Think you're too old? Think again. The Runner's World article "Running Through the Ages" (March '08) shows how a runner's body strengths, weaknesses, and nutritional needs change over time. It profiles 14 runners aged 17 to 85. One thing that struck me about the senior runners, is the age at which many of them started running. 67-year-old Seiko Tamura started running at the age 44. John Keston (83-years-old), started running at age 55. Margaret Davis (85-years-old), started running in her late 70s. Margaret has run eight marathons (5:37 PR at age 80) and 11 half-marathons (2:42 PR at age 80). She says the best part of her running is that she gets people thinking, "If I she can do it, I can do it." I also once read about a lady who started running in her 70s. Her plan was to "add a mailbox each day." You see, each day she would run a little further by making it to the next mailbox in her neighborhood. Eventually she added enough mailboxes that she signed up for a triathlon!
- Running helps you lose faster as well as maintain your weight once you've reached your goal weight. Few activities burn as many calories and burn them as quickly as when you run.
- Running is great for your heart. Did you know that if you run 145 minutes a week, on average you decrease your chance of having a heart attack by 40%/ Sounds like a lot, but that's only 21 minutes of running a day or run a little longer every other day.
- Running helps increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind).
- Running helps boost the immune system.
- Running helps fight the aging process by reducing bone and muscle loss that comes with growing older.
- Running helps reduce stress.
- Running is fairly cheap. The biggest investment will be a good pair of running shoes.
- Running can be as personal or as social as you want it to be. There's an entire world of friendly welcoming runners eager to help you in your journey.
- Running can be a great exercise for the whole family.
- Running builds confidence.
Not sure where to start? Check with the local running clubs and/or running specialty stores in your community to see if they have any programs for beginning runners or try using The Runner's World 8-Week Beginners Running Program. This plan is designed to get you to the point of running 30 minutes (about 2 miles) at a slow pace. Once you get to that point, you'll be ready to increase your mileage by 10% per week.
Before making any changes to your normal routine, please consult with your physician.