By Miranda Hanson, Runner Click.
Things to be Cautious About
Whether you’ve never gone for a run or you haven’t run since high school, it’s never too late to start jogging. Not even in your 40s! However, there are things to be cautious about, since your body isn’t as young as it used to be, and maybe you have some chronic pains and injuries from back in the day.
Running in your 40s certainly isn’t impossible, you just have to know how to start and to listen to your body. So, let’s see how you should start this journey of getting back into shape.
No matter the level of your physical condition and your prior running experience, you have to start small. You might feel like you can run for miles, but your body probably thinks otherwise. Even a mile is a long way to go right at the start, so make sure to work up to it.
Some experts even recommend starting really slow, such as running for a minute or 30 seconds at a time. For example, go on a walk for 30 minutes, but split it into 10 segments where you will run for 30 seconds then walk the rest of the time. Then, after you feel comfortable with running for 30 seconds, you can slowly increase the duration of your runs until you reach your goals.
Get the Equipment
You’ve probably seen people in the street running and they’re geared up to their teeth. There is no wonder since there is a lot of great gear for runners, but do you really need all that? From GPS watches to wireless headphones and compression sleeves for arms and legs, there is certainly a lot to choose from, but as a beginner, you don’t have to invest in all that. The most important equipment for you who are starting slow are quality shoes and some great clothes.
Make sure to find really comfortable running shoes that can go for miles. You don’t want to feel constant pain in your feet and create blisters, because that’s only going to demotivate you. Also, get the clothes you feel comfortable in and that can nicely absorb sweat. There are plenty of quality workout clothes for women and men everywhere, just find the design you like.
Then, later, when you start increasing your running duration and miles, you can think about some other fancy gear. But as you’re in your 40s, maybe compression sleeves for your tired legs aren’t such a bad idea.
Be Kind to Your Body
As we get older, our bodies need more time to properly recover. You can’t compare yourself to a 20-year-old who might not even feel the sore muscles or minor strains, but in your 40s, those can be painful and might even lead to serious injuries.
So, the best kindness you can show to your body is to properly warm-up before every run and to leave time for stretching and cool down post-workout. These will help you prevent injuries and keep your muscles fresh and minimize the sores. Also, try not to run on consecutive days. Maybe you can leave a day or two for recovery between each run and your body will be grateful for that.
Check-in With Your Doctor
If you’re generally healthy and you’ve been working out consistently and things are great, then continuing or beginning to run is a great idea. However, if you have some risks of chronic conditions, or if you’re overweight or have been diagnosed with osteoarthritis or any other musculoskeletal injury, you should visit your doctor.
Ask your doctor for advice about running and if it’s generally a good idea to start running depending on the health of your body. You don’t want to push yourself too hard and create even more problems to your body.
Practice Good Form
We all think that running is easy and that you cannot do it wrong. However, if you’ve never gone for a run, chances are that you’re going to have a poor form. Poor running form is bad for anyone, and especially for older runners since it can create damage on your joints, muscles and ligaments.
So, before you start, make sure to learn the proper mechanics of running and practice good form. Generally, your posture should be upright and your chest should be open while running. You mustn’t hunch forward and you want your body to make a straight line from ears through shoulders, hips and knees all the way to your ankles. Also, avoid running on your heels, since that can really damage your ligaments and knees and keep running on your toes or generally the front part of your foot.
Everyone is welcome to start running in order to improve their health and fitness. However, with different age comes different rules and precautions, so make sure to follow these tips and be careful. Running in your 40s brings many benefits, but you have to be kind to your body in order to avoid some painful injuries that could put an end to your workouts.