In this fast-growing era, you might be so busy with your daily life that you are unable to make time for physical fitness. Even when you get some free time, you either feel lazy to hop out or consider your age to act as a hindrance against your workout routine. It’s true that with age, the body loses its energy and flexibility to some extent. However, if you have the fervor to run, it is never too late. So what if you are 40? Running after 40 is a challenge for sure but if you are up for it, it can pay rich dividends!
Following your passion will help boost your morale, calm your mind, and improve your overall health.
Know more about running and health, read, 8 ways Running Improves Your Health!
As much as you may be looking forward to running the extra miles, remember to follow some smart tips listed below and rest assured, you will have a wonderful experience.
Tips for Running after 40
Improve Body Strength
There is no doubt that aging slowly reduces your overall body strength. Therefore, it is very important to maintain your muscle strength while you take up running after 40 regularly. Make sure you do weight-training exercises of 30 minutes each (one to two sessions) every week and enhance your tenacity and vitality.
Add upper and lower body workouts. Consult a trainer before lifting any weights, else you might invite unwanted body aches and pains.
Livingit Tip – Maintaining the correct posture during workouts is the key; hence seek assistance from a professional trainer to use the right posture during different exercises.
Increase Running Time and Intensity Gradually
You’ll notice that your capacity to take up intense workout tends to decrease with age. This means that unlike before, you must now give yourself more time before increasing the intensity of running. It is best to start off with a few seconds of running and then alternate it with 3 minutes of walking.
Continue this pattern for about 20 to 30 minutes in each session. This will automatically prepare your body to increase the running time in the following days, thereby lowering the risks of injury. Your muscle and body strength will also improve with this gradual transition.
Know more about running injuries, read Running Injuries Every Runner Should Know About!
Know Your Body
Now that you have crossed the threshold of 40, you might tend to equate running with physical ailments. Yes, it’s true that your joints become more susceptible to injuries with age. You must take cues from your body’s actions and reactions.
For instance, when you run, even with the slightest hint of pain in the joints, you should stop immediately. Don’t be hard on yourself. Give your body some time to get used to the routine. Take up lighter exercises such as cycling, swimming, or biking on the days when you’re not running.
To get some more running tips, go through Effective Habits to Become a Consistent Runner!
Livingit Tip – It is a good idea to undergo a medical examination to check your muscle and bone strength, thereby getting assessed for risks from injury.
Take Up Smooth Routes
You definitely do not want to follow your passions at the cost of your health. To avoid straining or hurting your joints and muscles, be flexible with your routine in the initial days, choose a smooth and easy terrain for running, and take breaks at regular intervals.
Change Your Running Goals
While you follow your passion, respect your age as well. Change your training goals keeping your health in mind. Start slowly in order to be able to enjoy running, without exhausting excess energy or causing any kind of injury.
Begin with the following schedule:
- Day 1- 20-minute weight training.
- Day 2- 30 minutes of slow running.
- Day 3- 45 minutes cross-training.
- Day 4- 30 minutes of weight training.
- Day 5- 30 minutes of interval workout.
- Day 6- Rest.
- Day 7- 90-minute jog.
Remember if competing with a 24-year-old in a marathon is not your objective, there is no reason why you should run for hours together at a stretch!
Increase Your Nutrition Intake
Maintaining a nutritious diet and subsequently, a healthy body will certainly help you improve your speed for running after 40. As you age, not only does your overall body strength start to decrease, but your body fat also starts accumulating. Even with a good workout routine, if you continue your usual diet, it won’t be of any help. In order to counteract the increase in body fat, you need to improve the quality of your diet according to your age.
Plan out a healthy diet with high-quality food items including vegetables, nuts, whole grains, fruits, lean meat, fish, dairy, and refined grains as part of your daily meals.
Livingit Tip– Regular consumption of fatty meat or red meat, sweets, and fried foods is a complete no-no if you wish to see yourself as an able runner in near future.
Engage in High-Intensity Workout Once Every Week
With each passing summer, it becomes critical that you include a session of high-intensity workout every week, apart from your regular running routine. It is recommended that you make use of up to 80% of your heart rate when performing high-intensity workouts.
This helps to keep your heart healthy and fit for running and gradually speeding up. To do this, carry out 60 to 90-second intervals of sprinting, with a 5-minute gap of slow jogging.
Keep Your Body Hydrated
Beyond 40, along with other physical changes, your kidneys tend to slow down the process of conserving water when you dehydrate. Your body may not inform you that you’re thirsty as quickly as before. Make sure you carry a bottle of water when you hit the tracks and take water breaks whenever you run a marathon.
Read: Post Marathon Recovery Steps to overcome fatigue!
Focus on Recovery
Till a few years back, when you were enjoying your youth, remember how you would rest well after every workout and spring back to action the very next day? While that remains etched in your mind as a positive memory, let not your overenthusiasm affect you adversely.
In other words, when you fall in the bracket of middle-aged people, keep in mind that your body needs more time to recovery, in order to regain the lost energy and also to prevent any kind of injury.
Livingit Tip – To know if you’ve recovered completely, check your resting pulse every morning as you wake up. Due to workout, if your heart rate is higher than the average, it means you haven’t recovered fully. Do easy exercises and rest till your heart rate goes back to normal.
Kevin Castille from Kentucky, at the age of 41, set a national record of 48:56 for completing 10 miles. He even broke his own record later! With examples of masters like him, it is evident that age is no barrier if you know how to run smart by accepting your body’s changes.
So wait no more! Inculcate the above tips when starting with your routine of running after 40, run smart, and follow your passion like a pro.
Excited to tell us your story of running after 40? Go ahead, we are all ears!
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