Are you too old to start, or resume, running after you cross the 50 threshold? I am sure that you have fond memories of jogging/running at some point in your distant past, and the thought probably crosses your mind that you might like doing it again.
What is different this time? Well, you are older. Jennifer Pirtle wrote an article called Run to Lose for Heart Healthy Living (Summer 2007) that I found rather inspirational and I think you will too. More than 4.5 million American women run at least twice a week, she says. Few other exercises can help you burn calories, strengthen bones and muscles and boost your energy level to this degree without costing you an arm and a leg.
Running is good for you, but this time you should take some practical precautions to avoid frustration or injury. See your physician before embarking on a new exercise program. You aren’t going to just lace up your shoes and start off running 5 miles. This is my waterloo. I just can’t do it any more. I can’t even make it the whole way around the football field track. Does this mean that I can’t do it? The biggest mistake, the author says, is that people try to run too far and too fast.
Even if you are already reasonable fit (you should be able to walk for 30 minutes comfortably) you need to start small. Plan on running three days a week, but remember that your goal is to train over eight weeks toward a 30 minute walk/run.
She recommends walk breaks. For example: this means that you can walk briskly for one or two minutes, then run for just 5 to 10 seconds (heah, I think I could do that!). After a week or two, you can increase the amount of running to between 10 and 15 seconds. Some runners eventually eliminate the walk breaks but others continue them forever.
Wow…now you are a runner (the easy way)! Put your runs on the calendar and do them religiously. Include music; perhaps an upbeat tune will be motivational. Find another novice running buddy if you can, but most important of all is choosing a suitable running surface. The article recommends a packed dirt trail, gravel path or a running track (boring perhaps, but at the moment we want to concentrate on running without pain). Avoid concrete and be careful of uneven surfaces. If you use a treadmill, set the incline at level one or two and vary the speed during your runs.
Do not stretch before a run because it can lead to injury. Do a warm-up by walking briskly for 5-10 minutes until your body is warm. After running, cool down by walking for five minutes and then do some gentle stretching.
Of course, you will probably want to buy some cool clothing like a hat that wicks away moisture and has room ID info etc.(www.alphagear.com), or a heart monitor bra (www.numetrex.com), or shoes that sing (www.nike.com), but first you have to put one foot in front of the other. Remember walk and then just 5-10 seconds of running. I think we can do this!