40, while a dreaded age for some doesn’t need to feel this way – in fact, it’s a brilliant age to make a positive change, not only to your mindset but also to your health fitness and well-being.
Running is a great way to get fit, lose weight, and get those feel-good endorphins surging around your body – making you feel great about yourself!
Here are eight key points that you must know before you start running. Good luck!
#1 Start Slow & Build Up Your Runs Over Time
There’s no point in trying to run a marathon at the beginning! While we know that you wouldn’t try this anyway, it’s incredible how many people throw themselves in the deep end. To begin with, start slow.
Even just doing a 5-minute jog 3x per week could be an excellent place to start. Then after one week, go for a 6-8 minute jog and slowly build up over time. There are lots of running apps you can download, such as the couch to 5k app, which is highly rated.
#2 Wear Suitable Running Shoes To Prevent Injury
If you want to avoid knee pain, muscular damage, and general wear and tear of your joints, then you must invest in a good quality pair of running shoes. Especially when you reach 40 years old and above, it’s super important to protect your feet, knees, hips, and shoulders.
If you get, injured your recovery is often likely to take longer compared to being in your youth. There are lots of running shoes to choose from. You might like to visit this place for better running shoes and to read reviews on the best shoes to suit your needs. Do your research before buying – it will be worth it!
#3 Warm Up Before Running – take care of your joints!
Warm-ups are crucial, and without a proper warm-up, you are increasing your risk of injury and long term damage. An effective running warm-up could look like this:
- 2 minutes of light jogging on the spot
- 5 minutes of foam rolling exercises – to loosen off tight muscles in the thighs and back
- 3 minutes worth of mobility work
In just 10 minutes, you can get a great warm-up that will not only prevent injury BUT also improve your running performance! This type of warm-up will also protect you from overuse injuries like Patellofemoral overuse syndrome, Rotator cuff tear, or Hamstring strain. Study some more from the above link about the possible problems you are susceptible to, especially when you hit 40 years old and above.
#4 Stay Hydrated To Run For Longer & Recover Quicker
Just a slight dip in hydration will see your running performance suffer. If you are over the age of 40 and want to build up your running capacity, you are going to have to drink more water.
Most people over 40 don’t drink enough water, and when all you consume are drinks such as tea, coffee, and fizzy drinks, they more often than not lead to further dehydration! Dehydration leads to headaches and negatively impacts performance and the ability to recover in between runs.
Aim to drink at least 2 liters of water per day, if you can 3-4 liters. If you struggle to drink this much water, aim to slowly build-up. You could also opt for low-calorie juices.
#5 Drink Electrolytes To Improve Your Running Performance
The more you run and the further distance you travel, the more likely you are to lose salt from your body. Water will hydrate you well, but electrolytes will do an even better job. We’d recommend taking a dissolvable electrolyte tablet 30 minutes before your run. You could also buy a Lucozade sport to help you run for longer.
#6 Get A Running Partner
Sometimes it can be easy to lose motivation. For example, it’s raining outside as this blog post is being written. It’s also dark, gloomy, and cold. I would not want to run right now!
There are also going to be days when you feel tired, run-down, and life gets in the way. So one thing we recommend at LEP Fitness is for you to partner up with a friend, or your husband, wife, family member, etc. Get them in on the action!
You could also go running with work colleagues on your lunch break – most corporations have running clubs – why don’t you get involved? You’ll be more likely to turn up, and the other person/people will hold you accountable. It’s also more socialble which can be extra appealing.
#7 Hire A Running Coach or Personal Trainer
If you want to get good at running, why not hire a running coach? Somebody who can teach you how to run efficiently.
A good running coach will weigh up your height, limb length, weight, body shape, muscle mass, etc. They will be able to give you useful pointers that will improve your running technique, confidence (you’ll run like a pro!) and also prevent injury.
You could also hire a personal trainer to help you work on muscle groups to improve your running. For example, most people over 40 have weak glutes and suffer from lower back pain (neither of which are ideal for runners!).
A good personal trainer will put together a program for you that helps you strengthen these muscle groups. For example here are some useful glute activation drills that you can try just before you go on your next run:
Aim for 20 reps of each exercise. These exercises will warm up your glutes and improve your running performance. LEP Fitness has used these drills with marathon runners, and everyday runners, all of whom have benefitted!
#8 Be Consistent – Run At Least 3x Per Week
Rome wasn’t built in a day and all that jazz! Running for one-week isn’t going to make much difference, however running for the next three months will! Who knows, you may be doing regular 5k runs!
We’ve had clients over the age of 40 who are running 10k 3-5x per week, after working with us for 12-24 weeks. It can be done! You do have to practice, and we believe that you should aim to run at least 3x per week to see progress. You also need to commit to this for at least 90 days.