Running does seem to get harder when you get older, but is this because you train less and have to work harder? However, some runners are able to run longer and faster in the middle years of their lives than they did in their early twenties, all it takes is a bit of intelligence.
Don’t Run as Often
The fact is the older you get the more your body needs to rest more to recover from any exercise. It is recommended that people over forty need three days’ rest a week if they regularly exercise to give muscles and joints a chance to repair. However, although you are not running during these days you can do other types of exercise such as upper body work. Cycling and swimming are both great activities to partake in during rest periods that are low impact on your body.
Try to Vary Your Workload
Try to give you body as much variance in your running regime as possible. Change the times of day you go for runs, this can aid recovery. It also reduces wear and tear on the body as you are not running when you are tired which is the normal reason for injuries. Also, you can break your training runs into more run-walk-run type of affairs which definitely is great for giving your muscles a break and gives you more endurance.
Take on Fluids
It is a fact that the older you get your brain does not work as fast, and this is true with your thirst mechanism. Your body is not as efficient sending out signals to drink and being dehydrated while you are running is not a good thing. Drink often and regularly and always remember to take on fluids before you exercise as this is highly important. On warm days always carry water with you and check the color of your urine as this is an indicator how hydrated your body is.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to what your body is telling you, if you have aches and pains do not just ignore them. Muscle strains and pulls in your early twenties are usually not a big problem, but when you are over forty these small injuries can develop into much larger ones if not attended to properly. Use the RICE (rest, ice, compression and elevation) technique after running on any niggles and injuries. Always remember to warm-down after training to help alleviate possible problems. Remember to act quickly when you feel aches and pains and nip possible trouble in the bud.
Always Start Slowly
If you are considering taking up running after a lengthy break always start your regime slowly. This will help you to avoid any injuries and give your body a chance to acclimatize and grow stronger. It is human nature to throw yourself in with all guns blazing, but should you do this you are risking serious injury. If you follow these tips then there is no reason whatsoever that you cannot run well into your fifties and sixties. Remember to eat well and keep hydrated and look after your body when you feel tired or sore.