessarily take much struggle and perseverance. Success does not have to be fast. What’s more important is that you simply do your absolute best and remain persistent. I use this analogy in relation to my athletics career when I talk about being knocked down for seven years, because of injury, and standing up in the eighth year to win double Olympic gold.
Enjoy The Fitness Journey
While not everyone has sporting achievements in their sights, you can still acknowledge your own strengths and build your own plan. Running is most fun when shared with others. Join a beginner’s group or try a parkrun will help you not lose your motivation. If you’re looking for a fun, friendly and supportive running team near you, then join over 67000 runners with RunTogether, part of England Athletics and find over 250 beautiful run routes to try across England. Located all over the Country, routes range in distance from 1 – 5km (0.6 – 3 miles) and have been developed together with local partners including the Forestry Commission and the National Trust.
Need some motivation right now?
In 2015, 92-year-old Harriette Thompson ran the San Diego Rock ’n’ Roll Marathon in 7 hours, 24 minutes, and 36 seconds, breaking the record for oldest woman to ever run a marathon.
Eileen Noble, 84-year ‘young’ was the oldest female runner at this year’s Virgin Money London Marathon finishing in an amazing time of 06:28:07. Eileen started running in her 50s and found an immediate passion for her new hobby and has never looked back.
Think about that while you run.