As we get older, our bodies go through different changes. The way we exercise changes as well. Our bodies need more recovery time and we can’t train or exercise in the same manner as when we were in our 20’s. That doesn’t mean that you can’t still train and exercise. You will just need to make some simple adjustments.
With these adjustments, you’ll want to make sure that you’re setting realistic goals and expectations for yourself. Running a 5k may have seemed like an “easy” thing to do in your 20’s and 30’s but, once you begin ageing, the idea of running that 5k becomes more daunting.
As early as your mid-30’s, your body can start changing in ways you didn’t notice. It takes just a little extra time to recover from your training or you might have slowed down a tiny bit. Some runners consider bad times as their “personal worst” times. The key is to not focus on these as your “personal worst.” It’s a chance to realize that your body is changing and not in a bad way! It’s just fundamental biology that our bodies have started to change and age. This is where setting those realistic goals and expectations start to come into play.
When you build more recovery time into your training regiment, you’re allowing your body more time to regain strength and, in the long run, can help keep injuries to a minimum. If you do end up becoming injured though, you need to be patient while you recover from that injury. As we age, it does take the body more time to fix itself after an injury has occurred.
The biggest key to running as you grow older is that you should understand that, eventually, there will be a limit. Even with that limit in place, that doesn’t mean you should stop running! In fact, you should appreciate the successes you do have as you’ve aged. It may be easy to get discouraged when you notice your times are starting to get a little longer than they have been in the past.
You can’t let that little voice in your head saying “you’re too old to run” dictate your actions. Of course, it’s important to listen to your body but you don’t ever have to stop running. There are ways to alleviate the stress of running as you get older. You can focus solely on what you can achieve at your given age.
Each day is a new day and that new day is an opportunity for you to keep running. If you love it enough, you will find a way to run while remaining safe and treating your body right.