Running is such a great way to stay in shape and stay healthy. More and more people are continuing (or even starting) their running after the age of 40. You hear of many runners who are running marathons in their 60′s, 70′s, 80′s beyond. However, after you reach your 40′s, you need to do your training a little differently to stay out on the roads.
Our muscle fibers decrease in size and number as we get older – usually after the age of 40. It doesn’t affect all runners the same. It depends on many things such as heredity, how active you’ve been all your life, etc. So, as we age, we need to train smarter, not harder.
When you start running – or start increasing your training, no matter what age you are, you need to do it slowly. It is even more important as you mature. Many first time runners should start with a run/walk program until they are able to run continuously. This will help you to build your endurance safely and to help keep you from getting injured.
After a long run or a hard workout, you need to take a rest/recovery day. This can be a complete day off or just a shorter, easy run. When we get above 40, sometimes we need to take an extra recovery day. And, that’s alright. Listen to your body. If you get up a couple of days after your hard run and still feel sluggish – take another day to rest. You may, however, want to start out and see how you feel after a ½ mile or so. Sometimes, you just need to get the kinks worked out.
Doing some strength training a couple of times a week will help you keep strong as you run after 40. Lifting light weights two times a week will help keep your muscles strong and keep you running well. You need to make sure that you are doing upper and lower body workouts.
Staying hydrated is important all age ages, but even more so as we get older. In some runners, what makes us feel thirsty isn’t as active as it is when we’re younger – so we may not feel like we need water when we do. Just remember to watch your urine. It should be clear or a pale yellow in color. If it’s dark, you’re not getting enough water.
Many runners are staying runners for life – I know that I plan on it. We just need to make sure that we are running smarter and taking care of ourselves so that we can.
No matter how old we are, we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves so we can keep on running. Visit Running Tips for other tips for staying out on the roads.
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