How To Get Into Running After 50!
If you are staring at turning 50 right down the road, you may be contemplating making some lifestyle changes. Whether you have put on a few pounds or just started to be more sedentary than you had been, you always have an opportunity to make changes to bring yourself to a healthier you.
A lot of you asked us about running over 50, so we decided to share our thoughts on it.
Is Running Good For People Over 50?
If you have never been a runner, you might think that starting to run at 50 is scary. We get it. Anything new can be a little intimidating. However, it does not have to be. As you age, you should be cognizant of the fact that easing into things is important.
Don’t think about jumping right into a workout regiment without putting some thought into it.
Starting Over Considerations
✓ Talk to your doctor! Before jumping into a workout regiment, it is always advisable to talk to your doctor. Just make sure things are in good working order before getting started.
✓ Start slow and easy. If you are thinking of running for your new form of exercise, ask yourself if you can walk briskly for 30 minutes or more. If you cannot, start there.
✓ Flexibility and mobility matter! Don’t fall victim to the stretching of our youth. As you work to increase your mobility, consider yoga and dynamic stretching to increase your range of motion.
✓ Don’t forget strength! Sure, once upon a time we all worried about how much we could lift. It’s never too late to increase how much you can lift; however, as you age, you sure don’t have to focus on that. There are absolutely benefits of light lifting and cardio weights such as circuits.
✓ Remember you can’t out-exercise what you put on your plate! A common error people make is to start their day with a great workout and then overindulge. As you work to start a fitness routine, think about diet.
✓ Fuel is important. Within 30-60 minutes of your workout, you should get in a protein and a carbohydrate. Make sure you are taking in good calories, not junk! Especially as we age and those pounds tend to creep up.
Running Is Not Just Great Cardio
When you are engaging in a cardiovascular workout, you are improving your heart health. According to the American Heart Association, you should work to get at least 30 minutes of purposeful movement each day.
Running is also great because it is an impact exercise. Impact exercises are important, especially for women, to prevent osteoporosis. Building strong bones is always important, but even more so as we age!
Also, an exercise that tones and builds muscles, running is good for those reasons.
How To Start Running At 50
If you want to start running at 50 or even after, it does not have to be scary or painful. After you have clearance to start working out, it’s pretty easy to come up with a plan.
As stated before, start by walking. If your goal is a 5K, consider walking briskly for 30-45 minutes to start off. Once you can do this three to five times easily and feel comfortable doing so, consider adding some jogging intervals.
Sure, some people just set out to jog and go until they can’t jog anymore, but that often leaves the athlete feeling dejected and like a failure. If you tell yourself you’re going to run for 20 minutes and you can’t manage it and have to walk, it feels like a failure. However, if you decide you are going to walk one minute and then jog one minute the walking is not a failure; rather, it is your workout plan!
Some of the most helpful newbie runner plans out there use intervals to get you acclimated, such as the famous Couch to 5K program. Heck, thousands of athletes use the Galloway method indefinitely for their runs.
What is the Galloway method? It is where you run and walk in intervals at set, prescribed intervals. Everyone has their own sweet spot that works best for them.
If your goal is to run the entire distance, you should ease your way into things. For example, if you start out with a minute walking for every minute running, next time try 2:00 run by 1:00 walk. It is not advisable to increase your run intervals too quickly. Many coaches will tell you to do that set interval for the same amount of time and/or distance for 2-4 workouts before you move to a more challenging interval.
As you consider running over 50 or running after 60 years old, there are people out there who will tell you that jogging is bad for you.
Is Jogging Bad For 50-Year-Olds?
That is kind of a loaded question. I don’t think that jogging is “bad” for anyone in good health. If you have bad knees or heart problems and your physician has warned you that jogging is not something you should do, your doctor could be right. However, be warned that some people think jogging is just bad and will “wreck your knees.”
Honestly, think about how crazy that sounds. There are runners across the globe of all shapes and sizes. If running wrecked your knees there would be people in sweatsuits gimping around all over the place.
Just remember that as you age you may need to slow down a little. If the effort starts to feel harder, just ease up a little.
Can I Run A Marathon At 50?
Do you want to run a marathon? If you do the answer is yes. Big dreams equal big goals. However, big goals like this require a big-time commitment. Just something important to remember before you click “register” for a marathon.
Believe it or not, some people never toe the line for a race before registering for the 26.2. Personally, I think that most people would benefit from racing a half marathon before biting off the full, but that is really a personal preference.
Just Start Moving
If you have read this far you must really be serious about starting to run as you flip into the second half of your life. Guess what? You are in great company. There are many runners over 50!
Truly, the best thing you can do if you really are invested in this idea is to buy yourself some quality running shoes and just start moving. You deserve this “me time.” Your body will thank you for it!