Senior Running: Why it’s Not Just for the Young

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Senior running can get to be a demanding activity.  You would normally think that anyone above their 40’s would have issues trying to keep a constant running pace and a fit physical form. Well, 73-year-old marathon runner Ed Whitlock wants to tell you how wrong you are. He loves running in marathons, just about as much as he loves smashing senior running stereotypes.

Another popular misconception in senior running is thinking that elderly people put their knees at risk when running. Geez, if only I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard this knee theory. Unless you pop a maximum speed sprint without stretching, or you have an active injury, your knees will be just fine.

Water and Sports Drinks, which one is better hydration? Find out here.

 

Benefits for Senior Runners

Unfortunately, the aging process brings with it a large list of unwanted symptoms, possible diseases, muscular tissue reduction, and so on. Luckily for you, there’s this one awesome activity that brings loads of benefits and healthy features to your body, and it’s completely free.

Yup, you guessed it. Running!
Check out these other 10 Reasons Why Running is Awesome.

Running is a sport that will actively reduce many of the boring symptoms that prevent older people from enjoying their regular activities.  It improves the functionality of your joints, muscles, and bones as well as reduces considerable amount of body fat that can be troublesome at late ages. All these symptoms are increased as we age, which is why running has such a positive impact on golden agers.

But it doesn’t stop here; it gets better. By running, you increase your muscular strength and bone density. These two features are a decisive factor in injury prevention and their fragility is increased as we age, making us more susceptible for fissures, fractures and muscular disfunctionalities. A senior person that has no physical activity could suffer important injuries even from a minor accident. However, if you took the smart decision of becoming a runner, your body won’t give up on you so easily.

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Senior Running Communities

Before reading this article, you would probably believe that senior runners have no place in the demanding world of athletes. Well, turns out older runners have earned their place amongst us.

The senior running community is way, way bigger than you probably think. Seniors are some of the most respected runners. They are included in competences with their own category along with prizes and records. Sure, they might not be 25 years old sprinters, but at the end of the day they’re runners, and they’re enjoying it.

However, don’t get me wrong here, it’s not like senior runners are unable sprint. In my personal opinion, seniors are some of the fiercest runners you’ll find out there.  In fact, I’d dare to say the fiercest runner I’ve known of is senior Ida Keeling. At this point you must be wondering who this woman is, and I’ll be more than happy to tell you.

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Record-busting Ida Keeling is nothing less than a 100 year old runner who has no fear of sprinting. During the Penn Relay on March 31 of this year, Ida took senior running to a whole new level by setting a world record in the 100-meter dash of her category (80 years onward) for her performance in 77.33 seconds (1 minute, 17.33 seconds).

This is hands down one of the most respectable running achievements I’ve seen. How many times had you heard of a 100 year old (or rather 100 year young) runner busting a dash world record?

You must be thinking this required a lifetime of preparation, marathon running and dash practice. Well, Keeling had never practiced running until she was 67 years old.

But she didn’t stop there. Instead of catching a breath after busting a world record, she thought it would be a good idea to celebrate by performing a clean set of push-ups. Youngsters, take note.

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Senior Running Plans

Youngsters organize their running plans based on their goals. Some are looking to sprint faster, some are looking to enhance their endurance, and some are just looking to stay healthy through an active sport.

Our fellow senior runners are no less.

They can also organize their own strategy  for running plans to suit their needs. Some are still interested in intensive preparations for marathons, races, and other events. However, some just want to maintain a healthy form during their golden years, and that’s perfectly fine.

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As a senior, you might want to add moderate weight training to your running plan. Getting that extra muscular strength will compensate for deteriorating muscular tissue caused by aging. The intensity is up to you, but keep in mind that our muscles recover at a slower rate as we grow older. Make sure you take some extra rest days and avoid overtraining.

Adding some variety to your aerobic training is definitely something you want to do. Going for a swim or a bicycle ride will maximize the results of your running plan. Another ideal activity to complement your running is yoga.

Senior Running and Yoga

Huh, yoga? That’s right; learn about The Mutually Beneficial Relationship of Running and Yoga

Those who like sticking to a diet have to remember that you don’t need to limit yourself to cut foods or preparing overly special dishes in order to maintain a healthy diet. This applies to all ages in general.

 

 

Conclusion

Running is a sport open to all ages, and there’s no such thing as someone too old to run. Joining a mixed group is a great idea; regardless of our ages, we have one common passion: running.

You’d be surprised of how much seniors can enjoy running , and how much they got to offer to this sport!

“Age brings problems; it also brings solutions. For every disadvantage there is an advantage. For every measurable loss there is an immeasurable gain.”

George Sheehan

Author: Sergio Bettiol

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