Running in Your 40s – Smart Running Advice for Continued Success
As you enter your 40s, it’s usually quite clear that you can no longer just pick up and PR. This might have been true in your 20s, but it’s definitely not the case when running in your 40s. For one thing, you can’t defy your body’s natural changes that occur as you get older. On average, you’ll lose about 5 percent of your muscle mass per decade after 40. Likewise, your VO2Max, which measures how efficiently you can use oxygen, falls by about 10 percent every 10 years. Most people’s running speed will decline about 1 percent each year. But some wise running advice can still help you enjoy great running performance. All it takes is a slightly different approach to your running strategy.
Running Advice for Running Smarter
The key to running in your 40s is to run smarter if you’re looking to perform at your best. Though physical declines will occur as you age, there are several great strategies to help manage these. For this reason, running advice after 40 is a little different than recommendations in your younger years. By investing in these changes, you can enjoy one of your best decades of running.
Strength Training Is Essential: Understanding that your muscle mass and your bone density will decline, strength training is a must. By hitting all major muscle groups regularly, including core exercises, you can slow this decline. In addition, this will help reduce any fatigue you may experience from running. This is very important in preventing injury and ensuring you’ll be running for years to come.
Learn to Rest and Recover: Running every day is no longer the best idea when running in your 40s. Your muscles and connective tissue need time to recover. So, the best running advice is to take some days off from running each week. These days don’t have to be inactive days, and in fact, activities like hiking and cycling might be considered.
Introduce Yourself to Speedwork: For those of you running in your 40s who want to maintain good speed, intervals offer great benefits. By mixing in some speedwork with your other runs, you help preserve your VO2Max as well as your pace. In addition, a faster speed may boost your confidence and provide you with a mental edge.
Keep It Fun!: For many running in their 40s, the push to maintain performance can lead to frustration. If expectations are too high, this can lead to a bad attitude and perspective. Therefore, one solid piece of running advice is to make sure you keep running fun. For some of your runs, take a more casual pace and enjoy the scenery. Perhaps, try some trail running to mix it up. Not only will this preserve your love of running, but it will help you emotionally as well.
A Great Time to Fall in Love with Running…Again
Though some physical declines occur in your 40s, it’s a great time to explore your passion for running. Trying new running destinations, creating a running bucket list, and playing with different training regimens can be fun. By following the running advice provided, and by paying attention to nutrition and hydration, you can still perform well. And you’ll continue to appreciate why running is such a great activity at any age.