Are you too old to start running? The answer is no. It’s never too late to take up running.
Many things are possible if you really want them. Age is mainly a matter of mindset and well-being. There are 30-year-olds who feel like they are already too old for everything, whereas there are 70-year-olds bursting with energy as if they were 40 years younger. Whether running at age 50 or 70, all you need is a dedicated training plan and mindset to take the first step towards a healthy and active lifestyle.
Running keeps you young
We’ve all heard of the harmful side effects of having a sedentary life, not moving enough throughout the day because of our jobs, lack of motivation, or age. But let’s talk about the benefits of staying active and running for older adults.
A long-term study has shown that staying active, in this case by running, can reduce disability and mortality rates, especially in older runners.(1) By running at least 30 minutes three times per week, runners over 50 were found to have a comparable metabolic cost to young people in their 20s. Metabolic cost is the amount of energy a person needs to move, and this level naturally rises with age.(2)
It is never too late to start running, and there is no reason that older runners can’t exercise just like their younger counterparts, provided that they keep these five tips in mind when getting active again.
Basically, there is no reason that older runners can’t exercise just like their younger counterparts, provided that they keep a few basic principles in mind.
Before starting up your training, make sure to have a physician give you a check-up and clear you to do sports again.
5 Tips For OLDER RUNNERS
Tip #1 – Get plenty of rest
As you age, your metabolism slows down, and your body takes longer to renew and regenerate cells. This is why it’s important to give your body sufficient time to recover after every training session. When you start exercising again after a long gap, you need to slowly increase the volume and intensity of your training to give your body time to adapt to the new demands.
Tip #2 – Alternate your workouts
A great way for older runners to start running again is to alternate between walking and running. Regular endurance training not only increases your level of fitness and well-being, but it also prevents cardiovascular diseases like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Alternating your fitness activities can help you reach your goals faster, as exercising to the point of exhaustion can be counterproductive. However, you can still work in some high-intensity sessions into your training. It is also a good idea as an older runner to see a physician or an expert to determine your optimal heart rate training zones.
Tip #3 – Work on your strength and flexibility
Muscle mass and flexibility naturally decrease with age, which is why it’s so important to incorporate strength training and stretching into your fitness routine. Maintaining strength and flexibility for runners over 65 can help improve posture, decrease the risk of injury, and improve overall running performance.
Studies have shown that it is possible to slow age-related losses in performance through targeted strength training. In fact, there is evidence suggesting that muscle growth and strength gains of up to 100% are possible even at an advanced age.(3)
This is why you should incorporate strength and stability exercises into your training on a regular basis. Exercises with your own body weight are perfect for this because they require a high degree of coordination and stabilization. These moves can also help improve your running technique and agility.
Tip #4 – Strengthen your bones
Pushing and pulling are the two best ways to fight bone and mineral loss. Running regularly and static strength exercises are great for increasing bone mineral density (BMD). This improves the overall stability of your bones and prevents bone mass loss and osteoporosis.
Another way to help strengthen your bones is by eating calcium-rich foods. Milk, cheese, and other dairy products are loaded with calcium, so start your day with a serving of your favorite yogurt. Some alternative foods also high in calcium are nuts, tofu, and broccoli. Be sure to add some of these to your next meal.
Tip #5 – Get the right nutrition
As you get older, your metabolism slows down, and your basal metabolic rate decreases. This means your body requires fewer calories. This, together with too little exercise, is the main reason why people put on weight with age. Therefore, be mindful of serving sizes and the number of calories you consume, and eat a balanced and healthy diet.
Be sure to include lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, as well as low-fat dairy products or milk alternatives in your diet.
Ready to start running again? Taking up running is possible at any age. Although older runners may not be able to perform as well as their younger counterparts, runners over 50 can reap many of the same benefits.
Start your training slowly and gradually increase the intensity as your body gets used to running again. Use the adidas Running app to set your training goals. It is recommended for runners over 50 to train three times a week for 30 minutes. Try this as one of your running goals.
No matter your fitness goals, remember that the important thing is to get active and keep moving as you age!
How do you start running for older people? ›
A beginning running program for seniors and novices alike may entail walking for two minutes then jogging for another two. As strength builds, increase running intervals and shorten periods of walking. Also start at a slow-to-moderate pace, or a pace in which a conversation can be held.How do you start running when you're over 50? ›
Start out by running for 20-30 seconds at a time and walk until you catch your breath again. Each week, increase the amount of time you spend running and decrease the time you spend walking. Consider strength training. A great way to complement running is to do strength training on alternating days.How to start running at age 60? ›
- Get Proper Running Shoes. Instead of attempting to run in your sneakers or even worse, slippers, invest in a pair of proper running shoes. ...
- Enroll a Friend. ...
- Plan Your Route. ...
- Try the Walking/Running Strategy. ...
- Follow a Running Program. ...
- Keep Fit and Active at Rittenhouse Village At Muhlenberg.
Get a check up with your doctor before you start training and explain your plan. Take months to prepare rather than weeks. Take a lot more rest and recvoery time than younger runners. Consider a run/walk training program.Why is it hard to run when you get older? ›
As we get older, we lose muscle strength and aerobic capacity and we need more recovery time. So we usually can't train and race at the same level.How do seniors start exercising? ›
- Begin your exercise program slowly with low-intensity exercises.
- Warm up before exercising and cool down afterward.
- Pay attention to your surroundings when exercising outdoors.
- Drink water before, during, and after your workout session, even if you don't feel thirsty.
No matter what your age is, running can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. Running is a great exercise to improve your cardiovascular system, and staying in good shape and moving your body is especially important as you grow older.Can you start running at age 65? ›
Approximately 10% of Americans over the age of 65 runs. You don't need to be a competitive runner to reap the benefits of running, just getting out and hitting the pavement (or treadmill) 60-150 minutes a week at any speed is enough to keep you healthier and your body functioning better.How fast should a 70 year old run? ›
|Age Group: Male||Beginner||Advanced|
The 55-65 age group does better with no more than three days a week. But if you're in these age brackets and aren't experiencing problems, you can run the number of days that work for you. It's best for all runners to take a day off from running, the day before a long run, a race, or a speed workout.
How do I build endurance at 60? ›
Increase Energy by Exercising
Exercises that combine breath and movement, such as yoga or tai chi, are solid choices. Other exercises that will enhance endurance and energy for older adults include the following: Swimming. Walking or jogging.
Taking up running is possible at any age. Although older runners may not be able to perform as well as their younger counterparts, runners over 50 can reap many of the same benefits. Start your training slowly and gradually increase the intensity as your body gets used to running again.What age is a senior runner? ›
There is a long history of people, many would call senior runners, continuing to run or starting to run through their 60s and into their 70s. Some have been life-long runners.How do older runners run faster? ›
Functional training, weight lifting and other forms of core stabilization, will help you to speed up your running. Since runners need to have a lot of flexibility in their upper and lower body, exercises that elongate the muscles are excellent to stay ahead of the pack.How can I run faster at 65? ›
To lengthen your stride, stretch after every run, concentrating on your hamstrings, calves and lower back. In addition, try throwing some 10-15-second pickups (bursts of faster running) into your regular runs to stretch out your muscles. It's also increasingly important to pay attention to strength training.How can I run for age without getting tired? ›
Don't start running at too high a speed, but start at a slow pace, increasing it little by little; Go to the toilet before running; Each week should try to increase your running level, shorten the time to run a fixed distance or lengthen the distance; Don't put a lot of pressure on running; Do not run too hard when the ...At what age should I stop running? ›
O'Keefe says there is no definite age cutoff at which running is no longer good for you, but curbing it with age may be a good idea. “Many people find that their joints feel better if they do brisk walking rather than running after age 45 or 50,” he says.What is the most important exercise for seniors to master? ›
Seniors in particular seem to have trouble squatting well because the aches and pains from living life, can inhibit proper movement. While there are many exercises that I would say are important to do well, the squat is the most important exercise for seniors to master.What is the number one exercise for seniors? ›
A PLOS One study found that walking 10,000 steps lowered the ten-year outlook for mortality by 46%. Walking promotes a healthy lifestyle, while strengthening muscles, lowering your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer. Ideas for walking exercises for seniors: Find a moderate trail through a park.How do I start exercising after years of inactivity? ›
If you have been inactive for a long time, start with short sessions (10 to 15 minutes). Add five minutes to each session, increasing every two to four weeks. Gradually build up to being active at least 30 minutes a day for most days of the week. Drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after exercise.
How does an overweight person start running? ›
To avoid injury and to enjoy the running experience, it is essential to start running slowly. Gradually increase the speed and distance through several runs. Start walking for a period that feels comfortable. Consistency is the key, so try to run a little every day.How do I start running if I hate running? ›
- Start by walking or brisk walking on the treadmill or outside. Aim for 20- to 30-minute workouts.
- Add intervals of running during your daily walks. ...
- Increase your running time gradually or decrease your walking time.
- Hydrate and nourish your body by drinking enough water and eating balanced meals.
The best way to breathe while running is to inhale and exhale using both your nose and mouth combined. Breathing through both the mouth and the nose will keep your breathing steady and engage your diaphragm for maximum oxygen intake. It also allows you to expel carbon dioxide quickly.Is walking or running better for seniors? ›
Walking is one of the most popular ways for older adults to remain active, being a safe, low-impact activity. However, swapping your walk for a jog can have major benefits, including a healthier weight.How to start running at 68? ›
Try the Walk/Run Approach
Warm up with a brisk 5-minute walk, then run at a moderate pace for 2 to 3 minutes. Recover with a fast-paced walk for the next 2 to 3 minutes. Repeat the pattern for 25 to 35 minutes. Cool down with a 5-minute walk.
1 It is well known that more and more elderly people older than 75 years are able to run marathons. 2–4 In case reports5–7 and analyses from marathon races3,8 or World Championships,9 it has been reported that athletes of over 80 years or even over 90 years are able to finish a marathon.Can you run after age 60? ›
It's been made clear: you don't need to stop running at a certain age because someone told you it's “bad for your joints.” The health benefits and thrill of racing are still entirely attainable and don't discriminate based on age or athletic caliber.What is a good mile time by age? ›
Average mile times by age and gender.
A noncompetitive, relatively in-shape runner usually completes one mile in about 9 to 10 minutes, on average. If you're new to running, you might run one mile in closer to 12 to 15 minutes as you build up endurance. Elite marathon runners average a mile in around 4 to 5 minutes.Does running become easier? ›
With that said, most new runners can expect running to feel easier after about three months or once they have built up to 30 minutes of continuous running.
How often should a 70 year old run? ›
Adults aged 65 and older need: At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running. At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.How much should a beginner run? ›
Beginning runners should start with two to four runs per week at about 20 to 30 minutes (or roughly 2 to 4 miles) per run. You may have heard of the 10 Percent Rule, but a better way to increase your mileage is to run more every second week. This will help your body adapt to your new hobby so you don't get hurt.How long does it take for running to get easier? ›
However, a lot of new runners say that things feel a little easier and more comfortable once they were able to run continuously for 30 minutes. For most new runners, that milestone can take anywhere from two to eight weeks, depending on your starting point.Why am I so tired at 60 years old? ›
Fatigue in older adults sometimes occurs as a result of chronic pain from arthritis, fibromyalgia, or other chronic conditions. Your body may tire itself out from trying to manage the pain or inflammation, and living with chronic pain can also lead to mental or emotional fatigue.How seniors can increase stamina? ›
Endurance, or aerobic, activities increase your breathing and heart rate. Brisk walking or jogging, dancing, swimming, and biking are examples. Strength exercises make your muscles stronger. Lifting weights or using a resistance band can build strength.What is the quickest way to increase endurance? ›
For example, if you want to improve your 10-mile run time, you'll need to gradually make your workouts harder by increasing either:
- the distance you run.
- the speed you run.
- the amount of time you run.
Fauja Singh has astonished the world by running a marathon at the age of 100. The British runner completed the 26.2-mile Toronto Waterfront course in eight hours, 25 minutes and 16 seconds. So how was this feat of age-defying stamina possible?What are older runners called? ›
Most races have one catch-all division called "Masters" which covers all runners age 40 and up. So if, by chance, a 50-year-old is the first runner age 40-and-up across the line, he is declared the "Masters" champion.Do you tell your running age? ›
So for example, if at your last birthday you have completed your 21st year you might say that you are 21-years-old. However, you could also say you are 22-years-old, which would be your running age (as in the age you are currently towards completing).What age do runners slow down? ›
Research indicates that runners who remain highly fit can expect a 0.5 to 1 percent decline in performance per year from age 35 to 60. After age 60, performance decrement tends to increase at a faster rate.
How can I run faster after 55? ›
- Train consistently.
- Train at the correct pace.
- Recovery is vital.
- Add cross-training to your program.
- Strength training is a game-changer.
- Make sure you're getting enough quality sleep.
- Eat enough nutritional foods.
- Decrease your running training days.
Abstract. Marathon running performance among men and women is generally fastest, as indicated by world record performances, when individuals are 25-35 years old. The time to complete a marathon gradually increases with age, with substantial losses in performance after the age of 70 years.Is 70 too old to start running? ›
No matter what your age is, running can be beneficial to your physical and mental health. Running is a great exercise to improve your cardiovascular system, and staying in good shape and moving your body is especially important as you grow older.Am I too old to start running? ›
There's no right or wrong age to become a runner. Unlike other sports, particularly stick-and-ball games, it's never too late to decide that you want to get into running. Whether you're 15, 50 or any other age, if you wake up one day with the urge to become a runner, you can and should do it.How often should seniors run? ›
Adults aged 65 and older need: At least 150 minutes a week (for example, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week) of moderate-intensity activity such as brisk walking. Or they need 75 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity activity such as hiking, jogging, or running. At least 2 days a week of activities that strengthen muscles.What age should you stop running? ›
O'Keefe says there is no definite age cutoff at which running is no longer good for you, but curbing it with age may be a good idea. “Many people find that their joints feel better if they do brisk walking rather than running after age 45 or 50,” he says.How many days a week should a 65 year old run? ›
The 55-65 age group does better with no more than three days a week. But if you're in these age brackets and aren't experiencing problems, you can run the number of days that work for you. It's best for all runners to take a day off from running, the day before a long run, a race, or a speed workout.How often should you run in your 60s? ›
Be careful to add no more than 15 minutes a week. A 45 minute run is a good time goal for a regular run. And running about 3 times a week is an excellent way of maintaining overall fitness and feeling great! It's all good!What is a good running pace for a 60 year old? ›
Average running speed per mile in a 5K.
|Age||Men (minutes per mile)||Women (minutes per mile)|