How to run your best in your 40’s and above
When you reach the daunting age of 40 you are going to have to change how you train and run, whether you like it or not. Chances are that your body will tell you in different ways if you choose to be in denial. Here are some tips on how to run your best in your 40's.
At 40 your body already has changed how it absorbs running trauma and how it digests different types of food. Chances are that you may want to change how you eat so that your body has an easier time digesting and using the fuel it needs. Higher protein diets along with carbohydrates, low fat and electrolyte supplements will help your body to maintain energy while not depleting the vitamins and minerals it will need for performance. Drink more water daily to help hydration and to send more oxygen into and throughout your body.
At age 40 it would be wise to eliminate some of the trauma and pronation you push your body to perform by reviewing the shoes you currently use, considering to purchase shoes with more cushion. Since the bone structure changes at 40 this is an important consideration. Wear and tear on the bones, muscles, joints and tissue should be an important consideration.
In addition, older runners should consider running on softer surfaces to eliminate or at least minimize stress on the body and also the constant pounding on a hard surface. Some softer ground considerations may be running on sand (beach), a neighborhood school's soft surface track or on a dirt track. Stay away from running on an asphalt street surface or concrete track or roadway.
Warming up well must become one of the most important prerequisites for daily running. It may be a good idea to take a hot shower or bath, or maybe sit in a hot tub for 10 minutes before doing actual warm up stretching exercises prior to enjoying your daily run.
After running it is equally important to cool down properly, perhaps using ice on certain strained or injured body areas to reduce any inflammation before it turns into a major injury.
When beginning your run, it may be a good idea to start at a slow jog for the first 5 or 10 minutes before you pick up the pace. That way you have allowed your body to warm itself up by doing the actually exercise that it soon will be exerting itself to do. Warming up and cooling down are two of the most important considerations for running, especially at the age of 40 and up.
Boxing heavyweight champion and hall of famer George Foreman was asked, "George, if you could, what would you do differently throughout your career?" Of all the things Foreman could have said he responded, "I would warm up better." So, take the information straight from the champ.
Above all else, as you get older and still want to run or play sports, perform in moderation as the average plane. Sometimes you will decide to put-out more energy and intensity and sometimes you will do less when you feel less, but moderation will allow you to continue your activities well into your 60's and above.
So, to recap:
Eat right for your age (protein, some carbs, less fat) and drink more water daily
Take vitamin and electrolyte supplements
Wear the right cushioned running shoes (which may be different from the ones you used to wear)
Run on softer surfaces to reduce body stress and pronation
Warm up and cool down properly, you need it more after 40
Start your actually running a little slower and build up to the level you want, rather than starting out fast
Plan to be moderate in running and all other activities
Implementing all the above actions will ensure that you will be able to continue to run long after you reach your 40's. Planning to be an intelligent and aware runner is the key to running your best in your 40's.