What is great about running? You need only good shoes, time, and a mood to move. 40, but also 50 years is a beautiful and adventurous age. Many people like to try new things during this period. And running is one of them!
Running after 40 and its specifics
Regular movement is very important for the proper function of the body and mind. Yes, even after 40! However, it has its specifics. Consider them before your first start:
1) Current health condition
These can be current diagnoses, such as chronic or cardiovascular diseases, arthrosis, or previous injuries to the musculoskeletal system. Being overweight is also a risk because it puts enormous pressure on joints, ligaments, and tendons. If you have ever dealt with or are currently dealing with health problems, consult your general practitioner or physiotherapist about running and if it is suitable for you.
2) Activity at a younger age
If you have been active and sporty during your life, and have a running or exercise history, your return to running shoes will be much easier. But no worries! You can do without it. In that case, start with walks, then short runs at a very easy pace, and above all, listen to your body's signals. The main thing is to want, start and persist!
3) Your inner motivation
First, you have to figure out WHY you want to start running. Do you want to improve your fit condition? Lose weight? Get ready for your first running race? Or be active and spend time in nature? Each WHY means a slightly different approach to running and overall lifestyle. If you want to prepare for a race, you will probably be focused on time, pace and performance. In this case, a sports watch will help you and you will have all the numbers in one place. If you want to run for pleasure or to improve your condition, it's enough to put on running clothes and go on a running adventure!
How to start running in middle age?
Okay, you are determined, you know your WHY, and you have no health problems. Great, time to get started! So how to start to make running joy and in harmony with your health?
- Start slowly but surely - Don't push the start so hard. If you are returning to running after a break, first include easy runs, approx up to 5 km. If you're just starting out and your body isn't used to moving, start with Indian running, where you alternate between running and walking.
- Rest and regenerate - Focus on regeneration as much as on the runs themselves. Make sure you get quality sleep, eat nutritionally rich foods, drink a lot of water, stretch, go for a massage or go for a swim.
- Include strength training - Muscles support the bones and reduce the risk of joint, tendon, and ligament injuries. If your time allows, include strength training at least once a week. You can use dumbbells for it, but you can also use your own body.
- Listen to your body - Probably the most important point. The body is a very intelligent system and is constantly sending you signals. Learn to listen to them. If you're full of energy, put on your sneakers and run. If something hurts you or you are tired, slow down and rest. It's not laziness, but the ability to work with your ego. Thanks to this, you will be able to collect running kilometers without injury for several years to come.
TIP: If you don't want to run alone, join a running group in your area, run with a friend or try the popular Canicross with your dog buddy!
If you feel good during and after the run, you will not be bothered by pain or fatigue, you can slightly increase the distance and time of the run. Also, read our tips from the TOP4TRAINING series - how to run 5 km and 10 km! In the case of a specific training plan, contact a running coach who will teach you the correct running technique and create individual training sessions.
Running and its health benefits
It may sound a bit biased, but we have to say one thing - RUNNING IS JUST AWESOME! It is one of the most natural activities for humans. In addition, it has several health benefits that you will especially appreciate off the running track. What are they like?
- Improving condition
- Better cardiovascular health and strengthening of the heart
- Stronger immunity and defense against bacteria and viruses
- Better sleep and concentration on daily activities
- Greater mental well-being
- An increase in caloric expenditure and a great tool for weight loss
Running after 40 and its risks
The biggest risks of running are injuries, overloading of the musculoskeletal system, or breathing problems. However, this applies to all runners regardless of age. In any case, with increasing age, injuries heal more poorly, take longer, and there are greater possibilities for pain in the joints, tendons, or muscles. Running is also a greater risk for overweight people, due to the already mentioned pressure on the musculoskeletal system and the support system or worse heart activity. If you have any complications, consult them with your doctor.
So what, have you decided to run for the first time? We believe you will love running as much as we do. Equip yourself at Top4Running and enjoy running kilometers to the fullest!