If you’re running Spirt of Survival for the first time and you feel “past your prime” to begin running, we’re here to help you think otherwise. At age 59, 2013 female master road runner of the year, Christine Kennedy, certainly thought otherwise! Kennedy has a long list of running accomplishments such as her 2014 Twin Cities Marathon of 2:59:39, a time many runners half her age only dream of accomplishing. Race training for senior adults is a little bit different, but overall follows the same recommendations as for all runners.
It is never too late to set out to conquer new fitness goals. In fact, you may be in a calmer time of your life where it is easier to concentrate on your health than those early in their careers or raising small children.
You should always discuss running with your doctor to ensure you have no health concerns which could prevent you from running. Most likely, however, you can just smile and prove any naysayers who say it’s too late wrong! Once you have the “ok” from your doctor, here are three tips to keep in mind as you visualize the finish line.
Work within your limits
No one starts out as a master runner. Be careful to not train too hard since as you get older, you are more prone to experiencing overuse injuries. Be sure to stick to a good warm-up and cool-down routine. Implement good safety practices for more mature runners such as a shorter stride and more non-running days per week.
If meeting your goals takes longer than you expected, that’s ok! Make adjustments as needed, and just keep going. It is important to listen to your body and prevent injury which will just cause further set back.
Incorporate balance exercises
Balance also declines as you age. Improving your balance is not only helpful for running, but it’s overall just a good idea to work on as you age as it will help prevent injuries.
Basic yoga is excellent to help improve balance. Another simple exercise you can perform is to alternate standing on one leg for 30 seconds.
Incorporate strength training
Strength training is important for any runners, but it is especially important for older runners. This is because people naturally lose muscle mass as they get older. However, regular strength training can help you slow down the inevitable decline.
Why do you need more muscle strength to run? It helps your muscles to absorb more of the impact while running. This in return eases the stress on your joints.
What are some good exercises to improve your running performance and increase injury resistance? Simple core and leg exercises such as planks, squats, lunges, and push-ups are all good choices.
We wish you all the best as you train. If you need further training tips, please take a look at our other blogs.
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