326: Redefining Running After 40: Age is Just a NumberSep 28, 2023
It is commonly believed that as we age, our bodies, minds, and lifestyles evolve, which may impact our approach to running. Contrary to this belief, age can enhance your running journey rather than hinder it. Hormonal changes that occur as we age can influence our running performance, but the narrative around aging and decline needs to be rewritten.
Impressive physical capabilities are being showcased by runners in their 80s, 90s, and 100s. Additionally, a resurgence in women’s running post-menopause offers a new perspective on age and performance. These instances clearly show that age is not a barrier to maintaining, and even improving, your running performance.
However, as we age, it's important to adapt our training routines. Rather than pushing harder and doing more to clock faster times, a shift in mindset and training routines is necessary. The stress-rest cycle plays a vital role in achieving optimal running performance. During this cycle, our bodies are broken down through exercise (stress), and then built back up stronger during rest.
Moreover, our motivations for running might transform as we enter our 40s. This evolution is not just acceptable, but an exciting part of the journey. It's essential to recognize this change and adapt our training programs accordingly.
Nutrition also plays a crucial role in supporting your performance. As your body changes with age, so should your dietary habits. It's necessary to understand how the body's metabolism changes with age and how to adjust your eating habits to support your running goals.
An effort-based training approach allows you to find your ideal running pace without being a slave to the watch. This approach emphasizes running at a pace that feels comfortable and sustainable rather than striving to hit a certain pace or distance. Additionally, a run-walk program can be a sustainable long-term strategy. It demonstrates that it's possible to maintain, if not improve, your pace while prolonging your running career.
Being a runner over 40 doesn't mean accepting an inevitable decline. With the right mindset, training routines, and nutritional habits, you can continue to enjoy running and even enhance your performance as you age. By embracing the changes that come with aging, you can redefine what it means to be a runner over 40.
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