The Middle-Aged Runner

Many of my contemporaries told me they can’t run, but when I asked them why they can’t, most of them gave no real reasons or medical issues.  They said it was painful or their muscles were too tight.

I felt exactly the same way when I first started running.  Painful, yes.  Some muscles that I never knew existed in my legs cramped up and I thought my lungs were about to burst out from my chest. For me, it was a matter of getting my running education, and once I had some knowledge, I began to love running.  I started running at 43 and at 45 I’ve finished my first marathon.  If I could do it, anyone can!

At 40 plus, we have already overcome challenges and obstacles which produced the attributes and skills needed to equip us for long distance running, such as self-dicipline and patience.  In my observation, older runners tend to be calmer and have a higher pain threshold.

So now have you decided to start running? Here are some words for your safety:

  • Go to your doctor and have a comprehensive medical examination. A go signal from your doctor will give you peace of mind that you’re doing the right thing for your health.
  • Always warm up and cool down.  Dynamic stretching can loosen tight muscles and avoid injuries.
  • Slowly build-up your mileage.  Don’t make abrupt changes in your training plan.
  • Focus on recovery.  You may need more recovery time between workouts.
  • Run-Walk. Read about Jeff Galloway’s Run-Walk-Run method here.
  • Listen to your body. In a race, if you’re having difficulty, slow down or stop.

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